This blog is a continuation of our previous blog, The Problems With 4 Skate Systems, except this one is where you find all the answers.
Let’s first recap why using more skates is actually counterintuitive. The problem is in the points of contact and weight distribution. If you place an 8-legged table down on a really uneven floor, how many of the legs do you think will actually touch the ground? Maybe half, if that? This means the table will wobble in all different ways, especially when you try to put things on it. The same happens when you use too many skates under a heavy load. Some of the skates will have to hold some serious weight while others won’t be of any use at all. In this industry, less is more.
Here’s Why Three Skate Systems Are The Solution:
If you want an explanation from a Doctor of Mathematics, you can find that right here. Here is my best to simplified version of it.
Basically, a 3 legged stool will never wobble. Ever. How? If you disassemble the stool, you’ll have 3 legs, and a seat. Take one leg and hold it in the air. It can move in all 3 dimensions: up/down, back/forth, and side/side. Now plant one end of the leg on the ground and keep it there. It can only move 2 dimensionally: back/forth and side/side, not up/down anymore. Now take 1 of the other legs, plant it on the ground, and connect the tops of the two legs together. They can now only move in 1 dimension, back/forth. If you take the 3rd leg and connect it to the other 2, then you remove the back and forth movement, which means it can’t move at all anymore. As long as you stay within the stools center of gravity, you’ll never tip over.
1 Skate In Front, 2 Skates In The Rear
This same concept applies to a load on a 3 skate system. As long as the load stays within the triangle created by the 3 skates, it won’t tip over. Even on uneven ground. This is why a 3 skate system is so much safer when moving heavy loads. It removes the risk of skates slipping or failing, and it removes the risk of loads tipping over. The heavyweight keeps pressure pushing down on all 3 skates, and they’ll never slip out because of friction force.