How (not) to remove skids from Zeppelin-Shelter

The FM2 Zeppelin-shelters all come with 3 skids (German: “Kufen”). Each on weighs approximate 25kg (55lbs). If you don’t need them and/or they take up space you can’t miss on your truck, you will want to remove them. This turns out to be a hellish task.

Trial 1: Heavy Duty Grinder and Crowbar

The first time we tackled the task of removing the skids, we were totally unprepared. We had no clue of the burden that would fall upon us.

Removing the bolts is pretty straightforward. But then the “FUN” part start. The skids are also glued to the shelter. In our case, our shelter didn’t even need the bolts. Those skids were not moving one inch.

Quickly we came to the realization that for now we were defeated. Removing the entire skids was not going to happen that day (we will succeed in our third attempt months later). We decided to start with only removing the ends of the skids so the Shelter would at least fit the torsion frame.

Even with a heavy duty angle grinder and a crowbar this task took us over 4 hours and 3 discs  to complete. Even worse it damaged the shelter a bit. Not our proudest moment. This was clearly not the way to move forward.

First attempt to remove skids - Not our proudest moment
First attempt to remove skids – Not our proudest moment

Trial 2: Hydraulic Jack

After searching the internet for solutions, we came across a post where someone explained how he succeeded in removing the skids. He used a Hydraulic jack, mounted between two skids, to basically push the skids away. Would this work for us?

Sadly, we have lost our own pictures from this event, but we can tell you this: The hydraulic jack just made holes through the skids (see picture at end). The skids itself refused to budge.

Screenshot we once made of the hydraulic jack between the skids
Screenshot we once made of the hydraulic jack between the skids

Trial 3: A Custom-made Scraper and two Jackhammers

We continued to ask around and that is how we came to the solution that worked for us: a scraper made by our welder that fits around a skid. On each side of the scraper there is a compartment in which a jackhammer is placed. With brut force the scraper is pushed between the shelter and the skid, pealing it off. This is not an elegant solution, but it works.

Custom-made scraper to remove skids
Custom-made scraper to remove skids
Scraper between shelter and skid, pushed forward by two jackhammers
Scraper between shelter and skid, pushed forward by two jackhammers
One skid removed from shelter
One skid removed from shelter
Close-up of one skid removed from shelter
Close-up of one skid removed from shelter

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3 thoughts on “How (not) to remove skids from Zeppelin-Shelter
  1. That looks nice and simple the same time, ingenious

    How creating such inventions?

    That reminds me of the idiom “to adorn oneself with borrowed plumes”…

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