Deep below our factory, the concrete basement rumbles and deafening thuds echo against the foam-padded doors.
This isn’t an insane asylum. Instead, it’s home to Hamilton’s infamous torture track, where we pit our ultra-durable casters against the competition.
For starters, we hook casters up to a circular track that’s lined with common factory obstacles, like uneven surfaces and debris. Next, we overload them – up to 20% over their load rating. Finally, we run them around the track to see how they perform under the kinds of pressures you would find in heavy industry.
Our testing results continue to shock even the most seasoned engineers.
“Just last week we tested a competitor’s latest model at about 200 pounds over its rated capacity,” said Jeff Spektor, Hamilton’s engineering manager. “It lasted 22 minutes before it began to break apart.”
By comparison, our casters ran for two days before we purposely stopped the test. As for why Hamilton still uses the torture track, while many manufacturers consider it dated?
“It’s just one of many tests we run to make sure we continue to build the absolute toughest casters,” said Lippert. “And frankly, we’re not afraid to see how we stack up to our competitors. That’s how we make smarter, safer and even more durable products.”
Want to see the torture track in action? Email or call Mark Lippert (513-454-2642) to schedule a tour. Just be sure to bring ear plugs. Loud is an understatement.
Oily Shapeshifter. Jacked Up Jack. One-Eyed Astro. These aren’t the year’s trendiest Halloween costumes. They’re custom Hamilton trailers we built to tackle extreme applications.
Built for an oil and gas giant, this A-frame tilt cart transforms to fit steel plates through claustrophobia-inducing aisles. Watch the video to see it in action.
Recycling can be a real beast. For proof, look at this 8-foot-wide by 20-foot long trailer and its 28-inch-thick deck to support 30 tons of industrial recycling machinery. But the coolest part? The slime green paint job to match the company’s attitude.
Working with NASA over the years has been both a treat and an honor. Plus, it’s led to some of our most unique work. Like this custom, circular dolly that hauled a space capsule destined for Mars.
It’s fitting that an automotive supplier would need a trailer with 25-inch rubber wheels, which are taller than car tires. We designed this jacked up, fifth wheel steel trailer to haul 10 tons worth of car suspensions without budging.
Our obsession with the biggest, baddest stuff has crossed paths with another non-caster-related passion. Introducing the world’s largest six pack, courtesy of Labatt Blue.
But don’t bolt for Buffalo yet. The 100-foot tall “bottles” are actually grain silos wrapped with 55-inch rolls of vinyl.
Feeling thirsty? Here’s a neat tidbit. RiverWorks Brewery, which owns the former grain mill, will use one of the tanks to house grain to make craft beer in the future.
As for why company advertises a competing product? $$$. Co-owner Doug Swift says he plans to use the ad revenue to help foot the bill for its new brewery
“The [vinyl] can be easily removed, and the process is reversible,” he said.
What pairs perfectly with a giant brewski? The world’s largest cheeseburger, of course. Cheers!
After building casters to haul earthmoving tires, real life Tonka trucks are always on our radar. Appropriately named T-Rex, this 64,000-pound, highly modified garbage truck produces seismic waves – on purpose.
Geologists are studying its effects on the soil in New Zealand, where a series of earthquakes ripped through the country, destroyed buildings and claimed lives in 2011.
With the seismic data gathered from T-Rex, engineers can design and build quake-resistant buildings where the soil is most stable. But enough talk. Watch how T-Rex pounds the ground:
Caffeine not cutting it? Get an extra dose of inspiration with these powerful quotes from influential leaders. Then go out there, and carpe diem! Err, sell more casters, that is.
“Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” – Drew Houston, Dropbox co-founder and CEO
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.” - Thomas Edison
“Nothing worthwhile ever happens quickly and easily. You achieve only as you are determined to achieve… and as you keep at it until you have achieved.” – Robert H. Lauer
“Your ability to discipline yourself to set clear goals, and then to work toward them every day, will do more to guarantee your success than any other single factor.” – Brian Tracy
“I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything.” – John Stewart
"You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Henry Ford
What quotes get you revved up to conquer the caster world? Tell us in the comments. We can always use the inspiration, too!
This isn't grandma's greenhouse.
Five years in the making, Original Harvest Farms new 3,000-square-foot operation redefines what an organic farm can be.
It doesn't just run on sun, soil, water and sweat. Hamilton's V-Groove casters, which power a mobile and raised plant bed system, boost the company's growing space by 30 percent.
A square foot is the most expensive part of this highly advanced greenhouse and growing system, said Graham Boothby, co-founder and president of Original Harvest Farms. By putting our beds on casters, we increased our growing area by 500 feet.
Year round, that adds up to thousands of pounds of additional fresh produce from tangy mustard greens to edible flowers and a dozen varieties of lettuce.
While the concept might sound complex, it's remarkably simple. In the average greenhouse, aisles divide plant beds so employees can access the produce.
With Hamilton, Original Harvest Farms cuts out what Boothby calls wasted space. If I'm not standing, walking or working in an area at any given moment, I want to be growing there.
Now we simply move a row to the side to create an aisle for us to till soil, plant or harvest, he said. And even though a row weighs about 2 tons, the casters allow two people to move them with ease.
As for why the company didn't just build a bigger greenhouse?
At this size, we're a self sufficient, zero-net energy operation, he said. If we added just a few hundred feet, we'd increase our construction costs, carbon footprint, and the amount of electricity we’d need to offset.
With the first building up and running, Original Harvest Farms is already looking to the future.
We're planning expansions to Brooklyn, Chicago and Detroit, said Boothby. And you can bet Hamilton's part of our growth plan.
So, you just bought a new set of casters for a cart. Now what?
The obvious answer is to place them on the four corners of the cart, but we don’t recommend that because it can make the cart harder to maneuver, and it may create a dangerous trip hazard.
To score points with plant safety managers, place the swivel casters at the steering/pushing end, and far enough forward from the end to avoid conflicting with the feet of anyone pushing the cart. Consider the entire swivel envelope of the casters when positioning them. Keeping swivel casters at the side edges will maximize lateral stability.
Rigid casters should also be mounted at the outside edges, but approximately ¼ of the way back from the front of the cart. This compromises some of the stability but greatly enhances the maneuverability.
Should the anticipated load be somewhat tall or the cart have a high center of gravity, then placing the rigid casters at the end may make sense. Just remember that it will be much harder to maneuver the cart, particularly in tight places.
We created a handy graphic that covers the most typical cart applications for (3) standard platform sizes. But, if you want to save yourself the effort, pick out one of our carts at the new CartsAndTrailers.com, and we’ll do the mounting for you.
Have questions about placing casters? Drop us a line. We’ll be happy to help.
The invention of the wheel? Awesome. Winning your fantasy football match-up? That’s debatable. Truth is, we’re all guilty of overusing the word “awesome,” to the point where it’s become about as meaningless as celebrity marriages.
Jill Shargaa, comedian and one heck of a speaker, lays out her plan to save the word (and much, much more) in this AWESOME TED Talk. Watch it, get inspired and help restore “awesome” to its glory days.
You’ve fired off emails and left voicemails with the receptionist, only to be met with radio silence. We’ve all been there – trying (and failing) to track down a sales prospect who’s always out in the field.
Fear not. With these three tips, you can up your chances of getting a call back from an elusive sales lead.
You know the ins and outs of his factory operation, but do you know he loves canoeing and his son plays football at Kansas State? Use this information to make yourself memorable and break through the cruft in his inbox. To up your sleuthing game, try connecting with your prospects on LinkedIn, or following them on Twitter.
We all have bad days, and some times, all it takes is a well-timed laugh to make everything OK. We don’t mean overdo it with a raunchy joke, but if you both share the same devotion for a winless sports team, now might be a great time to poke fun.
Put yourself in their shoes. Respond to your email the way you think the prospect would. If it’s too wordy or taking forever to get to the point, chances are your question is too complicated. Keep it simple and easy to answer. And remember, it doesn’t all have to be work related. Hint: humor!
Lastly, don’t be discouraged. It might take a few broken casters (non-Hamilton, of course) before the prospect even thinks about calling you back. But with these tips, you’ll stay top of mind when that time comes.
Before the Navy plunks down billions on new ships, it tests how they float in 12-million gallon indoor ocean.
Inside the football field-sized basin, scaled-down fiberglass models – about the size of a canoe – feel the wrath of the ocean.
Equipped with 216 electronically controlled wave boards, it precisely simulates the conditions of all seven seas – from calm to typhoon-like.
Floating isn’t the only test on deck at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, either. How do ships hold up under pressure with a full tank versus running on empty? Can sailors handle their duties without losing their lunch?
These are the questions Naval engineers hope to answer in about six weeks of trials per vessel.
Production time? Not so fast. According to Smithsonian Mag, a recently tested submarine won’t hit the high seas until 2031. And when that time comes, we’ll be standing by dockside with the toughest casters on the planet.