A skid mount is a part of a machine that adds traction to it. Skid mounts are helpful for machines and equipment that are used in unstable environments such as on boats or other moving surfaces. They are also commonly used on machines that may cause emergencies if they fall over for any reason.
Skid mounts are frequently used on pressure washers. When they are used this way they keep the pressure washer stable so the vibrations of the motor and the water being used don’t cause the machine to fall over. A skid mount can be used on many other kinds of machines, some of which are less noticeable than others.
The oil industry in particular requires the use of skid mounts in order to ensure safe operations. Since many oil drilling sites are based in the ocean, the equipment they use and the oil they produce needs to be held securely in case the ocean's currents get too rough. Attaching oil drilling equipment to a skid mount is also useful when it is necessary to work on land in uneven terrain.
Skid mounts are frequently custom made to fit certain machines or groups of machines for maximum stability. A custom skid mount is most likely going to be found in an industrial or laboratory setting. Devices that deal with large amounts of electricity and/or toxic chemicals are likely to have a custom skid mount attaching all their unique components together. This way if one piece of the machinery is knocked over it will not affect a connected part, causing a potential hazard.
Certain skid mounts can be designed to allow some forms of motion but not others. These will commonly mount the machine to two wheels on an axle. A part or series of parts designed to create traction and limit unwanted motion will be attached as well. This way the machine can be moved to where it is most convenient for the worker and then be made to stay there until the task is completed. Machines such as these include mobile pumps, air compressors, and industrial vacuums.
As they are convenient and improve safety, skid mounts have been a common part of large pieces of equipment since the Industrial Revolution. The production of skids is an industry in and of itself. Large manufacturers regularly outsource the creation of skids to companies that specialize in designing custom skids for all sorts of environments. These companies then engineer and manufacture the necessary skids for the company that requested them.