Load capacity is a key consideration in caster selection. Different grades of casters are made to support a minimum amount of weight while being able to easily roll it on its wheels. Heavy-duty casters can handle loads from 2,000 to 44,000 pounds. Heavy-duty casters are often used in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and on other large objects that require mobility. These casters are essential for the successful operation of many kinds of material handling equipment, and have many additional uses in manufacturing and industrial settings.
To meet the needs of such a wide range of applications, heavy duty casters are available in many different combinations of styles, materials, and functionality. The first differentiating factor starts at the frame – casters can be manufactured to have either a rigid (fixed) fork, or swivel fork.
Rigid casters are limited to rolling in a forward and backward direction. Swivel casters offer ease of maneuverability and the ability to rotate in a complete 360o. Heavy duty swivel caster wheels are designed to pivot, meaning you’ll be able to transport your items with much more ease should you need to turn a corner—something that regularly transported items need.
Swivel casters enable the equipment, table, or dolly to move and turn in restricted spaces.
These two types of casters work well separately, or in tandem when a combined level of control and maneuverability are needed. Both swivel and fixed heavy-duty casters may be equipped with a braking mechanism to secure the casters in place to keep the device in a stationary position.
Standard or Heavy-Duty Caster Wheels?
The distinction between standard casters and heavy-duty caster wheels is the amount of weight that can be safely supported by the caster. Heavy-duty casters may support from 2,000 to 44,000 lbs. They typically have thicker fork legs and a wider load-bearing swivel section and are attached to the legs of the device with a sturdy steel plate. And, unlike standard casters, some heavy duty casters can be outfitted to absorb the forces involved when the caster is travelling under mechanical power (at a speed higher than the standard walking speed of 3 miles per hour).
Standard light duty casters are often used to move and support furniture and appliances in the home. Decorative casters may be attached to shelving units, such as TV stands and desks. However, heavy-duty casters are most often used in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and on other large objects that require mobility.
Read our article about the “Top 3 Heavy Duty Casters Wheels for Moving Furniture”.
Heavy Duty Casters for the Aerospace Industry
Heavy duty caster wheels are utilized in the aerospace and aircraft manufacturing process to move large work pieces, assemblies and equipment. Heavy duty casters are a key component for aircraft engine stands, enabling the technician to move and lock the work stand with ease. Heavy duty casters with high speed bearings are also used on aircraft tow bars.
Another interesting use for heavy-duty wheels is on airplane hangar doors. Heavy-duty casters for hangar doors may be of the rigid variety, but they must support the weight of the huge doors. These casters enable the doors to easily be moved by one or two individuals, or by an automatic switch.
Helicopter landing pads and dollies also rely on heavy duty casters to maneuver a heavy helicopter after it has landed. When heavy duty wheels are attached to landing dollies, it gives the landing platform additional stability and increased ease of handling.
Mobilizing loaded or unloaded containers is a popular application for heavy duty casters. A special corner fitting bracket is utilized to mount these casters directly to shipping containers. Our container casters are manufactured to fit ISO Corner Fitting of Cargo Containers of various sizes. Container casters have a ‘handle’ that swings forward to lock into the corner fitting, and back to unlock.
While there are a variety of wheels that suit this application, load capacity and application environment are the two main factors that determine final caster selection. Load capacities for these casters range from 2,500-20,000 pounds. If needed, these casters are also available with swivel lock and wheel brakes.
Heavy Duty Caster Wheels Move Heavy Parts
A place that utilizes heavy-duty casters is manufacturing plants that produce heavy machinery and equipment. Heavy duty wheels are necessary in aircraft assembly plants, auto assembly plants, and heavy equipment/earthmoving equipment manufacturing plants. Heavy-duty casters enable workers to move heavy parts and assemblies to various locations within the plant with much more ease – making manual work less strenuous on the backs of your employees. Heavy duty casters can also be used along assembly lines in heavy manufacturing environments, such as automobile and aircraft manufacturing plants, to smoothly move heavy parts through the entire assembly process.
Heavy-Duty Casters are Essential for Dollies and Platform Trucks
You wouldn’t have a car without the wheels. Likewise, you wouldn’t have a dolly or platform truck without casters. Heavy-duty wheels are essential for successful operation of these kinds of material-handling equipment. Determining what kind of heavy-duty caster you need for your dolly or platform truck is something that a Douglas Equipment representative can assist you with – as all of our material-handling equipment can be custom-manufactured for your business’s specific purpose. In addition, we have an extensive catalog of impressive material-handling equipment that you shop from on our website.
Learn the difference between a dolly and a platform truck in our article, “What Is the Difference Between a Dolly, Hand Truck, and a Folding Hand Truck?”.
It’s worth noting that carts used in the manufacturing process also utilize heavy-duty casters.
Have Casters Reinvented the Wheel?
It could be said that casters are the manifestation of reinventing the wheel. By creating a mechanism that connects the heavy duty wheel to a platform, the task of hauling small and heavy items from one place to the next has improved drastically. Casters are just as important as the wheel itself. It makes it easier to transport items, and thanks to Douglas Equipment, there are ways to customize a caster to fit a specific purpose, whether it’s for heavy-duty applications or extreme weather conditions.
Uses for Heavy-Duty Casters Vary
Casters support and move a great deal of weight and are essential in certain manufacturing and industrial settings. To find or design the right kind of heavy-duty caster for your material-handling needs, contact the experts at Douglas Equipment. Our team can provide you with more information about the many uses of heavy duty caster wheels, as well as all the options available to fit your specific application.
We have a huge inventory of heavy duty casters, including:
- Heavy duty cast iron casters
- Heavy duty total lock brake casters
- Heavy duty side lock brake casters
We carry heavy duty casters from all the top manufacturers, including: Albion, Hamilton Caster & Manufacturing, Colson Group USA, Superior Casters, Darnell-Rose Division, Blickle USA, Revvo Caster Company, and Bond Caster & Wheel.
Call our toll-free number 1-800-451-0030 or contact us directly today!