Because you need to know about trailer steering now.

Sunday, July 30, 2017 11:28 AM  RssIcon

You know that trailers come in all shapes and sizes. But you should also know that there are all types of steering options, too. The way your steering system operates can make or break any application. Good thing we’ve summarized everything you need to know below.

Type 1: Caster Steer trailers

  • Design: Two swivel casters at one end, two fixed-load wheels or rigid casters at the other
  • Good choice for its simplicity, and for an economical way to both power tow and push by hand

Type 2: Fifth Wheel Steer trailers

  • Design: Single pivot point for the front axle/wheel assembly and fixed rear wheels (Think a kid’s little red wagon)
  • Great for power towing, singularly or in trains
  • Can be towed at higher speeds than Caster Steer trailers
  • More economical than Four-wheel steer trailers
  • Highly versatile
  • Work great pulling solo

Type 3: Four Wheel Steer trailers

  • Design: No fixed axles; both axles pivot for steering and are connected to each other by a tie rod
  • Best bet for pulling longer trains of trailers through tight aisles and intersections, or anywhere aisle width space is at a premium
  • Pricier than single Fifth Wheel Steer Trailers

Auto Steer trailers (general)

  • Offer maximum stability
  • Running gear stays fixed under load corners as you turn (as opposed to a Fifth-wheel steer where the entire axle assembly turns)

Two Wheel Auto Steer trailers

  • Design: mimics an automobile
  • Less expensive and easier to back up than Four-Wheel Auto
  • Smart choice for maximum stability when towing solo
  • Will track similar to a fifth wheel steer

Four Wheel Auto Steer trailers

  • Design: front and rear steering like automobile, connected by a tie rod to coordinate tighter, more accurate turns
  • Pricier than two-wheel auto steer due to more sophisticated turning engineering
  • Best for towing long trains or when you need reversible towing*
  • Will track similar to a non-auto four-wheel steer

Other good things to know

  • Never “push” or put trains with more than one trailer in reverse. This can lead to structural damage.
  • *Reversible towing means towing from either end (not backing up!)

Bookmark and Share

Hamilton custom dolly keeps a low profile while toting 6 tons of fun

Monday, February 27, 2017 9:40 AM  RssIcon

Like a jungle cat that moves low to the ground to stalk its quarry, this custom cart we recently built really knows how to pounce on heavy prey. Called a lowrider, it’s being shipped to Korea to go to work in the oil industry and can carry up to 6 tons of crushing weight. And yet its disarmingly playful yellow wheels make you feel like a kid again.

Here are the specs:

  • Description: Wood deck, steel frame straight line dolly
  • Capacity: 13,200 lbs. (6 tons)
  • Deck Size: 27-1/8" wide x 59" long x 5-1/8" high
  • Deck Material: 2" hardwood deck, steel frame
  • Running Gear: Twelve W-420-AYB-3/4 POLYLAST anti-static/anti-spark polyurethane tread wheel on aluminum center with precision ball bearings
  • Color: Woodwork sanded and varnished; steelwork painted epoxy yellow
  • Shipping Dimensions: 60” long X 34” wide X 6” high
Bookmark and Share

Get a power ride from Hamilton motorized carts

Monday, January 30, 2017 10:33 AM  RssIcon

Last month we announced our new line of e-Power™ Cart Solutions and talked about their safety and productivity benefits. This month, you can actually watch these go-getters in action. Don’t miss the new e-Power™ Hybrid feature, which gives you the flexibility of both a powered cart and towable trailer in one.

All e-Powered carts ride on rugged Hamilton running gear and feature:

  • Fixed or variable speed control (forward, reverse and turning)
  • Flat decks or customer features
  • Operator control: fixed, pendant on coil cord, or radio-controlled remote
  • Wet or dry battery technologies
  • Optional onboard scales
  • Optional safety features that include horns, flashing lights, e-stops, bumpers and collision avoidance systems

Looking to power up your work environment? Hamilton engineers can custom design powered carts that carry loads up to 40,000 lbs.

Bookmark and Share

New Hamilton motorized carts love a good power trip

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 3:57 PM  RssIcon

In our never-ending quest to move loads as safely as possible, Hamilton now offers custom e-Power Cart Solutions. With a payload capacity range from 2,000 to 40,000 lbs., our motorized carts can help eliminate all manual operations to get the job done safer and more efficiently.

Research from the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety shows that push/pull forces in excess of as little as 35 pounds can contribute to musculoskeletal workplace injuries. Powered carts can help you move heavy payloads while achieving your ergonomic and performance goals. Here’s how you can benefit:

  • Reduce employee injuries from strain and fatigue
  • Safely transport materials through production
  • Improve your ergonomic footprint
  • Boost employee morale and productivity
  • Increase your bottom line

Keep work zones forklift free
Especially handy for when you’ve exhausted all manual transport options for heavy loads, powered carts offer easy maneuverability in tight spaces. Many carts can pivot from the center point, making rotating cargo in tight spaces a snap. Motorized carts are also ideal for moving stock that final distance from trailer trains to the assembly line. There’s no need to transfer materials from a warehouse trailer to a smaller conveyance for manual handling. No need to use a forklift for lateral transport. The powered cart does it all.

A flexible workhorse
Take the unique dual-purpose trailer featured in the photo (above?). It can tow heavy loads long distances as a conventional trailer as well as maneuver cargo into final position for production. Since anyone can position the loaded trailer without additional help, powered carts can be a safer, more versatile and more economical choice in the long run when every minute counts on production floors.

Operating the powered trailer is easy. The drive wheels automatically retract when you lower the towing tongue to enable safe and easy transport. Raise the tongue for manual maneuvering and the wheels come down, ready for powered movement.

The cart comes with running gear to expedite manual operation, such as when you need to quickly align empty trailers for towing. It features 12” Hamilton Ergo-Glide Polyurethane wheels to minimize rolling friction and maintenance-free front Spinfinity casters with 8” x 3” Swivel-EAZ® wheels. With a spacious 36” x 72” deck, the cart can tow up to two tons of precious cargo. The CP00070 wishbone and companion CP00120 pintle hitch provide safe and practical towing.

The electric drive unit is variable speed, retractable for towing, and has intuitive hand controls with a back-up safety brake, horn, and battery level indicator. On/off switches are keyed for controlled access, while rechargeable batteries offer hours of manual operation.

Got a custom job that needs a power tow from Hamilton carts and trailers? Lay your specs on us here.

Bookmark and Share

Hamilton roller decks glide through this production line

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 8:54 AM  RssIcon

You know we can’t resist anything that rolls. #wheelsrule

When a Fortune 1000 company needed custom trailers for their new four million square foot facility, Hamilton engineers were ready to roll with a solution.

After sizing many different decks to suit the customer’s needs, we designed a roller trailer to transfer palletized goods on and off the deck safely and securely along the production line, making it easier than ever for workers to load/offload product from assembly to either warehousing or shipping. Removable side rails allow manual access via forklift, if necessary.

“Moving away from forklifts has been a growing safety trend in manufacturing plants,” said Dave Lippert, President.” One way to move materials smartly and safely without forklifts is with a properly designed trailer like this one.”

It’s nice to have options, though. So this trailer includes removable side rails for manual access via forklift, if necessary.

With two rows of rollers arranged lengthwise on the trailer frame, the deck features removable rear-end stops and fixed front end stops (one set for each roller lane) to secure product in place during travel. For added stability, ZB style foot activated brakes on both front wheels ensure precious cargo doesn’t slide anywhere it isn’t intended.

Tech Specs

  • Capacity: 3,500 pounds
  • Frame Size: 84" wide X 156" long
  • Useable Deck Space: 81-1/4" wide X 156" long
  • Roller Deck Height: 18"
  • Deck Material: 2 rows of rollers arranged length wise on the trailer frame
  • Steering Type: Single 5th wheel style
  • Running Gear: (4) 10" diameter X 2-1/2" wide Duralast® polyurethane wheels with tapered bearings. Each front wheel equipped with ZB style foot activated brake
  • Front coupler: Tongue with towing eye
  • Moveable rails on each side of deck, approximately 12” above top of rollers
  • (2) permanently attached, full width "U" shaped load stops on front of cart, approximately 12” above top of rollers
  • (2) removable "U" shaped load stops at rear of cart the trailer, approximately 12” above top of rollers
  • Color: Safety Blue

Visit to see more custom trucks.

Bookmark and Share

These oil rig trailers are pumped for productivity

Sunday, October 02, 2016 10:17 AM  RssIcon

Just ask our friends in the oil and gas industry. Hamilton recently partnered with an international productivity solutions provider to custom-engineer two trailers specifically designed to load and transport large, cumbersome components for assembly.

“Handling these parts can be challenging. They’re heavy and irregularly-shaped, not to mention fairly expensive,” said John Yater, Hamilton lead design engineer on the project. Yater and his team worked with the customer to create safe, cost-effective and modular trailers that could be secured and handled in multiple ways. Productivity, check. Safety, check, check.


The XT2814 trailer—designed to support wellheads—is a quick study in ergonomics. It’s got an extra thick deck armed with forged adjustable clamps that are perfect for locking down flanges of all different sizes and thicknesses. No flanges? No problem. Lashing rings can be used to secure the load. Its rear tube bumper is designed for easy power pushing, while the tubing sub-frame is lined with internal guides to mate easily with a lift table. Everything rolls on our indestructible Superlast® wheels: their steel centers and thick polyurethane treads ensure a quiet, gentle ride for giant loads, while the caster swivel locks keep maneuverability stable during transport.


Just like the XT2814, the XT2813—engineered for valve trees—is designed for easy loading and transport with the same casters, tube bumper and fork pockets. It’s also highly adjustable for both assembling and disassembling parts. A wide range of parts can be moved in four different directions: left and right, up and down. The deck is slightly tilted so that oil can properly drain out one end.

Here are all the specs:


  • Description: Assembly trailer
  • Capacity 8,000 pounds
  • Deck Size: Approximately 36” wide X 36" long
  • Deck Height: Approximately 24-1/4"
  • Deck Material: Plate deck with t slots
  • Steering Type: Swivel caster style
  • Running Gear: S-SEC-83SYT-4SL
  • Side entry fork pockets: 12-3/4" clearance between bottom of cart and floor
  • Color: Light Gray Epoxy


  • Valve Assembly Trailer
  • Capacity: 10,000 pounds
  • Deck Size: Approximately 48" wide X 96" long
  • Deck Material: Open frame
  • Steering Type: Swivel caster style
  • Running Gear: S-SEC-83SYT-4SL
  • Side Entry Fork Pockets: 12" clearance between bottom of cart and floor
  • Color: Gray Epoxy
Bookmark and Share

Hamilton trailers give Wisconsin mill new love for pushing paper

Sunday, July 24, 2016 10:57 AM  RssIcon

When a leading Wisconsin-based paper mill needed an overhaul of its outdated, 50,000-pound-lugging cradle dollies, Hamilton created a custom design to breathe new life into their paper trails. To get all the juicy details, we caught up with Matt Olson, Hamilton Director of Business Development for Carts and Trailers, who worked onsite at the mill during design and construction to make sure we carried our weight.

How did the project come about?

Wisconsin Lift Truck Corp., one of our key distributors who has a long-standing relationship with the mill, reached out to us. They wanted to make sure they used a manufacturer who could provide them with the kind of quality they were seeking.

What was the issue with the current trailers?

The mill had designed and built the trailers themselves about 30 or 40 years ago. Over the years, they required a lot of maintenance and modifications and had basically lived out their useful lives. They needed us to bring the trailers into the 21st century to transport these heavy rolls of paper.

How did you work together?

We worked with both parties at Wisconsin Lift’s request. We came onsite to get a good feel for what the mill needed. We reviewed their history and expectations together. Then we toured the plant to walk in the path of the old carts and spend some quality time together.

Were there any design challenges?

The old carts had a lot of exposed surfaces that could cause some safety issues. Clearance issues with doorways and overhead beams were also a factor, so we had to design the trailers low enough to hold the paper rolls. They also had a unique hitch mechanism that connects the trailer to its towing vehicle, so we had to design for that, as well.

What’s the most unique thing about the trailers?

The size and capacity of the 15-foot-long trailers is remarkable. They have to carry these 50,000-pound rolls of paper, each of which is 110 inches in diameter. Each roll needs to be supported by just two cradles—one on each end of the trailer.

Bookmark and Share

This Trailer doesn't Stop at RR Crossings

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 1:44 PM  RssIcon

A locomotive repair campus needed industrial trailers to assist with the distribution of parts. The large Midwestern campus featured many buildings, connected by roadways in various stages of disrepair and some gravel pathways. Repair parts arrived at one building, and then were transported to different buildings where they were needed.

Being a locomotive repair campus, there were multiple rail crossings to negotiate, along with the gravel pathways and other roadway conditions. Working closely with Hamilton engineers, the customer communicated the environmental challenges, the intended usage, and the variety of load sizes and weights. The proposed design incorporated a unique running gear system, robust wheels, a wood deck, and a substantial steel frame.

Hamilton provided special torsion type axles that afforded 3” of vertical travel. When coupled with heavy duty reinforced 19” diameter pneumatic wheels, encountering rail crossings was not a problem, even with full 5,000 lbs. loads.

These torsion-type axles provide 3” of vertical travel for traversing railroad tracks.

A spacious 50” wide by 150” long deck provided more than ample space for the many loads. The deck surface was wood to minimize load slippage during travel.

The customer planned to tow five trailers in a train, so Hamilton engineered plenty of strength into the trailer including central longitudinal frame members. Rear axle location optimized stability and turning. Simple but stout forged steel loops on the tongues and pintle hitches on the rear made trailer towing easy and safe.

Interestingly, the department using the five trailers had to guard against others on campus confiscating them for their use. Not intending to promote campus rivalry, Hamilton calmly suggested new trailers for the others as well.

For dependable performance, outstanding longevity, and engineering to match the application, contact Hamilton.

Bookmark and Share

Engineers Handle 3D Marketing of Trailers

Sunday, May 01, 2016 9:41 AM  RssIcon

Sometimes it takes an engineer to get the marketing right. Our challenge to the engineering department was to demonstrate the cool way that Hamilton’s four-wheel-steer industrial trailers work.

“Game on!” said the engineering department.

Using our 3D printers, the engineers printed the RC Tugger and Four-wheel-steer Trailer. Taking it a step further, as engineers always do, they 3D printed scale models of the industrial trailers and built a mock-up of a distribution floor to boot.

Of Hamilton’s four steering systems, the most popular type is the four-wheel steer design that can navigate turning in tight aisles. Check out our video that demonstrates this capability here. Makes you want to dig your remote control cars out of winter storage, doesn’t it?

Bookmark and Share

Hamilton Land Lubs Underwater

Sunday, February 28, 2016 8:56 AM  RssIcon

There’s a lot to love about Hydroid Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs).

The REMUS 600 cruises along in ocean depths of 600 to 1500 meters. Like a Hamilton cart, REMUS specializes in missions that require extended endurance and increased payload capacity. Hydroid’s diverse defense missions include complete area searches, organic and expeditionary mine countermeasures, and to conduct surveillance and reconnaissance.

The REMUS 600 is graceful and stable at the ocean floor, but it needed an expert land-lubber assist when back on solid ground.

On land, Hamilton made a splash with a 1,200 pound custom cart.

Hydroid teamed up with Hamilton to design a custom cart to load AUV’s onto a truck or trailer for transport to a marina. Special tie down rings on the cart secure it to the truck during transport. No wiggle room here.

Once at the destination, the cart encounters more obstacles. Rough, uneven surfaces often with steep angles, bumps and hairpin turns on boat ramps and wooden piers. With the expensive vehicle on board, the cart has to perform like a superstar.

Hamilton planned for that. The aluminum cart can handle salt water and salt air. The radius is padded with a soft cradle to hold the vehicle snugly in place. Corrosion resistant zinc plated casters with heavy duty foot activated contact brakes ensure the cart and cargo remain stationary.

When in motion, it’s a cushy ride. Instead of hard wheels that won’t absorb the shocks from the docks, Hamilton engineers selected 12” x 3” semi-pneumatic Super-Flex wheels. These wheels provide super cushioning and won’t go flat avoiding costly downtime.

In addition to transport, the cart is also used for storage of the AUVs. And with the accessible design, the cart can function as a stand while workers make adjustments to the vehicle.

Tech Specs of the REMUS 600 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Transport Cart

  • Capacity: 1,200 pounds
  • Perimeter Frame Size: 30" wide X 66" long
  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Steering Type: Swivel caster style
  • Running Gear: 2 swivel casters and 2 fixed wheels all with 12" diameter semi-pneumatic Super-Flex wheels with precision ball bearing
  • Superstructure: 4 "U" shaped cradles - the 2 end cradles are fixed, the 2 intermediate cradles to be moved laterally to compensate for various options on the AUV. 3 movable tie downs on each side (6 total). "U" shaped handles on both sides used to steady and guide the cart.
  • Couplers: Towing eye attached to each end frame

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.