Caster Replacement Tips You Need to Know
Casters are wheeled devices mounted to an object enabling an easy rolling movement.
Casters have a wide variety of uses today, including hospital beds, office and home furniture, hospitality applications, and many more.
They range in size from small furniture casters to heavy-duty industrial casters supporting up to 50 tons.
However, like many things, casters can break or become damaged and need replacing.
Before replacing old or damaged casters, it’s vital to note how they’re used to select the proper caster for the job.
First, you need to determine:
● The floor type
● The climate
● The load capacity
● The operating environment
Floors fall into two categories - soft or hard.
For cushioned or carpeted surfaces, soft floor casters must be used.
Using a harder material caster must be utilized to reduce friction at the contact point which prevents the caster from becoming stuck in the carpet (particularly a plush one) allowing what you’re moving to be more manageable.
For hard surfaces, such as concrete floors, softer material casters need to be used.
Using hard material casters under heavy loads risks damages tile or wood surfaces.
While it may not appear to be a critical factor when choosing casters, climate plays an important part in choosing the correct type, particularly in extreme temperatures.
Take the environment of food storage, for example. Food needs to be chilled to maintain freshness. Hence, any equipment kept in this type of environment needs to function adequately.
Casters that restrict mobility in cold environments can cause injuries due to over-exertion. They also run the risk of locking up the bearings or breaking apart. Casters that have low starting and rolling resistance should be used.
Without correctly calculating the weight capacity of your casters, the other benefits become null-and-void.
To calculate the load capacity, divide the total gross load by the number of mounted casters, which will determine the imposed load on each caster. It’s also important to include a 33% margin of error because the load won’t always be evenly distributed across all four casters. Too much pressure put on one can result in a collapse.
For example, if you have a cart that weighs 3,000lbs and has four casters, factor in the margin of error by increasing the weight to 3,999lbs. Divide 3,999 by 4, giving each caster a rating of 1,000lbs.
Paying attention to where the casters are used is also critical to caster selection.
Hospitals, food processing plants, bakeries, or corrosive environments require certain types of casters.
Possible abuse, rolling over debris, or enduring rapid changes in temperature will affect the performance and durability of the casters.
Types of Casters
Casters contain a mount, yoke, swivel head, bearings, spring, wheel, axle, bolt, and nut.
The two main types of casters are swivel and fixed.
Swivel casters allow the caster to swivel on 360 degrees with loads. Examples include shopping trolleys and office chairs.
These casters feature a top plate for mounting, with four holes of varying patterns to bolt the caster to the application.
Plate casters are suitable for industry-oriented loads beginning at 300 lbs.
These casters have a stem rather than a top plate for mounting.
Three types of common styles are available – The threaded stem, the grip neck system, and the grip ring stem.
● Threaded stems are threaded with a bolt into a receptacle.
● The grip neck stem includes a predrilled hole with wood sockets.
● The grip ring stem comes with a steel ring inserted into a predrilled hole inside the wheel.
This caster can make the swivel caster immobile. It has an added braking mechanism that prevents movement of the swivel assembly.
Brake types available are:
● Wheel brakes
● Double locking brakes
● Central locking brakes
● Total locking brakes
● Add-on buffer brakes
This traditional Kingpin Caster uses a stem (or a bolt or rivet) on the top plate to join the lower part of the swivel section. Load bearings and thrust bearings are used to transmit the load. This type of caster is predominantly used in industrial applications.
Improving on the traditional caster design, it has three components:
● a top plate with a ball race
● a yoke base (bottom race)
● ball bearings
This design removes the kingpin, allowing the load to be spread over a larger area, making them more suitable for carrying heavier loads.
This caster is mounted in a fork set with no turning capacity. Unable to be steered, it can only move backward and forward in a straight line.
Stronger than swivel casters, they maintain a greater load capacity.
As we’ve explained, selecting the proper caster for the job can make all the difference between user convenience and working failure. Not to mention choosing the wrong caster could cost you in terms of money, inconvenience, and bodily harm.
Don’t forget to take into consideration the man, the machine, and the movement. The caster you choose should reduce work strain due to its rollability, be sturdy to bear the load range, and be easy to move in as large a diameter as possible.
How Do You Remove Old Casters?
Need more information on selecting the right casters for the job? Check out our article here.
At CoolYeah, we are your caster masters. Our casters meet the highest standards of quality in terms of design, manufacturing, and function.
Built to withstand the harshest environments while continuing to work faultlessly, we guarantee you’ll be 100% satisfied with our casters, and our service. Head over to CoolYeah Casters online store to choose the casters to suit your job.
Have a question? Contact us here, because we would love to help you.