Moving heavy equipment in an industrial setting can be a daunting task. A solution to this issue lies in fitting the equipment with specialised castor wheels that can withstand the weight of the material as well as the environment.
However, not all castor wheels can get applied in an industrial setting. Thus, selecting heavy duty castor requires some fundamental knowledge of how they will get used so as to ensure they function properly and with longevity. Choosing suitable castor wheels will provide many years of use with minimal to regular maintenance costs.
Here are the main considerations to make when choosing industrial castors.
The weight each castor can withstand
Typically, four castors are used per unit of equipment and hence the weight distribution is a major consideration. The first step is to determine weight the castors will be carrying. Once the weight gets determined, add 25% of the weight for safety purposes then divided the total weight (the load weight plus the extra 25%) by three to account for floor irregularities.
Accounting for floor irregularity is essential because no floor is perfectly flat and thus, occasionally the weight will get distributed on three castors instead of four.
However, it is vital to note that the extra 25% weight doesn't account for shock when the load gets dropped onto the cart. It is advisable to use a 300% weight increase instead of 30% to account for drop shock.
The speed used to move equipment on the castor wheels
Though there is a minimal effect on the swivel section, the design and the material used to make the castor wheel are essential to avoid issues brought about by speed. Promptness is important in any industry; however, the duration of movement at a particular rate is a considerable factor for castors.
Hence, when choosing castor wheels, take into account the worst case scenario where the castor wheels are carrying their maximum weight capacity and moving at high speeds for long durations of time. Before choosing castor wheels, have their performance tested in extreme situations of weight and speed for an extended period.
Environmental and Floor conditions in the industrial plant
The environment in which the castors get used is also an important factor. The castor wheels may get used indoors where the temperature is ambient or outdoors where the temperatures may be warmer or cooler. The environment could also be wet where the castors occasionally or frequently get wet.
On the other hand, new floors that have no defects are quite favourable to castor wheels; however, if the floor is old and damaged with significant defects tend to be rough on the castors. Consider that every dent on the floor is an obstacle to the castors that can cause damage to the swivel section, bearings or the wheel itself.
Hence, it is essential to select specialised castor wheels that are suitable for the environment as well as floor they will get used.
Manual or power driven castor wheels?
The type of castors selected also depends on the driving mode. Manually (human) drive castors experience less friction and surface resistance than power driven castors. Hence, when buying castor wheels, it is essential to check the manufacturers speed ratings. Manually driven castors typically have a rating of 2-3 MPH while power driven castors have higher speed ratings.