Windmill Runners / Trucks

I just purchased new rollers, trucks, and bearings for my new Windmill.

I’m new to the Windmill, so I was hoping I could get some help with my roller trucks and how they go on the rollers.

I’ve ordered Syn-Tec rollers and trucks of the same diameter, but the trucks don’t seem to fit the rollers - assuming they just slide on easily.

Can someone let me know if the trucks have to be pressed on, much like the bearings do?

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They should just slide on

They should just slide on, are the Trucks you ordered for the windmill

A Heidelberg owners manuel would be a wise investment.
You can get a pdf version on the boxcar website…


You need to use the roller bearing press tool on the side of the press.

Thanks for the comments.

I’m getting mixed info here… some say they do need to pressed on using the bearing press and others say they should just slide on?

I do understand the bearings need pressed on - Just want to make sure I’m not forcing these runners on the cores.

You would get the right answer if you bothered to use the correct term for the parts of the machines.!!!! trucks as you call them are known as “roller bearers” as opposed to the surface they run on ,this is the bed bearers. you should not force the roller bearer on even when new theyare usually loose enough that they fall off when you tip the roller up. Because they are a composite material any stress created in them may cause them to shatter in use , not what you want to happen.the bearings on the other hand require you use the tool at the back of the press , however you can tap the new bearing on using a piece of pipe of suitable dia. and light taps with a hammer .If you find you are beating the hell out of it then try getting the correct bearing !!i suppose i should add that there is an obvious locating cut away on the bearer to enble the drive on the roller.

For your information, correct termionology in the UK is not identical to that in the US. “Truck” was used by American printers as well as manufacturers such as Cowan, maker of the Morgan Expansion Roller Truck, one model of which was made for the Heidelberg platen.
To say we are incorrect in our usage is pure Anglocentrism.

Evan, like you I am a new Heidelberg Platen owner and user, I received new rollers, bearings and runners last week and they all slipped together very easily without force, I put them in the press on the back to give them a little nip but it was very easy. I think if you find you have to force them together they may be the wrong parts.

When you come to fit the rollers it’s MUCH easier if you loosen off the springs at the rear of the Roller Carriage Arm.

@Peter Luckhurst

Thanks for the info. Although, I am using the terminology straight from the official Manual. They are referred as a “roller truck” on page 83.

Others - thanks for the info. I’m led to believe the trucks should be able to be slid on by hand. The trucks I purchased must be made incorrectly, or for another non Syn-Tec roller.

that is what your truck should look like, they all look like this for the windmill. it’s not specific to syn tac.

typenut - Yep, trucks look just like those. I actually purchased a set from a seller on ebay here:

Going to ask for a refund and go with the ones from NA.

Most of my windmill rollers are pretty worn, the trucks and bearings will just slide on, but i have a few sets of rollers that i have to press the trucks and bearings on. Dick G.

Heidelberg manuals may use different terminology depending on the intended market. In the one manual where I have compared, English and American versions are not identical.

Ok i can accept the description “runners” asyou say in the parts book ,however we refer to them as bearers in trade here as it does describe the duty of the parts concerned. bonnet of of our car you call hood,our windscreen you call windshield.Boot, trunk. I am english , you call me british. At the heart of things we are all printers, and you will have the same problem with my terms for parts, you refer to the lays ,brass or nickels, as gauges, to me a gauge is a tool for determining the height of the type. or the slit in the delivery stanchion for checking the packing thickness !!!!
I put this stuff up for people to use to get by ,I dont mean to offend ,its like your Boxcar base we use” mount” or mounting block, dowel mount ,Honeycombe base , etc they all do the same thing but each has a suitability to a specific purpose ,your boxcar is not suitable for hot foiling so we use honeycombe and clip the zinco down . dont get me wrong here but you use mag alloy ,we use zinc its the same stuff . I have Mag bases ,they are not as you would call them A metal but are actually magneticbases on which you place the steel backed polymer printing dies..
Nuff said … (dont know how to add smiley faces) bloody Yanks…… regards .. Stuck up Limey…

Most of the Heidelberg references I have refer to the Heidelberg Platen trucks as runners. And indeed that’s what we specify when ordering new ones. As to rollers, original Heidelberg bearings are 9.5mm diameter and will fit roller cores made for that diameter. Trucks/runners should fit very snugly if the core ends are not worn too badly, but since rollers can move up into the ink train where bearings are not used, then the core ends may wear. The Heidelberg and Lith-o Roll rollers are 9.5mm, and the SynTac rollers are made for 10mm bearings. The 10mm bearings are non-Heidelberg and cost substantially less than the correct original Heidelberg bearings, thus SynTac has a competitive edge over original spec roller sets. Start mixing these up as numerous shops have over the years and it becomes a mess. And for the majority of shops world-wide that are using these presses for simple numbering or imprinting work, just about anything that puts ink on the printing surface has been acceptable. The problem now for those using primarily photopolymer plates is that accurate and controllable inking is critical, thus the proper bearings to rollers is important. After market items always pose a problem in accuracy, but few are willing to pay Heidelberg’s gold plated prices.

The one US company that made most of both letterpress and offset cores for the industry, Douglass Machine in Chicago, went out of business last year throwing much of the roller industry into near panic as they scrambled to find new sources for cores. Some roller companies make cores in house and have the machine shop capability to make cores, but many of the smaller companies relied heavily on Douglass. I don’t know of any roller makers except SynTac and Lith-O Roll who make Heidelberg platen cores, so the future is somewhat in question until that is resolved. Cores for the 13x18 platen are becoming a problem as well.

In almost every other letterpress usage in the United States, truck is the usual terminology choice. The Morgan Expansion Roller Truck was named that back in 1915 when it first came on the market and I have all the surviving note books and paper work from the company, some of which dates to those early years. I tend not to get too hung up on terminology as long as the person I am dealing with and I can agree on what it is that they need from us.

Fritz/NA Graphics

Thanks Fritz, that was really useful and interesting, there’s a lot to learn here and it’s not easy to pick up these details. Appreciate you taking the time.

I purchased some rollers a couple of years back, probably the same company. There was no way the existing bearings would fit, we ended up grinding down the roller shafts until we had a nice fit. Worked like a charm for us, but my old man is a Machine guy so I was lucky in that sense.

I would recommend getting the right rollers as it will save you a massive headache and lots of downtime. The rollers may be cheap but the pain in the Ass can be much worse!!

Quick update on what I’ve found:

I ordered a new set of trucks from NA and they slide on beautifully. They are certainly not loose, but I can easily slide them on my hand.

Thanks for all the help!

please could i take this opportunity to let all of you american letterpress enthusiasts with Heidelberg equipment know that whittenburg inc specializes in all Heidelberg letterpress machinery, please call 615 212 0015 for any inquiries or just for a chat regarding any problems

I also have no problem putting the trucks on but some of the bearings need the press tool on the side of the press.