Moving 55 gallon drums around in your facility can be backbreaking work. The drums often contain heavy fluids or solid materials that weigh a great deal. A fully loaded drum can weigh as much as 1,000 pounds or more! Because of their weight and a round shape that makes them hard to maneuver, transporting drums of material throughout your facility poses a safety danger to workers.
To keep workers safe and eliminate work related injury risks, the first step in moving a drum is to place it on a well-constructed dolly that is specifically designed to handle the drums you use.
At Douglas Equipment, we have been solving tough material handling problems for our customers since 1955. To solve the especially challenging problem of transporting large drums, we carry drum dollies made by the Morse Manufacturing Company. Established in 1923, Morse Manufacturing is known as “The Specialist in Drum Handling Equipment,” for good reason: the company focuses exclusively on making equipment that efficiently and safely lifts, transports and empties exceptionally heavy drums.
Round Drum Dollies from Morse
Morse makes two styles of dollies for 55 gallon drums – round or square. Listed below are a few examples of their round drum dollies.
- Model 14 – The base on this round drum dolly has a wide stance, with four 3-inch swivel casters, 1.25 inches wide, made of MORTUF polyolefin. These swivel casters make moving a heavy drum easy. The dolly is made with a steel frame, painted blue. It can handle steel, fiber, or plastic drums with an outside diameter as wide as 23 inches (measured at the bottom of the drum).
- Model 14-SS – This drum dolly is similar to the Model 14 dolly above, but it is made of type 304 stainless steel, which is a good material to use for pharmaceutical or food applications. The dolly’s fasteners are made from stainless steel, as well. Its swivel casters are made from bright finished steel with MORTUF polyolefin wheels.
- Model 14-SSC – This is also a stainless steel drum dolly, similar to model 14-SS above, but it has stainless steel casters with polypropylene wheels.
- Model 14M – This dolly has all the features of Model 14 above, but certain parts are constructed from spark resistant Monel. Monel, being an alloy of mostly nickel and copper, has very little iron (nonferrous), and is thus considered spark resistant. Its use minimizes mechanical sparks, reducing the possibility of sparks causing ignition.
These round drum dollies have a load capacity of 1,000 pounds.
Square Drum Dollies from Morse
We also carry square drum dollies made by Morse. These dollies have a square platform with four rounded corners, which are turned up so that they can hold a 55 gallon drum in position. Why would you want to use a square dolly rather than a round one? If a drum has a spigot inserted very low on its side, the spigot might interfere with the band that holds the drum in place on a round dolly. With a square dolly’s turned up corners, you can position the drum on the platform so that it does not interference with the spigot.
- Model 34 – The square base of this 55 gallon drum dolly has four steel swivel casters and wheels made of polyolefin, which are 3 inches in diameter and 1.25 inches wide. It can handle drums up to 24 inches in diameter. The dolly itself is a square 20 inches on a side, with a 24.5 inch diagonal. It is 5.5 inches tall, and has a shipping weight of 21 pounds.
- Model 34-SS – This square drum dolly has the dimensions of the Model 34 dolly above, but it is made from type 304 stainless steel, which makes it a good choice for applications in the food or pharmaceutical industries as well as any application where corrosive materials are present. The dolly’s fasteners are made from stainless steel, too. The casters are made from bright finished steel and MORTUF polyolefin wheels; stainless steel casters that have polypropylene wheels are also available, as an option.
These square dollies are rated for load capacities up to 1,000 pounds. They are designed to handle steel, fiber, or plastic drums.
Safety When Transporting Drums
55 gallon drums can be very awkward to handle, and because of their weight, they can be dangerous if you lose control. For this reason, workers should be equipped with the standard personal safety items – hard hat, gloves, safety shoes, etc.
The safest way to move a drum while it’s on a dolly is to pull or push it from the bottom of the drum. If you push from the top of the drum, much of the weight is transferred to the front dolly wheels, and if you are moving the dolly across rough or uneven floors, too much weight on the front wheels can cause tipping. But how can you grip the bottom of the dolly?
Morse makes an optional handle to clamp onto the dolly sidewall of all Morse round drum dollies; it will work with many other brands, too. The Clamp+Go Dolly Handle grips the bottom of the dolly securely, allowing you to pull the dolly from a low position and keep its weight evenly distributed on all four wheels.
Need a Custom Drum Dolly?
If the standard Morse drum dollies described above don’t meet your needs, Morse’s engineering department can design a custom dolly to your requirements. Call Douglas Equipment’s customer service department and tell us what you need; we will work directly with Morse’s engineers to supply you with a dolly built to your specifications.
Call Douglas Equipment for More Information on 55 Gallon Drum Dollies!
In business since 1955, Douglas Equipment specializes in material handling equipment and casters. We are located in Miami, and our customers range from residential homeowners to large industrial businesses. If you need help selecting material handling equipment or have questions regarding a particular product, contact us today!