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Disappointed with Grizzly T32468 Rough Surface Mobile Base

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Review by CaptainKlutz posted 11-09-2021 01:00 PM 931 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Disappointed with Grizzly T32468 Rough Surface Mobile Base No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

The Grizzly T32468 Rough Surface mobile base is a new product for 2021.

Anyone who has read my other mobile base posts or read about the custom built mobile base under my TS work station, knows my shop is challenging for mobile bases. The T32468 looks good on paper, and with a current retail price of one half the competitive All-Terrain bases from Rockler and Portamate; Why not buy one?

For sake of honesty: Grizzly sent me a ‘you have not bought anything in awhile’ $25 off $125 order discount code in October, which influenced my decision to order this mobile base. Buying this broke a promise I made to myself. Had refused to buy anymore expensive mobile bases, and instead make them as needed. With Grizzly offering a All-Terrain mobile base for about same cost as parts for DIY, thought it would be a time saver. Jury has not returned a verdict yet, so read and share your thoughts?

Lets start with positive comments:

The 40+lb shipping box was packed well, and arrived safe. It looks just pictures on Grizzly web site. Assembly manual has 9 pages with a ton of pictures. The manual lists tools required for assembly, but did notice it was missing one? Need a 19mm wrench for fixed wheel axle bolts. Devil is in the details, they say? Regardless, manual makes assembly easy. Base has nice hammer texture black powder coating, that was not easily damaged during assembly.

Entire base is metric, using metric steel tube, and hardware. So need to take the American Standard dimensions listed in marketing literature and manual as approximations. Specs list wheels as 4” x 2-1/4”, but I measured a little smaller with 100mm x 55mm? The adjustable frame sides are 20×40×2mm steel tube, unlike strip steel some other bases use. The welded frame corners are stout like the regular Bear Crawl base. The hardware is above average quality, and most of it grade rated as 8.8 (~grade 5 US standard). The castor wheels all use 6202RS precision bearings for smooth operation.
There is a lot to like about this mobile base.

During assembly I found a couple issues:

1) Fixed wheels:
The fixed wheels had some mold flash at ridge. No big deal, it will wear off quickly on concrete, right?
Except the mounting bracket does not have enough clearance for wheel to spin with flash attached (red box).

If you look close at the lower right corner weld (orange circle), you will see a couple specks of rust in weld. This was only place I found a weld/paint defect; but I did find one. :(

Might also notice there washers on the bolt axle (Green box)? That was a fix I added.

There is almost 3/8” of side to side gap between wheel and frame on the axle. Next picture shows the wheel and axle bushings, before tightening the bolt, or adding some 1/2” washers from hardware bin. Can see the bushing sliding out into this gap in red box:

.
First assembled the wheels without the washers, and found the fixed end of base would slide over 1/4” back and forth when tested under a PM66 table saw. When working on a table saw, last thing I want is the tool moving. Hard to determine what created gap? Can not tell if the wheel mounting bracket is mfg wrong, or was designed wrong; as the axle hole lines up perfect with welded nut on frame? Washers stopped the movement, so it can be non-issue.

2) Ground Clearance:
We either have a legal case for false advertising, or maybe just metric conversion error by marketing? The specs list the ground clearance as 1.5”. I only measured 1.25” clearance between the frame on floor (actually is an assembly table in the pic)?

Adding to misleading ground clearance specification, can easily see the foot pedal lock to stop movement is only 1/2” off the floor/table, in full up position. Half an inch of clearance is same as regular Bear Crawl. Update – After tearing down the foot lock pedal on my Bear Crawl T28000 base, I found the parts measure near same sizes as T32468 High Clearance base, and parts are interchangeable.
Sigh, thought I bought a rough surface base with more ground clearance?

3) Foot Pedal Stop Lock:
Beyond the ground clearance issue, there is another problem. Hopefully is shows in this picture?

When the adjustable foot is at minimum height for maximum ground clearance, it does not touch the floor when pedal is pushed down. :-(0) The gap to floor requires feeler gauges to measure, but I found 0.015-0.020” gap, which means the lock was not stopping movement.
I find this issue very puzzling? How can you advertise a mobile base with 1.5” clearance, and foot pedal lock only moves down ~1/2 inch?

4) Swivel Castors:
Swivel casters use a non-standard plate size: 96mm x 84mm. Not an issue, unless you need replace swivel bracket and Grizzly stops carrying parts. The wheels themselves are industry standard 4×2” using 2-7/16” axle bushing, and generic replacements are easy to find.

When first assembling the swivel castors to bracket, they would not swivel. There was interference with mounting bracket, as shown in red circle:

After I loosened the bolts and slide the castor plate outward, the interference was fixed in one side. On the other side; found the swivel center rivet had 1/8” offset, and had to rotate the mounting plate to allow full swivel. This is not a major issue IMHO, as the castor mounting plate as elongated holes, and have seen exact same problem on other mobile bases.

5) Heavy Machine test:
Like a stupid Klutz, decided to swap out an existing All-Terrain base under my 20” 800lb Jet planer, with this new Grizzly base rated for 1200lb. The existing base had a lower weight rating and was a challenge to move the planer around the shop. Hoped the Grizzly would be better?
Will spare the gruesome details of picking up an 800lb planer all alone without an engine lift or overhead crane, and share a picture instead. :-(0)

.
.
The 1200lb rated Grizzly T32468 base showed some ugly issues with ONLY 800 lbs.

First issue the wheels compressed slightly under load. This reduced the mounting bracket clearances, allowing wheels to rub in frame. The swivel casters were hitting the corner of brackets again, and fixed wheels rubbed on the back side their mounting brackets when rolling forward.

Adding insult to situation: The wider tires have more rolling friction compared to 5” x 1.25” on the previous base; and base was harder to get started moving, and hard to keep moving. I took planer for a stroll the length of my concrete driveway, and even rolling in direction that was not rubbing on frame, was hard work. Can not imagine rolling a heavy machine over rough gravel or dirt surface with this base?

Was frustrated for wasted time with mobile base switch, and decided to quit for day.

Next day the performance was worse. After planer sat on base overnight, the wheels compressed even further than in beginning. Was so bad, when swivel wheels were pointing backwards; and it will not roll, as it was jammed tight. It looked like this:

.

Summary:
The Grizzly T32468 Rough Surface Mobile base works OK, as long you keep machine weight below ~350-400lbs. Which earns a 2-3 star rating by me.
Performance on tools weighing 800+ pounds is unacceptable. Which earns 0 stars.

Really wanted to like T32468 Rough Service Mobile Base, it has highest ground clearance I have seen. But am disappointed on their choice of soft 4” castors, wheel mounting bracket clearances, and foot pedal lock.

Prefer to use a product for several months before posting a review. All I have done with this base is put two different tools on top, roll it around shop for ~10 minutes each, playing the foot pedal lock. Have used enough mobile bases, to know the issues I found with heavy tool are too important to wait for longer trial period, especially on a brand new tool with zero reviews I can find.

—————————————————————————————————————————
Since I know someone will ask this question: Have you contacted Grizzly?

YES!

Sent an email to Grizzly CS, and 48 hours later received a Call Back Case # via email with note that someone would call me.

Next day, received a call from the Quality Control manager at headquarters in Bellingham, Washington. Happy to say Grizzly as apologetic for the performance issues, issued a full refund, and is not requiring that I return the base. Case closed.

The official story from Grizzly that I can share:
After reading my review, the quality department pulled a unit from warehouse, found the exact same issues with heavy equipment that I listed above. :-(0)

The mobile base I received was from the very first production shipment of these bases, and mine was first complaint received on this new product. Was not given specifics, on differences between the sample and production bases. All they could say is at least two of the bases from this production lot, are not as ‘pristine’ as the qualification sample sent by mfg. Grizzly claimed to have parked 1100lb block of concrete on the sample base for 3 months, and didn’t have any issues with castors rubbing frame, or wheel compression. There is an internal investigation under way to determine the scope of the defect(s) uncovered. Checking the Grizzly website, I see the T32468 mobile base is now listed as out of stock till 11/24/2021.

The issues documented above with reduced ground clearance of locking foot pedal are part of the product design. :(
There are active discussions in progress on ways to improve the ground clearance of the locking foot, between Grizzly and mfg. Thanks to onerous supply chain issues getting stuff from overseas to US, they have no idea when locking foot pedal improvements might be available. Sensing an opportunity, offered to be beta tester if/when a better lock mechanism is available. :-)

———————————————-

The base now sits idle in corner, while I contemplate it’s future. Have ideas on design modifications for use in my shop. Might cut off the foot pedal lock bracket limiting ground clearance, then weld on standard tab for threaded rod using the provided foot (like a shop fox base). Could then use it under my Grizzly Band saw, which only weighs ~300lbs? Might also fabricate a new foot pedal as I think I can get 1.25” of lift with small modification to welded bracket? Only time will tell.

Thanks for reading all way to end.
Hope you find this review helpful.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967




View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

5013 posts in 2776 days



6 comments so far

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

3559 posts in 3920 days


#1 posted 11-09-2021 05:22 PM

I just ordered a mobile base yesterday, so yoiur review was a day late. But fortunately I didn’t order this one, though I did see it and consider it.

My tool is only about 200lb – a drum sander. I ordered the Delta Universal Mobile base from HD for $67 with free shipping. It’s only rated for 300lb. I hope I have better success than you have. The one I ordered does not include rails so wood rails are required. I chose it because I could not find a base which would expand to 21×37” which I need – and I have suitable materials for the wooden rails.

Thanks for your review. I think you were very generous to give 3 stars!

Your base looks like they just changed to larger diameter wheels and added up some numbers to get the weight rating – without any testing.

I have never posted a review, so maybe I’ll have a go at it when I receive my base.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

5013 posts in 2776 days


#2 posted 11-09-2021 06:27 PM

ordered the Delta Universal Mobile base ….- Ocelot
Thanks for comment.

Bought several of those 3 wheeled universal mobile bases, back when I had smooth floors. Still own one.

The 3 wheel design can tip side to side with top heavy tools. Wood frame tends to flex as well. Instead of wood, suggest using metal side rails. Found 1.5” square aluminum tubing removes frame flex problems. Was lucky and picked up some cut off remnants from metal supply dirt cheap. Have Horrible Freight Media Blast cabinet on a Universal base right now:

Cheers!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

3559 posts in 3920 days


#3 posted 11-09-2021 08:08 PM

Thanks for the advice. I was worried about the 3-wheeled stability, but I have smooth floors and would not move it often. For wood, I have a bunch of 2×2x42 Jatoba ballister blanks that I think will suit very well. I intend just to narrow the ends to 1.5” square (like a tennon) to fit into the steel corner parts, and leave the rest 2” square for extra stiffness.

Compared to white oak, ...

Jatoba is …
57% stiffer (Elastic Modulus: 2,745,000 lbf/in2 vs 1,762,000 lbf/in2)
52% stronger (Modulus of Rupture: 22,510 lbf/in2 vs 14,830 lbf/in2)
and twice as hard.

On top of that, having a 4 sq in cross section (2×2) instead of a 2.25 sq. in. cross section (1.5×1.5) greatly increases stiffness and strength.

-Paul

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

5013 posts in 2776 days


#4 posted 11-13-2021 01:46 AM

Updated the original review with this information:

Sent an email to Grizzly CS, and 48 hours later received a Call Back Case # via email with note that someone would call me.

Next day, received a call from the Quality Control manager at headquarters in Bellingham, Washington. Happy to say Grizzly as apologetic for the performance issues, issued a full refund, and is not requiring that I return the base. Case closed.

The official story from Grizzly that I can share:
After reading my review, the quality department pulled a unit from warehouse, found the exact same issues with heavy equipment that I listed above. :-(0)

The mobile base I received was from the very first production shipment of these bases, and mine was first complaint received on this new product. Was not given specifics, on differences between the sample and production bases. All they could say is at least two of the bases from this production lot, are not as ‘pristine’ as the qualification sample sent by mfg. Grizzly claimed to have parked 1100lb block of concrete on the sample base for 3 months, and didn’t have any issues with castors rubbing frame, or wheel compression. There is an internal investigation under way to determine the scope of the defect(s) uncovered. Checking the Grizzly website, I see the T32468 mobile base is now listed as out of stock till 11/24/2021.

The issues documented above with reduced ground clearance of locking foot pedal are part of the product design. :(
There are active design discussions in progress on ways to improve the ground clearance of the locking foot, between Grizzly and mfg. Thanks to onerous supply chain issues getting stuff from overseas to US, they have no idea when locking foot pedal improvements might be available.
Sensing an opportunity, offered to be beta tester if/when a better lock mechanism is available. :-)

Cheers!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

1343 posts in 668 days


#5 posted 11-13-2021 09:50 PM

They obviously value your review and opinion Captain. If it means a better product, well done. If you can be a beta tester, even better!

-- Darrel

View Bentley2021's profile

Bentley2021

19 posts in 152 days


#6 posted 11-24-2021 08:44 PM

Hi. this is another perfect example of us guys (girls) who purchase equipment have to keep on top of poor quality of these suppliers. I have a very similar base sold under the Shop Fox brand and its fantastic. I have my Laguna PX16 thickness planer on it which is I believer over 600lbs and it rolls almost to easy. No compression of wheels as mine are orange poly wheels. Good review and lets keep after these guys to give us products that we pay good money for to give us quality merchandise.

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