Moving machines around the shop -- am I doing it wrong? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    No one mentioned keeping safety blocks under the machine just in case a skate decides to do something stupid. It takes a little longer to get where you are going but scooting safety blocks along as you go is cheap insurance, plus, if a skate hangs up, its pretty easy to get it repositioned. Just thought I would mention it even though it might be an obvious thing to do.
    If you watch and learn from the guys who do rigging for a living, they seldom take chances and always have their safeties in place.

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  3. #22
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    Inner tube is a bit thin, quarry conveyor belts what you want, works great between pry bar and floor too for zero mark pushing, secret in prying stuff around, lots of small bites, not massive multi inch moves.

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    Oh ... one little nay-say. There have been suggestions to wait until you can get some friends over. Unless they are experienced at moving heavy stuff, that's a definite "no" for me. One of my collection of scars is from a nice lady who decided to "help" while I was moving an Ex-Cell-O. What she managed to do was wack a steel bar into my head. Doing it by yourself is safer.

    Although having someone nearby to hear you scream if you do something dumb and put your hand under the machine and it drops kaboom, cutting off your fingers, that's probably smart.

    Rule Number One : don't do dumb stuff.

    Does anyone else have a grisly imagination ? When I see a train go by I always think, "What would happen if I tried to run between the cars ?" or standing at the edge of a cliff ... is that self-defense ? Seeing the result in your mind keeps you from doing retarded things ?

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  6. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by benkokes View Post
    m16ty: What type of skates do you have? have you ever tried rollers across asphalt?
    Here is what we use almost exclusively- Hevi-Haul - Heavy Duty Skates/Dollies Material Handling | USA Made

    I don’t know of anything that works well over asphalt with very much weight. We almost always plate when skating over asphalt. You can sometimes get away with neoprene rollers on asphalt, with lighter loads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Oh ... one little nay-say. There have been suggestions to wait until you can get some friends over. Unless they are experienced at moving heavy stuff, that's a definite "no" for me. One of my collection of scars is from a nice lady who decided to "help" while I was moving an Ex-Cell-O. What she managed to do was wack a steel bar into my head. Doing it by yourself is safer.

    Although having someone nearby to hear you scream if you do something dumb and put your hand under the machine and it drops kaboom, cutting off your fingers, that's probably smart.

    Rule Number One : don't do dumb stuff.

    Does anyone else have a grisly imagination ? When I see a train go by I always think, "What would happen if I tried to run between the cars ?" or standing at the edge of a cliff ... is that self-defense ? Seeing the result in your mind keeps you from doing retarded things ?
    Bad help can be dangerous. I asked a guy to shut off my oxy/ propane tanks. Clockwise is off. Problem is he cranked both regulators in all the way. Not the valves. Ruined the diaphragm in both regulators. It could have been worse
    On the wondering what happens if. The old man back handed me if I said ,what if, so when I got old enough to leave I what if,ed all I wanted. Still do. And it is better than not thinking what happens IF.
    I always answered my kids,what if.
    Even if you tell them that it cant happen. They are learning

    On the skating machinery on asfault. Pavement hollows out underneath and gets soft when warm. I like 4x4's bolted to the bottom and slide.

    Besides I dont own skates

  8. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by benkokes View Post
    Garwood: Very interesting. The chain rollers I have are actually Daytons, 8000lb capacity. It sounds that there may be some sort of rule of thumb with rollers, maybe double capacity? For the skates you have, what are their capacity? I figured this is a contact area problem, the more roller area I get, the easier it is to move...
    I don't know what the skates I have are rated for. Mine are very old. They are Hilmans. At about 20 tons on them they start leaving tracks in the concrete. So somewhere around that is probably the limit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    I don't know what the skates I have are rated for. Mine are very old. They are Hilmans. At about 20 tons on them they start leaving tracks in the concrete. So somewhere around that is probably the limit.
    That's another reason I'm not a big fan of caterpillar type skates. You get a heavy load on them, they will start eating the concrete. It doesn't necessarily mean they are overloaded, it is just due to their design.
    Even the standard steel roller skates will eat up the concrete, but they will hold much more weight before they do.

    On the Hevi-Haul skates I linked to above, they are pretty expensive. With a few machine tools though, it wouldn't take much to build a set, if you had more time than money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m16ty View Post
    That's another reason I'm not a big fan of caterpillar type skates. You get a heavy load on them, they will start eating the concrete. It doesn't necessarily mean they are overloaded, it is just due to their design.
    Even the standard steel roller skates will eat up the concrete, but they will hold much more weight before they do.

    On the Hevi-Haul skates I linked to above, they are pretty expensive. With a few machine tools though, it wouldn't take much to build a set, if you had more time than money.
    If I were buying new I would probably go for those with steel rollers (used a set with poly rollers and the rollers were coming apart at 5 years old). I bought my Hilmans for a reasonable price ($300/set with handles) and I'm able to move all of my machines with them including a few at and over 20 tons. I got past perfect concrete along time ago and I'm okay with the occasional skate dig in my floor given what I do.

    I would say the larger sized track roller skates are great for machines 20k and under.

    Awhile ago I bought a set of small track roller skates like the OP's and I swear they were Hevi-Haul brand. They were terrible and I sold them.

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    Seeing all the responses, it seems that my skates must just be too small. FOr about $120, eBay has a 12 ton roller similar to Strongways 12 ton rollers. YouTube

    Is it the thinking that wheeled rollers are better than the chain-link rollers?

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    I prefer my Hevi-haul roller style to my Hillmans. The big problem with the chain link style is that they will not track in a straight line. As soon as they toe out or toe in, they start to tip sideways. When that happens, at a minimum they will dig into the concrete, at worst they will flip right over and the machine will crash down to the floor. That can be very dangerous with a narrow machine. It can tip right over.

    My roller style are much wider and much less likely to tip.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m16ty View Post
    That's another reason I'm not a big fan of caterpillar type skates. You get a heavy load on them, they will start eating the concrete. It doesn't necessarily mean they are overloaded, it is just due to their design.
    I once had a customer for a large Hurco VMC and somehow the subject of machinery skates came up. I proceeded to promote the charms of GKS Perfekt skates and trash Hillman skates.

    Turns out I was talking to the President of Hillman

    Lucky for me, he was a good sport about it, mentioned some improvements they planned to make and bought the Hurco regardless...

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    I just moved a 7k lb CNC router last week. Borrowed four Northern Tool cheapo machine skates with swivel tops. Started with using 4 of them, but one would always pop out.

    The floor in the building was dead level and power troweled smooth. I swept the floor immediately before skating. I'm fairly strong and 215 lbs and with a bunch of bouncing against the machine, I could get it moving on my own. With just pushing and not bouncing, there is no way I could have gotten it moving alone. It would quickly come to a stop on its own.

    10k lb Mazak lathe on smooth but some cracks in it floor ... we had to use a 3k rated battery powered forklift to push the machine. 4 guys couldn't do it.

    Just a few data points.

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    I don't know how sketchy you like things to be but I unloaded a 5500 pound timesaver from a flatbed truck using two bars on a vehicle lift, then put the pallet jack in on one side and lifted a bit with the forklift on the other and moved it to its corner.

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    I move my 7700# lathe around with ease with the larger hillman skates with the power of one human.

    Listen to the recommendations of the 3 point strategy. Even though I get it and it makes complete sense I always felt that if I can keep four under it I should until the last time I was moving my lathe. I was moving it with four skates and then I came about a shift in the floor grade. The timing was great. As the machine shifted to mass from one skate to the next because rigid systems never sit on more than three points, the one skate rolled out on its own energy. It happened to be on the opposite side of the machine so I ended up pushing the mass over to that side picking up off the skate on my side. It too then rolled out and out of reache...I also almost tipped my machine as I sat there balancing 7700 lbs on two skates. Luckily I had someone there for that part of the move otherwise I might have been standing there balancing the machine on two skates while I figured out what to do.

    I learned at that point, no way will I ever attempt to think that 4 skates is safer even if its just resting there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    I generally have to pry the machine along on those skates, like with a 2X4 or a rigger''s pinchbar turned upside down. Lubing the rollers and chains is important, and even more important is having them really clean. I find lots of crap embedded on the bottom surface of the body where the rollers roll after using them, which has the same effect as lots of crap on the floor to roll over. I use a flexible putty knife to get in there and scrape that surface clean before use. Yours look new, maybe the painted surface is causing a problem, or the casting is rough?
    I agree with first you need to make sure that machinery and other parts are moving freely without any friction or wear issue. Here it seems a casting issue not rollers! Also, when moving such heavy lathe 7.7k always go with the right moving vehicle and tools to avoid damage. Oil them first and then use moving equipment!

  20. #36
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    Our skates are the cylindrical roller type, but I've found that if they'er not perfectly lined up, they don't move. I'm a youngster with a strong back and a stubborn will, so I've moved a similar size/weight VMC on my own with our skates, but Its easier with someone on each corner. Going around curves is tricky until you can visualize the arc each skate will take and know which corner to push or pull on.

    IMO, 3 or 4 skates isn't so much a question of what kind of machine it is and more dynamic a choice to keep the machine from tipping over. Just bare in mind that it will only be resting on 3, and which skate is supporting the machine will change depending on how level the floor is and where you are pushing/pulling from. Both change as you move, so take it slow and watch them.

    It's not like a pallet jack that you just put the load on wheels and take off to your destination. You set-up, move a little, shift the load, move a little more, turn the skates, move a little more, etc.


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