Skoots – Your Moving Solution


Supplied worldwide for over 30 years, Skoots have offered a practical solution to problems associated with moving large or difficult loads up to 5 tonnes where more conventional methods cannot be used.


What are Skoots?

Skoots are a hydraulically controlled portable moving system that lifts product off the floor and onto castors, allowing easy movement in any direction to the users desired location.

Can we be of help to you?

In a world dominated by Health and Safety regulations, Skoots offer a more controlled movement with greater safety than skates, dollies and pallet trucks. Difficult environments such as narrow corridors, tight doorways, and uneven surfaces pose no problems.

Skoots become an intrinsic part of the load with hydraulic jacks doing all the work of lifting and lowering. The load can be moved in any direction safe in the knowledge that it will not slip under normal circumstances. Skoots require less manpower and will do the job quicker and safely, saving time, cost and ultimately reducing injury risks.

We are solution providers with Skoots proven to make light works of items such as:


Heavy safes

Cash dispensers

Air conditioning units

Switchgear and industrial plant.

Long refrigeration / freezer units

Display cabinets and control panels.


Large fragile items such as photo booths, paintings, sculptures and glass display cabinets require delicate handling and with the controlled design of the Skoots we have enabled the smoothest lift and shift design required to do the job.

The benefits



The Skoots castor wheels allow 360° movement but are fitted with industry leading directional locks meaning ultimate control in tight areas and when on the move. This unique feature means that doorways, corridors and similar restrictions can be negotiated easily and safely. The newly designed nylon wheels provide best results under the push / pull tests carried out and are fitted with precision bearings for minimum rolling resistance.


Our ergonomic handle design creates a more natural standing and pushing position for the user. Although an element of push is required, the comfort element has been redesigned in recent years to an upright handle as opposed to horizontal. A much more natural body position which in turn creates a much easier experience for the user.


The frame is comprised of two separate sections; the mainframe and toe plate. Skoots uses a unique ‘channel’ design, which covers the majority of the frame. In over 30 years of service we have never heard of a reported failure and this is backed by our 5-year guarantee on both the mainframe and toe plate! On imported inferior copies of Skoots, metal straps are used to hold the toe plate and main frame together. The welds on these straps are subjected to huge stresses when the load is raised and consequently can break, which we have seen out in the field. We always manufacture to the highest standards and never compromise on our quality designs.

Toe Plates

The toe plate dimensions are critical on this type of equipment. Too small and the load is likely to fall off. Too big and it will not go under the load. Skoots toe plates are designed to be 380mm wide x 120mm deep which as a standard suits many different applications. Many imported copies have wide plates but with minimal depth which can cause huge issues. For example, on a commercial fridge which has a chassis away from the outer edge of its casing. If the plate is not deep enough then the lifters become unusable.

Hydraulic Jacks

The hydraulic jack is the part that does most the work. Hydraulic jacks can be temperamental if poorly designed and seals can leak which is a given fact with any hydraulic equipment. Who will supply spares? Our jacks have been specially designed just for us and have been tested in very arduous conditions. Our jacks will lift the load to a height of 400mm although only 10-15mm is required to get the product on the move!

Paint Finish

We use a specialist hard powder coating that can only be applied correctly by around three powder coaters in the south of the UK! This is not powder coating, as most people know. It is extremely hard wearing and if the product is damaged and steel is exposed, our coating will not ‘lift’ around the scar as the steel oxidises providing much more durability.

Skoots have been and are, an industry leading concept in the material handling industry. We have customers who have used the product for over 30 years and still to this day we are finding new requirements and uses such as the location of bathroom pods in new high rise student accommodation developments! We even get ourselves on site performing demonstrations before purchase.

Skoots have been a go to product for many industry specialists and we are proud to manufacture and supply such a renowned range.

BIL – Your partner in business

Quality, Innovation, Service and Flexibility

Sack Trucks

Making Safe Use of your Sack Trolley


When considering the safe use of your sack truck or sack trolley, you need to focus not just on the sack truck itself but the other key areas that impact on its usage. These will be;

  • the load you are transporting
  • the environment in which you are using the sack truck
  • the person who is using the sack truck

Taking each of these in turn we’ll look at the important factors that should be considered to ensure the safe use of your sack truck.

The sack truck

Select the right tool for the job. Sack trucks or hand trucks come in many forms, with different design variations being applied to address different applications. For example in our own AluTruk range we have sack trucks designed specifically for; Keg Handling, Food And Drink Delivery, Grocery Home Delivery, White Goods Delivery, Basic Warehouse applications and Courier Deliveries to name just a few!


This means selecting the correct sack truck for your requirements is an important consideration and will certainly make using the sack truck much safer and easier. Using the wrong type of sack truck is likely to cause problems and increase the risk of avoidable accidents and damage to both people and goods.

A second key consideration in the safe use of your sack truck is to check that you are not exceeding the manufacturers stated safe operating limits of the sack truck. A sack truck designed to carry 300kg safely should not be used to shift 500kg loads. That is simply asking for trouble.

As a guide we would recommend that you should generally operate at 20% less than the stated capacity – as this will obviously keep you well within the safe operating limits and also your sack truck will perform better and last longer.

Regular Equipment Checks. In an ideal world you would always have a process in place for checking the “health” of your sack truck before use.

  • Handles – make sure they are safe. Check any bends, joins or welds for signs of cracking, rusting or other indicators of excessive wear, damage or potential failure
  • Toe Plate – (aka foot or nose plate). Check the integrity of the toe plate carefully. Look for any bending of the plate – this will indicate that the sack truck has been exposed to an excessive force and / or there may be damage or wear on the joins and welds.
  • Tyres – check the treads on the tyres and the tyre pressures. Over or under-inflating the tyres will impact on performance of the sack truck and could compromise safe handling.
  • Wheels – check for excessive play in the wheels which could indicate undue wear on the bearings. Make sure the bearings are greased sufficiently .Check around the axel and examine the wheels for cracks or fractures. Make sure any wheel nuts or split pin fixings are secure. Check that nothing is impeding the rotation of the wheels – small stones, bits of metal and grit for example.
  • Axel – check for signs of bending, rust or the start of fractures. The axel is a key load bearing component – it has a hard life.
  • Other fittings – check that they are functional and operating correctly. Examine them for any signs of excessive wear and tear – cracking, bending, chaffing etc.

Tedious though this checking process might be, it could save you from experiencing problems or even an accident with the sack truck which may cost you a lot more in delays, disruption and money than five minutes of time before use.

We can provide a full range of hand truck parts and spares to extend the life of your sack truck or even to adapt or improve your existing hand truck. (Applies to our AluTruk range.)


The Sack Trolley Load

As stated above – make sure that the sack truck you are using is capable of handling the loads that you wish to move. There will likely be a specific ally designed sack truck for whatever it is that you are handling.

That said there are also some common sense rules that should be applied to help you to safely move your load from A to B:


  • Don’t exceed the recommended load capacity
  • Consider weight distribution – don’t stack heavier items on top of lighter ones or wider items on top of narrower ones – and if you are shifting something that weighs heavier on one side than the other ( a fridge is the classic example here ) make sure the heavier side goes against the back rest of the sack truck.
  • Make sure the load is not impeding the operation of the sack truck – e.g. rubbing on the wheels, dragging on the floor, obstructing the operator from holding the handles correctly.
  • Can one person move this load – safely? You really must answer this question honestly. Trying to save time by using one person on what should be a two person job can have serious consequences resulting in much more time lost and money spent than if two people had done that task.
  • Will the load move when in transit? Consider this one carefully – will the packaging around the product hold the load securely or could it start to crumple, bend or fold when stacked or in transit. Transporting liquid loads is definitely one to think about – a sudden stop by the sack truck will not be matched by the liquid load – that will still try to keep moving forward. Correctly securing liquid loads is essential to safe sack truck usage.
    AluTruk supplies sack trucks specifically designed to shift liquid loads safely and efficiently. See our Keg Handling and Water Bottle sack trucks.

The Operating Environment

Consideration of the environment in which your sack truck will be working is extremely important. It may be dry in the warehouse with a level, flat floor surface on which your sack truck works well but take it outside that environment and on to the streets – with kerbs, uneven pavement surfaces, steps, doors and other hazards – and then add in wind, rain, ice and busy distracted pedestrians (let alone impatient traffic) and you have a very different scenario – one which your trusty warehouse sack truck just cannot cope with.

This is why consideration of the operating environment is so important and making sure that you have the correct sack truck to cope safely with that is crucial to safe sack truck use.


At AluTruk we are aware of all of the difficulties and obstacles that can impede safe sack truck use and therefore we have designed adaptations and enhancements to our sack truck range to overcome these challenges. For example;

  • if you work in an environment that frequently requires you to climb up stairs – invest in stair climber sack trucks and make life easier and safer.
  • Rough terrain? If you have to cope with shifting loads over uneven, rough terrain make sure you are using the correct sack truck wheels for the prevalent surface conditions.
  • Street deliveries will typically mean that kerbs will be an issue. In that case make sure you take a portable kerb ramp out with you.

The Human Element

This is the fourth but clearly the most important element to consider when looking to use sack trucks safely.

Physical Demands – The first consideration must be whether the operator physically capable of using the equipment – and not just once or twice but consistently as required throughout the day. Depending on the loads being shifted it will require a certain level of strength to operate the sack truck safely. Depending on the amount of work and the weight of the loads being shifted you may need to schedule in breaks and recovery time for the operators.

Properly Equipped – you must consider if the operator is properly equipped, both personally – with appropriate gloves, safety boots, hi viz clothing etc. and also with the equipment they require to secure and move the loads safely e.g. suitable straps, kerb ramps, door stops (for holding doors open) etc.

Properly Trained – this is a must for your own legal protection in the event of an accident involving the use of the sack truck. On the face of it it’s a simple tool but the potential for serious injury if it is misused is significant. You should have a basic training course that is given to anyone using the sack truck. This of course will include making them aware of the dangers of incorrect usage – e.g. some or all of the things discussed in this article (N.B. This is not your training course though! Other things not listed here may need to be included.)

Operator or Operators? Some tasks might require two people to fulfil it safely. Cutting corners to save time or costs is one of the main reasons behind accidents. In the long term all the time and money saved by cutting corners can be wiped out and more in one accident.

Over Worked and Under Pressure – consider the work load or work schedule that is being applied to the operator. Unrealistic expectations in this area can lead to mistakes being made and accidents occurring due to fatigue or rushing to meet deadlines. The saying “more haste less speed” is generally true. In the medium to long term, realistic, achievable workloads/schedules will benefit everyone; the business, the employees and the customers.

Tired, stressed workers are typically much less productive, less customer friendly and more accident prone.

At BIL Group we specialise in designing, manufacturing and supplying high quality Materials Handling equipment. If you have any requirements to safely move, store and handle goods and products of any size, volume or description please don’t hesitate to ask how we could help you.

We have assisted many many companies, large and small, with their specific materials handling requirements saving them both time and money in the process.

Contact us today. We’d be delighted to hear from you. Work safely!

Service At Land Record Speed From The BIL Group!

BIL are proud that we have recently been able to assist with the Bloodhound Land Speed engineering project.

We were recently approached by the project to provide lifting equipment suitable for them to complete various aspects of the design and build of the Bloodhound SSC car. Using one of our forklift jacks they have been able to safely carry out engineering work on this important and exciting project.

The Bloodhound project’s aim is to break the current land speed record set over 20 years ago which stands at 763,035mph. The project has been setup to show how new technologies and advances are helping the industry push new boundaries, with the Bloodhound project confident they will break the current record! Soon they will visit South Africa for speed tests which should then hopefully be followed up with their incredible record attempt.

With the Bloodhound project wanting to check our equipment was suitable for their requirements we sent our fully kitted BIL van to their site the following day where we were met with the inspiring vision of the car in its full production phase.

We are regularly approached by companies and project managers to assist with their manual handling requirements always with the aim to help bring their visions to reality and we are always happy to help find the solution.

We are pleased to have been trusted to assist with this project and wish the Bloodhound team all the luck in the world with their record attempt!

IMHX 2019 – A New Division For BIL Group

BIL Group are exhibiting at this years IMHX show at the NEC Birmingham. As well as showcasing our huge Castor and wheel manufacturing capabilities along with our renowned AluTruk and Skoots range we will also be launching a BRAND NEW DIVISION to the group!

Due to continued company investment we are very excited to announce that BIL Equipment will be officially unveiled at this years show! Huge investment has been made on brand new premises, fully qualified engineering staff and the latest machinery to enable BIL Equipment to manufacture in house a whole host of material handling equipment, including a range of high quality steel sack trucks, picking trolleys, turntable trolleys and much much more, most of which will be bespoke to the customers’ requirements.

It is a huge next step in the development of the BIL Group and we cannot thank our customers enough for their continued custom and support to help make this vision a reality.

UK Sales Manager Nathan Jones commented ‘There are some exciting times ahead at the BIL Group and I am looking forward to directly working with new / existing clients to discuss their bespoke requirements. Following on site discussions we already have a some solid bespoke material handling projects underway and it is great to be part of such a forward thinking company! I am directly involved with the consultation stage liaising with our customers and engineering team to provide the very best solutions. I will be at the IMHX show all week so feel free to come and chat to me and see how we can assist with your requirements’

We look forward to seeing everyone at this years show and if you have any projects you may like to discuss or just want to say hello, call on to stands 6C172 & 20C160 and we will be happy to help!

Quality, Service, Innovation and Flexibility….. That’s the BIL difference!

Summer Play Scheme 2019

The local community is hugely important to The BIL Group. Many of our staff are in the local area along with many of our valued customers. For the past few years we have supported the Summer Playscheme

The Calne Summer Play scheme runs for 4 weeks in the Summer Holiday for children of all abilities, aged 6 to 13 years.

The Charity scheme is run by a voluntary committee and funding is received from local organisations, charities and businesses, as well as local fund raising activities. In this case BIL were more than happy to provide the scheme with a £250 to help with their efforts.

They can only run the scheme with voluntary help and are always looking for new committee members and helpers for example moving boxes from one venue to another, bag packing and fund raising. Without the local support the scheme couldn’t run each year so as a company we are very pleased to be able help wherever we can!

Mission Complete For Our Material Handling Sales Manager!

Mission complete for our Material Handling Sales Manager who on Sunday completed the Special Forces 10-mile race over the Clwydian range in North Wales. The route forms part of the Offa’s Dyke path and is a specific route chosen by the directing staff due to the arduous and undulating terrain involving steep ascents and decents throughout the whole race.

The race itself consisted of a mix of general civilians and ex-military personnel alike some (including Nathan) carrying a 35lb Bergen across the treacherous hillsides. That’s equivalent to one of our AluTruks! They are advertised as light, but we are unsure many would want to carry one 10 miles on their back!

Due to the nature of the race a number of details are kept secret however we are pleased to hear Nathan completed the course successfully!

Nathan managed to finish 8th in his category of loadbearing with a finish time of approx. 2hours 40mins. This year he has been raising money via Just Giving for Diabetes UK and has surpassed his initial target of £500 but with a month remaining on his alcohol ban further sponsors would be very much appreciated!

A big well done from all the team at BIL!

If you would like to sponsor Nathan then please follow this link to his JustGiving page:

Keeping Photo Me International On The Move!


BIL Material Handling have manufactured, supplied and maintained Skoots for a number of customers for over 30 years. The industry renowned Skoots Moving Systems ranges from 600kg – 5000kg load capacity. They are Ideal for moving rectangular weighty items such as Switchgear units, Vending machines, Industrial Safes, Bathroom pods and much more.

One of our oldest customers of the Skoots product is Photo Me International who use the Skoots Moving System daily for the install and relocation of Photo booths throughout the UK.

Photo-Me have been established over 50 years and have been siting Photo Booths into shopping centres and supermarkets all that time. Previously they had tried various ways to move the photo booths throughout that 50 years and the easiest and most secure way they could find in recent years was using Skoots.

Tony Stone, Logistics Co-ordinator for Photo Me recently visited BIL Group headquarters in Calne, Wiltshire for a training session on Skoots maintenance and shared his thoughts on the product with us and how he felt they impacted Photo Me International’s day to day operations.

“The Skoots are solid, easy to use and with the multi directional wheels, they are easy to manoeuvre. At times we have to get machines through very tight spaces and the locking of the wheels is fantastic for that. Once the machine is lined up, the wheels are locked and that means the booth moves in a straight line through the space not moving from side to side thus providing stability throughout the install”

“The Skoots are also easy to maintain, with very few moving parts to go wrong. If anything goes wrong or maintenance is required the support from BIL is very good!”

“We have Skoots in our fleet that are over 12 years old and are still going strong. They have been maintained and serviced regularly by the supplier”

Skoots have proven to be a very effective solution for Tony and his team at Photo Me International. The unique design of the Skoots means there is little that can or will go wrong. They are manufactured to the highest standard all within the UK.

Once product is loaded onto the toe of the Skoots and secured with fitting straps. The product can be lifted and lowered with precision using the hydraulic rams located on each side of the Skoots.

Product itself is only required to be 10-15mm from the floor when in transit providing much more stability throughout the relocation or install. When the product has reached its desired location the hydraulic rams are released thus lowering the product carefully to the ground enabling users to remove the Skoots and move onto their next job.

Full training is available on request and onsite demonstrations are welcomed for the Skoots Moving System. One of the UK’s most popular pieces of Material Handling Equipment on the market today!

Manual Handling Awareness

Manual Handling is…

“…any transporting or supporting of a load (including the lifting, putting down, pushing, pulling, carrying or moving thereof) by hand or bodily force”. This is in accordance to the HSE Gov.

Manual handling awareness is simply having a basic understanding / concept of the product, environment and limitations of the peoples involved in the task at hand. It is about judging each individual situation through duties such as risk assessments to ensure the job is done in a timely yet professional and safe manner. Just by undertaking simple practices such as this, you are already significantly reducing the chance of injury to your employees or anyone else who may be involved, why is this important? because safety is paramount.

According to HSE GOV, in the UK during 2017 a staggering 22% of employee injuries were due to manual handling errors in one way or another. As a total that was just shy of 134,000 individual cases! So the question remains, what can be done to lower this statistic and prevent these occurrences from firstly rising, but overall prevent them happening in the first place?
The first and possibly most important question to be asked is, does the load require manual handling at all or can mechanical products specifically designed to assist with these jobs be used? For example, a pallet truck is used to lift and locate fully loaded pallets. They should be a tested, maintained and safe product to aid manual handling and are so popular that it would be unheard of to see anyone trying to lift a pallet by hand.

Other manual handling aids include Sack Trucks, a simple two wheel hand truck designed to carry various capacities dependent on brand and specification. Aluminium styles are generally considered a popular option. Generally more expensive however they are lighter as a product, have higher load capacities and can be very durable. Designed well they can be the ultimate go to product within many logistical industries. Other handling assists include conveyors, hoists, forklifts, Skates / Jacks and Skoots moving systems There are countless devices to help move product without the need for manual handling. It is about assessing and selecting the right equipment for each job and not avoiding them purely to decrease the time it takes to complete a task.

Performing a risk assessment is crucial to making a task safe. It is effectively a pre written guideline which includes pre task checks to be carried out and what must be done throughout the task for it to remain safe. Some examples are shown below.

• Check the pathway is clear from current to desired location of the product
• Ensure all relevant PPE is work, Gloves, high visibility jacket, safety glasses, etc.
• Is there a first aid kit close by?
• How many personnel are required to complete the task?

The above are examples but there is much more to consider when completing a risk assessment. Overall a risk assessment can turn into your guide for that particular task and if written correctly it can become part of a companies injury prevention programme.

If mechanical assists cannot be used then, as part of the risk assessment you could look to list ways the manual handling can be made safer. Has the personnel performing the task been fully trained on a manual handling course prior to undertaking the task? Therefore do they know the recommended way to lift product? Can the load be lightened? Although this may increase the trips made to the desired destination it will make the job safer and again reduce risk of injury. If product is located at height can this be reviewed for future work? Storing product you know will have to be manually moved should be at the correct height to prevent employees straining themselves. Is there any adjustments that can be made to flooring / lighting? Although considered smaller factors this is proven to have an impact on prevention of injury.

There is no such thing as a policy to say you cannot lift product at all, only guidelines. This can make it difficult for employers to enforce certain rules that they may want to implement surrounding manual handling. According to the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 manual handling should be limited and only used when mechanical aids cannot be used. When manual handling is necessary then risks must be assessed and minimised as much as possible.
Below are some questions answered surrounding manual handling that may be of benefit to various industry professionals.


Does moving multiple boxes affect the way employers should assess manual handling?


Yes this is something to consider. Firstly are all of the boxes similar weights and sizes? If there are many of them do you risk a repetitive strain injury moving them alone? Can the job be split between manual handling and use of a mechanical aid? Maybe a load rated sack truck can be used to assist with that particular job. Something to also consider is the risk assessment. If multiple journeys are to be made then does this affect the checks made to surrounding environment? For example, if the manual handling is taking place in a warehouse does the area need sectioning off to prevent third parties from changing the dynamics of the job at hand? Another solution may be to include more than one person to carry the goods so the load is equally shared.

We move industrial safes, what needs to be considered?


First and foremost the weight. Industrial safes are large units and tend to be heavy. A risk assessment would need to be carried out before anything else and a safe pathway should be written into this from the start position to desired location. With a product so large and heavy manual handling would likely not be an option so you would revert to handling aids. Such aids popular with this type of item would be Skoots Moving Systems or alternatively Skates or Jacks. Using this equipment gives you a safe and secure method and allows the persons relocating to focus on the direction of travel rather than the product weight itself.

Our product is moved outside, what would impact us with regards to manual handling?


A major factor to consider is the environment. Firstly is it or has it been raining? Wet conditions would have a major impact on safety of the job at hand as would windy conditions. Ideally, in these conditions goods would not be moved by hand if at all. If it is necessary then use of an aid such as sack truck / pallet truck would be recommended. If low weight loading and weather conditions are good. Ensure you stick to the guidelines of a risk assessment. Certain aspects will need to be considered including lighting, moving vehicles, appropriate walkways. It would also be highly recommended to wear correct PPE such as gloves, high visibility jacket and safety boots.

What about manual handling on stairs?


On stairs the laws of gravity are ultimately against you from the offset. After performing your risk assessment and understanding what may impact the job you would need to discover whether the weight of the product is potentially too high or too awkward to manually carry up and down stairs. This would ultimately depend on whether the person feels comfortable handling this weight and would not be off balance when carrying the goods. Carrying light loads is not usually too much of a problem and it is generally considered safe for single items of low load. If there is considerable weight involved or multiple boxes / cartons then the likely solution would be a manual handling aid such as a stair climber sack truck. A stair climber truck will take the load away from the user and allow them to focus on the negotiation of the stair way rather than the product weight. If moving considerable weight it may be a good idea to cordon off the stairway until the task has been performed. This would be something to consider and implementing when designing / creating a risk assessment. With more weight comes more risk so potentially more personnel could be required for the job depending on the factors.

We operate in a warehouse moving hazardous goods, what needs be considered?


All of the necessary risks should be looked into before undertaking movement of hazardous goods. Simply put the company should revert to the guidelines of COSHH (Control of substances hazardous to health) this would give you a much better insight into making a job safer for your employees along with adhering to general manual handling guidelines.


In conclusion it is safe to say that manual handling awareness impacts a huge part of how modern businesses are run today. Implementing the correct methods before tasks are undertaken is key to reducing the amount of injury occurrences happening within the workplace.

Summer Fun In Calne Playscheme!

For the second year running, BIL Group are pleased to donate to the Summer Fun In Calne Playscheme!

The Playscheme is a charity running through the summer holidays to give the children in Calne a safe environment to have fun with their friends!

The Charity scheme is run by a voluntary committee. Funding is received from local organisations, charities and businesses, as well as local fund raising activities.

They can only run with voluntary help and are always looking for new committee members and general public help. For example moving boxes from one venue to another, bag packing and fund raising.

Without additional support the future of the scheme is less certain. It brings a great deal of fun to a lot of children every holiday and it would be very sad if it was to stop.

We believe these sorts of events are vital in the local community and like to shout about them and support them whenever we can!

We think what they do is fantastic and we are very pleased to help! Keep up the good work!

A division of BIL Group Ltd Porte Marsh Road, Calne,
Wiltshire SN11 9BW United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 01249 470 435
Fax: +44 (0)1249 822 300 |

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