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This custom wheel is humongous—even for us

Friday, Dec 21, 2018

Sure, mammoth is our middle name here at Hamilton. But this custom wheel job we did for Avon Engineering made even our most jaded engineers puff up with glee to get crackin’ on its design.

We love Avon, because its mission is to solve the toughest material handling issues for its customers. In this case, the customer is a steel plant that continuously moves 40-ton coils of steel to different areas of its plant every day. When coils need to be transferred to a different bay, overhead cranes are no longer a viable solution. Avon needs to haul the coils on Avon-designed 80-ton transfer cars. That’s where Hamilton comes in.

The four-wheel steering cars, which are extremely durable and can handle two coils per trip, are self-driving, with a propane engine/generator that powers electric motors on each wheel pair. In this case, the wheels and steering system were a challenge because of the loads involved. Hamilton designed 28-inch-diameter, press-on polyurethane-tired wheels with tapered bearings and bearing seals for a 3-inch axle to get the job done. Each car uses eight wheels courtesy of Hamilton, which are incorporated on four custom caster assemblies.

Avon has previously worked with Hamilton on two smaller single coil cars, but this 80-ton car and wheels are the largest yet. With a load capacity of 30,000 pounds, these gigantic wheels are as durable as they are cool.

Fully-machined wheel in press awaiting 28” dia. tire.

Press-on wheel awaiting paint.

Partially machined wheel cores awaiting final cuts.

Fully-machined wheel in chucks of CNC.

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