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Monday, April 27, 2015 2:51 PM  RssIcon

The electric car market is surging. For the past three years, sales have doubled annually, and analysts predict more than 1 million plug-in cars on the road by 2016.

We’re amped up to be part of the growth. The world’s top electric automaker uses Hamilton’s four-wheel, reversible steer trailer to haul molds in and out of its plant.

We sold the cart to Engineered Lifting Systems, after the manufacturer requested a towable cart that could be steered from both ends, and handle up to 75,000-pound loads around the clock.

As for what happened to the auto giant’s original carts? Let’s just say they fizzled out under heavy use, and relocated to the junkyard.

Here are the tech specs of Hamilton’s custom trailer:

  • Four-wheel reversible steer trailer
  • 108” wide by 156” long
  • Capacity: 75,000 pounds
  • Smooth steel deck with four tie downs, two on each side
  • Fifth-wheel assemblies and tongues with towing eyes on both eyes
  • 12 press-on polyurethane wheels (six front, six rear)
  • Paint: primer coat pantone gray, finished with one coat pantone 186 red to match the company’s bold attitude
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Sunday, April 26, 2015 2:46 PM  RssIcon

Cirque Mechanics’ “Pedal Punk” circus features gravity-defying unicyclists, wheel acrobats, floating trapeze artists, soaring pole climbers and more wild contortionists that make our backs ache just thinking about them.

At the center of the spectacle? A caster-driven, 22 foot mechanical apparatus that roams, spins and showcases the aerial and ground performances.

Hamilton’s 16-inch Cush-N-Aire casters make for easy, smooth rolling – critical for a show defined by wheelies and fluid movement. And, with nearly 1,000 pounds of load-bearing capacity each, these pneumatics support the stage, plus a whole troupe of acrobats.

For more info or to find out when the show – now touring North America – rolls into town, visit Cirque Mechanics.

Marvel at Hamilton’s Dizzying Circus Act

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for Hamilton’s next act? Watch your inbox next month for the scoop on our fiery new creation: a triple-wheel caster that rolls in blistering temperatures.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015 2:33 PM  RssIcon

When F-35 pilots strap on their cyborg-like helmets, they’ll see critical mission data – speed, targeting, warnings – displayed right on the visor. What they won’t see? The plane itself.

With the help of six infrared cameras mounted around the stealth fighter, the Helmet Mounted Display System allows pilots to see through the airframe.

Yes, when the pilot looks down, he won’t see a cramped cockpit. He’ll see the sky below, day or night.

According to Lockheed Martin and manufacturer Rockwell Collins, the $400,000 headgear greatly reduces the pilot’s workload and boosts responsiveness.

It makes sense, considering now the pilot doesn’t have to pay attention to a tiny heads-up display and dozens of corresponding instruments and flashing dials.

Despite all the fancy tech, it’s still a helmet with a job to do: protect pilots. That’s why it’s made of Kevlar, carbon fiber and virtually unbreakable polycarbonate.

So what’s it like to actually use one? F-35 test pilot Billie Flynn has the scoop.

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Friday, April 24, 2015 2:27 PM  RssIcon

Adrenaline junkies, we found your next bucket list attraction: the Fury 325 rollercoaster. It’s a fitting name for the world’s tallest Giga Coaster (and fifth tallest overall) and its mind-bending 325-foot drop. The ride reaches speeds as high as 95 mph while it covers 1.25 miles of track in about three minutes. Fun fact? Because of its extreme height, Carowinds theme park needed the Federal Aviation Administration’s stamp of approval to build Fury 325. Watch the first-person ride video below. Please note: we’re not responsible for lost lunches.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015 2:36 PM  RssIcon

You won’t find caster salesman in a top 10 list of most stressful professions, but that doesn’t mean crushing demands, squeezed budgets and difficult customers won’t push you into a code red stress attack.

Here are some useful tips to lower stress, and increase your bottom line.

  • Don’t let “what if” thoughts nuke your mind. Stop worrying about possibilities, like what happens if you don’t hit your sales goal. Instead, focus on actionable goals to manage stress.
  • Unplug. Your smartphone is practically an extension of your body. The downside? Being too connected could cause a meltdown. A study found that those who put a limit on checking email (up to three times a day) are less stressed than inbox addicts.
  • Put down the coffee mug. We hate to break it to you, but caffeine is one of the worst triggers for stress and anxiety. It puts your brain into a hyperactive state, which can shut down clear and rational thinking. We’re not saying don’t drink coffee, but try to keep it under two cups a day.
  • Catch those zzzz’s. Besides a beachside Budweiser, sleep is one of the few ways to literally recharge your brain. With a solid seven to nine hours of sleep, you’ll put aside work and worries. And boost your self-control, attention and memory the next day.

For more calming tips, visit Forbes.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2015 10:35 AM  RssIcon

You’re a productivity monster. So why let junkyard, high-maintenance casters put the brakes on your assembly line? Drop the WD-40 and check out Hamilton’s new SpinfinityTM maintenance-free, kingpinless caster series.

To build Spinfinity, our engineers didn’t just take a kingpinless caster and seal the bearings.

Instead, Hamilton spec’d a swivel construction with a proven kingpinless raceway design, and a massive seal seated with precise tolerances. And, Spinfinity features a heavy-duty, extra thick forged steel mounting plate and ring.

The result is a 100% maintenance-free kingpinless caster that:

  • Swivels smoothly under extreme loads up to 3,200 pounds.
  • Keeps grease in, and protects against debris and foreign objects.
  • Withstands brutal shock loading that wears down, or crushes less-durable casters.
  • And handles abusive side forces that shred other models on the market.

“At Hamilton, we’re known for making the toughest casters,” said Jeff Spektor, the Hamilton engineer who designed Spinfinity. “But we also pride ourselves on innovative products that not only advance the caster world, but material handling as a whole.”

Get tech specs, features, capacities and more on our Spinfinity series landing page. For more information on Hamilton’s new maintenance-free, kingpinless line, email or call us at 888-699-7164.

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Monday, March 30, 2015 10:53 AM  RssIcon

They came for Spinfinity and our new central braking system, but stayed for the 3D-printed and wooden attractions.

For the first time, Hamilton’s booth featured a trailability demo, which allowed ProMat visitors to take trailers for a “test drive.” Using a 3D printer, our carts and trailers team created a remote-controlled, scaled down demo of an AGV with a Hamilton train.

“It’s one thing to explain how our carts trail better,” said John Yater, the Hamilton engineer who designed the track. “It’s another to show it, and put our customers in control on a crowded trade show floor.”

While the plastic models might look like toys, they’re near perfect replicas of their bigger, much heavier brothers.

“Engineering wise, the running gear is made from metal just like our real trailers,” said Yater. “And the wheels are plucked from airplane models.”

Spin the Wooden Caster Wheel. Win a Prize.



Booth-goers also played spin the wheel for a chance to a win a 60-inch Samsung HDTV, Bose Bluetooth speaker, FitBit, or $100 REI gift card.

But in typical Hamilton fashion, the wheel was anchored by a two-foot tall, wooden Spinfinity caster rig. Lester Jones, Hamilton’s plant manager, crafted the entire thing – from the caster legs to the swivel section and mounting plate – in his home woodworking shop.

“I really enjoy woodworking. It’s what got me into manufacturing,” said Jones. “I made my first table in junior high school. Since then I’ve made countless types of furniture, but never a child-sized caster out of wood.”

Before debuting his wooden masterpiece at ProMat, Jones had to overcome a series of engineering challenges.

“The challenge was making it light enough so it wouldn’t crush the display, but strong enough so it wouldn’t break when spun,” he said. “It’s actually completely hollow, which made construction more complex, but even more rewarding in the end.”

Special thanks to everyone who visited us at ProMat, and to all of the Hamilton crew who helped after hours to build our largest, and most interactive booth yet. And, congratulations to Adrian Orme on winning the grand prize TV! When can we stop by and watch the latest episode of The World’s Toughest Fixes?

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Sunday, March 29, 2015 10:50 AM  RssIcon

To reach polar outposts in some of the most remote places on Earth, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Polar Star breaks through ice up to 21-feet thick.

But what’s more incredible is how the icebreaker paves its way through treacherous, icy seas. Instead of ramming ice, the Polar Star slides above it, and uses its weight to crush the ice and pass through.

Think of it as a 13,000-ton belly flop.

The Coast Guard’s star icebreaker features a reinforced hull made of nearly two-inch thick steel. And as you can imagine, breaking ice takes energy. Lots of it.

The Polar Star is powered by its own personal jet engine, which produces 75,000 shaft horsepower. For comparison, a comparable fishing vessel runs on 10,000.

As for what she’s up today? Just last month the Polar Star helped tow a stranded Australian fishing vessel out of 20-foot deep, Antarctic ice and snow.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015 10:47 AM  RssIcon

The debate is over. Boeing’s made-in-America 747-8 will become the next Air Force One.

Since 2009, the USAF Air Mobility Command had two planes on its radar to replace the President’s aging VC-25 aircraft: the 747-8, and France’s Airbus A380.

The 747-8, the largest 747 variant, is also the biggest commercial aircraft built in the United States. And, it’s the world’s longest passenger plane, which means the President’s ensemble will have plenty of room to stretch out at 30,000 feet.

So why are we so excited about which plane hauls the Commander in Chief? Two reasons: 1) Made in America. 2) One day, we’d love to tell you (and our kids) that Hamilton casters helped build Air Force One.

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Friday, March 27, 2015 10:46 AM  RssIcon

Sometimes, casters sell themselves. (Spinfinity maintenance-free, anyone?) But most of the time, you’ll need every advantage, like mastering the art of body language, to seal the deal.

Here’s how to read common social cues to know exactly where you stand in the sales process.

The eyes have it. Imagine you’re pitching four brands of casters, and the prospect won’t dish on which he prefers. No worries. If a prospect stares at one longer than the others, that’s the one he’s interested in. Tailor your presentation accordingly.

Real, or really fake smile? When someone agrees with you, they’ll generally nod and smile. They could also be faking it. Pay attention to a person’s entire face. A genuine smile lights up the whole mug – forehead, eyes and all. A forced smile only involves the mouth.

Leaning away from the deal. Ever seen a prospect who leans waaaaay back in the chair, or rocks back and forth? It’s a surefire sign he doesn’t agree with you. Use it to hone in on the objection, and find a solution. Is it price? Timeline? Lunchtime? Note: It’s also possible he’s just a fidgety person.

Doodling: draw conclusions. Ten minutes into your presentation and a prospect’s drawing stick figures on the notepad? This could mean he’s bored. Or worse, he’s already made up his mind, and your chances of nailing the sale are slim to none. Use this knowledge to talk to the prospect and find out what he’s really thinking.

For more tips on mastering body language, visit Forbes.

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