In mechanical moves, the most commonly used equipment are tank rollers and gantries. Both of these options are used for their ability to reduce the weight of the load by 95 percent given the coefficient of friction of a load on wheels at 0.05. Air skates, however, require even less force to move an object, carrying a coefficient of friction less than or equal to 0.01 or one percent of the overall load.
One of the main advantages of utilizing an air skate system over a traditional tank roller setup is the maneuverability of the air skates over a surface. Being a frictionless system, air skates can move extremely heavy loads with minimal force with 360 degrees of rotation. This eliminates the need to stop a load, jack it up and rotate the tank rollers in order to change direction. Using air skates in this application serves to not only save time, but also reduces chances for something to go wrong with jacking the load to change directions.
While air skates require such a low force requirement, there is a stigma attached that creates apprehension in some regarding their ease of use. It is true that air skates require additional preparation, if you follow the proper guidelines, there is no easier way to move a heavy load.
Use of air skates begins with ensuring a proper floor surface exists. One of the easiest methods of preparing the floor is with the use of steel plates over the existing surface that is laid on top of one another to remove seams from the surface. This allows the air to be dispersed over an even surface and ensures no air leakage while the skates are under load.
The next step is to check your air quality. Having enough pressure supplied to each skate is paramount in maintaining a safe lift and keeping your load consistently off the ground. Requirements for the skates are not overly high, requiring anywhere from 32 to 300 CFM depending on the capacity of the system.
If you would like to learn more about using air skates, please watch our informational video below on the use of air skates. In this video, you will get to see the system being set up as well as to see a live application of a 50,000-pound system and how it can help you on your lifts.
As always, for more information about air skates or any other lifting, rigging, pulling, or jacking equipment, please reach out to us at 800-878-7305, contact your local rental representative or speak with one of our dedicated support specialists on our chat feature at rentlgh.com.