The Wonderful Caster…Thanks to the Wheel
Think of everything you need to push around more easily. That thought itself really does make many people like you appreciate the wheel. Just that fundamental round shape is the basis of a simple machine that makes it easier to move items that are heavy or bulky. Now, add in a wheel bearing so it will last longer and then give it a fixture for mounting to furniture or equipment. That would be the caster that you have relied upon so much but may have overlooked like so many other people.
Why Use Casters?
The primary reason you’re probably looking for casters is likely mobility. Whether you’re moving around furniture or some equipment for a job, chances are you’re needing to do it effortlessly. The other reasons are likely for moving equipment and other needs for heavy material handling.
Needing a Caster?
Maybe you need new ones. However, if you find yourself needing to replace a caster, you’ll appreciate just how great it was when it worked. Think of all the other places where casters are used. Like you, these end users also like working casters.
Where are Casters Used?
There are numerous applications for casters in industries that include:
- Workshops or construction worksites
- Research laboratories
All of these places and others with heavy material handling needs rely on casters. You cannot even take a vacation or a business trip without seeing casters in some form at a hotel or restaurant. Well, now that you’ve had quite an introduction to wheels and casters, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at the wide variety you may see.
The Many Sizes and Types of Casters
No matter your application, there is bound to be a caster available to suit your needs. Starting with the smallest of them, there are casters that are suitable for a TV cart or an easel. These may have some decorative features to make them look more ornate than utilitarian, but they still do the job.
The furniture items around the home also rely on casters. These are of a solid wheel construction. That makes them easier to move on nearly any surface, especially on carpeted floors. You will find that furniture items feature casters of both form and function.
Sometimes you just need no frills and heft. You’re probably looking for something that can perform heavy material handling. Perhaps you want a tire with a serious beefy tread to it and some traction. That’s exactly what you need to push around your heavy tool chests.
The casters with pneumatic tires provide a nice cushioned ride as you’re moving around tools. However, maybe all you’re looking for is the convenience of mobility. In that case there are casters with a solid tire that will do the trick. This is where there are some tradeoffs between the two designs.
On one hand, the caster with the pneumatic tire provides cushion, though it is susceptible to flat tires. On the other hand, the caster with the solid tire is resistant to tire issues, though the cushioned ride and tread are not there either. these are factors to also consider when you’re selecting casters for your application.
When shopping around, be sure to also look for a feature like a brake. If you want a heavy cart, tool cart, or other hefty item to stay in place, you should seriously look at a model with brake stops. These just need a simple little tap of the boot to apply or release the brake and can really help keep something from rolling when it needs to stay in place.
On that note, you may also want to look for casters with ball bearings. Just try them once, and you’ll see for yourself how easy it is to move them or swivel. You may find yourself insisting on them.
The load rating is very important to keep the caster from failing. To determine what you need, divide the load by how many casters you need. That is the nominal rating of the load for each caster. You should go a little higher to factor in jarring motions that may occur.
Where to Shop for Casters
Traditionally, you were at the mercy of your local hardware supply or home improvement store, or even a mail order catalog. With the advent of the internet, you can now shop for new or replacement casters online nearly any time. This is the same convenience you’ve had for other items around the home, and now you can use this to your advantage when shopping for hardware. Just look for a reputable equipment and material handling supplier for your caster, cart, dolly, etc. With many suppliers around the world and many options, chances are that you will find the perfect casters you need for your next project.