Before making a purchase decision for casters, it’s crucial to consider multiple factors. Various industries and applications have specific requirements for casters, and we prioritize evaluating the overall environment and needs to find the perfect match for each unique situation. With over 100 years of combined experience in the caster industry and a vast clientele, we’re ready to assist you. Feel free to contact us anytime to collaborate on the caster selection process. In the meantime, the following information will empower you to make more informed decisions.
Casters are never used in isolation; they are employed in specific facilities and applications. While most applications can be classified as hand-held or towed, the conditions of your facility play a significant role in determining the appropriate caster. Consider the following:
Flooring: Examine the condition of your facility’s flooring. Are there potholes or other obstacles? Is it soft or hard? Do you need to protect the flooring? Choosing the right tread and wheel material will enable you to navigate these conditions effectively.
Weight Capacity and Speed: The speed and weight capacity of your application are important factors to consider. Higher speeds require greater weight capacity. Caster diameter, width, and material impact the weight-bearing capability at different speeds. To determine the load capacity for each caster, divide the maximum cart load by the number of casters and multiply it by the appropriate safety factor based on the application conditions.
Temperature and Climate: Evaluate the general temperature and climate of your facility. Will the casters be used indoors or outdoors? Extreme temperatures can cause immediate damage to casters. We ensure that the casters we recommend match the environment and climate of your application.
Unique Conditions and Environments: Consider any unique conditions or environments in which your casters will be used. Is there debris, moisture, chemicals, or constant exposure to sunlight? Will static electricity pose a risk to valuable products? All these factors need to be taken into account during the decision-making process.
You have two main options for mounting casters: plate-mount or stem-mount. Plate-mount casters are stronger and more suitable for heavy weights in industrial settings. They feature a flat square plate that connects the caster to the bottom of the cart. Ensure you choose the correct plate size for your specific cart. Stem-mount casters, on the other hand, use a stem that inserts into the bottom of your cart. These are commonly found in medical, food-processing, and DIY applications, and are often pre-drilled or come with carts designed for stem-mount casters.
SELECTING A CASTER WHEEL
Caster wheels are a critical component of the caster. When choosing a wheel, consider the following four main components: material, wheel size, tread, and quality.
Material selection depends on factors such as floor type, temperature, and application. Polyurethane and nylon are typically recommended for industrial applications, but we assess each application individually before making recommendations.
Next, we have the wheel size, as certain applications may require specific dimensions based on design or restrictions in your facility. Larger diameter wheels generally provide easier rolling and increased weight capacity, especially when paired with wider wheels.
The tread of the caster wheel should match the conditions of your facility. Donut tread provides better noise reduction, cushioning, and debris resistance, while flat or slightly crowned tread handles more weight due to reduced compression.
Finally, quality is crucial when considering caster wheels. Not all wheels are made alike, and factors such as rebound resilience and durability vary between different polyurethane options.
SELECTING A CASTER RIG
Caster rigs, the metal component that holds the wheel, are equally important as caster wheels. There are two main types: kingpin and kingpinless.
The kingpin caster rig uses a bolt to hold everything together and is suitable for general applications. However, in certain cases, the bolt may loosen and lead to caster failure.
The kingpinless caster rig employs ball bearings within a hardened raceway to connect the top plate and the fork. This design is more durable and preferable for towline applications. For even greater durability, forged kingpins are an excellent choice, providing a maintenance-free solution.
Choosing the right wheel bearings is essential to support your specific applications. Precision ball bearings are commonly used due to their robustness and suitability for most applications, including heavy weights in towlines.
For environments involving chemicals and moisture, Delrin bearings are recommended. Although they offer a lower weight capacity compared to precision ball bearings, they provide better resistance to breakdown in such extreme conditions.
ADDING CASTER BRAKES
Casters offer various brake options, including side-lock, tech-lock, and total-lock brakes. Side-lock brakes tighten on the wheel hub to stop movement. Tech-lock brakes provide friction contact with the wheel, preventing it from moving while still allowing 360-degree swivel motion. Total-lock brakes lock both the tread and swivel, ensuring maximum stability for applications that demand it.
SELECTING CASTERS FOR ERGONOMICS
Ergonomics play a crucial role in caster selection, particularly in reducing push/pull efforts. However, other factors such as debris, towline usage, and weight capacity also influence the selection process. We assess each application individually, taking into account various aspects to identify the ideal caster for your specific needs.
SELECTING CASTERS FOR TOWLINES
Towlines require casters that can withstand rigorous conditions, including higher weights and speeds. It is essential to select the appropriate rig and caster wheel to prevent equipment and product damage, as well as ensure employee safety.
When assessing your facility and application, we consider multiple factors to ensure you receive the perfect casters. Your success is our success. Use the above suggestions to select the right casters, and feel free to contact us for further assistance.