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Shock-absorbing casters offer many benefits, including

However, not all shock-absorbing casters actually create a benefit. Shock absorbing casters are usually spring-loaded, and those springs deflect when pressure is applied. If the caster uses the wrong springs, it could do more harm than good. If the springs are too firm, they could cause more vibration, noise, and damage to the contents. If the springs are not firm enough, it would be like there is no shock absorption at all. Therefore, providing an accurate weight for the load is very important. Exceeding the rated capacity on most spring-loaded casters could render them useless, and too light of a load, could create excessive vibration.

There are other factors to consider when choosing a shock-absorbing caster, such as how the springs are positioned. Most shock-absorbing casters use a clamshell design for the legs and place a spring in between to keep the clamshell from closing. This design allows for significant variation in cargo load weights and a lower overall height when compared to other shock-absorbing casters. However, when the cart has no load, the springs have zero deflection; if carts are transported empty, they are likely to have significant vibration when encountering an obstruction and potentially create noise.

If the casters are consistently carrying the same amount of weight, then vertical mounted spring (VMS) casters may be the right choice  VMS casters, as the name implies, feature springs mounted vertically that are retained on a rod with threaded ends. The benefit of this design is that the springs will not deflect when loaded with the rated load capacity. VMS casters also minimize vibration when the cart is empty. These casters tend to have a greater overall height than clamshell-design shock-absorbing casters.

If your application requires dual-wheel shock-absorbing casters, consider casters with independent suspension. Dual wheel shock absorbing casters may be built on one axle or the wheels may be mounted in a manner that keeps them independent of one another. As the diagram illustrates, independent suspension dual wheel casters react to an obstruction with little to no impact on the other wheel on the same caster. Both wheels are impacted when a single-axle dual-wheel caster encounters an obstruction.

If the impact is large or hard enough, it could impact the entire cart, increasing the risk of vibration, tilting of the cart, or significant levels of noise. Also, there is a greater risk of failure and potential injury because excessive stress is put on one wheel.  Independent suspension casters essentially function like two separate casters on one top plate; when one wheel incurs an obstruction within the deflection range of the springs, that wheel will react to the obstruction without affecting the other wheel or cart. Having both wheels constantly supporting the load significantly reduces the risk of failure due to excessive stress.


Here at Caster Concepts, we offer several shock-absorbing casters, including Modern Suspension Systems casters, which offer independent suspension shock-absorbing casters in steel or aluminum casters.