Rolling a rack on carpet

Mark Andrew Smith Mark at
Fri Oct 25 08:27:52 PDT 2002

Try obtaining some 1/8" thick metal strips 6" wide and 4ft long, approx x6
of these.  Then create a runway to roll the loaded rack over.  The thickness
of the metal will distribute the load of the loaded rack across the surface
area and stop compression into the carpet.  The wheels are then rolling on
metal - just make sure there is are slopes.  Take up any "tracks" from
behind and place in the path of the rack to move across the floor.  Get more
metal strips for a speedier progress to reduce your down time to a minimum.

Happy clustering.....


-----Original Message-----
From: beowulf-admin at [mailto:beowulf-admin at]On
Behalf Of David Mathog
Sent: 24 October 2002 17:56
To: beowulf at
Subject: Rolling a rack on carpet

Anyone have experience with a rack in carpeted room?

We've got a 20 x 2U system in a single rack which when fully
populated is going to weigh on the order of a thousand pounds.
The room which holds it is covered wall to wall with industrial
carpet. It's a computer room - it's also a class room.  Don't
ask.  There's concrete underneath the carpet.  From the top
of the carpet to squished all the way down to the concrete
is about 1/4".  I'd hoped that the 4  2" wheels would roll
on this thin carpet, but with the rack partially loaded
with 5 nodes it already requires considerable force to roll it.
Fully loaded it's not going to roll unless induced to do so
by several very burly bodies.

Removing the carpet isn't an option and neither are
bigger wheels.  Some sort of base plate to put
under it is needed - about 4' x 8' would provide enough
motion when we need to pull the rack out..  1/4" aluminum
should work but it would cost $300 for the sheet
and the edges would be hazard to the barefoot undergrads.
Particle board is cheaper but given the small size of
the wheels they would probably crush holes into the board, which
could be worse than being on the carpet.

Perhaps a thick piece of plywood, maybe with linoleum or
other flooring applied over it would work?

Anybody solved this one this before?


David Mathog
mathog at
Manager, Sequence Analysis Facility, Biology Division, Caltech
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