Shop wheels come in many different sizes and types. While there is no exact way to know which one will be the best for you, there are several factors that can help you pick out a wheel that will last for a long time and serve its purpose. Here are the factors you should consider.
The first thing you need to do is calculate the maximum weight you will place on the casters. Typically, the heavier your loads, the larger your wheels will be. After all, larger wheels can better distribute the weight as they roll so you can push your equipment and clear obstructions.
To determine what load capacity each wheel needs, decide on your maximum load and divide it by the wheels. Each wheel must be able to support this number. It is better to go with wheels that can handle more weight than this. That allows for any conditions in your shop that could affect performance. Additionally, check to ensure the load capacity is rated for rolling, not stationary.
Soft, smooth floors demand a hard wheel material, while hard floors demand a softer wheel. However, it is essential to consider any obstructions, such as rails, seams, and tracks. The more flexible the material, the easier it will clear these items.
If you want to protect your floors, you should look at a softer material. For example, rubbers offer the best floor protection. On the other hand, cast iron and steel wheels provide no floor protection but are great for heavy industrial applications and meet government safety regulations. Polyurethane wheels are in the middle, providing decent load capacities and moderate floor protection.
There are also many different bearings to choose from, each intended for a unique purpose. These are crucial because they impact the performance of your wheels. For example, a sintered-iron wheel will be best for light equipment or stationary ones. There are also plain bearings to handle moderate loads.
When you need wheels that will do a lot of rolling, look for ball bearings. These require less force to put into motion and keep them moving. Roller bearings are also a good option, especially if moving heavy loads. These are often found in industrial applications. You can also find coated bearings that are resistant to corrosion.
As you can see, a lot goes into choosing the right wheels for your operation. Fortunately, following the advice in this guide will get you started in the right direction.