When you think about an amazing rigging job, the images that come to mind are huge cranes, gantries and other sophisticated rigging equipment.
But often, it’s the smaller pieces of rigging gear that make the difference in a rigging job. Take dollies, rollers and jacks, for instance. These devices are often staples in the fleet of a rigging company, although not much attention is paid to them.
“These products are commonly used by the large and small rigging companies,” said Ben Forster, vice president of Rigging Gear Sales, based in Dixon, IL. “They are a relatively low investment cost that can make you money.”
The beauty of a dolly or roller is that you can move a heavy piece of equipment with a simple machine that is safe and requires very little manpower.
“Dollies are low tech and easy to use,” said Forster. “They are easy to transport. You can send two to three guys in a pickup truck with a dolly to get the job done quickly and easily.”
Demand for dollies, jacks, rollers and skates is pretty consistent, Forster said. “I can’t say I’ve seen a trend up or down,” he said. “Most companies buy their own, but we do have a lot of companies that will rent a larger scale dolly rather than buy it. Once they see how cost effective they are, they often end up buying it.”
Typically the higher capacity dollies lend themselves more as rental equipment. “This is due to several factors,” Forster said. “The cost for the higher capacity dollies is higher and utilization may be a bit lower.”
Rent to own
The rent-to-own option often makes sense because a user can learn how to use the dolly or jack, realize the benefits and determine that it can make them money.
“It’s the try before-you-buy principal,” said Forster. “We do that with a lot of our equipment.”
The most popular dolly in the RGS product line is the 28-ton capacity Low Profile dolly, Forster said. The Low Profile line comes in 9, 18 and 28-ton capacity. RGS’ Low Profile dollies are manufacturered to the highest specification levels, Forster said. The 9 and 18 ton-systems each have a single steerable front unit and an adjustable two-point rear set to give a stable three point transportation arrangement.
The weight is distributed evenly over all wheels with a fully oscillating front assembly and a non-load bearing axle. This achieves optimum load sharing and ease of movement by a single person. The modular design of the dollies allows the additional components for greater carrying capacity. The steerable unit has multiple wheels with low rolling resistance. Each two point rear dolly set also has multiple wheels of the same design and in addition, has an adjustable axle that prevents misalignment.
The Heavy Duty Low Profile systems have a single steerable front unit and an adjustable two-point rear set to give a stable three point transportation arrangement. RGS’ Big Wheel Machinery Moving Dollies are designed to move heavy loads without floor damage, according to Forster. They rarely require the use of other floor protection and the large steel wheels and antifriction bearings allow loads to be moved easily.
Hilman Inc. is a large-scale manufacturer of wide range of rollers and dollies. Since 1953, Hilman has produced high capacity roller dollies of the highest quality. Early customers have used Hilman rollers primarily for installing and relocating machinery. Over the years Hilman rollers have been put to the test in a much greater variety of applications. Hilman rollers utilize the endless chain principle, featuring a chain of steel rolls capable of rotating about a central load-bearing steel plate. The result is a product that performs as a low friction, high-capacity conveyor.
Users can also buy prepackaged kits of Hillman rollers. Standard Hillman roller model capacities range from .5 tons to 1,000 metric tons capacity.