How Do Machine Skates Work?

When it comes to moving heavy equipment or product, workers rely on forklifts, pallet trucks, and cranes. But these tools don’t work in every situation. First, they’re cost-prohibitive. Second, they don’t always fit in the work spaces where they’re needed.

So, how do you move heavy objects around limited areas, such as warehouses or offices? Machine skates offer an affordable, easy-to-use option.

Two warehouse workers with pallet truck, pointing

The ABCs of Machine Skates

A variety of industries, from manufacturing to aerospace to power plants, employ machine skates to tackle their heaviest lifting. This is because machine skates offer flexibility, serious hauling power, and ease of use. Whether you’re moving heavy castings, large structures, or cargo, machine skates offer dependable, user-friendly transportation.

Some benefits of skates include:

  • They come in many designs, each tailored to handle specific load types and weights.
  • They’re engineered to move across different flooring types, from smooth to uneven.
  • They allow for the even distribution of weight along points of contact.

How many skates should you use? This depends on several factors, including the weight of the load, the width and length of the load, and how rigid the support structure beneath the load will be.

Between three and six skates can be used to provide the same number of points of contact. These points of contact ensure support and stability.

Getting the load atop the skates represents the first step in successfully using machine skates. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the biggest challenges.

First Things First

When you’re working with two, four, or six-ton loads, figuring out how to raise them high enough to get machine skates underneath them can appear daunting. Luckily, tools such as compact jacks, toe jacks, low height single acting cylinders, and pancake cylinders solve the problem.

Once the load is boosted, slide the skates into place. When they’re properly positioned, slowly lower the load onto them. Then, attach the steering bars and start pushing.

Safely Moving Loads

The manpower required to move things along will vary, but here are some general guidelines:

For lighter loads, one person can safely push up to two tons of weight. This estimate assumes that you’re moving across a smooth space that’s clear of debris. As load weight increases, so does the amount of force needed to move it.

Quality Matters

Considering the weights carried by machine skates, it’s important to invest in top-quality equipment, whether you’re renting or buying. Otherwise, you risk equipment malfunctions. As an investment, look for machine skates built for rugged endurance.

Choose skates with polyurethane wheels that go the extra mile. They have a higher load-bearing capacity than wheels made of rubber. And they’re resistant to oils and solvents. What’s more, they hold up to weather, temperature extremes, and tears. Finally, they’re less likely to tear up workplace floors.

Know Your Machine Skates

Besides opting for quality, choose the best skates to transport your loads. We manufacture a wide range of machine skates designed to handle diverse load ranges. To learn more about our products, contact us today.