Three Things To Consider When Choosing Caster Wheels

Posted on: 10 March 2016


Whether you're outfitting medical, industrial or other equipment with steel casters, getting the right ones can make a big difference in the handling and ease of use. If you've never shopped for casters in the past, it can be a confusing prospect, particularly because there are so many different features and functions to consider. The perfect selection is going to vary from machine to machine, so there's no single answer that's a good fit across the board. Before you jump into the caster shopping process, here are a few things that you should know about.

Don't Underestimate the Load Weight

You'll need to know the weight of every item that you're putting the casters on. This is essential, because the caster is going to require a larger wheel for heavier loads. In addition, if you're looking for casters that can bear a load weight of several hundred pounds, you're going to want to select a wheel with ball bearings or roller bearings for added mobility and durability. Most caster wheels are rated according to their weight capacity, so narrow your choices accordingly.

Additionally, the larger the diameter of the wheel, the easier it will turn under that weight. By choosing large diameter wheels for your heaviest equipment, you'll make it easier for anybody on staff to move things as needed without having to call in extra help.

The Type of Floor Influences the Wheel Type

First and foremost, make sure that any wheel you choose is large enough in diameter and width to easily pass over any cracks or crevices in the floors. Consider the height of floor transitions, trim and other potential obstructions, too. The last thing you need is to have a caster wheel wedged in the floor when you're rolling heavy equipment across the building.

In addition, casters come with many different types of wheels, from rubber and polyurethane to steel and more. For protection on the widest variety of floors, consider wheels made from polyurethane or rubber. Not only do they roll with ease on carpets without pulling at the fibers, but they are also easy to use on wood, metal and concrete floors without leaving marks behind.

Remember That the Environment Matters

Another thing that many new caster wheel shoppers overlook is how the work environment could affect those wheels. After all, you work in this environment every day, so you may have become so accustomed to seeing certain things that you don't even think about them. For example, the presence of certain chemicals, acids or oils could be damaging to a rubber caster wheel. In those cases, you're going to want to choose a polyurethane or steel wheel instead. Consider all of the chemicals and materials that you work with on a daily basis to ensure that they won't be damaging to any of the wheel materials.

You should also think about the climate in the building. If you work in an atmosphere that is overwhelmingly cold, you'll want to choose a material that's not vulnerable to low temperatures. Steel or something similar may be your best option in that case. For high temperature atmospheres like commercial kitchen environments and heat production lines, look for a high-temperature nylon wheel for your casters.

Now that you understand some of the most common concerns when it comes to choosing casters, you'll be able to shop more efficiently. Narrow your focus to the ones that best suit your needs instead of looking at options that will turn out to be irrelevant. With the tips presented here, you can choose the perfect caster wheels for any application, environment and climate.

For more information, contact a company like Garland's, Inc.