Moving Machinery with Point Loading Equipment
What is Point Loading?
Point loading is a type of weight-bearing that concentrates all weight to a specific set of points. In the context of moving machinery, this usually refers to a cart or dolly with wheels, as opposed to roller bars or runner bars.
You might picture a heavy-duty dolly system with three or four wheels, carrying a loaded pallet or shipping container. The full weight of the load is transferred to the floor by those wheels. That is point loading.
3 Point vs 4 Point Dolly Systems
Two common types of safe moving dollies are three-point and four-point systems. Each offers specific advantages and disadvantages.
Three-point dolly systems are preferable for transporting loads across uneven surfaces. This might include cracked or damaged floors, thresholds, or trims. With three points of ground contact, a three-point moving dolly provides greater stability and is less prone to rocking than a four-point dolly. If a load on a dolly rocks too much while in motion, the load can shift, which leads to increased risk of dropping the load. A dropped load can cause damage and injury, so it’s critical to prevent this with stable, easy to use moving systems.
While three-point dolly systems may be better for uneven surfaces, four-point dollies are arguably superior for moving uneven, unsecured, or oddly shaped loads. When the load is in motion, those four points of contact can give the operator greater and more precise control of its trajectory. Plus, a four-point dolly can better handle unexpected shifts in load distribution. If you’re moving a stack of boxes, a large piece of furniture, or tools and machinery, a four-point dolly may be the better option.
How to Prevent Point Load Damages
One of the risks associated with point loading and using moving dollies with wheels is floor damage. Concentrating so much weight into a small surface area can put excess strain on a given floor surface. If a single point’s weight load is greater than the floor’s compressive strength, the floor can crack, break, or sustain other damage.
Thankfully, there are plenty of strategies to mitigate floor damage caused by point loading.
- Ensure that your moving dolly’s wheels are the appropriate size. If the wheels are too small, the weight of the load is concentrated more than necessary. The correct wheel size will distribute the weight more evenly.
- Ensure that your moving dolly’s wheels are made with durable materials. Flimsy wheels are more prone to breakage, and those broken edges can scratch, scrape, and damage floors. Look for wheels made with polyamide, polyurethane, or steel. And check your wheels regularly for damage or debris. A nail embedded in the wheel can cause endless problems.
- If you need to leave a heavy load on a moving dolly for an extended period of time, store it on top of a mat or plywood sheet. This will place the concentrated load pressure on the protective surface, rather than the floor.
- Avoid lifting heavy loads at an angle. Once a load is secured to a safe moving dolly, this is no longer a concern. But if a heavy container is being tilted for loading onto a dolly, the weight of the edge can cause problems. It’s best to use a toe jack to ensure even lifting.
Benefits of Point Loading
There are numerous excellent strategies for safely moving heavy loads. However, point loading and safe moving dollies offer a few key advantages.
Point loading is a superior choice for moving heavy loads across uneven surfaces, especially if you use a three-point heavy-duty dolly system. An individual wheel can navigate a bump or small rise in a surface much better than a long roller or runner bar can. A three-point system is also less prone to rocking or shifting when moving across cracks, holes, or depressions in the floor.
Additionally, point loading offers unmatched omnidirectional maneuverability. Runner and roller bars simply can’t perform tight turns. A three- or four-point moving dolly, on the other hand, can turn on a single wheel or point. If the path from A to B is full of twists, turns, and corners, point loading will make the journey much easier.
Heavy-duty Point Loading Dollies from GKS
GKS is proud to offer top-quality three- and four-point dolly systems for efficient transport of heavy loads. GKS dollies are German engineered, and every unit is thoroughly tested for quality and performance. GKS lifting and moving dollies come with a five-year warranty. Plus, our U.S.-based support team can answer questions and help coordinate repairs to keep your dolly in top shape.
To learn more about point loading, GKS dollies, and other GKS tools and machinery, get in touch >