Casters were invented later! Before them, wheels were a brilliant invention to ease the burden on human labour and change the way things move. Now, imagine if we could take this ingenious idea a step further.
Enter the universe of casters, the playful siblings of wheels, here to make life even more effortless. Now, imagine a world where things roll as well as glide in any direction. Thanks to these nifty casters! It’s like giving every piece of clothing a set of magic shoes and dancing effortlessly with a gentle push. So, while wheels lightened the load, they added a touch of turning the difficult tasks into a go-to solution.
The Early Casters
Earlier, casters held fixed wheels that rolled only forward or backward. They lacked steering, making movement rigid. Further, they added a pivot point with a bearing on top of the frame to turn the wheels. With an improvement, the wheel still had issues, occasionally skidding sideways without a smooth pivot.
The New Ones!
However, there was a significant breakthrough when casters became not just pivot-friendly but also capable of aligning & continuing in the intended direction effortlessly. This self-centring ability transformed material handling, revolutionising the way objects move. Thanks to this innovation, navigating and steering became more intuitive, making the magic of effortless movement a reality. Now, through this blog, let’s explore the various factors involved in choosing a caster for your needs.
Swivel casters are like wheels that can turn in any direction. They have a strong steel frame and hub, making them sturdy. Also, these casters use a 3/8-inch bolt to attach to a plate, making them stable and easy to move. They might leave marks on the floor since they are not designed to be non-marking. With a ply rating of 4, they can handle heavy loads. Moreover, the double ball design lets them move smoothly and the ball bearings in the wheels make them durable & easy to roll. These casters are commonly used in things like carts or equipment that need to move around a lot in factories or warehouses.
Rigid casters, in simple terms, are like fixed wheels that move only in a straight line and don’t swivel. They provide stability and support to equipment, making it easier to control the direction of movement. Further, they have sturdy construction, often made of materials like steel, for durability. Unlike swivel casters, they don’t turn, but they excel in providing strength and load-bearing capacity. As a result, they are used in applications where straightforward movement is needed, such as the back wheels of a shopping cart or the base of a stationary piece of furniture. Also, their fixed nature ensures a stable and controlled path, making them suitable for situations where precise manoeuvrability is not required.
Locking casters are wheels with a locking mechanism commonly used in furniture, industrial equipment, medical devices, office chairs, and retail displays. They enable easy mobility when unlocked but can be secured to prevent movement, providing stability in various applications like workstations, carts, and DIY projects.
Heavy Duty Casters
Heavy duty casters, such as Albion 81 Series casters, are constructed with robust AISI 1045 drop-forged steel and excel in handling heavy manual loads and medium-duty power-drawn equipment. They have a double ball-bearing swivel section, sturdy 3/8″ steel legs, and a 3/4″ heat-treated king-bolt. So, they are ideal for conveyor-drawn tow trucks, heavy-duty baker racks, production dollies and heavy-duty dough troughs. Also, they include a 3/4″ hollow axle with a lock nut and convenient Zerk fittings for lubrication in the swivel section. And the axle head enhances their durability and performance in demanding scenarios.
Pneumatic casters are wheels designed with air-filled tires and provide a cushioned & shock-absorbing ride. Therefore, they are used in applications where smoother transport is essential, such as on uneven or rough surfaces. Further, the pneumatic tires help absorb shocks, reducing vibrations and minimising the impact on both the caster and the transported load. This makes them suitable for various environments, including outdoor settings and industrial facilities where noise reduction and floor protection are important. And, they are often chosen for carts, dollies and equipment that need to navigate over bumps or obstacles with ease. Thus, people value them for enhancing manoeuvrability and contributing to a more comfortable and stable transport experience.
Laser Cut Casters
Albion 310 and 410 Series casters are perfect for applications like bakery racks, production dollies and dough troughs. These casters feature a kingpinless design and precise laser cutting, ensuring durability. Also, with a zinc-plated finish and clear coat for corrosion resistance, they boast a heat-treated raceway, robotically welded legs, and notched swivel yokes for added strength. Further, the 310 units handle up to 4100 pounds, while the 410 units handle up to 5400 pounds, depending on the rig and wheel combination.
How to use them effectively
Factors to Consider When Choosing Casters
- Weight Capacity: Firstly, choose casters that can support the weight of what you’re moving.
- Wheel Material: Then, match the wheel type to your floor to avoid causing damage.
- Environment: Also, consider where to use them. This helps you pick casters resistant to corrosion or extreme elements.
- Brakes: Again, ensure they have the right brakes for safety and stability.
Albion is a trusted brand that offers long-lasting and accurate casters. You can purchase their products from Raptor Supplies, an international MRO supplier that offers a wide range of products. Also, we proudly serve customers in the UK, Europe, the Middle East as well as Asia. You can contact us anytime through our 24×7 chat support, phone, WhatsApp or email.