What You Need to Know to Choose the Best Caster
When it comes to choosing and installing the right type of caster wheels based on your unique situation, there are a range of different factors to take into consideration. There’s no point in browsing your way to the cheapest pair on the market just to realize; they’re actually made for something completely different. If the wrong type of casters are installed onto your piece of equipment or furniture, you might end up causing unnecessary damage.
So what elements do you need to consider upon making this kind of decision? Today we’ll guide you through the different factors out there, and what you need to know to choose the best caster for your specific situation.
What Weight Are Your Casters Carrying?
The first, and most straight forward, question you want to ask yourself is what weight you’ll be carrying. If you’re planning to carry and transport a very heavy load, you need to ensure your wheels are larger and more dense. In order to figure out the gross weight, take the load of the object or furniture, and divide the number of wheels on which the weight is distributed. This will help you figure out if you’re in need of light-duty, medium-duty or heavy-duty casters.
What Kind of Floor Conditions Are You Working With?
Another rather straight question to take into account is the type of floor you are using your caster wheels on. The reason you need to know what conditions you’ll be working on is because your floor will be affecting the caster wheels performance.
There are a number of different types of wheels especially constructed for specific kinds of surfaces. For example, if you’re operating on a hard floor, you want to make sure you’re using a soft material for you wheels, such as a Performa rubber or phenolic resin. On the other hand, if you’re on a soft floor (i.e. carpeted floor), your casters will call for a harder material such as cast iron or steel. Although, if you’re planning to operate on a rough surface such as outside or on a stair case, it’s important to use a wheel that isn’t transferring the vibrations onto your load. In order to do so, consider going with a pneumatic wheel.
Furthermore, take into to consideration if chemicals or if the temperature of use might have an impact on your wheels. A general rule of thumb is to use a type of wheel which is the opposite of what surface you’ll be rolling around on; hard wheels for soft floors, and soft wheels for hard floors.
Another crucial component when it comes to meeting your floor condition with the right type of caster wheel is ease of rolling. If you’re using a larger wheel (with a larger diameter) and a harder, more dense, wheel material, the casters will roll more easily. Roller bearings can carry heavier loads, whilst ball bearings may roll easier but can carry less load. Rolling ease is also affected by environmental and application conditions. For instance, a CC Apex wheel might easily roll over thresholds, whilst a phenolic wheel may not.
If you’re looking to move or re-arrange your furniture or equipment on tools in a straight line (i.e. heavy equipment that is moved out for cleaning and then back to the same space,) it’s likely you’ll only need to use fixed casters in order to get the job done. Although, in most cases you’ll need a further range of motion in order to make sure you’re casters are up for the task ahead, and therefore the swivel option might be better suited.
If you’re looking for a mix of the two without having to completely rule out one or the other, you will need an extra pair of swivel locks to accompany your purchase of casters. This provides the freedom of enabling full movability of your wheels, whilst still being able to move your equipment in a straight line.
Even though this might not seem like a big deal at first, how and with what combination you mount your wheels can make a world of difference. This will influence some of the aforementioned factors such as weight, manoeuvrability, and length of traveling. Below are a few examples of how you may mount your wheels, based on your unique conditions.
– Two rigid and two swivel
– Diamond placement provides increased maneuverability
– Not recommended for ramp use
Two Rigid, Two Swivel:
– Most common and affordable arrangement
– For straight movement and/or traveling long distances
– Recommended for heavy or medium loads
– Recommended use depends upon the weight capacity of the casters selected
– Most economical positioning of casters
– Limited to lighter loads
– Prime performance occurs when load wheels are 1/8″ taller than the balance wheels
– Not recommended for ramp use
– Optimal caster configuration for applications requiring sideways movement
– Most flexible arrangement
Where Can I Get Help to Pick The Perfect Casters?
At CoolYeah, we’re providing guidance for a great amount of private customers and businesses in order to pick out the perfect casters for their unique situation. To get personal assistance, contact us today and our experienced staff will provide you with everything you need to know when it comes to caster wheels.
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