There are several different types of casters, but there are two main configurations that you must decide between when making your choice about the caster that is likely to be the best option for your business:
Rigid fixed caster
A rigid fixed caster is permanently locked in one position, directional-wise. This means that items they are used on can usually only travel in a fixed direction. They can be maneuvered, but it usually takes some effort in order to fully mobilize items that are given portability by having fixed casters.
The bonus with fixed casters is – because they have less moving parts – they tend to be at the cheaper end of the caster market when it comes to price, they require little to no maintenance and they tend to last a long time before breaking down.
Swivel casters have the ability to rotate a full 180 degrees, which means they can move at any angle and in any direction. This means items with swivel casters are much easier to maneuver than items with fixed casters.
Swivel Casters Offer Higher Levels of Maneuverability
However, as swivel casters have more moving parts, they are typically more expensive than fixed casters, and they require higher levels of maintenance to keep them operating at their best. Most of us have experienced the nightmare of using a shopping cart that has ‘sticky’ swivel casters.
Swivel casters can be fitted with directional locks, so they can be turned from swivel casters to fixed casters at the press of a plate. Both rigid fixed casters and swivel casters can be supplied with total lock brakes. These brakes lock the caster firmly in position so it will not move – ideal when you want your caster-mounted items to remain in one place!
Some applications compromise between maneuverability and cost by mixing swivel casters with fixed casters. Any item that has swivel casters at the front and fixed casters at the rear increases its ‘all fixed’ versatility, and becomes much easier to maneuver.
Here we suggest a few models of casters that might bring a little versatility to your warehouse equipment’s mobility.
Low Profile Medium Heavy Duty Series from Shepherd Casters
These low-profile casters are great for medium to heavy duty applications and even though they are small, they’re extremely mighty too! These casters come in both basic configurations – swivel top plate models and rigid top plate models.
These casters have a high load capacity of up to 1000 lbs., and have standard precision bearing wheels in the glass-filled nylon models. They have wheels manufactured from urethane for quiet operation, and are coated with RoHS-compliant trivalent zinc plating.
They can be supplied with directional locks (in the case of the swivel model) and total-lock brakes. These casters are ideal for when you want to add a little mobility to items that typically would be loaded onto carts or trucks in order to relocate them.
The G Series from Colson Casters
If you’ve followed our website for any length of time, then you know that we definitely are big fans of Colson Casters. They really are the cream of the crop when it comes to casters, and we recommend them based on our decades of experience with working with this great company.
The G Series has both a standard model and the ‘Lo Pro’ model. Both are available in top plate swivel and top plate rigid configurations. The standard model comes in an attractive yet durable zinc-plated finish. It has an economical single-ball hardened raceway with a nickel-plated rivet that prevents binding. This caster has a capacity of between 120 and 350 lbs., and can be supplied with a brake.
The ‘Lo Pro’ model has a lower profile than the standard model to give a lower load height plus a quick swivel response. It’s ideal for stock-picking carts, housekeeping carts, business machines and warehouse dollies and has a load capacity of between 120 and 210 lbs. Like the standard model, it can be supplied with a brake.
F2/F4 Empire Casters from Albion
For general-purpose casters that will provide all the traction and versatility you need without emptying your bank account, we heartily recommend the F2/F4 Empire Caster from our good friends at Albion.
These casters feature a top plate and yoke that’s heavily embossed and made from formed steel in order to extend the life of your casters even in rugged, debris-strewn environments. The swivel section has fully-hardened ball-bearing raceways, which are essential for continual smooth operation. All casters are zinc-plated so they’re resistant to rust and other corrosive elements.
Recommended uses for these casters include display carts, dolly carts, institutional equipment, hotel equipment, food service equipment, stock carts and laundry carts. They can be supplied in custom configurations, and typically have a load-bearing capacity of between 125 and 300 lbs. Note that the F2 is only available as a swivel caster, while the F4 can be supplied as either swivel plate or fixed plate.
Increase Your Warehouse Equipment Mobility with Douglas Equipment
We’ve been in the caster supply business since 1955, so it’s fair to say we know a thing or two about casters. No matter your business, and no matter your specific suite of applications, we know which casters are most suited for your needs.
Don’t forget that we are caster wholesalers, which means that we welcome bulk orders because they allow us to lower our per-unit-cost prices. You’ll save plenty of money in the long run if you make a bulk purchase, as opposed to buying casters on an as-needed basis.
We welcome all inquiries, and our experienced sales staff is always on hand to take your call, and to offer you as much valuable advice as you need. All you need to do to get in contact with our team is to call us at 1-800-451-0030, or use our online online contact form.