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Pros and Cons of Pneumatic Tires in Heavy Duty Industrial Caster Applications

Pneumatic Wheel Render

Pneumatic tires are a popular wheel option in industrial caster applications. Pneumatic tires are wheels with a metal hub with a rubber tire mounted to it. Instead of being solid in nature, the tire is filled with air or foam to the desired pressure level to achieve the appropriate load and deflection characteristics.

There are many benefits to using this type of wheel as well as a few drawbacks. This article will discuss the pros and cons of using pneumatic tires in your caster application.

Pros

Pneumatic tires have many benefits in industrial caster applications.  The main benefit is the ability to absorb shock loads from impacts and cushion the load. 

  • Excellent shock absorption.

    For applications with uneven or bumpy terrain or where the contents of the cart must not be subjected to sudden shock loads, pneumatic wheels are ideal.

  • Utilized for on-pavement/off-road applications.

    These wheels lend themselves well to applications that require both off-road and on-pavement operation as they can absorb the unevenness of off-road terrain.

    Noise Reducing

  • Improves working conditions by reducing noise.

    Pneumatic tires are also quiet in use because of the soft rubber tread and shock absorbing ability.  Loud noises are reduced that can damage hearing and working conditions are improved. 

  • Won’t damage flooring

    The nature of the softer wheel also protects floors from scratches and other damage

Cons

There are also some factors to consider before determining if a pneumatic wheel is right for your application, such as the amount of push force required to get them moving. 

  • More force is needed to get them in motion

    Due to the large footprint and deflection of the air-filled tire, the initial push force is higher.  This large footprint also makes the wheels harder to swivel and often the caster will require a longer swivel lead. 

  • Air pressure must be monitored

    Another drawback to pneumatic wheels is the increased maintenance of having to monitor air pressure. These types of wheels are easy to puncture, which results in flats.  One way to get around this is to fill the wheels with polyurethane foam*, which prevents flats but reduces the cushioning effect of the wheels.

    * Semi-Pneumatic wheels feature a dense, molded rubber that has some elasticity and aren’t pressured, so they don’t require air or foam and they won’t go flat.

Pneumatic Tire Types

Different pneumatic tire types with varying tread designs

Pneumatic tires can provide some great benefits in industrial caster applications, such as shock-absorption and the ability to go off-road.  However, there are drawbacks, such as they are a little harder to get moving. The extended leads also present an increased chance of flutter.  However, taking these factors into consideration when choosing a pneumatic tire greatly increases your chances of success.

The engineering staff at Caster Concepts, Inc. has many years of experience choosing the right caster wheel for any industrial application.  Trust the experience of Caster Concepts, Inc to meet all your industrial caster needs.

 

For further information or a quote please contact us here or call 517-629-8838.

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