Soft Floor Casters vs Hard Floor Casters: What is the Difference?
Casters, those little wheels that are found on everything from moving dollies to office chairs, are an integral part of our world; so much so, in fact, that we merely take them for granted. However, even though they are commonly called "wheels," that is a misnomer. These durable workhorses find use in the home, in the office, in heavy industries; and they are critical tools in hospital environments. Moreover, they aren't a simple wheel; casters are engineered for specific purposes. You may not know it, but selecting the proper casters for your situation has a lot of practical implications.
When considering the purchase of casters, it is essential to define your needs. For instance, what are the type of loads your casters will be supporting? Heavy loads require casters specified to carry the load. Is the surface on which you will be running the casters smooth? Cracks, bumps, debris, and the like will require casters designed for that environment. Further, how durable is the surface on which the casters will be deployed? If you are routinely using casters to move items across hardwood floors, for example, you will need to find a product designed to be gentle on such flooring.
To find the right type of caster for your needs, casters are divided into two broad categories according to their use: Soft Floor Casters and Hard Floor Casters. As you will see, selecting the right type of caster has essential implications in ergonomics and workplace safety.
As the name implies, these casters are designed for use on surfaces that include carpet and other cushioned surfaces. In these environments, a harder material caster should be used, since a soft caster will tend to get "bogged down" or even stuck in a carpet, especially a plush carpet. By utilizing a caster with a harder surface, the friction is reduced at the contact point and whatever you happen to be moving will be much easier to manage, which means that the chance of you or someone else being injured is reduced significantly.
Hard floor casters tend to be made of softer material and for a good reason. When moving heavy items across a concrete floor, a caster with a hardened surface can be challenging to control. As a simple example, consider the average shopping cart. The wheels are almost always a softer style of rubber a shade harder than your average car tire. Using hard treads on a solid surface like tile can fracture the tile, depending on the load being supported. Likewise, wooden floors are easily dented and damaged by the wrong type of caster.
Selecting the proper caster has many ramifications then. Ergonomics and workplace safety are critical to business productivity, and the concerns are no less real for household situations. Therefore, on top of the cost to benefit ratio, it is vital to understand your floor type, operating environment, climate, and load capacity.
We covered floor type in depth since that drives the first decision that people encounter when making a caster purchase.
Your operating environment is another crucial determination for caster selection. Your caster selection will be guided by multiple factors such as the level of abuse they will endure, what types of chemicals they may interact with and whether they will need to roll over debris or undergo rapid temperature changes in the course of their operation.
Climate is an often-overlooked factor when determining what casters are appropriate for a specific application. Where the temperature ranges are relatively consistent, the climate is not a big concern, but climates with extreme temperatures impact which type of caster is best suited for the job. For instance, the frigid temperatures in an arctic environment can cause the grease to freeze, thus locking up the bearings. If it gets cold enough, the wrong type of caster tread will be subject to breaking apart.
A simple calculus is all that's required to determine the minimum load capacity necessary per caster. First, take the maximum load that you will be working with and divide that by the number of casters which you expect to use. From there, you can determine the minimum load capacity that you will need per caster: (weight/casters = Minimum load capacity per caster). Load capacity also determines the level of friction and heat on the caster bearings. Frequent use moving heavy loads with insufficient castings will result in rapid failure of the units due to overheating of the grease and its subsequent degradation.
Whether you are planning to buy casters for industry, your business or just household use, CoolYeah brand casters have the units you need. CoolYeah casters meet the highest standards of quality in design, manufacturing, and function. Quality is the critical factor when it comes to selecting any product, and casters are no exception.
Our casters are built to withstand the harshest environments and still work flawlessly each time you need to deploy them. Moreover, we stand by our product. Prompt, friendly, and reliable service is what we strive for each day with each customer. Our customers are important to us, and if you run into a problem with any of our casters, or if you have a concern about their function, you will find our professional staff to be knowledgeable and helpful. We pride ourselves in taking the time to ensure our customer’s needs are met.
We guarantee that you will find no better product or service on the market and we are here to prove it to you each time you need us. So, when the time comes that you need to make a purchase or have a general question, please contact us because we would love to help you.
CoolYeah we are your caster masters.