How to Understand Weight Capacities when Choosing a Caster Wheel
When it comes to choosing the right caster wheel for the job, it’s important that you understand how a particular caster’s weight capacity will influence your decision. This quick guide will help you better understand what weight capacity is and how you should calculate the casters and sizes you need to keep your workplace safe.
Step 1 – How Much Weight do the Casters Need to Bear Safely?
The first part of this process involves determining the max load weight. For example, you might determine that the maximum weight any rack, cart, or platform will hold is 10,000 pounds. Once you have that information in mind, you can go about selecting caster wheels that will provide you with the best possible support. However, you cannot just divide 10,000 pounds by four and install four 2500-pound casters. There must be a margin for error because loads won’t always be evenly distributed across all four wheels, and if too much pressure is put on any one wheel, it might collapse.
Step 2 – Include a Safety Margin
Using the information above, it’s clear that you need to include a safety margin of about 30% to account for loads that may not be perfectly balanced. This means that you should add 30% to each 2500lb caster, which would mean each caster should be capable of supporting roughly 3250lbs instead. This will tell you the weight bearing potential for each caster that you should purchase for a cart or rack that must be able to support a maximum load of 10,000 pounds.
Step 3 – Consider Other Factors
While there are certainly casters that can support 3250 pounds of weight under optimal operating conditions, you need to consider the conditions in which your casters will be used in order to be certain. For example, if loads will be “dumped” into line delivery carts, then you will need to make sure that your caster wheels of choice can withstand the force, either by purchasing casters designed to hold much more weight or by choosing casters with built-in shock absorption.
Another factor to think about is the height of your cart or rack, remembering that the higher the load is off the floor, the more risk it presents in the form of toppling over or creating overexertion injuries. In this case, you may opt for dual-wheel casters, remembering that these can lower the height of your racks and carts without sacrificing their weight bearing capacity. In fact, a dual wheel caster, on average, allows you to reduce the height of a load by about 30%, all while maintaining the same load bearing potential.
There’s more to determining weight capacities when choosing a caster wheel than meets the eye, so it’s important to think about all of the factors listed above in order to make the best decisions possible. When in doubt, you can talk to professionals who can help you make the best possible choices based on your unique working environment and the types of loads your carts and racks will move.