How Many Casters Do I Need: Factors to Consider
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It's easy to overlook casters and their related technologies. However, business owners, lab technicians, and many others use casters every day to make their equipment manageable. At Caster Central, we are your one-stop source for these valuable gadgets.
Suppose you know that your business or organization can use casters, but you are new to the technology. In that case, you may wonder, "How many casters do I need"? It's a good question, and our answers below can help your organization expedite production to new levels of efficiency.
Casters Can Save the Day
Proper business management involves moving various industrial goods around efficiently.
For example, supermarket carts help grocery shoppers to move their goods around the store into their vehicles. Similarly, rolling office chairs allow staff members in an organization to move easily around their workspaces. Moreover, garbage storage containers keep trash safely packed and tucked away until ready for disposal.
In these cases along with countless others, casters and their related technologies make all these material movements possible. These diminutive but vital technologies have positive effects on logistics up and down the supply chain. It is no exaggeration to say that many modern industries would grind to a halt without the services that casters provide.
Casters are relatively modern material-moving technologies. Those new to caster technology may think that these ingenious inventions are simply wheels. However, this idea is an oversimplification.
Casters include both the wheels that allow movement and associated mounting technologies. It’s true that the wheels on casters are old technologies. Yet, full caster assemblies are a much newer development.
Manufacturers and technicians attach casters of different sizes and capabilities to just about anything that needs to move easily. As a result, casters make things easier as they allow workers and other organizational personnel to move objects that would otherwise be immovable.
Getting More out of Casters
To get the most out of casters, you'll need to use containers and related materials of the proper size. For example, the casters that you might find on the bottom of a grocery cart are unsuitable for heavy loads such as engine transmissions. By the same token, casters manufacturers used for airport cargo bins would be far too big for chairs.
Another consideration when answering the question "how many casters do I need?" is end-use. The size of the casters you choose and the materials within them depend on their operating environments. For instance, the casters on a hospital bed look very different from those on a child’s toy wagon.
Main Types of Casters
Casters come in several basic types. This data can help you narrow down the number of casters you need for your specific application.
- Fixed or rigid casters: This type of caster sits in housing without rotating in any direction. The fixed housing keeps the wheels rotating in one direction. Therefore, containers requiring only backward or forward movement are a natural fit for fixed casters.
- Swivel casters: This caster type sits in housing that rotates 360 degrees. In some cases, fixed casters work better for heavier loads, though swivel casters allow for easy directional control. Furthermore, combinations of swivel and fixed casters allow for both directional flexibility and stability.
- Plate mounting: These casters use flat plates or similar services in their designs. The flat plates attach to the flat bottoms of containers, creating a flush fit that is stable and secure.
- Stem mounting: Casters of this type mount in almost opposite ways to those of the plate-mounted variety. Stem mounting casters usually have a vertical mast attached to the top of their assemblies. This mast fits in drill holes that technicians create in the bottom of containers, making it easier to screw this caster type into place.
How Many Casters Do I Need? Environmental Factors to Consider
When the time comes for you to select your number of caster wheels, the caster’s mounting style should heavily factor into your decision. In addition to that metric, other factors may affect the number of casters you will need.
Some crucial factors that determine the caster wheel amount are the following:
In general, larger wheels and associated accessories can handle heavier loads than smaller ones. In other words, symmetry is an important design factor for casters. Therefore, higher wheels often mean stronger wheels.
Another key factor is wheel width, or the distance between the two bottom edges of the tire tread. Wider wheels provide greater stability, and their larger surface area allows them to carry a heavier load. Given these attributes, wider and higher wheels make durable combinations.
Diameter is another factor affecting a caster’s strength and durability. This measure is the horizontal distance between the front and the back of the wheel. Therefore, a wheel with a diameter of 15 inches is much wider than one with a diameter of only seven inches.
In general, a larger diameter means a larger size. Increased size results in higher carrying capacity.
The various caster manufacturers know and publish the performance specifications of their products. Caster wheel weight capacity is one such metric, and you should see it on the packaging or promotional material. This information is vital because it allows you to accurately calculate how many casters you need for your specific application.
In addition, you can perform a simple calculation using caster wheel weight capacity. First, calculate the total cargo weight. Then, divide this number by your proposed number of casters. If the final number is smaller than the load capacity of each caster, you are on the right track.
You now have a solid answer to the question, "How many casters do I need?" At Caster Central, we’re ready to help you with your material movement needs in Pembroke, MA. Call our friendly team today at 800-445-4082 for a complimentary consultation.