Author: Created: Thursday, April 07, 2011 9:34 AM
The Hamilton Caster Blog represents an electronic meeting place for Hamilton representaives, distributors, and customers to come together and share ideas, discuss applications, and get answers to tough questions.
Monday, July 31, 2017 11:32 AM  RssIcon

Ready to crush downtime while protecting your most precious cargo?

Hamilton is proud to introduce our new aerospace 3-series shock absorbing casters. Targeted for mobilizing critical aerospace applications, these casters provide outstanding vibration and shock absorption, reduce noise levels and go easy on floors. They also extend caster, wheel and bearing life, too.

What’s the secret sauce? Two things, actually.

First, the new casters use our latest Spinfinity™ maintenance-free kingpinless platform, which boasts extra thick forgings and swivel technology for superior durability over the life of the casters. The top plate and inner raceway are one forged steel piece, providing unmatched strength for shock conditions. Raceways are CNC-machined and then hardened to a uniform depth. Together, both processes assure a smoothly swiveling caster under extreme loads. Game on for the industry’s best three-year product warranty.

Second, unibody spring housing provides up to 200% greater spring travel (see below for specifics) and substantially wider operating capacity range, as compared to our standard line.

Hamilton’s 3-series covers the most popular top plate sizes, with five resilient tread wheel choices across six different diameters:

  • AE Workhorse: 4 x 5 mounting plate (2” wide wheels)
  • AE Heavy Service: 4-1/2 x 6-1/2 (2” wide wheels), Both Workhorse & Heavy Service provide up to 66% greater spring travel and a wider operating capacity range than standard line
  • AE ForgeMaster: 4-1/2 x 6-1/2 (3” wide wheels), up to 200% greater spring travel and a wider operating capacity range than standard line

These casters can be easily modified to meet many custom spec. When ordering, keep in mind that spring-loaded casters have minimum capacity requirements for the spring action to work properly. You should never overload a spring-loaded caster because it will vaporize the shock-absorbing benefits.

When you’re ready to spring-load your productivity, our engineers will be ready to meet all your special applications.

Check out the New Aerospace Product Line

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Sunday, July 30, 2017 11:28 AM  RssIcon

You know that trailers come in all shapes and sizes. But you should also know that there are all types of steering options, too. The way your steering system operates can make or break any application. Good thing we’ve summarized everything you need to know below.

Type 1: Caster Steer trailers

  • Design: Two swivel casters at one end, two fixed-load wheels or rigid casters at the other
  • Good choice for its simplicity, and for an economical way to both power tow and push by hand

Type 2: Fifth Wheel Steer trailers

  • Design: Single pivot point for the front axle/wheel assembly and fixed rear wheels (Think a kid’s little red wagon)
  • Great for power towing, singularly or in trains
  • Can be towed at higher speeds than Caster Steer trailers
  • More economical than Four-wheel steer trailers
  • Highly versatile
  • Work great pulling solo

Type 3: Four Wheel Steer trailers

  • Design: No fixed axles; both axles pivot for steering and are connected to each other by a tie rod
  • Best bet for pulling longer trains of trailers through tight aisles and intersections, or anywhere aisle width space is at a premium
  • Pricier than single Fifth Wheel Steer Trailers

Auto Steer trailers (general)

  • Offer maximum stability
  • Running gear stays fixed under load corners as you turn (as opposed to a Fifth-wheel steer where the entire axle assembly turns)

Two Wheel Auto Steer trailers

  • Design: mimics an automobile
  • Less expensive and easier to back up than Four-Wheel Auto
  • Smart choice for maximum stability when towing solo
  • Will track similar to a fifth wheel steer

Four Wheel Auto Steer trailers

  • Design: front and rear steering like automobile, connected by a tie rod to coordinate tighter, more accurate turns
  • Pricier than two-wheel auto steer due to more sophisticated turning engineering
  • Best for towing long trains or when you need reversible towing*
  • Will track similar to a non-auto four-wheel steer

Other good things to know

  • Never “push” or put trains with more than one trailer in reverse. This can lead to structural damage.
  • *Reversible towing means towing from either end (not backing up!)

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Saturday, July 29, 2017 11:24 AM  RssIcon

It’s no surprise that NASA plans to have humans on Mars in the next few decades, but what’s the sweet ride that will transport us in style? The folks at NASA are putting out some inspiration with their new Monster Mars Land Rover concept that’s currently on display at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. It’s part of their “Summer of Mars” event, which is touring select states along the east coast.

Designed by Parker Brothers Concepts using NASA specs, the concept vehicle operates on an electric motor powered by solar panels and a 700-volt battery. The front cockpit is designed for scouting and equipped with radio and GPS navigation, while the rear has a fully detachable lab for extraterrestrial fieldwork. In other words, business in front; party in back.

We’re especially drawn to the explorer’s massive wheels, with their large surface area and vents designed for effortless off-roading over rocky dunes and craters. Gets us excited to design space casters that leave red sand in the dust.

Future Hamilton company outing: manned mission to Mars?

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Friday, July 28, 2017 11:15 AM  RssIcon

With President Trump declaring the week of July 17 Made in America week, what better way to celebrate than by testing your knowledge of brands made on American soil? Answer #1 is already in the bag—Hamilton, of course.

Quick Quiz: Name the home turf brands

There are 10 brands in this list that are made in America. Can you identify all 10 with pride? (See answers below)

  • Benjamin Moore
  • Budweiser
  • Coors
  • Craftsman tools
  • Crayola
  • Harley-Davidson
  • Igloo coolers
  • Intel chips
  • Land’s End
  • Levi’s
  • New Balance shoes
  • Hamilton Caster
  • Post-It Notes
  • Rawlings baseballs
  • Schwinn bikes
  • Sub-Zero refrigerators
  • Weber grills

Answers: Benjamin Moore, Crayola, Hamilton Caster, Harley-Davidson, Igloo coolers, Intel chips, New Balance shoes, Post-It Notes, Sub-Zero refrigerators, Weber grills

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Thursday, July 27, 2017 11:13 AM  RssIcon

When you’re known for killing it with the toughest casters and wheels on the planet, you don’t often get a chance to plug your artsy side. But our poetic hearts simply swelled with pride when we got this note from sculptor Lou Michaels.

“I'm an artist. I travel the country doing art shows. I designed two large crates that I load into my trailer and bring to every art show. I participate in roughly 30 shows per year from California to Texas to Florida N.Y. These carts are in my trailer taking all the bumps and bruises our highways and byways have to offer. Initially, I had used some 10 –inch China-made casters—as did my other artist cohorts—and in less than one year they were blown out.

After blowing many inferior casters I came across your product. They now have over 300000 miles on them. All my artist friends are now buying your casters. The carts hold approximately 700 lbs. of items each.”

Thanks so much for the kind note, Michael. And nice work! We like to think of our casters as works of art, too.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017 3:30 PM  RssIcon

Our extensive line of V-grooved wheels—industrial beauties that run on inverted angle iron tracks—are big sellers here at Hamilton when you want a more guided ride. But you should also know that Hamilton can manufacture U-Groove wheels upon request, too.

Why U-Groove, U ask? U-Groove wheels are a better option when you need to roll smoothly on round tubing or pipe, such as when you’re working with crane cables. They’re also commonly used on rolling gates and doors. Hamilton can machine U-Groove wheels to spec size (up to 25” diameter) in up to six different materials: nylon (see photo), polyurethane, UHMW, aluminum, steel or stainless steel.

Got a technical drawing or a new application that needs some U-Groove love? Use the idler wheel or drive wheel diagram below for reference then reach out to one of our sales engineers, and we’ll create your custom wheel from scratch.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017 3:26 PM  RssIcon

We love it when a trailer works overtime to speed up productivity. Case in point: A custom cart we recently created to haul water distribution equipment castings (think fire hydrants) from manufacturing to storage and shipping. The deck’s free-spinning conveyer rollers make it much easier to load and unload the castings from either side. Easy rolling wheels with special ergonomic polyurethane treads help this cart function safely even when moved manually under load.

No wonder this trailer was created as part of the customer’s lean improvement processes. Hamilton puts the skinny in lean manufacturing.

Here are the specs:

  • Load Capacity: 3,000 lbs.
  • Steering Type: Caster-steer trailer
  • Deck Material: Conveyor rollers across the width of the deck, 2" lip along each side frame and a hand actuated stop 1" high and 6" long centered at each end. Stops can manually be raised and lowered.
  • Running Gear: Two each S/R-ZFFM-83EGB swivel and rigid casters with 8" x 3" "Ergo-Glide XT" wheels with precision ball bearings
  • Superstructure: Removable pipe handle located in sockets welded outside the frame at the swivel caster end with horizontal pipe extensions on the jaw end to act as stops for the lip handles.
  • Dimensions: 51" wide x 51" long x 18" height to top of the rollers
  • Couplers: CP00030/40 heavy duty safety automatic couplers
  • Color: Platinum Gray
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Monday, June 26, 2017 3:25 PM  RssIcon

California’s Mojave Desert may be a great place to bury a body, but it’s also fast becoming a hotbed of cutting-edge aerospace research and development. Here, mysterious test flights, secret prototypes and next-generation aircrafts are the new normal.

So you can bet we were watching when the world’s largest airplane (by wingspan) rolled out of its hangar into the California sunshine for the first time at Mojave Air and Space Port last month. Called Stratolaunch, this 500,000-pound behemoth is designed to launch rockets into space to drive advancements in science, research and technology.

For founder Paul Allen of Microsoft fame, it’s all about making access to low Earth orbit more routine, which can pave the way for all sorts of progress, such as better Earth-sensing capabilities and new ways to beam the Internet worldwide.

And let’s not forget that Stratolaunch is a true beast—with a wingspan longer than a football field, six 747 engines, twin fuselages that stretch 238 feet and a payload up to 550,000 lbs. The 28-wheel rocket launcher is set to be fully operational by the end of this decade.

Read more here.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017 3:22 PM  RssIcon

You know when you find old pictures of yourself from 20 years ago and wonder, “I can’t believe they let me out of the house looking like that?” Well, that’s actually the opposite of how we felt when we dug up this old Hamilton corporate video from the early 90s.

Sure, the hairdos are dated and the technology looks like something out of 2001 A Space Odyssey. But we’re proud to say the video’s core messages still align with what Hamilton stands for today: American-made manufacturing that’s relentlessly focused on quality, service and custom engineering.

As the kitschy Star Wars-like running text in the video proclaims: “A caster is a caster is a caster. Or is it?” Hamilton doesn’t think so, and that’s what sets us apart from the competition. So if you’re curious about the care and craftsmanship we put into our products—or just want to witness how stylishly groovy our factory floor team dressed in the George H. W. Bush era— grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy this delightfully entertaining blast from the past.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017 11:01 AM  RssIcon

Unless you’ve spent most of 2017 living in a remote cave, you know that fidget spinners are the trendy toy of the moment.

Kids love them. Teachers hate them. But we think they’re awesome—so much so that we supersized one à la the Hamilton Way. It’s a funny story, actually. When we first approached our Lab Technician, Zach Gilbert, with the idea, he pulled out a spinner from his own pocket and replied “You mean one of these things?” It was fate!

Zach quickly teamed up with Hamilton Mechanical Design Engineer Jevon Lambright to whirl into action. They took our standard 6205 ball bearings and scaled the plastic framing way up to match the size of the bearings. Then they produced the Hamilton Spinfidgeter on our own 3D printer. Three prongs center around the circle with bearings in the middle. Flicking one prong produces a spin worthy of waking the dinosaurs.

“Fidget spinners work through torque and friction reduction,” explained Jevon. “When you hit the outer leg, the force applied spins the central bearing, and the three weighted legs keep some torque going due to the initial force input. The only things that stop it from spinning eventually are the friction of air on the spinner and between the balls in the bearing.”

Now all we need is a great name for our spinner. Too bad Spinfinity is already taken for our no-maintenance kingpinless casters. Maybe the Hamilton Spinfidgeter?

UPDATE: The massive colossal spinner is now available for sale. Standing at 7.5” tall and a hefty 1.6 lbs., this spinner may be the largest hand spinner on the market. The spinner is 3D printed in red - made in the USA - and features (4) industrial sealed precision ball bearings – the same bearings we feature in our heavy-duty wheels and casters.

DISCLAIMER: The Colossal spinner is not designed as a real toy but rather a novelty item. Due to its sheer size and weight, the Colossal spinner is not recommended for people with delicate hands or children under the age of 7. Adult supervision recommended.

ORDERING INSTRUCTIONS: Step 1: Click on link below, Step 2: Insert qty and click “Add to cart”, Step 3: Hit the “Checkout” found at bottom of the page”. Step 4: Follow prompts for typical checkout process. Please Note: The Spinfidgeter is not eligible for distributor discounts.

Click here to Purchase the Colossal Spinner

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