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Safety Handbook for Caterroller Load Skates

Load skates consist of a rigid steel frame with saw-toothed edges, a center guide plate and a set of rollers. The rollers are connected by link chain on either side with a master link for separating them. Each roller turns independently and the entire set rotates around the guide plate. Loads may be attached permanently by welding to the skate. Loads with wood bases will sink into the frame edges for better stability. Typically, a mobile force of 35 to 50 lbs per ton is required to move loads mounted on the skates. Refer to the specification chart in the Enerpac Catalog or the instructions included with the skates for capacities and dimensions.

Lubricate rollers, when needed, with molybdenum disulfide paste only (such as Dow Corning’s Molykote #G-n paste, or equivalent.) For heavy use, lubricate rollers weekly. Note: Graphite formulations are not an equivalent lubrication.

1. Determine the number of skates needed by calculating the total weight including support timbers, beams or skids. As a general rule, double the size requirements.
2. Plan skate positions to equally distribute weight and to facilitate maneuvering. Do not exceed skate capacity.
3. Skate selection and accessories are determined by the weight of the load, the pathway surface, and the number and nature of turns required during movement. For straight-line moves, the standard rigid skate is adequate. For moves with turns and for positioning the load, swivel plates should be
added to the skates.
4. Most moves will require some amount of lifting. Carefully select the lifting equipment. Consider the load weight, height of lift and location of lift devices to allow positioning of the skates.

Based on load size and weight, be sure the correct number of skates are used to support the load.
Check all load routes to ensure ramps, floors and structures will support the weight and size of the load.
Swivel type skates must be checked during moves to ensure parallel alignment under the load.

To prevent the load from slipping, place wood skids or timbers between the load and the skates. Nail chocks into the wood for added security.
To prevent possible injury and equipment damage, do not exceed the rated capacities of the skates.

Floor Condition and Pathway Clearances:
1. Floors or other path surfaces must be clean and free of cracks or holes, which can hinder skate travel.
2. Check and verify all load-bearing capacities of all floors or pathway surfaces. Ramps or other structures should be reinforced to handle the load.
3. If ramps or other inclines are in the pathway, be sure that motive forces are powerful enough and if needed, provide restraining devices to hold the load.
4. For rough surfaces or unpaved areas, the use of steel channels will provide good skate paths.

Lifitng Loads:
1. Use load-lifting devices with a capacity exceeding the load weight and with enough lift height to safely install skates under the load.
2. Refer to the selection chart in the Enerpac catalog or the instruction sheets included with the skates for dimensions and skate load capacities.
3. Loads should be supported with timbers, beams or skids placed between the load base and the skates.

Straight Moves:
1. Position skates evenly around the load base. Rigid skates must be parallel to each other in order to provide straight travel in one direction.
2. Skates with swivel top plates will not maintain position on rough floors. If swivel skates are used, the floor must be clean and the skate position must be constantly watched to ensure smooth straight travel. If swivel plates are used, always use them in pairs, either front or rear.

Steering or Maneuvering a load:
1. Steering is accomplished using skates with swivel plates in all locations or in pairs at the front or rear.
2. The number and placement of the swivel plates will depend on the size, shape and total load weight. Also consider the path surface conditions.
3. Gradual turns are fairly easy to make while the load is moving. Sharp 90° degree turns may require lifting one end and pivoting around the outer.

Straight-Line Moves: Skates must remain parallel to each other to assure easiest motion in any one direction. Rigid-top skates will stay in position as placed, but swivel skates may be knocked out of alignment if the move is over a rough or dirty surface. Care should be taken, floors cleaned, and alignment progressively monitored during moves using swivel skates, especially overless than ideal surfaces.

Steering and Spotting Loads: Maneuvering the load is made easier by using swivel skates or combinations of swivel skates with rigid-top skates. Size, configuration, and weight of loads determine models, quantity, and placement of required skates.

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