Casters and Wheels

When mounted to the underside of a piece of equipment, casters and wheels make it easier for personnel or machinery to transport a load or group of items from one place to another in a manufacturing or distribution facility. Typical industrial applications include platform trucks, carts, hand trucks, assemblies and tow line conveyor carriers.

Casters, Wheels, and Accessories Guide 101

Click here for interactive document.
Download the PDF

There are several types of casters and wheels. These include:

  • Rigid (or stationary) casters – These fixed-position casters feature a wheel mounted to a stationary fork (also called a horn). The wheel can only roll along a straight line path. Accessories, such as wheel locks, prevent the caster wheel from moving to hold the load in place.
  • Swivel casters – Featuring a wheel mounted to a fork (also called a horn) that is mounted to a pivoting swivel joint, these casters can rotate a full 360° so the wheel can roll in any direction. Accessories, including caster locks, prevent the caster from swiveling to move the load in a single direction.
  • Wheels – Offered in a wide variety of hardness, materials, sizes, and treads. Wheel materials include:

    • Metal
    • Phenolic resin
    • Plastic
    • Pneumatic
    • Polyurethane
    • Rubber
    The appropriate choice of caster wheels depends on many application-specific factors, such as:

    • Amount of use
    • Environmental conditions (moisture, extreme temperature)
    • Exposure to chemicals or liquids
    • Floor surface and condition
    • Load weight
    • Loading shocks
    • Noise restrictions
    • Speeds

Casters and wheels are used in a variety of areas to support processing and picking throughout a facility:

  • Assembly: Transporting loads to, from and through assembly processes
  • Order picking: On carts and forklifts, transporting pallets and totes throughout a facility
  • Production: Moving in-process parts through a production line
  • Replenishment: Transferring items from storage to picking locations
  • Transport: Moving loads and equipment throughout a facility

Casters and wheels provide a variety of benefits:

  • Mobility – Adding wheels and casters to a platform or piece of equipment makes it easy to transport a load or machinery throughout a facility to support processing and handling
  • Ergonomics – Because they facilitate motion, wheels and casters lessen physical strains and stresses on personnel as they move heavy loads
  • Transport – Wheels and casters enable easier storage and manufacturing processes because they help to speed the travel of component parts and inventory throughout a facility

Casters and sheels are used in nearly every industry, including:>

  • Automotive
  • Bakery
  • Beverage
  • Chemical
  • Electronics
  • Food
  • Hospital
  • Manufacturing
  • Office
  • Paper
  • Plastics
  • Retail
  • Warehousing and distribution