Moving Heavy Machinery
Moving heavy machinery from one place to another is not always a simple process. In most cases, you’ll need special equipment to ensure a safe move.
How to Safely Move Heavy Machinery with Equipment
In order to safely move heavy machinery with specialized equipment, it’s important to take stock of what you need to move and your intended route before you take action.
Start with a risk assessment. Look over the machinery you need to move. Does it have an irregular shape? Are there any parts that protrude? Are there any loose pieces? Will you need to take it apart before moving?
Consider the object’s weight, too. Do you know its exact weight? Is that weight distributed evenly, or is the weight concentrated in one area? This may impact what type of equipment you use, since some types of equipment are better suited than others to uneven loads.
Next, plot out your path, and take stock of your resources. Where is the item now? Where does it need to be? What’s your deadline for getting it there? What resources—people, money, trucks, equipment—do you have available to you? Is there anything you need that you don’t have?
Once you have a clear understanding of what, where, and when you’re moving, you can start thinking about equipment.
Heavy Machinery Moving Equipment
A complete moving solution will likely rely on a combination of equipment, machinery, and other tools. It’s vital to confirm the carrying capacity and performance limitations of every element before proceeding with the move.
A machine skate is, essentially, a platform with wheels or rollers. The platform itself is generally fairly small, and the rollers are multidirectional, offering 360° of spin for easy maneuvering around corners and obstacles. Usually, machinery moving skates are not motorized. Multiple machinery moving skates can be used at once, positioned under different parts of a large object or container. Because of this, machine skates can be an excellent option for irregularly shaped loads.
Toe jacks are fantastic for moving palletized loads. A toe jack will vertically lift a pallet or other level load and roll for easy transport. A toe jack may also be used in conjunction with another type of moving equipment. For example, you might use a toe jack to elevate the load so that machine skates or dollies can be placed underneath.
One significant benefit of using a toe jack is the reduced strain on human workers. Toe jacks can elevate extremely heavy items, saving operators from having to do the lifting themselves.
Rigging is a fairly broad term for the many tools and items that have traditionally been used to move heavy equipment. This may include cranes and forklifts as well as straps and cables to secure the load in place.
Like machine skates, dollies are akin to a platform on wheels. Dollies come in all different sizes but are generally rectangular or square, with a wheel at each corner. Many machinery moving dollies will have a pulling handle or tow eye so that a person, truck, or other piece of equipment can pull the dolly along.
Some machinery moving dollies are two-part systems that give you more control over a very large load. These are often called “tandem dollies” or “container dollies.” The “tandem lead” dolly, or TL dolly, will usually be shaped like a long rectangle, with wheels or rollers at each edge, and a pulling handle with a tow eye. The “follow” dolly, or F dolly, will look much the same, without the pulling handle. An operator might use a toe jack to lift an intermodal container or other large load and fit the TL dolly under one and the F dolly under the other. With support at each end, and no large overhangs, the entire load is more secure. Plus, since the tandem dolly comes in two parts, the system can be customized to the size of the load.
Robots offer a fully motorized option for moving heavy machinery. A robot can move a load from Point A to Point B with no manpower apart from the effort required to lift the load onto the robot. Robots are driven via remote control and can handle very heavy loads.
Moving Machinery with GKS
GKS has been the leading expert in heavy equipment moving machinery since 1967. We’re proud to offer a range of moving solutions for many industries and applications. GKS products are German-engineered. Every product is carefully tested for safety and performance and comes with a five-year warranty.
Our customer support team in the United States is always available to answer questions and get you the help you need. Talk to one of our experts about what type of machinery moving equipment is best for your situation! Contact us today.