Algood Blog: Wheels Revealed: We're Not Clucking Around

We’re Not Clucking Around

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In this issue of Wheels Revealed, as we continue our quest to find unusual and little-known caster applications, we have arrived at chickens. Yes, chickens.

When you think of a chicken farm or chicken eggs being hatched, you might conjure up a quaint image of hens clucking cheerfully in a coup as they sit on their eggs, waiting patiently for chicks to hatch.

That’s not the way it works in the multi-billion dollar food processing industry. Modern food processing plants require steady, consistent and extremely plentiful sources of chickens. To accommodate that, sophisticated equipment is used to provide the perfect environment and conditions to allow eggs to hatch in 21 days. Temperature and humidity are carefully controlled in a sterile environment. Eggs are loaded in trays and trays are assembled on racks that are wheeled into the equipment. The racks are outfitted with wiring that allows each tray to be turned (or really pivoted) to facilitate the hatching process. Some racks are also equipped with water lines to assist with humidity. Once the chicks have hatched, both the racks and the incubator have to be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized.

Casters_for_Chicken_Hatchery

All of this requires casters to facilitate the movement of the racks. In addition, customized casters are often required. For example, we have created custom top plates with holes to accommodate the wiring and plumbing lines needed to reach each tray. We have also custom matched smaller wheel sizes to particular rigs in order to reduce overall height but maintain the needed capacity. In some cases, a channel system is used to move racks into the incubator and ensure that the racks are consistently spaced. That requires grooved wheels to match the channel. In all cases, casters and wheels have to be manufactured using materials that can be washed down and disinfected as is the case with our NSF approved products.

When someone looks at highly sophisticated incubating equipment, it’s almost certain they won’t notice the casters and yet, without the casters, the whole process would literally come to a halt.

In some of these plants, those casters are allowing as many as one million chicks being hatched each week. So, when it comes to casters and hatching chickens, we are clearly not clucking around.

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Algood Casters has manufactured, designed and developed industrial and specialty casters, brakes and wheels since 1969, in capacities from 25 to 65,000 lbs.