Staging success

By Troy Geisler01 March 2017

To mobilize the stage, HMR Supplies manufactured six dollies with a knuckle suspension.

To mobilize the stage, HMR Supplies manufactured six dollies with a knuckle suspension.

Held each summer, Cheyenne Frontier Days is a nine-day community festival that features a world-class championship rodeo, top-name entertainment, a chuck wagon cook-off, an old frontier town, a Native American Village, parades, dances and a carnival Midway to name just a few attractions.

Since 1897, Cheyenne Frontier Days has celebrated the Old West heritage of the state of Wyoming. Recently, Reiman Corp. was hired to build a stage for the annual festival, and HMR Supplies was hired to make it move.

The challenge was to design a huge stage that could be repeatedly moved 200 yards back and forth to the performance area in the arena. The stage measures 50 by 80 feet and weighs 200,000 pounds. The festival team needed to move the stage into position between shows. With an original 90-minute time requirement to move the stage into place, the customer specified that the power to move the stage be provided by two tractors. HMR Supplies designed a system using custom Holland dollies that could be moved in 20 minutes.  Very specific requirements“We approached this project by talking with the customer to identify the requirements such as gross load, direction of travel, degree of steering and time constraints needed for the dollies to be effective,” said Paul Oulman, HMR Supplies director of manufacturing. “Using knuckle-style dollies provided the degree of steering necessary for the stage to move laterally and also provided directional control during travel.”  

HMR Supplies manufactured six dollies with a knuckle suspension. Each dolly weighed 10,000 pounds, had a 56-inch wheel track and eight 315/80R 22.5 20 ply tires. The knuckle suspension provided a lift of 18 inches and offered a 135-degree turning capability.

The 100 horsepower power unit featured a 30-foot umbilical to the remote, three lifting zones, two steering zones, two braking zones and an on-board air compressor. Steering and height are controlled by a hand-held remote and were powered by a Holland Power Unit. Steering was electronically controlled and timed to have all dollies moving together in tandem. The total structure itself, without performance equipment, weighed 265,000 pounds.  

“Installation of the dollies under the stage required a crew of four for two days and two additional days for final adjustments and testing,” Oulman said.

The completion of this project allows the Cheyenne Frontier Days team to accommodate all the technical requirements and equipment for any of today’s performance and musical groups.

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