5 Popular Wheel Configurations for Heavy Duty Industrial Carts.
When equipping an industrial cart or truck with heavy-duty casters, there are many combinations that can be used to gain certain steering or handling characteristics. Depending on how you are going to use your cart will determine what caster wheel configuration is best for you.
Choosing the right heavy-duty caster for the job is one of the first steps toward manufacturing efficiency. Once a caster is selected, the manner in which these industrial casters are mounted also plays a key part.
Mounting heavy-duty casters at the outermost edges of your transport might seem like the logical choice, and it usually is. Even in this configuration, you can mount rigid or swivel casters. Each combination is designed to achieve specific steering or handling benefits depending on your specific needs. Let’s look at the 5 most popular ones for industrial carts:
Configuration: Four swivel casters at the corners of the cart.
Benefit: The cart can be moved in any direction without the need for turning around.
Drawback: The cart can be hard to control when moving in a straight line. Easy fix: Equip the casters with swivel locks.
An easy fix to this is to equip the industrial casters with swivel locks. Then when the cart needs to be moved or towed in a straight line, the rear casters can be locked.
4-Wheel Caster Non-Tilt
4-Wheel Caster Steer
Configuration: Two rigid casters in the back and two swivel casters in the front.
Benefit: This configuration turns easily and tracks very well when towed. Most popular configuration for casters on carts and trucks
Drawback: The cart cannot freely move in any direction. To make a 90° turn, the cart must be pulled around on a pivot of the rigid casters.
4-Wheel Caster Steer (two rigid, two swivel)
4-Wheel Diamond Pattern
Configuration: Four rigid casters set in a diamond pattern. Used on tilt-type cart configurations.
Benefit: This is the lowest cost configuration for carts and trucks. It can also pivot on the center wheels to turn or do complete 360° rotations.
Drawback: It cannot carry heavy loads, because only three casters are in contact with the floor at one time (tilt type cart) and it cannot be pushed sideways.
Configuration: Two rigid, two swivel
Another variation of this caster configuration is to replace the two rigid casters at the front and back of the cart with swivel casters.
Benefit: This allows the maneuverability of the tilt-type cart but allows for the tilt action to be eliminated and heavier loads to be carried.
Drawback: This type with two rigid and two swivels is more expensive than the standard diamond pattern with four rigid casters.
Wagon Type (Fifth Wheel Steer)
This style uses two rigid casters in the rear of the cart with two axle-mounted wheels in the front of the cart.
Benefit: This configuration is ideal for heavy loads and is usually power drawn.
Drawback: This type of cart is not easily maneuvered when operated manually.
Wagon Type – Fifth Wheel Steer (two rigid, two swivel)
6-Wheel Tilt or Non-Tilt
Configuration: Similar to the 4-wheel diamond caster patterns but can carry heavier loads and are better suited for very long carts.
This caster pattern allows the cart to turn in its own length and the cart style can either by tilt type or non-tilt for even greater load capacity.
For the best cart configuration, we can help.
The engineering staff at Caster Concepts, Inc will work closely with you to help decide which cart configuration is best for your application. Good planning up front will assure the proper use of the rigid and swivel casters for long term performance.