8 Steps to Finding the Perfect Shepherd Caster

8 Steps to Finding the Perfect Shepherd CasterWhen searching for the ideal caster for a particular project there is not a magic formula to tell you which caster will get the job done better than the rest. There are individual factors to contemplate when purchasing casters. For example, buyers are usually prompted to select the construction and wheel type of casters before completing the sale.

Choosing the correct caster for the job in the beginning will prevent you from performing excessive maintenance on broken casters in the future. Selecting the right caster will also reduce the need for frequent replacement in the months or years to come. Keep in mind: there is not always an ideal caster capable of fulfilling a specific need. If you find yourself in a situation like this, all you can do is choose the most favorable combination of wheels and bearings.

Douglas Equipment Supplies Shepherd Casters

Douglas Equipment is an authorized distributor of a large collection of high quality casters, wheels, and material handling equipment made by a number of highly regarded, dependable manufacturers. Our company is proud to supply Shepherd products because Shepherd is a leading designer and manufacturer of casters and wheels. Shepherd wheels and casters can be found in an array of industries, including: material handling, institutional, and medical settings.

So here are 6 steps we recommend you take when looking for the perfect Shepherd caster:

Step 1: Determine the Maximum Anticipated Weight

Casters are designed to support a specific maximum load while in use. The amount of weight a caster can hold depends on the construction of the caster. If the maximum capacity is exceeded, the caster might deteriorate or fail.

It is crucial to know the maximum load you plan to place on casters before you buy it. Once the maximum anticipated weight is known, you can narrow down the type of casters available to you.

To determine the capacity of each caster for your application, divide the total anticipated weight by the number of casters you plan on using. The more casters you have, the higher the load capacity is. It is a good idea to purchase casters with a higher capacity than what you need.

Shepherd Bassick Honcho HS/HR Series: Great for Heavier Loads

The weight of the load influences the mobility of the wheel; therefore, keep in mind: the heavier the load, the larger the wheel should be.

The Shepherd Bassick Honcho HS/HR Series is a heavy-duty caster built to carry a large amount of weight. It is a great option for power-towed applications and terminal trucks. The wheels are 2-1/2-inches wide and are available in urethane and aluminum. Wheel diameters available include 6, 8, and 10-inches. The capacity of the Bassic Honcho casters is 1,750-pounds.

Step 2: Decide Which Wheel Size is Best For Your Project

Wheel size for casters depends on the weight of the load and where the casters will be used. Larger wheels roll easier than smaller wheels and cover more ground more quickly. Larger wheels also overcome floor obstacles more easily than smaller wheels. Therefore, you want to purchase the biggest wheel possible. You do not, however, want to choose a wheel that is too large it might cause your load to tip.

In general if you have a hand push application that travels short distances, purchase wheels with a diameter of 3 or 4-inches. If the hand push application travels longer distances, we recommend wheels with a diameter of 5, 6, or 8-inches.

For power-towed applications that operate at speeds less than 3 MPH, purchase a wheel with a diameter of 6 to 8-inches. If the speed exceeds 3 MPH or the application is used outdoors, we recommend wheels with a diameter of at least 10-inches.

Shepherd Bassick Honcho OS/OR Series: Ideal for Power-Towed Applications

The Shepherd Bassick Honcho OS/OR Series caster is a heavy-duty option built to survive excessive abuse. Capable of carrying heavy loads while remaining strong and dependable, this caster is perfect for power-towed applications, terminal trucks, and other heavy, abusive applications. Customers can choose between urethane, aluminum, or steel wheel materials. The wheels are available in 5, 6, and 8-inches. And the caster capacities range from 1,500 and 1,750 lbs.

Step 3: Choose the Material For Your Caster Wheel

Choosing the correct wheel material now can save you a lot of frustration later. Generally, hard wheels are ideal for smooth level floors and soft wheels are the best option for rough or damaged floor surfaces. If you want to protect linoleum, tile, or carpeted floors, polyurethane wheels are usually a great selection for floor protection.

Consider Floor Conditions and Environmental Factors

Floor conditions and environmental factors affect the type of wheel you should choose. Environmental factors include: moisture, oil, corrosion, braking needs, noise concerns, and floor protection.

When determining the type of material for your caster wheels, take into account the floor conditions of where your future casters will be used. If they will roll over a high amount of cracks, holes, or debris, then you should consider this when choosing wheel material.

Do not disregard floor obstructions like metal shavings, moisture and chemicals. Metal shavings, for example, can get embedded in softer wheels, which can damage the wheels and shorten their lifespan.

Extreme Heat or Cold

Most casters do not face problems when operated in various temperatures; however, some casters are negatively affected by extreme heat or cold.

Consider the surrounding environment of where your casters will be used. If they are going to be used outside, contemplate climate, moisture and debris. If they will only be used indoors, think about moisture, chemicals, detergents, and heat.

Step 4: Choose the Caster Bearing

Roller bearings are standard for most industrial applications and are capable of carrying high load capacities. Ball bearings roll the easiest and require less effort to move, but they typically carry lesser loads. To choose the right bearing for your wheel, consider how easy you want your application to roll. Roller or ball bearings are recommended for loads exceeding 400-pounds.

Step 5: Pick a Brake

There are many brake options available and each one is better suited for a particular purpose than the next. For example, side brakes and friction brakes are economical options. Tread locks and top locks provide a more positive locking wheel. Look through all of the brake options and decide which is best for your project.

Step 6: Look at Cost and Value 

It is in your best interest to choose the best wheel, bearing, brake, and capacity combination for your application. This will ensure productivity, minimize long-term costs, and provide the best return on your investment. Also, you must make sure you choose a caster that can move smoothly without risking the health and safety of operators involved.

Do not disregard cost or value, but know that when you buy the best caster to complete the job at hand, you will save money in the long run.

Learn More by Visiting Douglas Equipment’s Website

To view our entire collection of Shepherd casters and wheels, visit our website today. Learn more about our company while there and do not hesitate to reach out to our friendly and knowledgeable staff with any questions. Contact us by calling 1-800-451-0030 or fill out our online contact form.