A castor consists of a wheel and a mount attached to carts, dollies, racks and other equipment for easier maneuverability. When buying castors, you should consider factors such as type of material, tread width, overall height, wheel diameter and load ratings to get the best model that supports the mobility of your equipment. This article breaks down essential considerations when buying industrial castors for warehouse equipment.
Types of Castors — Castors are free-rolling wheels rather than powered, ensuring easy movement of equipment, such as racks, dollies and carts, on different floor surfaces. Castors can be categorised as either swivel or rigid (fixed). Swivel castors rotate and pivot around a straight axle. Also, such castors can be guided by a user to move in different directions. Conversely, fixed castors only enable forward and backward movement. Therefore, if your warehouse supports applications requiring lateral and forward movement, you should opt for four swivel castors. Alternatively, if the turn radius in a job site has no restrictions, you can choose two swivels and two rigid castors for most applications.
Load Capacity — The load capacity of materials you intend to carry on your equipment determines the type of castors to choose. You can buy either single wheel, dual (twin-wheel), or multi-wheel castors. Heavier loads need multi-wheel castors to prevent damage to the equipment and to ensure a smoother ride since multi-wheel castors distribute the load on a wider surface. The advantage of dual-wheel castors is that they are easier to maneuver, even in rough terrain, because the wheels rotate independently. However, choose single-wheel castors for simple applications and loads.
Castor Material — Castor wheels are made from different materials, such as pneumatics, cast iron, stainless steel, rubber and synthetic. The castor material you buy depends on aesthetics, carrying capacity, maneuverability, type of environment (hot or cold) and height desired. Castors made of hard materials, such as steel and stainless steel, are simple to maneuver than plastics/synthetics because of lower starting resistance. However, soft materials transmit fewer vibrations and generate less noise. Also, such castor material is gentle on a warehouse floor. Besides, stiff materials can support heavy loads and have a lower wear and tear rate than soft materials. Conversely, soft materials are suitable for corrosive and wet environments.
Mounting Configuration — Mountings or fittings are an essential part of a castor system. An excellent mounting option ensures safety since the wheels are safely secured to the equipment. For example, a thread system secures castors using a threaded bolt. On the other hand, a plate mounting has different bolt hole patterns to secure castor wheels on a flat surface. Other castors use a stem attached to the equipment.