When you are purchasing casters for an office cart, chair or another moving device you want to make sure that you get exceptional performance and durability at a fair price. However, there is one other consideration that many people forget when shopping for casters: are the casters safe to use on the type of flooring material I have? This may seem like a minor consideration, but choosing the wrong type of caster for your floor type can lead to poor caster performance and even damage to the flooring, neither of which is a desirable outcome.
What Are Some General Rules Regarding Choosing Casters by Floor Type?
While there are many different aspects to a caster that need to be thought through during the selection process, there is one main factor to consider when it comes to the type of flooring the caster will be used on, and that is the wheel material. Other factors such as any grease used in the wheels could also be a factor, but the main item to consider is the material of the wheels.
In general, you want to consider using a softer wheel material on a harder floor surface and a harder wheel material on a softer floor surface. This will not only help protect your floor surface, but also improve the mobility and maneuverability of your caster. Although there are always some exceptions to this general rule, it is a useful guideline to keep in mind when shopping for casters. However, the dedicated team at Douglas Equipment is well versed in all of the intricacies of caster function and can help work through your wheel material choices if you are ever in doubt.
What Are Acceptable Wheel Materials for Carpets?
Harder wheel materials on softer floors like carpets will give you a lot of options in terms of what wheel material you want. Here are a few of the popular hard wheel materials that work well on carpets:
- Polyolefin: Excellent if you will be exposing your casters to frequent wash downs, oils, grease, cleaning solutions or chemicals. As one of the most economical hard wheel material caster treads available, these wheels offer a lightweight construction while still providing a high impact strength.
- Cast Iron:As a strong and durable caster, this is one of the most popular hard wheel materials. Cast iron does not wear easily, is not easily chipped, and cracks are almost never seen. The one big drawback is the consideration of rust if it is used in a wet environment.
- Mold On Polyurethane: These casters are ideal for providing a long service life, high capacity, easy rolling performance and good floor protection. This wheel design includes a machined aluminum hub onto which a polyurethane tread is permanently molded, so there’s no risk of a bond breaking between materials.
- Steel: Like cast iron, steel provides a very durable wheel, but does not need the casting operation before machining. While this material will hold up well to long-term use, this material can also have a rust problem if not treated properly.
What Are Some Exceptional Casters for Carpeted Floors?
If you are working on carpeted floors, there are many harder wheel materials that work well under these conditions. Consider materials like hard synthetic, Nylon and Urethane. These will prevent damage to your carpeting while providing excellent rollability and maneuverability on soft-carpeted areas:
- Colson Specialty Business Machine Casters: Colson offers a variety of specialty casters for your business machine needs. These casters feature a zinc finish that provides excellent corrosion resistance and full double ball hardened raceways for greater durability and performance. These casters come in load capacities ranging from 500 -1200 lbs. The wheel materials include an ultra-tough thermoplastic wheel that can support high dynamic loads, and is resistant to hard impacts. It can also handle extreme temperatures from -45F to 180F.
- Shepherd Metal Tread Ball: For an all-metal swivel caster, this one from Shepherd is hard to beat. Perfect for chairs or office furniture, these casters come in load capacities from 40 – 100 lbs. for a durable caster with a classic design seen on many office furnishings. Metal finishes available are bright brass, Windsor antique and bright chrome to match any other office furniture you may have.
- Colson G Series Lo Pro Top Plate Swivel and Rigid: When you are looking for matching rigid and swivel casters that are ideal for housekeeping carts and business machines, consider the Colson G Series. Featuring a zinc plate finish for durability and attractiveness, these wheels come in load capacities of 120 – 210 lbs. Full double ball hardened raceways provide greater durability and better performance with a very low profile design to provide a low height and quick swivel response. Wheel materials include cushion rubber and hard rubber, and the units come with thread guards as a standard option on all models, except the 3” brake model.
No Matter the Floor Material, Call Douglas Equipment
No matter what material you have on your floor, you want to make sure you purchase casters that will work properly without causing a problem or marking your flooring. For the best advice and information available on finding the ideal caster based on your flooring requirements, call the dedicated team at Douglas Equipment. We have been in the material handling equipment business since 1955, and our dedicated service team is standing by ready to serve your unique needs.
From our location in South Florida we can easily provide caster service to the entire United States, and we can also quickly ship products to the Caribbean and South America as well. So if you are ready to find the perfect caster for your needs, and are local to South Florida, you can call us at 305-888-3700, while national customers can call us toll free at 1-800-451-0030. We are also available through our online contact form where one of our service members will reply as soon as possible.