Choosing the Right Industrial Casters

Mounted on loading equipment such as trolleys or platforms, industrial casters and wheels facilitate the movement of loads (people, machines, pallets, parts, etc.) from one place to another.

There are several types of casters (fixed or swivel), made of different materials and available in different sizes. Generally speaking, the wheels contain elements made of plastic, metal, rubber and polyurethane.

All industrial sectors use equipment mounted on casters, for example for order picking or moving parts on a production line.

View industrial casters

  • How to choose casters?

    TENTE swivel casters

    To choose the right casters, you will need to determine:

    • the weight of your load: to find out the load capacity for using casters safely, add 30% to the total weight of your load and divide by 3. If there is a risk of your load falling while moving, use a factor of 300% instead of 30%
    • the speed at which your rolling equipment will have to operate: the rolling time at a given speed must also be taken into account. Always plan for the maximum speed, maximum load and maximum time for safe use of your casters
    • The type of surface the casters will roll over: is it wet, dry, made of concrete, etc.? Also check the floor for flaws
    • the environment : you must determine whether the trolley will be used indoors (ambient temperature), outdoors (high or low temperatures) and whether there is a risk of humidity or explosion.
  • Will you need fixed or swivel casters?

    Blickle Räder+Rollen fixed casters

    Swivel casters are designed to rotate 360°. They are mounted on a fork that swivels, allowing them to turn in any direction. They are available with or without brakes. The advantage to this type of casters is that their design allows the load to be moved in the desired direction. However, at high speeds, these casters are less stable and consequently so is their load.

    Fixed casters are mounted on a fixed fork and can therefore only move in a straight line. Their greatest advantage is that they offer a high degree of steering stability compared to swivel casters, especially when they gain speed.

  • How should you position the casters?

    Several wheel configurations are possible, combining fixed and swivel casters. This table presents the main configurations and their advantages.

    Type of configuration Characteristics Advantages
    2 swivel
    2 fixed
    Most frequent layout
    For heavy loads
    For long distances
    More stable in a straight line
    4 fixed Light loads
    Not recommended for use on ramps
    Economic positioning
    4 swivel For applications requiring lateral movement Flexible layout
    2 swivel
    2 fixed
    (diamond pattern)
    Not recommended for use on ramps Easy to handle
    4 swivel
    2 fixed
    For very heavy loads
    For long travel times
    The 2 fixed casters allow the weight of the load to be distributed over the 4 swivel ones
  • What type of tread should you choose?

    The tread is the material of the wheel that is in contact with the ground. It impacts the quality of the wheels, as does the type of bearing.

    TORWEGGE polyurethane casters

    You will mainly find:

    The choice of material depends on different criteria:

    • maximum load (load weight and equipment weight)
    • the surface the casters will be rolling over (uneven or damaged floors, presence of oil or grease, etc.)
    • the pushing force required for starting and pulling
    • user comfort
    • travel speed
    • shock and vibration absorption
    • noise

    The table below describes the types of treads and their main characteristics.

    Type of tread Load capacity Handling Pushing force User comfort Shock absorption
    Semi-elastic solid rubber Good Very good on uneven floors
    Medium oil resistance
    Low Very good
    Very quiet
    Very good
    Synthetic rubber Good Good on uneven floors
    Medium oil resistance
    Medium Good
    Super-elastic solid rubber Very good Very good on uneven floors
    Medium oil resistance
    Low Very good
    Very quiet
    Very good
    Polyamide nylon Very good Bad on uneven floors
    Strong oil resistance
    Very low Medium
    Very noisy
    Pneumatic Low Very good on uneven floors
    Medium oil resistance
    Very high Very good
    Very quiet
    Very good
    Injected polyurethane Very good Very good on uneven floors
    Very strong oil resistance
    Very low Very good
  • What type of bearings should you choose?

    SUGATSUNE KOGYO ball bearing casters

    Several types of anti-friction bearings are available, we have selected three for you.

    Slide bearings or plain bearings

    • This is the simplest type of bearing.
    • They are made of polyamide and require no maintenance. They are also shock and corrosion resistant.
    • Slide bearings are suitable for handling equipment that is not intended to be moved frequently.

    Ball bearings

    • They are made of two rings between which hardened steel balls roll.
    • They are used in pairs.
    • They can only support radial loads.
    • They offer good rolling properties for high loads and at high speeds.

    Roller bearings

    • These are the most common bearings used in industry.
    • They do not consist of balls but of rollers housed in a cage.
    • You should favor this type of bearing if you have heavy loads to transport over a long period of time.
    • They are resistant and require little maintenance.
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  • It’s great that you talked about different types of industrial caster’s materials. In my opinion, it’s a good idea to look for different options when choosing a product for your company. In that way, I think you could select the one that better fits your customer’s needs. Thanks for the tips on how to pick casters for your business’s needs.

  • John Carston says:

    I like how you mentioned that it is important to consider the weight of your load. My uncle mentioned to me last night that his friend is hoping to find a reliable industrial castors shop for their workplace and asked me if I have any idea what is the best option to do. Thanks to this informative article and I’ll be sure to tell him that we can consult the well-known industrial castors shop as they can answer all his inquiries.

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