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A spotlight on Joe Naso, RAC’s Open Top Loading and Rules Manager

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Joe Naso’s career in the rail industry sparked over lunch one day with a friend. He was meeting with then-manager of open top loading and rules, Robert Corfield, and Corfield mentioned he was retiring.

“I thought, I’ll throw my name in and see how it goes,” said Naso. 

It ended up going well, and Naso became the next manager of open top loading and rules. 

Naso describes his job as an advocacy and teaching position. Calling Maple Ridge, B.C home, Naso’s a resource for people to ask about how to load different products on rail cars.

But before he started working in the rail industry, Naso had a career in trucking. He worked for Arrow and Northwest Tank Lines where he handled trainload for different commodities and hauling dangerous goods and tanks. 

“Trucking is a competitor to rail, but it’s also used as a compliment for rail as well,” said Naso. Working in the trucking industry has shown him the differences and also similarities between the two industries. It’s given him a good grasp of how both industries focus on what the customer needs, and how to make it happen.

Although Naso has insightful prior experiences, he still finds there’s plenty of new aspects about his job to learn. 

“Learning all the different rules on different commodities is a big, steep learning curve for me,” said Naso. He needs to make sure he knows all the different rules involved in loading different products, since each product has a set of rules. Everything from lumber and drywall to pipes and poles follow different rules and is loaded in a unique way. 

Currently, Naso’s working on an experimental load.

“Right now we’re doing a test project with Eagle Builders. It’s a cement slab on a frame that was specifically designed for bulkhead flatcars,” explains Naso. Each time a load comes down, the team measures and takes pictures to make sure things aren’t coming loose. If the test project is a success, it’ll get registered in the RAC loading patterns.

As for future goals, Naso explains that he’s still a little new to the job to figure those out. But one goal he’s sure about committing to in the present is how he engages and meets with people.

“My goal is to meet as many people in my territory as I can, and make sure that people know what RAC is all about, what we can provide, and that they’re loading their loads safely and adhering to the rules,” said Naso.

When Naso isn’t working, he spends his time at his cabin on the water on the Sunshine Coast. Whether he’s hiking, fishing, or just enjoying the natural beauty, it’s a place where Naso loves to be.