Caster brakes: the untold story

Thursday, December 21, 2017 8:24 AM  RssIcon

Just about everything about Hamilton is unstoppable: our drive to innovate, our thirst for bigger and better, our addiction to Chili Cheese Fritos. But if there’s one thing that makes us love inertia, it’s designing the right brakes for the right caster. You might think that choosing the right brake type is easy, but that depends on both your caster and application.

On level production floors, brakes aren’t necessarily required because the load weight is usually enough to stop casters cold. But if your application requires extra safety or you’ve got uneven floors to tangle with, it’s time to think about caster brakes. Here’s a quick overview of six of most popular force fighters.

Side Foot Brake

This husky all-steel wheel brake has been redesigned to be even more positive lock-friendly while accommodating more casters in our series. When you step down on either end of the pedal, cam action locks the wheel. But thanks to the brake’s unique design, a full-length spanner bushing gives the caster more rigidity. Note: Not available with wheels having tapered bearings.

Rap-A-Round Side Foot Brake

Our engineers took our standard side foot brake and added a pedal extension for convenient all-around accessibility. Nice.

Heavy Duty Contact Brake

This heavy-duty face contact brake is Hamilton’s most effective friction-based brake. The bracket is made from 3/16” x 2” plate steel with an easy to engage foot pedal, and it features an adjustable thick rubber stop for better "grip" on the wheel surface.

Ergo Brake

Hamilton’s all-new premium Ergo gets its name from its design: step down to engage and step down to disengage, much easier on the body. The brake is also compact in size yet maintains a strong positive lock. Great for tight spaces or a small envelope.

Maxi-Duty Contact Brake

Available on the Maxi-Duty and Dual Wheel Maxi-Duty Casters, this brake is activated by tightening the brake-shoe against the wheel(s). The “Thumbscrew” design provides adjustable brake pressure.

Combination Brake

We’ve got a complete series dedicated to this brake type, featuring a stylish swivel rig in 4”, 5” and 6” sizes. By pressing down on the pedal, both the swivel caster and wheel lock simultaneously.

Bookmark and Share

All new! Experience the powder paint difference in Hamilton Casters

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 7:50 AM  RssIcon

What? You’ve ground down your night guard wondering what kind of game-changing innovation we’re introducing this month? Relax that jaw. The wait is over.

Hamilton is proud to introduce our new Powder Paint Coating System. To understand exactly what this means for the future of caster excellence, let’s reference our clues from our August teaser:

“It will become a standard practice in our caster manufacturing.”
Starting now, all Hamilton forged steel casters come powder painted fresh out of our factory. If you’ve received casters from us in the last few weeks, you know what we mean firsthand. (Note: our medium and light duty casters will remain zinc-plated).

“It will make our products exponentially more durable.”
This is the big sell, really. Powder coating is much more durable than spray enamel. It’s also less prone to erosion, impervious to tough chemicals and can withstand tough weather conditions.

“It’s going to look pretty slick.”
Our powder paint comes in two eye-catching colors. Goodbye dull, battleship gray. Hello, sleek metallic platinum powder. Hello, gorgeous Hamilton Red.

“It’s environmentally friendly.”
No harmful VOCs or solvents are released during the making of our powder paint creations. It’s EPA-safe for air and water pollution, too. Fun fact: U.S. powder paint suppliers have been moving away from TGIC polyester powder paint formulas over the last decade. The replacement curing chemistry uses HAA, hydroxyalkylamides, to cross-link the polyester during the curing phase (and HAA is what you’ll find in all Hamilton powder painted casters). TGIC, which stands for triglycidyl isocyanurate, is a nasty chemical. Like asbestos, it’s only bad if you stir it up. And when you do, it’s been reported to cause, among other things, “testicular atrophy” in men. So, yeah, banning TGIC from our powder paint products was the easiest decision we’ve ever had to make for our workers.

Did we mention how many grandchildren we Hamiltonians have?

Experience the Powder Paint difference now.

Bookmark and Share

Like a jungle cat, these custom casters are powerfully coiled and travel low to the ground

Thursday, September 28, 2017 1:15 PM  RssIcon

You’ve heard of keeping a low profile? Well consider this custom job one of our stealthier power trips. When a huge energy company in Canada needed to swap a heat exchange pump in one of their nuclear reactors, they turned to Hamilton engineers to custom design a special set of casters each rated to carry 16,000 lbs. The kicker was that the casters also had to meet incredibly low height restrictions.

To swap out the pump, the material handling engineers incorporated a special track system. One side of the casters rode on a track while the other side rode on inverted c-channel to make the exchange. And here’s where things get interesting. The c-channel limited the total width of the caster at the wheel height to 6 ½ inches, so we designed special recessed hardware to get the casters to clear the small channel. Kind of like putting a girdle on when you want to look your skinniest. To meet the low height restrictions and high load requirement, we used a high strength steel for the wheels and tapped our new Maxi-Duty Kingpinless casters with swivel construction.

Who says we can’t roar into tight spaces?

Here are the tech specs:

Special Hamilton Swivel Caster with Double Flanged Track Wheel

Double Flanged Track Wheel:

  • Material: High-strength steel
  • Wheel diameter: A - 6"
  • Face width: S - 6-1/2"
  • Flange diameters: P - 6.9"
  • Face and flanges width: K - 7-1/2"
  • Hub length: H - 8"
  • Hub diameters: M & N - 4-1/2"
  • Bore: Wheel is equipped with tapered bearings and bearing hardware for a 1-1/2" diameter axle

Swivel Caster:

  • Custom Mounting plate: 10" x 10.88"
  • Bolt hole centers: 7.50" x 8.38". Bolt holes are 1-1/8" diameter
  • Overall height: 9” (when equipped with the wheel described above)
  • Capacity: 16,000 lbs. (when equipped with the wheel described above)
  • Special Hamilton Swivel Caster with Forged Steel Wheel with Face Machined Flat (no crown)

Forged Steel Wheel:

  • Material:High Strength Steel
  • Wheel diameter: A - 6"
  • Face width: S - 4"
  • Hub length: 4-1/4"
  • Bore: Wheel is equipped with tapered bearings and bearing hardware for a 1-1/4" diameter axle

Swivel Caster:

  • Custom Mounting plate: 10" x 10.88"
  • Bolt hole centers: 7.50" x 8.38"; bolt holes are 1-1/8" diameter
  • Overall height: 9” (when equipped with the wheel described above)
  • Capacity: 16,000 lbs. (when equipped with the wheel described above)
Bookmark and Share

New Hamilton aerospace shock absorbing casters offer good vibrations

Monday, July 31, 2017 11:32 AM  RssIcon

Ready to crush downtime while protecting your most precious cargo?

Hamilton is proud to introduce our new aerospace 3-series shock absorbing casters. Targeted for mobilizing critical aerospace applications, these casters provide outstanding vibration and shock absorption, reduce noise levels and go easy on floors. They also extend caster, wheel and bearing life, too.

What’s the secret sauce? Two things, actually.

First, the new casters use our latest Spinfinity™ maintenance-free kingpinless platform, which boasts extra thick forgings and swivel technology for superior durability over the life of the casters. The top plate and inner raceway are one forged steel piece, providing unmatched strength for shock conditions. Raceways are CNC-machined and then hardened to a uniform depth. Together, both processes assure a smoothly swiveling caster under extreme loads. Game on for the industry’s best three-year product warranty.

Second, unibody spring housing provides up to 200% greater spring travel (see below for specifics) and substantially wider operating capacity range, as compared to our standard line.

Hamilton’s 3-series covers the most popular top plate sizes, with five resilient tread wheel choices across six different diameters:

  • AE Workhorse: 4 x 5 mounting plate (2” wide wheels)
  • AE Heavy Service: 4-1/2 x 6-1/2 (2” wide wheels), Both Workhorse & Heavy Service provide up to 66% greater spring travel and a wider operating capacity range than standard line
  • AE ForgeMaster: 4-1/2 x 6-1/2 (3” wide wheels), up to 200% greater spring travel and a wider operating capacity range than standard line

These casters can be easily modified to meet many custom spec. When ordering, keep in mind that spring-loaded casters have minimum capacity requirements for the spring action to work properly. You should never overload a spring-loaded caster because it will vaporize the shock-absorbing benefits.

When you’re ready to spring-load your productivity, our engineers will be ready to meet all your special applications.

Check out the New Aerospace Product Line

Bookmark and Share

This order for our giant Ultra-Maxi Duty casters speaks fluent awesome

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 9:42 AM  RssIcon

Sure, a picture says a thousand words. But guess what’s even better? A thousand pounds—and we’ve got the pics to prove it. Take a look at this recent order for our Ultra Maxi-Duty (UMD) Casters, which a leading aerospace supplier will be using on stands to support their next generation of products.

With a load rating of up to 40,000 pounds per caster, UMDs represent the highest capacity production caster series on the market today. Each of these wheels is 22” in diameter, and the mounting plate alone is an immense 14” x 14” and 1” thick.

These Ultra Maxi-Duty Casters have a load rating of 35,000 lbs. per caster.

With UMDs, there’s no need to custom order a special caster—this comprehensive series comes “build-ready.” Moving colossal loads that formerly required six or eight casters can be accomplished with four, simplifying designs and lowering maintenance costs. In addition to aerospace manufacturers, UMDs are perfect for defense contractors, ship builders and anywhere you’re toting uber heavy equipment.

Capturing these powerful casters on camera makes us feel a little like the fired-up dad of a huge family. It’s our pride and joy to create these rare creatures of craftsmanship and durability every day.

So we hope you don’t mind if we get a little gushy.

Check out the complete UMD series product details here.

Bookmark and Share

Turn up the heat: new high-temp casters and wheels won’t sweat it

Thursday, December 15, 2016 4:28 PM  RssIcon

Call ‘em hot wheels for work. Call ‘em casters that won’t cook. Whatever you call ‘em, one thing’s for sure: these babies stay cool under pressure.

Hamilton is proud to introduce our new line of high-heat casters and wheels. Built tough to withstand the rigors of extreme temps, they’re ideal for rolling anywhere you want to beat the heat—especially in autoclaves, product finish systems, food manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries, where heat treating and coating is increasingly becoming the norm.

“We’re pretty excited about this series. Not everyone realizes that most conventional casters aren’t built to withstand very high heat,” explained Hamilton Vice President of Marketing Mark Lippert. “In the past, we’ve offered high-temperature wheels and casters to our customers on demand. As high-heat becomes more and more part of everyday manufacturing, we now have an extensive line to make it even easier to get what you need.”

To help you understand each offering’s singularly scorching charms, here are some highlights:

Stainless Steel Caster featuring New Ultratherm™ Wheel #S-HSTL-4HWRB

High Heat Non-Metallic Wheels

Our High Heat Non-Metallic Wheels offer a range of high-heat options to light your fire, from the everyday generalist Scorcher to the uber premium Ultratherm™. These wheels come in a variety of diameters and are temperature rated between 475 and 570 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scorcher Wheels

  • The affordable generalist
  • Temp ratings up to 475 degrees F
  • Rated up to 1,400 pounds
  • Injection molded 33% Glass Fiber Reinforced, Heat Stabilized Nylon 6/6
  • Double the strength & stiffness of unreinforced nylons (27,000 psi)
  • Superior abrasion and wear resistance
  • Great for autoclaves

Duratherm™ Wheels

  • The premium version of Scorcher, with a higher-end precision ball bearing
  • Certified especially for the food industry
  • Resistant to water, acids, chemicals and most solvents
  • Temperature rating up to 530 degrees F

Noiseless Ultratherm™ Wheels

  • The crème de la crème of high-heat wheels
  • Roll silently, so they’re easy on the ears
  • Made of high-heat elastic rubber, so they protect floors beautifully
  • Temperature rating up to 570 degrees F
  • Features maintenance-free precision ball bearings
  • Wheel size: 4”. Note: We also offer an Inferno series (see below) high heal dual wheel casters with Noiseless Ultratherm™ wheels to offer you double capacity. So you can safely move a 2,000-pound load without damaging your floors in 570 degree temperatures.

Inferno™ Wheels

Direct from Hades, our Inferno™ Series wheels come with special high-heat stainless steel precision ball bearings rated up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit.

Inferno™ and MagmaMax™ Casters

Stainless Workhorse featuring New Scorcher Wheel #S-WHS-6HNY

Is it just us or is it getting warm in here?

In the high-heat caster arena, it’s a veritable heat wave of choices that cater to every capacity—from a mere 150 pounds all the way up to a whopping 9,000 pounds of crushing force. Our Inferno™ casters come in light-, medium-, and heavy-duty, while we’ve saved the heaviest payload for a category all its own: our MagmaMax™ extra heavy-duty casters.

Got a fever for high-heat wheels and casters? Contact Jim Lippert for the cure.

Bookmark and Share

Monster Truck Trophy or Extreme Heat Caster?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 1:47 PM  RssIcon

We like monster trucks - tough, durable, massive - just like Hamilton. So when our Ben Wilson suggested these casters resemble monster truck trophies, we had some fun with PhotoShop.

Hamilton is no stranger to custom engineered solutions so we didn’t flinch when a Pennsylvania distributor presented the following requirements: 1) 25,000 lbs. load capacity per caster, 2) 400° F oven, and 3) suitable for a blast booth environment. The customer also requested rigid casters to minimize the number of moving parts.

So we’ve got a heavy load, high heat, and a nasty environment. Let’s go.

The 25,000 lbs. rated EMD2 high heat casters assembled by Ben Wilson.

Hamilton engineers first selected Hamilton’s Enhanced Maxi-Duty Series (EMD2) platform providing a mounting plate measuring 8-1/2” x 8-1/2”. The EMD2 Series mounting plate is ½” thick and the legs are ¾” thick plate steel.

For the wheels, engineering selected 4140 HT high alloy steel blanks with a tensile strength of 153 KSI. Hamilton CNC-machined the blanks down to a finished size of 10" x 3".

Special composite self-lubricating bearings were then spec’d providing low thermal expansion and low coefficient of friction. The massive wheels and rigs were zinc plated to provide additional corrosion resistance for the extreme environment.

Due to the ever increasing request for high heat applications, Hamilton will be introducing a complete line of standard high heat casters and wheels with diameters ranging from 3” -12” and high heat loads up to 25,000 lbs. The series will feature a new high heat wheel lineup of nylon, silicone rubber, stainless, and forged steel.

Bring the heat! Hamilton can handle it. Contact Jim Lippert with your high heat challenge.

Bookmark and Share

Imagine it. Then 3D Print It.

Monday, May 02, 2016 1:52 PM  RssIcon

The advent of 3D Printing, at first a novelty, has become a vital tool for innovative high tech companies like Hamilton Caster. While GE and Ford have touted their rapid progress with 3D printing, many other companies are achieving incredible accomplishments behind closed doors.

“At Hamilton our investment in 3D printing has had a surprisingly larger impact on our company that we first thought,” says Jevon Lambright, a design engineer at Hamilton. “We’ve used it across several divisions including sales, marketing, R&D and operations.”

For example, a customer requested a unique mounting plate with mounting holes in odd places. As a proof of concept to make sure the part would work, we used our 3D printer to make a prototype.”

Check out some other ways that Hamilton has leveraged this technology.

A prototype for the new Ergo X2 Swivel technology

Prototypes of new foot operated swivel locks.

Not limited to engineering, our Lean 5S events created a demand for 3D printed tool holders on the factory floor.

Early design of new Spinfinity Maintenance-free caster.

Do you have an idea that you want to test? Contact us.We'll put our brains and 3D printers to work for you.

Bookmark and Share

Concrete Reasons to Spec Hamilton Heavy Duty Casters

Friday, April 01, 2016 10:40 AM  RssIcon

Realizing that maintenance and repair costs of plant floors include lost production time, inefficiencies, worker comfort and safety, our customer was concerned about protecting the expensive concrete floors in their brand new facility.

Committed to a failure-free environment, an aircraft manufacturer challenged Hamilton to a create heavy duty caster with a low contact pressure.

The company required 128 heavy duty casters each rated at 15,000 lbs. and designed to apply a maximum contact pressure of 750 psi per caster to the concrete floors. No small task.

Working with our customer and a key supplier, a four-person team at Hamilton buckled down. Using computer modelling, the team zeroed in on a polyurethane wheel design that achieved the desired results.


mouseover to zoom

After hours of computer simulation, the prototype exceeded the customer requirements resulting in a wheel with two-inch thick tread of Hamilton's new DuraGlide polyurethane material that delivered 698 psi per caster, well below the customer’s psi requirement.

Once the wheel spec was finalized, Hamilton machined and fabricated the dual wheeled caster with a toe guard and a dual heavy duty brake.

The client appreciated Hamilton’s efforts. “You were the only supplier to dig in your heels and come up with a solution. Hamilton was committed to meeting our challenge. The magic worked and the casters are on the stands. Thank you again for all of the technical support! These are cool!!!

Bookmark and Share

Ergonomic Brakes Stop that Operator Crunching Sound

Monday, February 29, 2016 8:57 AM  RssIcon

Excess weight? Oddly shaped products? Noise? Short turning radius? Believe us, it takes a lot more than that to break a Hamilton Engineer.

Their latest challenge was to custom design an ergonomic braking mechanism with a toe guard for a major aeronautics manufacturer.

Done! The special application contact brakes feature an integrated toe guard. It sits only 1-1/2” off the floor and prevents workers from trapping their feet beneath the cart. No more smashed toes. Or ruined pedicures!

The braking mechanism’s ergonomic design ratchets back stress on the operator’s body, too. There isn’t the traditional push-down, and pull-up motion required to engage and disengage the brake. The new mechanism engages and disengages with a much more ergonomically friendly push-down motion. In addition, red and green brake arms flag the on and off states of the brakes.

This customer required a smaller envelope than the standard contact brake so the new profile has a shorter turning radius.

Bottom line, if you have a tricky application, there’s a Hamilton engineer who’s dying to sink his teeth into it. So challenge us!

Tech Specs

  • Capacity - 1,000 pounds
  • Swivel offset - 1-1/2"
  • Overall height - 12-1/8"
  • Mounting plate - 4-1/2" x 6-1/2" with mounting holes 2-7/16" x 4-15/16" slotted to 3-3/8" x 5-1/4" for 1/2" bolt size
  • Wheel - W-1041-SPRT-1
  • Rig finish - red enamel
  • Equipped with 4-position swivel lock
  • Toe Guard 1-1/2" off the floor when unloaded
  • Special ZB Heavy Duty Contact Brake

Bookmark and Share

Have the revolution
sent to your inbox

Home | Sitemap | Contact | Corporate Info | Satisfaction Survey | Terms and Conditions | Copyright © 2017 Hamilton Caster & Mfg. Co.