If you need to move large or difficult objects short to medium distances, a machine skate is one of the most efficient pieces of equipment which you can make use of. Also known as load moving skates (the two terms are interchangeable – it’s the same product but with different terminology), these handy tools are perfect for moving items such as machinery or furniture. They are capable of handling loads up to 100 Tonnes.

Using a machine skate is a simple process if you know what you’re doing, but if not, you may need some guidance. It’s always advisable to carry out the process with someone who is familiar with it. Here is a general guide to effectively using moving skates to transport loads:

  1. Assess your load. You’ll want its weight to be distributed as evenly as possible.
  2. Raise the rear part of the load up using a roller pinch bar which has been tested for the purpose. Ask someone else to slide low entry toe jacks underneath - you should only need to lift the object up slightly in order to do this. Repeat the procedure on the opposite side. The lift should always be carried out with 4 jacks in place and you should never risk only using 2.
  3. Jack up the load with your assistant helping you on the other side of the load. Raise it up to a height where you’re able to slide the load moving skates underneath.
  4. Position the steerable unit at the front. It’s recommended that you use anti-slip mats between the skate and the load.
  5. Lower the load onto the skates and ensure that it is evenly balanced.
  6. Check that the route is clear and that the surface will be able to bear the weight of the skates and the object loaded onto them. If you are able to, mark the route which the load will take so that people are aware.
  7. Move the load carefully, ensuring that the front skates are only steered whilst in motion. Remain aware of your surroundings at all times.

These steps take you through the basics of using machine skates. If you are ever unsure, or the equipment looks as though it may be damaged, do not proceed until you have carried out a thorough check.