When selecting casters for furniture, it is important to find the correct caster for the job. Improper casters can make it hard or even impossible to move furniture. If the casters are not sturdy enough, they will not be able to support the weight and break or will need to be replaced often. Going the less expensive route isn’t always the smartest decision, especially when you have to spend double the amount to replace them in the future.
If you found a good distributor, chances are you’ll receive a discount with your bulk purchase. However, when it comes time to replace your caster, you probably won’t need a bulk supply. Therefore, the unit cost will be more than what you originally paid. This in turn will cost your company more money.
The Value of Choosing a Quality Caster
You could buy a top quality caster, but if it is used in the wrong environment, the life of that caster could expire quickly. This is another way you could waste a considerable amount of money. It is imperative that you educate yourself on the type of caster wheels that are available to you so that you purchase the right kind for your company’s needs.
Just because the less expensive caster cost less, doesn’t mean it’s of cheap quality. There are several different types of casters for various floor applications that make it far easier to transport people and/or equipment.
The distributors at Douglas Equipment would like to provide you with some valuable information on how to find the best caster wheels for your specific needs. Here are few things that you need to consider before buying your bulk supply of caster wheels:
Consider the Floor Type
The type of floor where the furniture will be used makes a difference in what type of caster will be better suited for the job. If the floor is wood, tile or granite, then a urethane or cushion rubber caster is best. Consider the following:
- Bassick Series
- Shepherd Baron Series
- Shepherd Pacer Twin Wheel
- Shepherd Soft Tread Ball
Casters made of harder wheel materials like polyolefin and nylon can scratch hardwood flooring and crack tiles. Softer wheel materials like urethane and cushion rubber offer better traction are much quieter and will not damage hardwoods or tiles. For this application you can select from the following:
- Colson Series
- Shepherd Replacement Chair-Pivot
- Colson Specialty Business Machine Casters
- Shepherd Tread Ball
- Colson G Series Lo
If the floor is soft, a hard wheel is needed for proper traction against the soft floor. If the floor is carpet, larger wheels are needed for higher pile of carpet. The larger wheels allow the casters to maintain proper traction even after the wheel has dropped down into the pile of the carpet.
Consider the Weight of the Furniture
Another important factor to consider is how much weight the caster will be supporting. Caster wheels are available in light, medium and heavy-duty styles. While the light duty caster may only hold up to 145 lbs. of weight, the heavy-duty casters can hold the weight of entire trucks or transport trailers.
When determining the weight capacity that is needed for each caster, remember that all casters share the weight. The total amount of weight to be supported is divided by the number of casters that will be supporting the weight. For example, a piece of furniture that sits on four casters that weighs 500 lbs. will only need each of the four casters to support 125 lbs. of weight.
With furniture, however, there is another factor to consider. For example, with a chair, someone might lean forward or back in the chair. In such cases like this, the entire weight must be supported by two casters even though it’s normally supported by four. Consider whether this type of situation applies to the furniture for which the casters are being purchased.
Weight may also be unevenly distributed while the furniture is rolling. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the total weight that will need to be supported will never be more than 3/4 of the combined weight capacity of all the casters.
Weigh Your Options Carefully
It is important to consider all of the options when purchasing casters. The proper caster can make the difference in the comfort and productivity of a piece of furniture. Improper casters can make a piece of furniture unmanageable or even completely unusable.
It’s not only furniture that casters carry, it’s really anything that requires ease of transportation. Hospital and other healthcare facilities utilize the function of casters on a frequent basis. Whether they are transporting patients, medical goods, and small items, the type of casters needed for each application matters. These things are considered as hospital furniture. Getting too big of a caster could cause an imbalance of the load. On the other hand, larger casters are better for heavier objects.
In the case of warehouse applications, you will need to consider a different type of furniture, as it doesn’t always pertain to lounging. If you need something to hold small or large parts that need to be transported frequently, then you’ll need to determine the weight of what’s being moved.