Often when we think of casters, we think of them having genteel uses such as helping office chairs roll, or moving coat racks from one place to another. Really, casters have a multitude of uses in all type of environments, including rough, heavy industrial settings where they need to stand up. Rough and uneven floor surfaces, heavy loads, and outdoor use can really take a toll on your material handling equipment and destabilize your cargo if you don’t have the right casters in place.
That’s why it’s important to know which casters are up for the job before you outfit a dolly or cart, because a caster failure in a tough environment can lead to lost productivity, schedule delays, and serious injury.
Here at Douglas Equipment, we have decades of experience in the material-handling field. We have extensive knowledge of which casters on the market are best for taking the punishment of tough working environments. We also know which manufacturers have the best reputations and stand behind their products. This makes us well positioned to advise you on the best casters for jobs in rough-and-tough industrial settings. Here we’ll tell you about the five top casters that are best suited for this kind of work.
1. Colson Enforcer Kingpinless Casters
When casters fail, 85% of the time it is due to kingpin failure. This is often because these kingpin casters are subject to rigorous conditions: frequent impact shock, rough terrain, towing—that puts stress on the kingpin that holds the swivel components together, and over time this stress causes the kingpin to fail.
Colson’s Enforcer remedies this issue by eliminating the most frequent source of the failure, the kingpin. In the Enforcer, the top plate and yoke base are locked together by large ball bearings, which achieves greater load and shock distribution, easier swiveling, and longer life. The Enforcer is available in 4, 6, 7 and 8 Series with capacities up to 6,000 lbs. for each caster, making it ideal for towline, aerospace, automotive, and tire manufacturing applications.
2. Darnell-Rose 5200 Series
This super heavy-duty caster is rugged enough for aviation and aerospace jobs that require the highest load capacity and receive the most severe handling. A combination of better load distribution and the differential action of the twin wheel offers higher load capacity and requires less effort to change the direction of the swivel. The heavy supporting center leg and side forks are flame cut from thick plate steel and are continuously welded on both sides for optimal strength and durability. Super heavy duty tapered bearings support the main load bearing and lower thrust bearing of the swivel raceway. The easy-to-operate, trouble-free wheel brake has a foot-pedal lever and a rubber brake pad to firmly immobilize the equipment. A four-position swivel lock securely holds the swivel in position. This beast of a caster has a capacity of an incredible 15,000 to 20,000 lbs.
3. Caster Concepts 80 Series Extra Heavy Duty Casters
The 80 Series-Extra Heavy Duty Casters are manufactured to withstand abusive applications, including:
- Die carts
- Automotive plants
- Steel mills
- Production line delivery trailers
- Fiberglass lay up molds
- Stamping racks
- Aircraft maintenance
- Aircraft crew stairs
- Trash gondolas
- Aircraft ground support equipment
The heat-treated raceways in the 80 Series are placed into the top plate and are designed to prevent brinelling. The laser-cut formed legs provide additional strength when side-loading or skidding occurs frequently in the application. The yoke and top plate of this caster are manufactured by a drop-forged process from C-1045 steel. The 1-¼-inch integrally forged kingpin is threaded, and the yoke base raceway is also machined to a 5-inch diameter. The components are then heat treated to 40 + 2 Rc. A 1.25-inch precision tapered thrust bearing is then pressed over the kingpin and engages the yoke, and hardened ball bearings complete the load bearing raceway. The ⅜-inch x 4-inch laser cut legs are formed on a CNC press brake and continuously welded inside and outside for added strength.
This caster accommodates 6 – 12” diameter wheels with widths from 2½ – 4 inches. The exceptional strength of the 80 Series makes it an ideal choice for rugged jobs.
4. Albion 700 Shockmaster Kingpinless Casters
These super-duty casters are built specifically for severe applications where reliability is essential, such as:
- Aircraft engine stands
- Ground support equipment
- Aerospace A-frame skin dollies
- Portable jigs
- Tooling fixtures
- Die carts
- Large platform work
The ½-inch thick top plate is crafted from AISI 1045 steel with one-piece forging, precision machined for long life. The swivel section consists of ¾-inch ball bearings mounted in a 7-inch diameter precision-machined raceway. A 1-¼-inch diameter axle and ½-inch thick steel legs welded to yoke base using 100,000-psi weld filler complete this tough, shock-absorbent caster.
5. Bestway SSLS/SSLSR Series Stainless Steel Casters
This caster is a fully 304 stainless steel solution for high-capacity, rough-usage applications that require a corrosive-resistant, steam-cleanable caster. Using Bestway’s patented double-ball kingboltless technology, this heavy-duty stainless caster can stand up to punishing towline and shockload applications because of its 5/16-inch-thick legs and its double weld. Supported wheel diameters are 6 – 12” and capacity ranges from 850 – 3,500 lbs. On high-capacity stainless steel casters such as this, stainless steel floor locks may be a much more effective alternative to wheel brakes and should be considered.
These Casters Are Tough. Dealing with Us Isn’t!
At Douglas Equipment, we are here to help you find that perfect caster to stand up to all the abuse your heavy-duty material handling environment might have. We’ve been helping people find the right caster for their specific needs for nearly 60 years. We look forward to offering you our expertise! Call us toll-free at 1-800-451-0030, or if you would prefer to contact us online we will have one of our service professionals get back to you right away!