An Alternative Solution to a Difficult Setup
When thinking of casters, the usual image that comes to mind is the rolling wheels that are mounted on the bottom side of furniture and equipment that makes them mobile. However, there are certain circumstances that the usual bottom mount casters are not the best option, or will not work all together. For situations like these there are other caster options. There are casters available that have a mounting mechanism that allows them to be mounted on the side of the item that needs to be made mobile. Side mount casters and square stem casters can solve tough mounting conditions and they can provide other options for being able to attach casters to equipment, furniture, equipment, gates, and many other types of items. Side mount casters are available with a vertical side plate that comes as part of the unit. A visual example of this type of caster is a caster that you might see on a gate. Square stem casters are casters that can be bolted or riveted to surfaces in such a way as to operate in a perpendicular direction to the floor.
Which Category to Look For
The basic casters available come in three different categories of light, medium and heavy. This distinction refers not to the caster weight itself, but to the individual weight-bearing load of each caster. In general the square stem casters are available in the medium category and also in a separate category that falls in between medium and heavy. The medium casters weight bearing load is generally up to 325 lbs. each and the medium/heavy category casters weight bearing capacity is generally up to 400 lbs. each.
Medium Square Stem Caster Characteristics
The square stem casters that are available in the medium category have a weight-bearing load of up to 325 lbs., and each have many characteristics that are considered standard. Some of these features include:
• A zinc plated finish, which is both durable and attractive.
• Full double ball hardened raceways, which makes for both better performance and increased durability.
• 3/8″ hollow axle with lock nut.
• Grease holes on wheel bearing which is more convenient.
• Colson 45″ multi-temp grease, which can lubricate in extreme hot and cold temperatures.
Also, some of the wheel types available in this category include: Performa flat tread, performa round thread, performa conductive flat, performa conductive round, polyolefin, thermo, polyurethane hi-tech, riveted disc polyurethane, cast iron, rubber hi-tech and phenolic.
The casters in the medium category also come with two mounting options. The first is the standard mounting and is specifically designed to be bolted or riveted flush against any flat and vertical surface. They are made for easy installation on the inside of angle iron legs or also against flat surfaces. The standard available stem measures 3/4” square x 2-1/16″ long, and has three mounting holes 17/64″ in diameter. Two of the mounting holes are at 3/8” and 1-11/16″ up on one side and the third mounting hole is at 1″ on the other side. The other mounting option is the optional mounting, which is sometimes considered more common. It is designed specifically for insertion into 7/8″ ID Square Tubing. It measures 2-1/16″ in length and has one mounting hole that is 17/64″ in diameter located 1″ up.
Medium/Heavy Square Stem Casters
The square stem casters that are available in the medium/heavy category have many of the same standard features as the casters in the medium category. However, they also offer two additional characteristics that are considered standard. These are:
• A permanent rivet king pin construction.
• A reinforcing washer located on lower raceway.
The mounting option available for this category is a 7/8″ square that measures 2-1/2″ long and has two holes, one at 3/8” and one at 2-1/8″ on one side, and another two holes, one at ¾” on one side and 1-3/4” on the other.
Another option to consider for difficult mounting situations is a specialty caster, the concealed side mount caster. This caster is designed so that the equipment or furniture that it attaches to rides ½” above the floor. They can be attached to the side of the equipment or furniture with # 8 wood screws. It has an undrilled, 1¼” X 2¼” plate on the top and measured from the side, a 9/16″ deep x 2¾” long plate. It has a 2″ black plainbore polyolefin wheel. And it has mounting holes that are 1-5/16″ up and 1-13/16″ apart.
Ways to Narrow the Options
No matter the type of work environment, there is a caster that will fill both the specific construction and mounting needs of difficult to fit pieces of equipment and furniture as well as other workplace concerns. Because there are many options available, even within the limited scope of side mount casters and square stem casters, it is important to fully understand the conditions to be able to choose the absolute best match. There are simple questions that can be asked that can identify the best match. Simple questions such as: What is the floor type? What is the thermal condition? What exactly needs to be made mobile? Will it be passing over different types of terrain? How heavy is the item being moved? Is it something that needs to be made mobile often? Or is it something that is mostly stationary, with limited but important times of movement? These questions and more can help to narrow the field of choices when it comes to choosing the best caster for the job.
We at Douglas Equipment understand the difficulty in having many possible choices. With over fifty years in the moving equipment business, we can help you to determine what the best solution is for you and your business. We pride ourselves in helping you in the fastest most efficient way. Please contact us Toll-free at 1-800-451-0030, locally at 305-888-3700, or by faxing us at 305-883-9563. We can also be reached electronically through the Contact Us section on our website. We look forward to hearing from you.