You’ve probably noticed by now that there are a variety of caster designs on the market. Out of all the market choices, the most important thing you need to think about is if you need rigid or swivel casters to meet safety regulations in your shop and get the job done. There are quite a few factors that can impact what type of wheel you need. Here are some reasons you would need each configuration.
Rigid Wheel Casters
A fixed or rigid caster is a mounted wheel that doesn’t turn. Rigid casters are good for moving objects in straight lines since they cannot be steered. They can only move front and back or side to side. While this may limit maneuverability, these casters are the stronger option and can handle hefty weights. The most important part of using this caster is ensuring the wheels are lined up in their track before you load the cart. They are a great option if you plan on pushing heavy pallets across loading bays.
Swivel Wheel Casters
If maneuverability is your goal, you will want swivel casters. These wheels rotate in complete circles and let your loaded carts change direction easily. Many of them can handle heavy loads, although they are not as strong as rigid wheels. However, these are often harder to move when carrying heavy loads since it takes a strong push in one direction to align the wheels. It is also challenging to make this type of cart move in straight lines, so they are best suited for items that will only move short distances. You can often find all swivel configurations on mobile cake decorating tables in bakeries.
For certain tasks, you may need to move smoothly in a straight line and change directions. For these applications, it is best to have swivel wheels on one end and rigid ones on the other. This allows you to move in multiple directions while still steering in a straight line over long distances. An example of this configuration can be seen on shopping carts at grocery stores. This configuration is also very strong and can handle loads that would normally require rigid wheels.
While there are many options for casters on the market, the most important decision you will make is between rigid and swivel wheels. The weight, distance, and maneuverability requirements for your items are the main factors you should consider when choosing a configuration.