Machinery Rollers & Machine Moving Skates

Technical Considerations

Successfully utilizing machinery rollers and machine moving skates for rolling heavy loads & machinery requires technical consideration and careful planning.  This page highlights some of the advantages of moving heavy equipment and industrial machinery with the low profile design of TechimpexUSA equipment dollies.

How will the load be lifted the necessary amount to clear the height of the machine skates?

Methods for getting the load "up" can include:

What type of equipment is used to move a heavy load or industrial machinery?

Machinery rollers and machine moving skates for moving a heavy load can include the following types:

How much does the load or equipment to be moved weigh?

Entering into any kind of moving  project without having a really close idea of the weight of the load can be dangerous.  It is best to know exactly, or at least, very closely the weight of the load to be moved.

Is the weight distributed equally across the load?

It may be necessary to allow for the load being heavier/lighter on one side/end or the other by using machinery rollers with heavier or lighter load capacities on the respective sides/ends of the load being moved.

How many points of contact are necessary when the heavy load is resting on the machine moving skates?

Depending on the weight of the heavy load, the length/width of the load, and the rigidity of the support structure under the load being moved, it may be necessary to use 3, 4, 5, or 6 (even more sometimes) points of contact to give the load the proper support and stability while resting on the machine moving skates.

How much force will be needed to move the heavy load once it is resting on the machine moving skates?

Once the load is on the machinery rollers, there must be sufficient means to move/maneuver the heavy load. For lighter loads, as a rule of thumb, one person can move around 2 tons on a smooth, level, debris-free surface. As the weight of the load increases, it will take significantly more manpower (usually forklifts / power pushers / wenches) to successfully move and maneuver heavier loads. Please keep in mind that once the load is moving it must be STOPPED as well so extreme caution must be used when tackling a heavy load moving project.

How much maneuverability is needed to guide the heavy load into the desired space?

The ability to turn and rotate the load (space constraints) after it is resting on the machine moving skates must be evaluated because the different styles of machinery rollers available (rotating, 3-point, steerable, fixed, single) and the configurations in which they are placed will provide varying ranges of maneuverability.

How much pressure is exerted on the surface of the floor?

All of our machine moving skates use the same size urethane roller that is 3.25 in. in width and 3.25 in. in diameter. At any one time a heavy load will compress the rollers equating to a footprint of approximately 1 to 1.25 square inches per roller (As the weight on the machinery rollers increases, the deformation or flattening increases). It is then a simple calculation to divide the total number of urethane rollers into the total amount of weight on the machine moving skates to figure out the pressure exerted on the floor by each urethane roller.

Pressure Calculations at Maximum Loads

Load weight (lbs) / # of rollers / roller footprint (sq-in) = Pressure per roller (lb/sq-in or psi)

For example, the RT-8 machinery rollers fully loaded would produce 2,560 psi per roller (16,000 lb / 6 / 1.25 sq-in = 2,560 psi per roller).

Can I use the machine moving skates on a rough or uneven surface?

This is a hard question to give a blanket answer to but we will attempt to offer some guidance. The urethane rollers are designed to not mar floors and as such are fabricated with a urethane material. Therefore, use over a rough but level surface should not affect the usefulness of the machinery rollers. However, over time it may tend to pit and deteriorate the surface of the urethane rollers. If, after a period of time, the roller's surface becomes too damaged to work effectively we stock plenty of replacement urethane rollers that can be quickly and conveniently replaced with our unique axle end bolt design.

Sometimes this question is asked in reference to a floor that has excessive cracks. The first thing to keep in mind is that the urethane rollers are only 3.25 in. diameter. As such, any crack or hole in the ground wider than a normal concrete expansion joint can present problems. These can be overcome by rolling the machinery rollers over such areas at an angle which will keep the line of urethane rollers from all dropping into the crack at the same time which will have the effect of bridging the crack. Another solution is to fill the cracks with an acceptable filler of some sort to even out the transition area or to use thin metal plating to bridge the excessive crack.

Another area of concern that comes up is abrupt changes in elevation of the flooring such as a crack in concrete flooring where one side of the crack has heaved up forming a ledge or a quick change in grade like a ramp. Our machine moving skates are designed for low clearance so that heavy loads do not have to be raised very high in order for the machinery rollers to be positioned underneath. Consequently, the steel frames run very close to the ground so steps should be taken to use plating, fillers, etc. to overcome significant abrupt ledges/obstructions in the flooring. Also, anytime a ramp is to be used, it must be a fairly gradual ascent so that the urethane rollers have room to contact the ramp before the frame gets wedged against the ramp.

Please give us a call at 888.848.0499 to discuss any questions you may have about a potential move or the use of our machine moving skates and hydraulic jacks.