Choosing the right casters and wheels is very important to the safety, performance and life expectancy of your equipment. Due to the wide variety of possible applications, caster wheels are available in an impressive range of sizes and features that with the right application can significantly reduce the potentially (and traditionally) high cost of material handling. If you’re replacing casters make sure you know the overall height, top plate size, wheel diameter and bolt-hole pattern.
Although other factors impact load capacity, generally speaking, the size of the wheel increases with its load-bearing capacity. As caster size increases so does surface area and the caster wheel’s ability to distribute weight and roll over obstacles. You can carry out a quick calculation if you don’t know how much weight your caster wheel shuould be able to support for your particular application. Simply divide the total weight of your case and its maximum load by the number of casters to find out the individual load capacity of each caster. It is good practice to make sure that the maximum load capacity of your casters exceeds the actual load your equipment is going to transport.
They may have a relatively simple structure but wheel bearings are used in a wide number of applications to reduce rotational friction and as a result a wheel can transform based solely on what kinds of bearings are being used. Different bearings are suited for either radial load, thrust load or both. Bearings maximize the rollabilty of caster wheels and this ergonomic factor can directly impact productivity, work conditions and potential for muscle strains and injuries.
The more uneven a surface the softer the tread that’s best suited for it. Larger, softer caster wheels protect floors from damage. Rubber therefore is best for harder floors while steel can damage them. Inversely, harder treads go better with softer floors. The attributes of polyurethane place it in the middle of the two with greater durability than rubber and less abrasion on floors than steel. Puncture-proof solid rubber wheels are also a great alternative and have a long life expectancy.
Casters with brakes offer users both options of maneuverability and rigidity which come in especially handy when transporting equipment over long distances or on uneven surfaces where equipment might roll away if left to stand unattended and or unobstructed.