Many of our customers have learned the hard way – it’s not easy to convert from manual to tow-line operations. It seems like it should be simple: link together several standard material-handling carts, hook up a tow vehicle, and tow the carts under power to their destination. What could go wrong?
As it turns out, plenty! The increase in speed is the main culprit. Ordinary material-handling equipment is designed to be used at normal walking speed, about 3 miles per hour. Tow-line operations often operate at 5 or 6 miles per hour.
To double the speed and go from 3 to 6 miles per hour might not sound like much, but the total energy of the system is proportional to the velocity squared. This means that when the equipment goes twice as fast, the energy of the system increases to four times as much!
This increase in energy can wreak havoc on standard equipment. Wheel tread material designed for walking speeds can generate excess heat at tow-line speeds, causing the tread to develop flat spots, delaminate, disintegrate or fail in other ways. Bearings and other mechanical components designed to function perfectly well at slower speeds often fail when they suffer impacts at tow-line speeds.
The biggest source of failure in swivel casters not designed for tow-line operations is often the kingpin, which absorbs most of the abuse in tow-line situations. Particularly damaging is cornering, when the towing vehicle pulls the equipment in a new direction, but the momentum of the equipment continues straight ahead. The excess forces that this creates are transmitted directly to the kingpin. These forces, as they continue over time, can cause the kingpin to break or deform.
Colson Caster 6 Series Enforcer – Built Tough, for Tow-Line Speeds
Over the past decades, the manufacturing environment has become increasingly demanding. The Colson Caster Corporation, a company that excels at listening to their customers, became aware of the problems mentioned above when more and more of their customers began converting to tow-line operations in their facilities.
Colson prides itself on developing new products for the changing needs of its customers. The company decided to build a line of heavy duty casters, designed right from the start to stand up to the impacts and abuse of tow-line operations. The resulting Enforcer Series casters have become very successful products for use in today’s heavy manufacturing operations.
Here is our Douglas Product Review of the Colson Caster 6 Series Enforcer.
Details of Construction
Colson dealt with the problem of kingpin failure in high-speed operations by eliminating the kingpin altogether. The Enforcer has a completely kingpinless design. To help prolong caster life, Colson designed a single ball hardened swivel raceway. Its tight tolerances limit the play in the swivel motion of the caster. Load forces are distributed evenly over the entire circumference of the raceway.
The Enforcer’s zinc-plated finish is very attractive. For durability, the rugged swivel top plate is made from 5/16” steel. The rigid top plate is constructed from 1/4″ steel. The strong fork legs are 1/4″ thick.
The axle is hollow. It is 1/2” in diameter, and equipped with a lock nut. For easy maintenance, the wheel bearing has a zerk grease fitting. Roller bearing models have a plastic seal/retainer washer. There is an additional grease fitting on the single ball hardened swivel raceway. Colson’s multi-temp grease, designed to work in extremely cold or hot temperatures, provides dependable lubrication under tough thermal conditions.
Colson provides numerous options and wheel choices for the 6 Series Enforcer, which we’ll cover next.
Available Options for the 6 Series Enforcer
To suit the requirements of your particular application, you can choose any of the optional features listed below, and customize the Enforcer with exactly the options you need.
Tread Lock Brake
– This is an adjustable brake that can be ordered assembled on the caster or installed in the field. It is toe activated, and uses a rubber-faced plate to provide positive engagement.
Side Lock Brake
– This brake was designed to accommodate the wider fork of the 6 Series Enforcer caster. To hold heavy loads with security, it uses a locking force against the wheel hub. The brake is easy to operate, thanks to its large foot pedal, which can be accessed from either end for convenience.
Hand Activated Swivel Lock
– This option is used to quickly convert swivel casters to rigid casters, which can be useful for parking equipment on sloping surfaces, or for tracking in a straight line. The swivel lock has a pin; a stainless steel spring forces the pin into notches in the raceway, which will lock the swivel in one of four 90° positions. For more maneuverability, disengage the lock by pressing down on the foot pedal – the free swiveling action will be restored.
– Because operating at tow-line speeds can cause ordinary caster treads to fail, Colson designed wheels for the 6 Series Enforcer that will stand up to high speed demands. As many as 20 different wheels are available. Selections include Colson’s popular Performa wheel, in flat, round or conductive treads. Several polyurethane and molded nylon wheels are options, as are forged steel and cast iron wheels. The selections are rounded out by Colson’s Triumph, Conquest, Trans-forma and several other wheels.
- You can choose other options, too, such as thread guards, in metal and plastic variations; a solid axle; a thick lock nut; several choices for grease; and different styles of bearings.
For More Information about the 6 Series Enforcer – Contact Douglas Equipment!
The sections above give you a brief overview of the capabilities of the 6 Series Enforcer. Douglas Equipment is an authorized distributor of Colson’s products, and over the many years we have worked with Colson, we have developed a deep understanding of their offerings. To find out if the 6 Series Enforcer is a good choice for your unique application, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800-451-0030 or through our contact form. We look forward to helping!