The main duty of yard officials is the safe marshalling and transport of trainloads. They control the shunting movements of passenger coaches and goods wagons using radio communication or hand signals.
Yard officials work in shunting yards where trains are loaded and unloaded. The contents of the trucks vary from heavy ore to livestock.
Yard officials connect trucks to the correct locomotive and ensure that all trucks are properly coupled. They also make sure that the train has sufficient braking force for the proposed journey. They need to keep the external condition of trucks in order. They may be required to feed livestock where necessary and check cooling units. Obviously, special precautions need to be taken when shunting trucks carrying explosives.