From your office chair to your kid’s favorite red wagon, casters are everywhere and much more than just the wheel. They’re seemingly simple pieces of equipment but, in reality, are much more complex.
Similar to how trucks are better for some jobs than sedans, different types of casters have varying uses. However, they all have the same purpose – to roll items across flooring as efficiently as possible.
It may seem like choosing any caster will get the job done, but selecting the incorrect one can lead to equipment damage or injury. Keep reading to learn about the different types and how to choose a caster.
Casters vs. Wheel
The two terms are often mistakenly interchanged. This misunderstanding can lead to a frustrating experience, especially when ordering parts.
Casters can be thought of as a system and the wheels as an essential component.
The main differentiator between the two is the addition of the bracket and wheel bearings. The bracket allows the caster to mount to pieces of equipment, making it moveable.
The type of wheel and its size are essential in selecting the correct caster. Generally, the larger the load, the larger the wheel you want to have.
The best way to determine load capacity is to combine the equipment’s weight and maximum load by the number of casters. This gives you the load that each wheel and caster must be able to support.
For safe use, select casters and wheels with capacity ratings greater than the calculated load.
Selecting the best wheel material depends on the floor type and load capacity requirements. Polyurethane wheels are most common because they provide adequate load capacity and floor protection.
However, quieter settings like hospitals would benefit from the low noise offered by rubber wheels.
Steel and cast iron wheels might be better when the load capacity is a priority in industrial settings. While they offer the greatest capacity, they’re extremely noisy and offer almost zero floor protection.
So the next time you order online from shops like https://www.shoplinco.com/colson, you can save some time by getting the correct piece of equipment.
The Varying Types of Caster
In addition to the range of caster sizes, there are different types of casters that can be separated into two broad categories.
Unlike most caster types, these can’t swivel. However, the lack of motion makes them much more durable than their counterparts.
Due to the limited mobility, these are typically only available as plate casters. They’re ideal for carts, medical equipment and furniture.
Most rigid casters come standard with either a friction or tread lock brake. If you prefer one over another, you can always contact the manufacturer to see if they can arrange a custom model.
Swivel casters have wheels that can rotate 360 degrees, making them extremely maneuverable. The best swivel casters allow users to quickly turn corners even under maximum capacity.
You can find swivel casters available in locking, plate, hollow kingpin and stem casters.
Choosing The Right Caster
Even though there are varying types of casters, choosing the right one doesn’t have to be difficult. At the end of the day, it about determining your load capacity requirements, maneuverability and noise levels.
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