During the 1800s, many products were shipped in wooden barrels. As the world’s population grew, and industry grew along with it, a transition was made from wooden barrels to steel drums. Many innovations in steel drums occurred during the first half of the 1900s, including straight sides, rolling hoops and fittings on the side or top.
By the mid-1900s, the 55-gallon steel drum had become the first industry-standard drum. (It is very similar to the drum we know and use today.) Countless industries were using drums to store and transport goods. Drums and their fittings had become highly specialized and useful, but one area of drum development had failed to keep pace – there was a lack of equipment to handle the heavy, sometimes dangerous 55-gallon drums.
A Company That Provided a Solution
In the mid-1940s, the Morse Manufacturing Company, Inc. recognized the need for equipment that could lift, transport and empty 55-gallon steel drums that were extremely heavy and may contain liquid or solid materials. Out of this need for a better way to transport these heavy drums, Morse began making drum handling products.
Morse, founded in 1923, spent its first few decades producing custom made stampings and metal parts for the growing automobile industry, and workplace items like vises, clamps and sawhorse brackets. By the 1950s, however, as the popularity of its drum handling products grew, Morse decided to focus all of its resources on these products.
When Douglas Equipment was founded in 1955, Morse was already a well-respected manufacturer of drum handling equipment in the industry. Douglas, with its mission to be a leading retailer of casters and material handling equipment, became an authorized distributor for the Morse Manufacturing Company, Inc. As a result, Douglas Equipment now carries their full line of drum handling products.
Types of Material Drums are Made From
Over the past decades, drums have continued to evolve. Other sizes of steel drums are now in use. In addition to steel, drums are now made from plastic, fiber, and other materials. Morse has kept pace with this changing style of drums and makes equipment to handle everything – even 5-gallon pails and cans!
Equipment to Blend the Contents of a Closed Drum
The contents of a drum can shift, settle or separate during transport and storage. Before use, the contents of some drums must be blended or mixed together again. These contents may be hazardous chemicals. It is much safer to blend the contents in the drum itself, before the drum is opened. Morse makes two types of equipment to perform this function.
- Drum Rollers – These products roll a drum that’s on its side, to mix settled contents. This can be a gentle motion, resulting in well-mixed components.
- Drum Tumblers – These devices tumble drums end over end. They provide a vigorous motion that can thoroughly mix components inside a sealed drum.
Morse also manufactures enclosures with safety interlocks, as required by some OSHA regulations. Drum rollers or tumblers can be placed inside these enclosures. After leaving the enclosure and closing the door, the operator can program the equipment to run automatically and safely.
Equipment to Lift, Move, Pour and Weigh Drums
As well as being moved in or out of warehouses, which requires lifting and moving, drums might also be required to be placed on racks, or stacked on top of each other. The contents of drums must often be poured or weighed during manufacturing processes. Morse manufactures this kind of equipment to handle all of these situations:
- Mobile Drum Handlers – These products lift, move and pour drums. The simplest models are operated by hand; power-lift and power-tilt options are available that reduce the effort required by the operator, and increase productivity. They can be equipped with scales, allowing you to weigh a drum while you pour its contents.
- Forklift Attachments – You can use these products with your forklift. MORSpeed Forklift Drum Movers allow you to move drums on and off trucks or pallets. With Forklift-Karriers, you can transport and pour 55-gallon drums with your forklift. You can even rotate the drum from the truck operator seat.
- Below-Hook Drum Handling – If you have a hoist or crane in your facility, you can use these products. Below-Hook Drum Lifters enable safety conscious drum lifting and transporting. Kontrol-Karriers, when attached to your hoist or crane, add even more drum handling capabilities – you can lift and pour a drum, as well as control drum rotation 360 degrees in either direction.
- Rackers and Stackers – While in storage, drums are often placed horizontally in racks, or stacked on top of each other. Morse makes equipment that can handle both of these tasks. Rackers lift a drum from the vertical position, tilt it to the horizontal position, and place it on a rack. Stackers can place drums on top of each other for storage.
Most of the equipment listed above is available as manually operated, or with powered options.
Equipment to Move or Position Drums
Morse makes a full line of equipment you can use to lift and transport drums.
- Drum Trucks –These are 2-wheeled or 4-wheeled hand trucks designed specifically to move drums. They make it easy to slide the nose plate under a drum, tilt the handle, and move the drum to its destination.
- Drum Dollies and Cradles – Drums can be mounted on a dolly or cradle made by Morse, making it easy to position the drums exactly where needed.
Morse also manufactures a full line of accessories to make drum handling easier, such as dolly handles, drum faucets, cones to control the pouring of solid products, and many other items.
Quickly Find the Morse Product You Need – Contact Douglas Equipment!
The number of drum handling products that Morse makes is truly astounding! Our customer service experts at Douglas Equipment can help you quickly identify the best product for your specific requirements. We can even work with Morse’s Engineering Department if you need a custom solution for your needs. You may call us at 800-451-0030 (or 305-888-3700 in the Miami area). You may also contact us online through our contact form. We hope to hear from you soon!