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When choosing a caster for your application, “speed” is usually the last thing anyone thinks about. However, it should be one of the main factors in your choice.

Looking at speed in applications is not “black and white.” There is no standard minimum or maximum speed that determines a high speed caster. It all depends on how you are using the caster. The casters in our catalog are rated to normal walking speeds (3 mph has been set by the industry).

When using casters at higher speeds, AGVs, tugers, and forklifts are used to push and tow different types of carts. At these higher rates of speed. Many issues can occur:

Caster Flutter – This is when the caster rattles and vibrates. At high speeds, a caster will flutter once it hits a certain velocity and is excited at its natural frequency. In most applications involving industrial casters and wheels where there is caster flutter, the wheel is not balanced.  One good way to control this is by extending the swivel lead.

Broken-Poly-WheelPoly issues – High speed means you are generating more heat. Heat and polyurethane do not mix. If the speed is to fast the poly can heat up and become brittle. It can also affect the bond of the poly to the core, and can also peal off.

Capacity – The faster you tow or push decreases the capacity of the caster.

The bottom line is that there is no easy answer to the question, “What is the top speed for industrial casters and why?” It all comes down to the application, and what speed you want. The best thing to do is contact your Caster Concepts rep to discuss the application to determine the best caster for it.

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