If you know the trippy movie Inception, you know that the characters carry totems to make sure they don’t stumble into another character’s dream. One character’s totem is a weighted red die. Another is a spinning tractricoid. Only the totem’s owner knows its distinct weight, balance and feel. If they get caught into someone else’s dream, the totem will feel slightly off in their hands (and the bad guys win).
Why are we babbling about totems? Because we recently produced a custom truck designed to transport a 10,000-pound totem, that’s why. A global satellite provider needed an application to transport proof masses—large metal pieces with known weights used to calibrate instruments.
With four swivel casters featuring Ergo-Glide mold on polyurethane wheels, this truck repels foreign objects and debris with quiet vigilance. The caster assemblies are removable so the deck can be stored without putting weight on the casters. Simply jack it up, remove the casters, set it back down, and it’s sleepy time until the next totem ride.
Can you imagine the kind of dreams this truck has? Huge!
Here are the tech specs:
When we think of submarines, we think of stealth, strategy and The Hunt for Red October. Submarines are just plain cool, which is why Hamilton was pretty pumped to design a custom engineered trailer used to transport cranes that hoist remote control submarines in and out of the water at a naval shipyard.
Apparently, the U.S. Navy is busy building remote control subs that can run extended underwater tours of duty without a crew. These robotic warriors can carry out all sorts of top-secret combat missions while still performing the same search and rescue, surveillance and minesweeping assignments that today require manned warships.
The trailer, which travels between storage and dock, measures more than 23 feet long and 10 feet wide and boasts a 70,000-pound payload.
Hamilton Trailers: Always Ready to Sneak Attack Your Heaviest and Most Complex Design Challenges.
Discover the sly specs:
We don’t always need to lead with behemoth strength or super cool ergonomics when it comes to our custom trailers. Sometimes, it’s the quiet ones that make the biggest impact.
To build this multi-use component transport truck for a leading land clearing company in Minnesota, Hamilton spec’d a wood deck designed to protect painted parts and keep cargo secure. The trailer is being used to haul a large assortment of component parts indoors and out, so we chose Hamilton 18-inch pneumatic wheels for extra cushion and durability over rough Midwestern terrain.
With 4-wheel steer maneuverability, the deck is equipped with multiple recessed pockets for adding racks and/or pipe superstructures. A flat metal strap along the side frames protects the pockets from unplanned collisions and doubles as a way to tie down the load, too. And thanks to its reversible tow, steering’s a breeze at either end.
A special shout out to Toyota Lift of Minnesota for their trust in Hamilton carts and trailers to get the job done right.
Here are the tech specs:
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, Man, how do those incredibly talented engineers at Hamilton do it day in and day out? To be sure, we pride ourselves on spec-ing to your wildest caster and wheel requirements. But that doesn’t mean we make dreams come true without tackling some thorny design challenges.
So we thought it might be fun to grill Hamilton engineering master and commander John Yater about one of his spicier problem-solving projects.
Revolution blog: What was the project and how did it make your life interesting?
Yater: We were asked to create a transport trailer for a steel company that needed to haul large, long, heavy building beams. There were a lot of challenging requirements out of the gate, but as the project wore on, more challenges arose.
Revolution: Such as?
Yater: For starters, the application needed as low a trailer deck as possible, but it also required the largest diameter wheels possible. These two things usually counteract each other.
Revolution: Why a low deck and why such big wheels?
Yater: To get the best performance, we needed a low deck both because the beams have a high center of gravity and because they’re so long they can extend beyond the length of the trailer. We were told the trailers would be traveling across rough concrete floors, so we also needed the largest possible wheels to run smoothly over those floor irregularities.
Revolution: So how do you solve for that?
Yater: Typically, we would suggest a lowboy trailer with a drop deck to accommodate taller loads for extra clearance. But that didn’t work for this customer because their loads were so much longer than the cart. We ended up creating a composite beam for the trailer by welding together two pieces of an i-beam and created bracing to distribute the load weight evenly. The beam is 18” tall at its center, but only 4” tall at the end. Once everything with the composite beam worked mechanically, we had also had to look at hot spots during Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and add bracing to redistribute the stress areas more evenly.
Revolution: Why did you choose 4-wheel reversible auto steering?
Yater: The beam loads are so tall, so stability is important. Auto steer allows you to keep the wheels under the cart corners and keep everything secure. But 4-wheel auto steer also requires a lot of linkage underneath the trailer. Because of this trailer’s low deck height (30.5 inches)—in combination with the beam heights and dimensional constraints—we didn’t have a lot of room underneath the cart to fit all the linkage.
Revolution: How did you fit everything in?
Yater: We fabricated a drag link with openings and ran the other four different linkages through. It was very challenging because we had less than a quarter inch clearance between all the different components. We had to shoehorn everything in. I probably spent the good portion of the day trouble-shooting for clearance issues.
Revolution: Wow. That sounds like painstaking work.
Yater: It was definitely interesting. Also, because positioning all the components underneath was so critical to reduce stress, we had to be very strict about our weld sizes and positioning—that’s usually more forgiving on other projects. Also, because the drag link was so long from front to back, deflection was an issue. So we plasma cut holes through the frame link and put rollers underneath to provide support. This also isn’t something we normally have to do.
We never used to think about all the delicious ways tomatoes add flavor to our lives: Tomato paste, tomato sauce, tomato juice, chutney, bruschetta, gazpacho, ketchup, cocktail sauce, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, taco sauce, picante sauce—it’s an exhaustive list worthy of Forrest Gump dialogue.
But then the country’s largest privately-owned tomato processor hired Hamilton to custom build trailers for hauling their precious love apples. And suddenly tomatoes were all we could think about.
The ask: Design a special cart that can not only move tomato paste cans from production to shipping, but also transport fresh tomatoes from an outside railcar area to an indoor processing plant.
The solution: This Four-Wheel Steer workhorse with hardwood deck to get the job done. Why hardwood instead of steel, you ask? There are a few reasons:
Canned or fresh, here’s our winning recipe for summer’s precious cargo:
Sure, you can slap a coat of lipstick on any trailer and make it look good. But the real magic comes from within.
In the case of this Valve & Actuator Transfer Cart, it’s the full package. Brains, brawn and beauty. We just love everything about her.
Our customer, a multinational energy corporation, needed a special cart to transport and store a valve body and hydraulic actuator on an offshore oil rig in an area without crane access.
We custom designed the cart’s cradle and pedestal to accommodate the customer’s specific valve body and actuator. Both the cradle and pedestal are removable and reversible—able to be mounted on either the front or rear of the cart.
With a payload of 5,000 pounds, the cart features a protective coating on all parts that can stand up to salty air common in offshore environments.
The rigid, 6” x 3” solid bronze wheels are a true stunner, but they’re also designed to prevent sparking from flammable oil. An eye-catching safety yellow coat of paint ensures this beauty won’t get overlooked on the job.
Behold her bewitching specs:
Every once in a while, somebody will joke that Hamilton is guilty of overengineering our products. You know, making them too strong, when “strong enough” will do.
To that, we merely laugh, whisper tut tut, and remind them of projects like this one we recently completed for a manufacturer of premium aircraft seating on major airlines.
The company had outgrown its current facility, which housed all its parts and operations under one roof. They decided to build a new warehouse facility next door, and they needed some tough carts to transport warehouse items across a parking lot between the two buildings.
Initially, the company enlisted a local fabricator to build some carts. But, unfortunately, those carts were poorly designed and didn’t hold up. The manufacturer’s distributor, Alpha Material Handling, suggested they call the big dogs at Hamilton to do the job right.
To address the licking that heavy carts can take across a battlefield of asphalt cracks and uneven pavement (otherwise known as the parking lot), Hamilton spec’d out 10-inch pneumatic wheels for extra cushion. Then we added removable handles to make sure the loads stay put when they need to. Finally, we gave the carts four-wheel steering to keep everything turning ever so tightly. Rear pintle hitches allow multiple carts to be pulled together at once.
So if you want the kind of craftsmanship that outscores other manufacturers in quality and reliability, call Hamilton. If you want a guaranteed three-year warranty that you’ll probably never need but get anyway with our entire line, call Hamilton. If you want a product that doesn’t underestimate tough environments and can bring it with the toughest casters, wheels and carts on the planet, you know the drill.
Peace of mind. It’s priceless.
Here are the specs:
When it comes to trailer applications, there’s no one-size-fits-all. Many variables affect performance and cost—load size, wheel arrangement, deck size and steering type, to name a few.
So how do you choose the right trailer for the job? Study all your options and select the system that makes the best sense for the specific application. This handy Hamilton white paper breaks down everything you need to know, including:
Check out all Hamilton white papers here.
Just because we love creating indestructible carts and casters doesn’t mean we don’t have a softer side. Take a recent custom trailer we completed for one of the world’s top producers of plastics.
It’s designed to haul 800-pound vertical eductors that are part of a chemical plant’s infrastructure. Macho stuff, right? Well, the cart also features four cradle assemblies with adjustable heights to not only accommodate different eductor sizes but also raise and rotate them in place as they’re being repaired. Each cradle includes protective rubber pads to ensure gentle handling, while clamps provide added control. For even more agile positioning, the modular cart uses four swivel casters with position locks on each caster for high maneuverability.
Call us crazy, but we like to coddle our cargo just right.
Hamilton carts and trailers help customers move giant, heavy things with greater ease and efficiency. It may not be sexy. But it literally helps the world go ‘round.
Take this 30-ton capacity custom truck we recently designed for one of the world’s largest energy and industrial giants. The customer needed a beast of a trailer, tough enough to haul giant transformers for repair at their apparatus service center. Some of the transformers weigh as much as 420,000 lbs. The customer had previously been using rail carts to tote the transformers along railroad tracks. Limiting!
We designed a four-wheel reversible trailer with auto steer and a four-point lift, capable of transporting giant cargo around the service center any which way. Here she is, with her slick safety yellow finish. Isn’t she a beauty, with her towing tongues at both ends? Couldn’t you just look at her all day, while she glides across your factory floor, making heavy lifting look easy and carefree? Don’t you want to take her home to mom?
Here’s her dating profile:
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