Among other things, wheels and casters have two fundamental differences. The first is the swivel radius, which measures how much space the wheel requires to swivel fully. The measurement begins at the center of the kingpin or swiveling raceway and goes horizontally.
Offset Distance Between Wheels And Casters
Offset is the horizontal distance between the axle centerline and the kingpin of the caster. Longer offsets will make the wheels swivel more efficiently, while shorter offsets will be more stable and provide more strength. Shorter offsets are often preferred for applications where space is at a premium.
A caster’s swivel lead is crucial when choosing the correct caster. The offset distance between the wheel axle and the vertical centerline of the kingpin is essential for optimal performance. This distance is critical when working with heavier loads. Typically, the longer the swivel lead, the more difficult it is to push and maneuver.
In addition to size, offset is also crucial in determining the rollability of a cart. The offset distance between wheels and casters varies depending on the wheel material. Therefore, a wheel with a smaller offset has a lower rolling resistance. Similarly, a more considerable compensation means the caster will swivel more easily.
Depending on the type of floor and tread, the offset distance between casters and wheels will affect the swivel resistance of the caster. Smaller offsets will require a giant lever to move them. Conversely, more extended balances will help reduce the swivel force, resulting in less strain and injuries during material handling.
The offsetting distance between wheels and casters is vital when designing a caster. It will also determine the length of the fork and wheels. For example, rigid casters consist of a wheel mounted to a stationary fork. Therefore, they tend to restrict the motion of the vehicle.
Weight Capacity of Swivel Casters
Swivel casters allow for 360-degree rotation to improve maneuverability. However, these casters are generally more expensive than rigid casters. In addition, manufacturing these casters requires more complex processes than rigid casters. Therefore, the weight capacity of swivel caster wheels is one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a caster.
Swivel casters can be found in various styles, colors, and capacities. Some are kingpin less, meaning there is no kingpin to stretch or snap. Other types feature mold-on rubber or Performa rubber wheels, ranging in size from 4″ to 6″. The weight range for casters is 300 pounds to 1500 pounds.
Swivel casters can be converted to rigid casters. The weight capacity of a cart is often different than its weight capacity, depending on the size of the wheels and the bearing style. In addition, some casters have shock-absorbing features, which absorb impact from jarring objects.
Swivel casters are versatile but not without limits. Different applications require different weight capacities. Heavy-duty casters are ideal for heavy equipment, while medium-duty casters are suitable for moderately heavy equipment. Medium-duty casters offer versatility and reliability without sacrificing quality. They also come in different styles. For heavy machinery, you can opt for heavy-duty casters, which can hold up to 600 pounds.
Disadvantages of Swivel Casters
Swivel casters are more versatile than fixed casters and are ideal for moving industrial equipment and tool chests. However, there are a few disadvantages of swivel casters. First, they can only pivot in one direction. This is only sometimes desirable for users who need to move their equipment around frequently.
Another type of caster is the rigid caster. A rigid caster isn’t flexible but can be mounted to a stationary plate. This can be helpful when moving items in straight lines, like in a warehouse. They also have a locking mechanism to keep the wheel and swivel assembly in place.
Swivel casters have a ball bearing inside. This allows them to rotate 360 degrees, making them ideal for moving items in tight spaces and warehouses. However, the downside of swivel casters is that they require more workforce to maneuver, which means they’re not the best option for transporting heavy items over long distances. Furthermore, they’re expensive compared to rigid casters.
Swivel casters have different pros and cons, and selecting the suitable model for the job is critical. The proper lead length can make or break a caster. For example, a zero-lead caster can handle heavier loads than a long-lead caster. The latter type is also easier to maneuver and reduces noise.