In addition to running a profitable operation, safety is of utmost importance for any company that manufactures, ships, or installs heavy equipment. The stakes are particularly high when multi-ton pieces of equipment are sent in motion in the warehouse for shipment to clients or placement on location. It is incredibly important to use the right equipment for the job so that it is done safely. So, what are swivel skates, and why are they an ideal method to move heavy equipment safely? 


The swivel skate design isn’t groundbreaking technology: It’s essentially a cleated metal plate mounted atop rollers. Moving skates come in many different designs and capacities, but swivel skates are notable for their enhanced maneuverability — particularly around corners and tight spaces. The swiveling wheel boxes broaden the range of motion and allow for more stability on uneven surfaces. That makes them incredibly versatile, so it’s no wonder they are widely used across industries. Warehouse managers will typically keep a wide array of swivel skates on hand to manage products of different shapes and weights. 

While the design of a swivel skate is rather simple, the true differentiator is in the materials and durability used to construct them. With the cost of failure being high, it’s critical that swivel skates are constructed with quality, durable materials that are designed to handle a specified load. That’s what differentiates Hevi-Haul swivel skates from the competition. Hevi-Haul products are trusted by local machinery movers, Blue-Chip multinational corporations, and even the U.S. military. Hevi-Haul’s welded steel frame skates are built to last here in the United States, using the best processes, materials, and technology available today. Hevi-Haul’s swivel skates come in a wide range of capacities and sizes, and can even be customized for specific use cases. 


Compact swivel skates are small, low-profile variants, but they pack a lot of moving capacity into a smaller package. They are ideal for moving light- to medium-duty loads that require complete directional control. Hevi-Haul swivel skates can handle 1.5 tons to 12.5 tons per skate and can be adapted for a wide range of environments. The rollers are interchangeable, and the

swivel tops are easily removed using a hex key wrench. Every swivel skate from Hevi-Haul features a friction plate between the top frame of the dolly and the bottom surface plate to reduce swimming and eliminate the need for locking mechanisms. 

They can be purchased from Hevi-Haul individually, or in kits that include a steel job box and placement handle. 


As mentioned above, swivel skate rollers are interchangeable, and for good reason. 

Steel rollers are an all-purpose workhorse for moving heavy equipment. They provide maximum durability and can handle extended resting loads or even permanent installations. They work great on rough or uneven floors. 

Polyurethane-coated rollers, on the other hand, are best for use cases where surfaces need to be protected. Polyurethane rollers are also oil and solvent-resistant. You’ll want to use these rollers atop epoxy-coated floors, for example, that are common in aerospace or military installations. While they can handle the same load weight, they aren’t the best option for permanent installations or atop rough surfaces. 


Swivel skates are simple to use. Start by elevating the equipment with a proper toe jack, and slide a swivel skate under all four corners. Then, slowly lower the equipment onto the skates, gradually allowing the skates to bear the weight. Ensure the object’s weight is distributed evenly, attach the steering bar, and then with the assistance of a forklift, you’re ready to go. 


Hevi-Haul offers a wide variety of swivel skates to suit the job at hand, but that’s not all. Hevi-Haul also provides custom and modified skates that include, but are not limited to, guide roller systems for I-beams, bolt patterns permanent mounting, and pipe handling dollies. Contact us to learn more!