Case Study: Union Tank

Changing the Way UTLX Connects, Informs, and Engages With Technicians


Union Tank Car Company (or UTLX) was founded in 1891 as Union Tank Line, but the company’s origins started about 30 years prior alongside the birth of the petroleum industry. More than 125 years later, the organization continues to be a leader in tank car manufacturing, leasing, and repair. Today, UTLX, along with Canadian affiliate Procor, owns the largest tank car fleet as well as railcar repair network in North America, specializing in full-service leasing with a nationwide support infrastructure. Learn how it’s using Instilled by PeopleFluent to “do with 5 people what used to take 25 people”.



Providing Critical Training for Specialist Technicians

Nondestructive testing (NTD) is a way of exploring a material, component or system without causing damage. The approach is used by technicians to inspect, repair and approve tank cars, which are widely used in sectors such as the gas and oil industries.

In addition to its manufacturing arm, UTLX is responsible for leasing and repairing approximately 128,000 cars, all of which need to pass an inspection test every 10 years. Strict adherence to safety protocol is vital for technicians, who must work according to rules set by regulatory bodies as well as meet UTLX’s own high safety standards.

Solving the Challenge of Hosting Hundreds of Hours of Training

UTLX’s training is both intensive and extensive, with some courses lasting up to 80 hours. Previously, a team of learning professionals would travel thousands of miles to deliver the company’s training, face to face.

In 2017, UTLX became one of the first organizations in the tank car industry to start creating its own video learning. By using video, UTLX started to see vast savings because trainers no longer needed to travel to the more than 120 facilities across North America.

The company began the process of putting its training content online, starting with just PowerPoint, audio and a few video shots, but employees were struggling to stream it and send it because bandwidth wasn’t sufficient enough for such large files. For the sake of comparison, it was easier for someone to physically put training videos on a disc and mail it to the learner than it was for someone to download online training.

Then, Union Tank Car Company found gomo Video. UTLX was already working with NetDimensions LMS to implement a Learning Management System (LMS). NetDimenions is a product owned by PeopleFluent Learning, a sister company to Instilled. The Instilled Video platform gave the company an ideal place to host all video content with no downtime and expanded file storage.

Bite-Sized, On-Demand Learning for Technicians

Instilled has given UTLX ultra-reliable, always-available learning. In just a few months, their learning team has published a growing number of how-to videos on its searchable, intuitive platform.

Technicians across more than 120 sites, including repair shops, mobile repair units, and two manufacturing plants, can follow the steps shown in videos and access subject matter expertise on any device for point-of-need support.

As well as giving hundreds of staff on different shifts in repair settings the freedom to learn whenever they want, UTLX has revolutionized the way it supports a large team of on-the-go technicians. The ability to access video content on tablets and mobile devices provides hands-on, timely guidance at remote locations.

Now, how-to content gets straight to the end-user at each location, regardless of what shift or part of the repair process they’re on. Just like how consumers reference online videos for at-home solutions, UTLX technicians can use Instilled to instantly find the information they need to fix problems while on the job.

The Potential of a Long-Lasting, Easy-to-Use Learning Platform

UTLX’s learning team finds uploading and enhancing videos easy with Instilled, and the platform has become central to their plans to grow their learning programs. To film the learning videos, UTLX managers and fellow SMEs often strap cameras to their workwear and record exactly how to carry out specific jobs on tank cars.

With more content continuously being added, UTLX is looking forward to using Instilled’s social features such as user-generated content and video commenting in the future.

The use of instilled at UTLX is a great example of how best-in-class learning technologies can help improve the training process with content creation, hosting and distribution, at scale, even in extremely high-consequence industries.

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