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Tuesday, September 29, 2015 10:30 AM  RssIcon

We talk a lot about casters and trailers, but our special track wheels are just as deserving of the spotlight. Hamilton is one of a few manufacturers that builds them up to 25 inches in diameter, and with any material – say stainless steel for corrosive, or even bronze for non-sparking environments.

For example, we recently built two 18-inch, double flange track wheels for a wastewater treatment plant in North Carolina. The wheels are a primary component of a traveling bridge system, which spans a 50-by-100-foot clarifier pool.

The project began after one of our distributors visited our track wheels landing page and called us with their unique requirements. Here are the tech specs:

  • Material: 1045 steel
  • Capacity: 10,000 lbs.
  • Diameter: 18.5” | with flange: 20.5”
  • Bore: 2-15/16" plain bore with 3/4" wide x 3/8 deep keyway and two set screws, one over the keyway and the other at 90° to the keyway

Nylon wheels zoom up to 80 mph

Next time you’re at a music festival, peek at the wheels under the camera dolly as it whizzes by. Hamilton’s high-performance nylon track wheels roll smoothly up to 80 mph to help get the perfect shot.

“We don’t have to worry about hitting snags, or wear spots that could make for a jagged, bumpy picture,” said Ryan Elliott, owner of Moose Media Camera Cranes, whose dolly will also be used the Olympics, movie sets and TV shows.

Same-day shipping: standard track wheels

We’ve also seen an uptick in orders for standard-sized track wheels as manufacturers take loads off the factory floor, and move toward automated production lines. And, we keep them stocked in our factory so we can ship the same day you order.

Visit our custom wheel page to see our diverse range, or talk to a sales engineer today about your unique application. We’ll keep it on track. 1-888-699-7164.

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Monday, September 28, 2015 10:18 AM  RssIcon

Minus the orange flair, it looks like your typical double fifth-wheel steer trailer. But inside, it’s anything but.

An electric-powered slew drive makes the upper deck rotatable, which helps a tier-one auto supplier spin its way to huge safety and quality-control gains.

“Before our trailer, they used a fork truck to move 30,000-pound dies,” said John Yater, a Hamilton design engineer. “Trouble is, because of how the dies had to be unloaded, it forced workers to transport them sideways instead of lengthwise through extremely narrow aisles.”

This left about two inches of clearance on both sides of the truck while it journeyed from storage to the manufacturing bay.

“Two inches doesn’t leave a lot of room for error,” said Yater. “One scrape could damage the load, or cause it to fall off the truck. And the sideways orientation impedes the driver’s view, so it’s a worker safety issue, too.”

Room to breathe

With Hamilton’s trailer, workers now load the dies in the direction of the trailer for transport, which opens up more than a foot of space on both sides of the trailer.

When the trailer reaches the production facility via a tugger – which also serves as its power supply – the die rotates 90 degrees before being unloaded.

A single rotation takes roughly 2.5 minutes, with a full 360-degree turn clocking in at 10 minutes. This may seem like forever in manufacturing, but a slow and steady turn helps keep workers safe, and protects the equipment.

For added durability, our engineers spec’d and installed ball transfer units to surround the slew drive to prevent damage if the load isn’t perfectly centered.

“The ball transfer units safeguard against shock loading and stop one side of the trailer from being overloaded, which could cause the slew drive to fail,” he said. “Accidents and mishaps can occur, and we always account for that.”

While the auto supplier only recently put our trailer to work, we’re told the crew already feels much less claustrophobic.

  • All steel, double fifth-wheel steer trailer
  • Capacity: 30,000 lbs.
  • Size: 60” side by 90” long by 30” deck height
  • Structural steel frame with steel plate welded over structural steel frame
  • 60” wide by 90” long steel turntable with 6” tall by 1” thick bolt-on lip
  • Loop-type towing tongue at both ends with lock outs engaged by raising tongue
  • Running gear: eight dual-mounted, press-on polyurethane wheels with tapered roller bearings
  • Color: safety/international orange
  • Slewing drive powered by 24-volt DC electric motor
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Sunday, September 27, 2015 10:06 AM  RssIcon

Since powering down the Space Shuttle program in 2011, NASA has relied on Russia to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Boeing’s new Apollo-like spacecraft will put an end to the galaxy’s most expensive hitchhike – more than $80 million per seat.

Originally dubbed the CST-100, the Starliner (a nod to the aerospace giant’s Dreamliner jet) is loaded with new gadgets, modern design touches, and the kinds of innovation you’d expect from a NASA and Boeing collaboration.

Touchscreens replace a seemingly endless array of levers and switches, and reduce the dependence on manual control. Blue LED “Sky Lighting” puts crew at ease. And a spun-formed outer shell eliminates welding-related structural risks.

The next generation space capsule even has wireless Internet, so you can tweet from low-Earth orbit. And when we say “you,” we mean it.

While the Starliner will primarily shuttle astronauts, it’s one of two spacecraft contracted under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program for private and government use. The other? SpaceX Dragon.

Starliner is set to launch from Kennedy Space Center in 2017. Learn more on Vox.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015 10:01 AM  RssIcon

We’ve put casters to work in autoclaves as hot as 550 F – impressive, by heavy industry standards. But our feat has nothing on the melting point of a newly discovered material: 7,460 F.

According to scientists at Brown University, a precise combination of hafnium, nitrogen and carbon could withstand a trip down to the outer edges of the Earth’s core.

Computer simulations revealed that the material would have a higher melting than the next closest substance by 200 kelvins.

It’s so strong that researchers say it could theoretically stay intact in the “cool” layers of the sun. We say theoretically because it would need to survive the inferno that is the sun’s corona: 900,000 F.


You’re a Hamilton reader, so clearly you know nitrogen and carbon, but what about hafnium? This incredibly dense and corrosion-resistant material is primarily used in extreme heat applications, like nuclear reactors and rocket thrusters.

The Apollo lunar lander, for example, featured hafnium in its rocket nozzle.

Researchers are in the process of synthesizing the material for testing. If they succeed, you could see it used in gas turbines, or heat shields for jet engines. And, we’ll be standing by to haul them with our hot-commodity casters.

Source: Gizmag

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Friday, September 25, 2015 9:56 AM  RssIcon

Worried about hackers swiping your debit PIN? How about hijacking your car while you’re behind the wheel? It’s a terrifying scenario that forced Jeep to recall 1.4 million SUVs in July.

Hackers discovered an exploit that allowed them to send controls through the Jeep’s Internet-connected entertainment system, and ultimately gain control of the vehicle. They could steer, accelerate, brake, wipe the windshield, or even crank up the “oldies.”

Jeeps aren’t the only unlikely targets for hackers, either. See the Wall Street Journal’s video below, which reveals how death records, electric cars and even rifles are now fair game.

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Friday, August 28, 2015 1:56 PM  RssIcon

Robots may have built your car, but Hamilton’s custom rail-guided casters helped them do so.

It began as a routine order: rigid casters with double-flanged track wheels to move an assembly system. But when our engineers saw the schematics, they offered up a better solution that would save the automaker money long term.

“Double-flanged wheels work great for most track applications. But this wasn’t a normal job,” said Jeff Spektor, Hamilton’s lead engineer. “The conveyer required a caster with wheels that wouldn’t slide from side to side.”

That’s why Hamilton designed and built a custom caster, which features a steel wheel and innovative guide bearings to keep it centered on rails.

Its street-sweeper-like design eliminates wheel wear, rolls more easily, and precludes the manufacturer from having to replace flanged wheels every few months.

“They save money on maintenance and repairs, but most importantly, they don’t have to shut down the assembly line to replace casters,” said Spektor.

Learn more about our custom capabilities.

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Thursday, August 27, 2015 1:43 PM  RssIcon

When businesses expand, they often face challenges in keeping up with rapid growth. Case in point? A steel wire manufacturer that’s easing its growing pains with Hamilton trailers.

Fresh off building a new plant, the company had been using a semi truck and flatbed trailer to move pallets of steel wiring between two facilities

While only a quarter mile separates both plants, each trip meant loading the flatbed, driving it onto the street, backing it into position, and unloading it at a dock.

The long process delayed production, and involved half a dozen workers and costly diesel fuel. With Hamilton’s custom all steel, reversible four-wheel trailers, the road trip days are over.

“Now, workers load and unload trailers inside the factory next to the production line,” said Hamilton’s Marty Wilson. “When they’re done, they use a tug to transport the trailers across the parking lot. It only takes minutes to arrive at the next facility.”

Smaller size. More capacity.

What’s more, the manufacturer increased throughput after downsizing from a big rig to Hamilton trailers.

“They can actually transport more product on two trailers as opposed to one flatbed, said Wilson. “Our distributor estimates the ROI for this project will be less than two years.”

Here are the tech specs:

  • Capacity: 25,000 pounds
  • Deck size: 102” wide by 168” long by 17” deck height
  • Deck material: diamond tread plate steel
  • Running gear: Eight dual-mounted 12” diameter by 4” wide Superlast polyurethane wheels with tapered roller bearings
  • Couplers: Tongue at each end of train of two and permanently coupled – designed for reversible towing
  • Deck slots for McMaster-type hook straps

Visit to see more custom trucks.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015 1:37 PM  RssIcon

We’ve all experienced some form of airplane turbulence before. Maybe it jolted you out of a deep sleep, or knocked the peanuts and tomato juice off your tray. But chances are, you’ve never felt 75 mph winds rock a Boeing 777 back and forth seconds before landing.

At Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the worst recorded windstorm in 100 years gave pilots and passengers quite the scare. Incredibly, pilots landed the jumbo jet flawlessly. No doubt, they earned their wings that day.

Fasten your seatbelt and check out the video below:

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015 1:30 PM  RssIcon

No, a warship isn’t cruising down the Ohio River in Hamilton’s backyard. But a new U.S. Navy battleship will bear Cincinnati’s name.

Called a “littoral combat ship,” the USS Cincinnati will join a new fleet of fast, agile surface ships that sail near shores.

Its mission, once it rolls off a Mobile, Alabama, production line in about four years? To defeat coastal threats like mines, quiet submarines and small, armed boats around the world.

While the Queen City is landlocked, it has history of supporting the Navy.

For example, the soon-to-be-built ship will be powered by GE Aviation engines manufactured near downtown Cincinnati. And at shipyards around the United States, Hamilton casters and wheels lug everything from steel girders to giant rudders.

The USS Cincinnati is the fifth ship to bear the city’s name. Sail over to for more information.

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Monday, August 24, 2015 12:37 PM  RssIcon

With summer nearly over, you’ve probably taken your annual family sabbatical to the Florida Keys. But while you were on the beach or mixing up cocktails, did you fall into the trap of checking work email?

More than 61 percent of American workers admit to doing so, and it’s turning us into burnouts. So before Labor Day, remember these reasons why you must unplug:

It’s bad enough that most only take half their vacation days. But when you fire off a few emails or check up on a sales prospect, you may as well be at the office. So instead of coming back refreshed and ready to take on new projects, you’ll feel overwhelmed, cranky, and nowhere near maximum productivity.

Give your team a break. They deserve it. But more importantly, they learn from you. If you send an email during Sunday’s NASCAR race, they’ll feel compelled to plug in during the weekends. Or do the same while they’re with their families on vacation. They don’t want to be seen as slackers when you work your tail off 24/7. But when you unplug, they will, too, and that’s best for everyone.

Time off leads to huge productivity gains. Those who take real time off reap the rewards at work. A study found that employees who didn’t work during vacation reported an 82% increase in job performance.

We know it’s easy to fall into the trap of working 24/7 and just checking your inbox one last time. But do us a favor. Unplug, and end the vicious cycle. Work can wait for a few days.

Source: Salesforce

The stats don’t lie. Most U.S. workers only take half of their vacation time off. Worse, 61 percent admit to working while off the clock. This vicious cycle leads to sluggish productivity, crankiness, health problems and lower sales.

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