Which Moving Skates Are Right for Your Needs?

How do you move a 100-ton airplane engine while maintaining maneuverability? Or move huge slabs of concrete to the transport truck? The answer? Moving skates.

Moving skates are the heroes of the heavy machinery world. Without them, distribution and construction would be almost impossible. Skates can move more than 100 tons, and there are numerous factors that go into choosing the right ones for your needs.

worker using moving skate in warehouse

Below is a quick guide to making the best choice.

Swivel, Fixed & Compact Skates

When transporting materials, remember what you are transporting and how much it weighs. This is the most important factor in choosing your skates. You wouldn’t tow a car by tying a rope around your waist. As you consider your options, remember:

  • Never underestimate your haul’s weight.
  • The two most common skate types are swivel and rigid.
  • A swivel head affords 360 degrees of motion, good for moving loads on uneven terrain. A rigid head stays in place.
  • If you are looking to haul smaller loads, a compact skate handles between 1.5 to 12.5 tons and can even whip around tight corners.

What are the Rollers Made of?

With moving skates, as with all machinery, you want to make sure you are buying a quality product. Poorly made skates can show signs of wear and tear after just one load. Sturdy skates cost more up-front but pay dividends later. Consider:

  • The three best materials used to make moving skate rollers are steel, polyurethane, and nylon.
  • Nylon is a shock absorber and polyurethane coating is durable, ensuring longevity. Use these for fragile flooring.
  • Steel is for rough terrain or all-purpose hauling.

Be sure you are using the right material for your terrain, or you can damage both your surfaces and the equipment.

Three-Point vs. Four-Point System

Now that you have picked out your skates, it’s time to think about how best to use them. When transporting a load, you’d think placing skates at four even points would be the safest way to move it, right? You’re wrong. The four-point system is less safe than the alternative three-points system.

Why? Moving skate wheels aren’t connected to each other like they are in a car. They are affixed to the object you are hauling. That means if you have a skate under each corner of a 2-ton concrete cube, and you are on a level surface, all corners of the cube are fully supported and carrying the same amount of weight.

But if you were to move the cube over any uneven surface, the center of gravity would shift onto that wheel. This can cause shifting, tilting, and even a complete loss of the haul. In the three-points system, one skate carries the front of the load while the other two carry the back, ensuring the center of gravity within those three points will remain stable.

Time to Buy Your Moving Skates

Now that you have chosen the type of skate you want, the wheels you want, and which system will work best for you, it’s time to get hauling.

Check out Hevi-Haul for all heavy transport needs and get a custom order of moving skates.