Some products are just such good design ideas that they become classics. Take the vinyl record, for example. As a means of recording music, it’s never been bettered. The audio cassette took over for a while, but who has cassettes these days? The CD was a revolution, but again, who has CDs these days? There’s digital music of course, but for that true analog sound, it could be said that the vinyl record is still king!
When it comes to the movement of all kinds of items of all shapes and sizes, you cannot beat the humble caster as a design classic. It’s such a simple design – a mount, a fork and a wheel; you really cannot get any more fundamental! Yet the caster has been around for a couple of centuries now, and due to its versatility, it’s likely to be around for a few centuries more!
What to Consider If You’re Thinking about Purchasing Custom-Made Casters
Despite a caster being such a classic and simplistic design, there’s a great deal to consider if you are thinking about custom-made casters. Asking for a caster is like asking for a box – what size, what material, how strong does it have to be, etc.—all questions pertinent to both boxes and casters.
There are four main aspects of a caster’s use though, including:
- Type of floor surface
- State of floor surface
- Type of equipment
- Load capacity
Let’s take a look in turn at each of these important factors.
1. Type of floor surface
The important factors about floor surfaces can be boiled down to two aspects – whether the floor is likely to be marked or not. If your casters are going to be used on polished wooden floors, then non-marking casters are a must. If your casters are going to be used on a concrete floor, then you can get away with casters that may leave a mark.
For a non-marking caster, we recommend the Regent series as manufactured by Shepherd. These casters are ideal for light duties in areas where the unaffected, decent condition of the floor is vital. There are many options available to you, but to keep your floor in tip-top condition, we suggest you choose soft rubber wheels.
These casters have a dynamic load capacity of between 80 – 130 lbs., and come with double-ball bearing raceways and an attractive zinc finish. Other finishes are available, and they can also be fitted with optional brakes.
2. State of floor surface
Floors come in all shapes, materials and sizes, from super smooth floors to production facility floors that are frequently strewn with debris. For super smooth floors, a non-marking caster is always your best bet. For floors covered in debris, you need a caster that’s a little more hard working.
If you work in an environment where the floor is typically covered in ‘stuff’ or is rough or uneven,then our recommendation is the Kingpinless Enforcer Swivel and Matching Rigid’ caster, which is manufactured by Colson. This tough little beast has an alternative to the kingpin design, so that the main problem associated with a kingpin – stretching – is eliminated.
This caster also has a recessed zerk grease fitting on the swivel raceway that’s designed to prevent damage. The formed fork legs feature robotic welding both internally and externally for added strength. This caster can deal with all types of loads up to an outstanding 4,500 lbs. For reliability over uneven surfaces we recommend cast iron, phenolic or forged steel wheels.
3. Type of equipment
What you are using your casters for is as important as the load they are capable of carrying, or the type of surface they are being used upon. For example, you will not want steel, heavy-duty casters on your office chairs, or budget-conscious plastic wheels on your industrial equipment.
For office furniture and for use in any institutional or hospital environments, we recommend the 0600 Series as manufactured by Algood. These simple yet effective casters are good looking with a bright chrome finish and nylon bushing. This caster comes with a choice of four finishes – antique, brass, chrome and black – and has a load capacity of 75 lbs.
For heavy-duty needs, you really can’t go wrong with the AlTurtle Series, also manufactured by Algood. These casters come with a hardened yoke and washers, and hardened steel load bearings, giving a capacity of 700 lbs. Heavy-duty versions are also available with capacities of 1,400 and 2,500 lbs.
4. Load capacity
Of course, a caster is not worth its salt if it has a tiny load capacity. Casters come with all sorts of capacities – don’t forget that it is the aggregate capacity of the casters that matters, not the individual. For example, you might be asking yourself what’s the point of a caster for an office chair if it only has a capacity of seventy-five pounds? The answer is that your typical office chair has five casters, giving a total load capacity of 375 lbs.
Again, for all types of casters and associated load capacities, we recommend the casters as supplied by Colson Casters. Colson have been in the caster-manufacturing industry for many years, and can be relied upon to provide you with a full range of casters of all types and capacities. Their multiple series of casters are designed to fulfill any application you might possibly consider!
Douglas Equipment is Your Best Bet For all Your Caster Needs
Here at Douglas Equipment we stock casters from all the best manufacturers in the USA and beyond – Shepherd, Colson, Albion, Algood, Bestway, Blickle – all the top names in the caster manufacturing realm.
Whatever your casters needs, we can satisfy them. Just pick up the phone and talk to one of our expert support team members about your needs, and we’ll be sure to help you out.
We can be contacted by phone at 1-800-451-0030, or by using the online contact form that’s available on our website.