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Monday, June 29, 2015 3:43 PM  RssIcon

HamiltonCaster.com just got a whole lot better – thanks to you. We rolled out our new product page design, which makes finding the right caster and wheel for the job quick and easy.

To do so, Hamilton conducted user studies with our customers. In English, that means we talked to engineers and distributors, and watched their screens while they operated our current website.

We learned what you like – the style, detailed product information and the product finder (once you found it). On the flipside, we heard you loud and clear when you told us it felt crowded, and took a few too many clicks to track down the perfect caster.

Here are some of the new features:

Product finder migrates north

where you can’t miss it. The new version now lives at the top of the page, instead of tucked away on a sidebar. A cleaner, expanded view makes it easy to select features like wheel diameter, floor type and capacity.

Tabbed view won’t torture your eyes.

With hundreds of caster and wheel combinations, our old product selection tables intimidated even the most seasoned reps. A new tabbed design fixes that. Only interested in swivel no-maintenance casters? Hit the swivel tab. Searching for metal wheels with precision bearings? Click the corresponding tab. Your eyes will thank you.

Speedy category view.

You know the job demands super high load capacities, and you want to quickly compare our Super Duty models. Now you can click “open category” to view all casters in a series, sorted by load capacity.


The results of this click-tracking test helped us make HamiltonCaster.com more user friendly.

Room to breathe.

Through research, many engineers and caster distributors said our product pages felt "claustrophobic.” The new look lightens things up, without sacrificing critical information like features and specs, mounting plate dimensions and wheel choices. It’s not magic, but better use of space.

There's much more to experience so please explore.! Thanks again for the feedback, and we hope you enjoy the new website. Tell us in the comments, or drop us a line to let us know how we did.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015 3:24 PM  RssIcon

Drum roll, please. We’re proud to share our latest creation: a double, fifth-wheel steer trailer that hauls 80,000-pound mining cutter drums.

Created for LeBus International, our rig helps the heavy manufacturer cut production time, and hike up its plant safety scores.

“We have to deliver on time. It’s what we do, and always will.”

“With Hamilton’s trailer, we only need one fork truck to move the drum from the welding shop to the machine shop,” said Luke Busha, project engineer for LeBus International.

Without our trailer, Busha said it would take multiple fork trucks to carry a load of this size (nearly 24 feet long and 10 feet wide), and numerous personnel – a slower, more dangerous process.

“The more fork trucks and people involved, the higher risk for an accident,” he said. “We have safety protocols in place and we’ve never had an issue, but this is all about minimizing risk – both our team members, and the load itself.”

Delivering ahead of schedule

The new rig also helps Lebus meet aggressive deadlines demanded by some of the world’s biggest mining, aerospace and oil heavyweights.

“We have to deliver on time. It’s what we do, and always will,” said Busha. “It’s critical in this industry. Hamilton helps us cut down on the time it takes to build, which means we can actually surprise our customers with a product faster than expected.”

Does your oversized load or factory productivity need a lift? Talk to a Hamilton carts and trailers expert, or visit CartsandTrailers.com for more information.

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Saturday, June 27, 2015 3:17 PM  RssIcon

Manufacturing Technology, Inc. just made history by building the world’s largest friction welding machine. It weighs 400,000 pounds and measures and 20-feet tall.

That’s heavier than three M1 Abrams tanks and taller than 272 Baconators stacked high.

The company sold the record-setting equipment to aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to build fans for commercial and military jumbo jet engines.

What’s friction welding? It’s a joining process that involves vibrating large metal parts at high speeds, and compressing them together until they heat up and fuse. By current manufacturing standards, it creates the strongest possible weld.

Too heavy, too tall to ride: shipping the beast

Getting the machinery from South Bend, Indiana to Middletown, Connecticut was no breezy road trip.

Because of the machine’s enormous size, it required a 19-axle, 200 foot long flatbed truck with a second big rig in the back to push it. What’s more, the journey took 12 days because the rig was too tall to go under most bridges, and too heavy to go over others.

Pratt & Whitney hopes to have the welder up and running by September. According to general manager Greg Treacy, it will double the company’s manufacturing capacity.

We can’t wait to see it in action.

Sources: Manufacturing Technology

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Friday, June 26, 2015 3:09 PM  RssIcon

The world’s first self-driving – and street legal – semi truck just took itself for a spin. Meet the Inspiration, Freightliner’s partially autonomous big rig, which could save lives, eliminate driver fatigue and reduce carbon emissions.

Hop inside the cab to see how this computer-controlled 18 wheeler may soon lug your Amazon packages across America’s open roads:

























Source: Fleet Equipment Mag

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Thursday, June 25, 2015 2:53 PM  RssIcon

Building the toughest casters is serious business, but we love a good chuckle every now and then. Check out this cartoon sent via our friends at Ideopia. Does it remind you of your operation? Say, an assembly line running on high-maintenance, feed-me-grease-every-day casters? If so, might be time for new ones. May we suggest the maintenance-free variety?

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Friday, May 29, 2015 11:02 AM  RssIcon

At Hamilton, we believe in reinventing the wheel. There’s always room for innovation, and our latest custom creation – a three-wheel, kingpinless swivel caster – proves it.



An aerospace manufacturer uses four of them to move a cart full of airplane equipment from the factory floor to an industrial, high-heat autoclave. Each caster is equipped with two removable Nylast wheels on the outside, and a mounted V-grooved forged steel wheel in the middle.



When the rig rolls on the factory floor, the premium cast nylon wheels (9” by 3”) protect the concrete surface without the smaller steel wheel (8” by 4”) touching the ground. Once it reaches the autoclave, it’s time for a switcheroo.



“Nylon would melt inside the 650-degree (F) autoclave, so all eight Nylast wheels have to be removed before the cart enters the vessel,” said Jeff Spektor, Hamilton’s lead engineer. “To minimize downtime, we designed the caster so the outer wheels could be removed without removing the axle.”



Inside the autoclave, the remaining four steel wheels roll on an angled track while the 8,500-pound load undergoes the high-heat treatment.

Modern engineering. Snappy mechanics.

Our new creation drastically improves upon the original we built nearly 20 years ago.



“We made the manufacturer’s first three-wheel casters back in 1996,” said Spektor. “They held up well, but the caster axles had to be removed every time the outer wheels were removed. The whole process took about five minutes.”



Now, it takes about 30 seconds. It’s easy to see why this manufacturer is fired up about its new casters.



Have a tricky application? Lay it on us. Email or call Jim Lippert, vice president of sales, at 1-800-733-7655.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015 10:52 AM  RssIcon

Unless you’ve been living under a 50-ton rock, you know about Colossus, Hamilton’s largest and strongest caster ever built. Our engineering team behind the 4.3-foot, 100,000 pound capacity giant recently caught up with Machine Design for a rare look inside the colossal caster.



“Colossus imposes its will from the outside. It’s practically the same height as a pickup truck,” said Ralph Stampfli, Hamilton’s truck team leader. “But inside, that’s where Colossus earns its paycheck.”



Check out the exploded view diagram below for the inside scoop.



Highlights include:

  • 98 1.5-inch diameter ball bearings ensure smooth rolling
  • 18 and 32-inch raceways, flame hardened to boost wear resistance
  • An eight-position swivel lock to give operators precise directional control over the 200-ton total payload

 

New to Colossus? Watch the video below to behind the scenes look at the making of Hamilton’s whopper of a caster.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015 10:46 AM  RssIcon

Is it a car? Is it a plane? It’s both – and street legal. Washington D.C. cop and car enthusiast Jeff Bloch combined an old Cessna plane with a Toyota van to make this zany ride.



Originally built for the 24 Hours of LeMons track race, Bloch – known as Speedy Cop by friends – made it roadworthy. He said that when he drives around, people follow him for miles to pose for pictures and learn about how he created the car-plane.



See it in action below. Learn more about his other whacky creations, like the Honda Accordian – complete with brews, lederhosen and fully functional, hood-mounted accordion – at SpeedyCop.com.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015 10:39 AM  RssIcon

Roughly 140,000,000 miles away from Earth, NASA’s Curiosity roams the dry, barren wasteland known as Mars. While sandstorms and meteorites regularly pummel the Red Planet, surface rocks could pose the biggest threat to the rover.

ALSO READ: On Earth, Curiosity Roves on Hamilton Casters

For example, a rock has been wedged in one of the wheel’s treads since May 1. While scientists don’t believe it will affect performance and plan to let the rock fall off naturally, it’s another chink in the rover’s aluminum armor.



Over time, the harsh Martian terrain has punched dozens of rips and gashes in each of Curiosity’s six wheels.



Of course, engineers can’t head to Mars and swap out tires, so they have to dream up more creative solutions to prolong the life of wheels. Those include manually maneuvering every pointy rock, driving backward to decrease the downward forces on the front and middle wheels, and mapping out new long-term routes over smoother ground.



On the bright side, Curiosity has already crushed its 90-day life expectancy. On May 15, it celebrated its 730th day on roving on Mars.



For more on the engineering behind Curiosity’s wheels, their tattered condition and how long they’ll last, check out this fascinating write-up on The Planetary Society.

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Monday, May 25, 2015 10:33 AM  RssIcon

Practically everyone Google’s health symptoms before a visiting a doctor, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in the sales world, 60% of your customers have done their research before even talking to you.



Why? Because with a quick search, they can soak up everything under the sun about a caster, wheel, cart or trailer.



They read the news story about Hamilton’s maintenance-free caster. They scoped out tech specs. They read a blog post to learn how it cuts downtime for like-minded manufacturers. They even saw reviews on LinkedIn.



Despite the information overload, the digital age has only strengthened the value of the sales rep because only you can deliver the personal connection that can make – or sometimes break – a sale.

Things you can do but Google can’t

No pain. No gain. Do you know the customer’s pain points? Why does he or she need new casters? How are they being used? Could the factory benefit from lower noise levels? Is there a better solution than what the customer requested? Find the pain points. They’re critical to problem solving, and building long-term relationships.



Be a know it all. Customers have access to basic information at their fingertips. You need to know the product line inside out – and then some – to avoid losing credibility. It helps that you’re an avid Revolution reader.



Support after the sale. Sure, no news is good news. But following up with customers even after shipping the product builds trust and confidence. And should problems spring up with installation and maintenance, or even the dreaded FUBAR, you’re the go-to contact to remedy the situation. A troubleshooting article can’t prevent a customer from going AWOL, but you can.



Customers might have their minds made up, but that doesn’t mean you can’t change them. After all, customers are humans.

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