Hamilton trailers give Wisconsin mill new love for pushing paper

When a leading Wisconsin-based paper mill needed an overhaul of its outdated, 50,000-pound-lugging cradle dollies, Hamilton created a custom design to breathe new life into their paper trails. To get all the juicy details, we caught up with Matt Olson, Hamilton Director of Business Development for Carts and Trailers, who worked onsite at the mill during design and construction to make sure we carried our weight.


How did the project come about?

Wisconsin Lift Truck Corp., one of our key distributors who has a long-standing relationship with the mill, reached out to us. They wanted to make sure they used a manufacturer who could provide them with the kind of quality they were seeking.

What was the issue with the current trailers?

The mill had designed and built the trailers themselves about 30 or 40 years ago. Over the years, they required a lot of maintenance and modifications and had basically lived out their useful lives. They needed us to bring the trailers into the 21st century to transport these heavy rolls of paper.

How did you work together?

We worked with both parties at Wisconsin Lift’s request. We came onsite to get a good feel for what the mill needed. We reviewed their history and expectations together. Then we toured the plant to walk in the path of the old carts and spend some quality time together.

Were there any design challenges?

The old carts had a lot of exposed surfaces that could cause some safety issues. Clearance issues with doorways and overhead beams were also a factor, so we had to design the trailers low enough to hold the paper rolls. They also had a unique hitch mechanism that connects the trailer to its towing vehicle, so we had to design for that, as well.

What’s the most unique thing about the trailers?

The size and capacity of the 15-foot-long trailers is remarkable. They have to carry these 50,000-pound rolls of paper, each of which is 110 inches in diameter. Each roll needs to be supported by just two cradles—one on each end of the trailer.