When you think of ways to move exceptionally heavy and large items, I assume you would immediately gravitate toward the line of thought “what size crane do I need?” as most of us would. Within our industry, the use of a crane is so commonplace that it has become the default for many. What if there was another option? One that not only reduces risk, but also takes up less space and requires less consideration of outside variables. Enter the 500-ton hydraulic skidding system – the Hydra-Slide – an expert in material sliding.
The Hydra-Slide HT500 system simplifies any move, providing an engineered track with integrated push cylinders that advance as the load moves ahead. The track is created with a ratchet cutout inside, pairing with skid shoes and specially modified 50-ton push cylinders. As the load is pushed ahead, the attachment on the push cylinders leapfrogs each cutout as the cylinder head retracts.
To get a bit more technical, each skid shoe has a graphite coating on the underside, matching up to a graphite steel top plate on the track section. What this does is create a graphite-to-steel coefficient of friction (CoF), resulting in a 0.20 CoF for the load. In other words, a maximum load of 500 tons requires only 100 tons of force to move the load. Each shoe has a hole toward the rear designed for a safety pin, holding the load secure throughout the move. The benefit of the higher CoF is that it greatly reduces the chances of runaway while also allowing for greater control of the load. This is just precautionary, however, as the system is intended to only run on a level surface.
The HT500 system also utilizes a 30-gallon pump synchronous pump, known as the Hydra-Pac. This 4-port double-acting system has the capability of operating up to 4 lifting points simultaneously. The mechanical operation of this system makes it far more user friendly than other synchronous systems available on the market. It requires no special training to understand how to use it and provides accuracy within +/- 10% between the cylinders regardless of pressure.
As mentioned, use of the skid system cuts out nearly any headroom restrictions or concerns of overhead conditions. Additionally, the skid system is a safer alternative to cranes as the load is never suspended, instead sitting flush on a solid surface from start to finish. Carrying a small footprint of only 8”, the skid system significantly reduces headroom requirements, making it ideal for tight spaces.
As many of the operations are repetitive, from unloading to final placement, risks of additional steps are eliminated. It also means that you can perform a move that would traditionally require a large team with minimal labor force.
To get a better sense of how the Hydra-Slide system works, please take a look at this demonstration video with a conex box simulating a transformer or generator. You can also see a 3D rendering video of a Hydra-Slide system being used to offload a transformer from delivery truck to final resting place.
For any questions regarding the Hydra-Slide or any other material sliding solutions, please reach out to your local representative or give us a call at 800-878-7305 to speak with one of our rental specialists.