Ultra heavy and bulky machinery and freight weighing up to five tonne can be moved simply, safely and economically with the new skoots.
Loads are hydraulically jacked to a height of between 20mm and 140mm (measured to the top of the forks), wheeled in any direction, and then lowered again.
Lifting is controlled via a bottle jack mounted in the housing frame.
HVC Movement Engineers, which specialises in moving heavy plant and machinery, used a set of the five tonne skoots to remove a large dry cleaning machine from TLC Dry Cleaners and replace it with a new unit.
Each machine weighed more than two tonne, but two men were able to wheel them with relative ease.
“There are a number of ways we could have done the job, but because of the shape of the machines, skoots were the best option,” Paul Paardekooper, of HVC Movement Engineers, said.
“Skates were another option, but, if you hit an obstacle – even something as small as a matchstick – they will stop and the machine will keep going.
“Skoots have bigger wheels, and the machine is strapped in.”
While HVC Movement Engineers has its own specialist equipment for moving loads from 200kg to 200 tonne or more, at times it requires something extra.
John Hays, who operates Spencer Systems, which imported the new $57,000 dry cleaning machine from Italy, said the skoots were better than a pallet truck for this job.
“With a pallet truck, the lowest you can get the machine to the ground is about three inches (75mm), compared with about three quarters of an inch (20mm) using the skoots,” he said.
“That little bit extra is very important when it comes to getting through openings.
“Another advantage is you can steer from both ends, so they are more manoeuvrable.”
The skoots are available for hire from Kennards Lift & Shift, which also has 800 kg capacity units.