Where to Purchase Better Casters for Airport Use

welcome-to-phillyWith flights at today’s airports as tightly scheduled as they are, there is little room for error. Even the simplest equipment failures can send ripple effects through an airport, causing flight delays and putting strains on the ground support staff. To keep this from happening, airport equipment needs to be tough and dependable throughout constant use (and sometimes abuse).

When you stop to think about it, you realize that much of this equipment that airport personnel rely on is on wheels. Aircraft maintenance stands, luggage carts, in-flight service trolleys, cargo decks and dollies—all of these need to be ready to roll at a moment’s notice. Their wheels need to be durable enough so id doesn’t bog you down with constant repair or replacement. In short, mobile airport equipment needs heavy-duty, high-performance casters to keep operations rolling.

At Douglas Equipment, aviation is just one of the industries we serve with our top-quality selection of casters and our decades of expertise with material handling equipment. At Douglas, we know the caster market better than anyone, and we’ll be able to recommend and supply the perfect casters to meet your airport operation’s specific needs.

Come Fly with Albion

For aviation materials handling, we don’t hesitate to recommend Albion’s Contender 141 series of spring-loaded casters. Built to stand up to the groaning weights and the demanding environments of the aviation and automotive industries, the Contender does not have a traditional exposed spring coil. Rather, these casters feature a unique solid polyurethane spring that resists corrosion and prevents debris from jamming the spring action. This kingpinless, yellow Dichromate-finished caster’s stout construction (and your choice of rubber or polyurethane wheels) makes this an ideal caster for handling shock-sensitive cargo in the airport environment. Albion recommends the Contender 141 for aircraft tripod jacks and any ground support equipment.

For the heaviest of heavy-duty ground support applications, Albion’s dual-wheel 298 series brings the muscle to keep operations rolling. Supporting wheel diameters from 12 – 18”, the 298 are built with an oscillating, compensating wheel axle and cushion suspension leveling. Every part of this caster is crafted for maximum load capacity, from the one-inch thick 1045 AISI heat treated steel top plate, to the 2” diameter heat treated king bolt, to the half-inch-thick steel plate legs that are welded to form a box section column.

To make this big brute swivel with ease, the 298 sports an 11-inch diameter precision machined load raceway with ⅝” steel and tapered roller thrust bearing. With a range of capacities from 4,200 to an incredible 20,000 lbs., this caster’s typical applications include for aviation work stands, hangar doors, and fuel cell transport, among many others.

Smooth Gliding with Caster Concepts

Another one of Douglas Equipment’s excellent manufacturer partners, Caster Concepts, also serves a broad range of industries, with aviation a prominent focus in their product line. Their 80 Series Extra Heavy Duty casters are a go-to line for aircraft maintenance apparatus, aircraft crew stairs, and all forms of aircraft ground support equipment. The 80 Series features a ball-load swivel dropforged from C-1045 steel with a 5-inch diameter, precision-machined load raceway and a 1¼” tapered thrust bearing. A one-inch Grade 5 axle and a 1¼” integrally forged kingpin with slotted adjusting nut complement ⅜” x 4” legs that are formed and continuously welded both inside and out. The 80 Series can accommodate 6” and 12” wheels for capacities up to an impressive 5,000 lbs. Available options include brakes, swivel locks, sealed swivel, sealed wheels, toe guard, and dual wheel design.

When shock absorption and floor protection are critical to your airport material handling applications, Caster Concepts’ Pneumatic Wheel Series delivers the goods in air-cushioned style. The pneumatic tires cushion the load and roll over obstructions, uneven floor surfaces, and rough indoor or outdoor terrain with ease. These casters provide long wheel life, low maintenance, and high shock absorbency, with a long swivel offset that aids in swiveling and tracking in towing applications. Wheel diameters run from 8” – 25” and capacities range from 295 to a whopping 7,260 lbs. The Pneumatic Wheel Series is ideal on aircraft ground support equipment, helicopter dollies, and other equipment carrying electronics or other highly sensitive materials.

Take to the Air with Darnell-Rose

An industry mainstay since 1921, Darnell-Rose manufactures superior casters for numerous industries, including a wide array of aviation applications:

  • Aircraft jacking and maintenance stands
  • Baggage conveyor systems
  • Cargo loaders
  • Engine stands
  • General hangar operations
  • General ground support
  • In-flight kitchens and service trolleys

The Darnell-Rose 20 Series caster is specifically designed to be the most heavily constructed caster of its kind, making it a top choice for air cargo dollies and other heavy airport applications.

Its features include a ⅜” top plate, a thick welded yoke, and a double ball-bearing swivel raceway that is machined to close tolerances and exact dimensions. Both a neoprene seal and metal dust cap prevent foreign matter from obstructing the swivel raceway. Pressure lubrication fittings are provided in both the swivel fork and the wheel axle bolt. All moving parts are heat treated and its ¼” thick steel yoke legs are continuously welded for added strength and endurance. Load capacities range from 350 – 1,000 lbs.

Let Douglas Equipment Help You Earn Your Wings

What we’ve described here is just a small sample of what Douglas Equipment provides to our friends in the aviation industry. When you’ve been in the material handling business for nearly 60 years like we have, you know which caster manufacturers have what it takes to stand the test of time and consistently deliver the best quality and value to its customers.

We’ve been around long enough to know which caster is exactly right for your needs at the airport or any other industrial environment. So, let us put that experience and expertise to work for you! Give us a call at our South Florida location, toll free at 1-800-451-0030, or contact us online through our contact form . Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is standing by to serve you!