Tips on Choosing the Right Caster or Caster
||It is our view that you
are not purchasing a mere wheel or caster. You are buying a product which must
work for you. The internal handling of materials is an expense. Properly
designed wheels and casters can reduce this expense.
Wheels and casters affect the
productivity of equipment and the people who use it. Selecting the proper wheel
or caster insures maximum productivity, minimizes long term costs, and provides
the greatest return on your investment.
Wheels are the heart of any
piece of rolling equipment. Bearings make wheels go and thus affect production.
Low grade tires and bearings do not provide profitable performance, especially
when trying to adapt them to heavier loads or powered operation. Their use
results in costly maintenance, equipment out of service and multiple manpower
to move when not power drawn.
|Safety and Ergonomics
and health hazards involved in the use of manual equipment stems from the high
draw bar pull, or resistance of equipment to movement. When possible select
casters and wheels that eliminate, to a maximum degree, the possibility of
injury and health complaints associated with excessive strain.
safety and well-being of your employees in mind when selecting a wheel or
caster. In a manual application, a human being has to move the equipment. The
larger the wheel diameter the easier a wheel rolls. The proper tire design and
composition also impacts the performance and health of your employees.
Casters and wheels that are ergonomically sound reduce the potential
for work related injuries. They lower absenteeism and increase the productivity
and efficiency of workers. Ergonomically designed features reduce sources of
physical stress and tension so that any employee can work comfortably without
the risk of injury. One example would be swivel casters with a precision swivel
bearing. This feature enables a swivel caster to turn more easily under load,
reduces starting effort and fatigue, and allows a more consistent level of
output. When you take safety and ergonomics into consideration, you reduce lost
time due to accidents.
Floors are expensive to
repair or replace. Poor floors damage castered equipment, reduce productivity,
and are hazardous to personnel. Selecting the most floor protective wheel
appropriate for your application will protect good floors, and will reduce the
rate of wear on floors already starting to deteriorate. Only wheels with a soft
rubber tread are truly floor and cargo protective. These include
SELF-ENERGIZING, PREMIUM, SUPER CUSHION, Conventional Moldon, Pneumatics, and
Gray Rubber wheels. A common mistake is to think polyurethane wheels are floor
protective. Although under load they are capable of some tire deflection,
actual "tire give" is rarely noticeable. Most polyurethane wheels have a
hardness comparable to "hard tread" wheels (phenolic, polyolefin, hard rubber),
but are not as noisy. The "Jack Hammer" action of hard tread wheels is
destructive to most floors with time. However, even metal wheels fill an
important need when the operating environment or capacity prohibit the use of
Remember that a human being has
to move the load, so select the largest wheel your application will allow.
Except for SELF-ENERGIZING rubber, load capacity ratings do not take into
account the effort required to manually move the load. Conventional moldon
rubber wheels are not easy rolling. We recommend you reduce the weight to no
more than 50% of their rated capacity if the load is to be moved manually.
Polyurethane and "hard tread" wheels are only easy rolling if you do not exceed
the load capacity of the same size rubber wheel, and then only if the floors
are smooth. They are not easy rolling when loaded to their full rated
capacities. PREMIUM rubber wheels when loaded to full capacity can be moved
manually. As long as your loads do not exceed the rated capacity of PREMIUM
rubber, its selection means you will not have to give up the benefits of
resiliency (floor and cargo protection) in order to get rollability.
Selection should never be made on
the basis of capacity alone. Capacity ratings on this website are based on
intermittent use at a speed not exceeding 3 mph over smooth floors in a manual
operation under ideal conditions. Your conditions are almost never ideal, so
select a wheel or caster with much higher capacity than the weight you require.
Always consult us first for a reduced capacity rating if the wheel or caster is
to be used in a mechanically powered application. Capacity ratings are offered
as an idea of what the wheel or caster will carry without failure. They are not
absolute, but rather depend on the usage and service. Capacity ratings shown do
not allow for shock loads, overloading, abuse, obstructions, or poor floors.
Proper maintenance requires all bearings be relubricated on a regular schedule,
and all bolts and nuts be kept tightened. Conditions of excessive temperature,
dirt or other contaminants will reduce capacity and minimize performance. The
temperature range shown for wheels in this catalog is the range of the wheel
material. Operation near either end of the temperature range may require a
substantial reduction in capacity, or cause a wheel to be unsuitable for the
|Floor Obstructions and Operating
Sometimes obstructions must be tolerated. Examples
may include expansion joints which are not level, track, dock plate, or brick
floors. There simply may not be an ideal solution. However, as a general rule,
resilient wheels roll over floor obstructions better than hard tread wheels.
Obstructions require selecting larger wheels and stronger casters than the
application would require if the floors were smooth. Metal shavings can become
imbedded in rubber and polyurethane tires. Steel plate can cut resilient tires,
and chip or break hard tread wheels. Always keep floors clear of debris.
Harmful substances or chemicals may require using special wheels or bearings.
The bonding agent which holds rubber and polyurethane tires to their metal
centers can be affected by exposure to some chemicals, impact, overloading, and
the buildup of heat. Stainless Steel casters are made with 304 Stainless Steel
which is rust resistant. In some severe applications over time Stainless Steel
304 may rust.
Too often the purchase of
wheels and casters is based on criteria far removed from the essential purpose
- "Will they move the load smoothly and easily?" A piece of equipment purchased
to carry and move a 2,000 lb. load is costly when it is loaded with only 1,000
lbs. in order to roll. Most people will load equipment only to a weight they
can move easily and without injury. Equipment that requires two men to move it,
when one should suffice, is also an expensive unit, regardless of acquisition
Old style casters and wheels are usually built to a price, with no
consideration of their investment value for profitable operation and pay back
in productivity. Our products are competitively priced, but look beyond the
price tag. Initial cost is a factor in a purchase decision, but it is only one
Consider making a value analysis, it may bring out some other
factors worthy of consideration. Value rate the product. A human being must
push or pull castered equipment. Ease of rolling and wheel life are the two
important elements of an efficient and economical manual operation. Sometimes a
certain caster or wheel may not be the least expensive choice if you are
looking at only the initial cost of acquisition. However, if it is the right
caster or wheel for a particular application, the cost will be commensurate
with the value and the pay back.
Ask yourself to what extent will a
caster or wheel require maintenance? The cost of acquiring a product should be
weighed against the cost of keeping it in operating condition. Bearings and
their service generally are the largest factor in maintenance. The cost of
systematic lubrication and replacement can be a drain on profits; if one is
neglected, the other increases.
Will the caster or wheel further
dependable operation? With an easier rolling wheel and easier turning swivel,
employees tire less, there are fewer accidents and productivity
Our Staff can give you valuable assistance in the selection
of the right combination of wheels and casters for your needs. They are
knowledgeable, competent and experienced in caster usage.
If you need
some VERY basic information on casters and caster wheels, click here to visit