How To Choose The Right Caster Wheels

So you are about to make a dollie and need casters and wheels. Now don’t go off and grab just any set of casters and wheels that you may find. Before you make your decision you need to figure out the specifics as to what the dollie will be mainly used for. There are many factors to take into consideration. Number one, don’t think that any caster will support what you’re going to me moving.

Being a former employee of a music company’s distribution division, I have experienced first hand what can happen when you decide to go cheap or get lazy and not do your homework. Moving everything from light keyboards with attached stands to church organs to nine foot grand pianos you have got to be prepared for the environments you will be working in. You find out real quick how costly it can be when you neglect to do your homework or just go cheap. Prime example… Our manager purchased and put together a new dollie with questionable plastic wheels. The dollie sat in a truck during a freezing cold winter night. The next morning we arrived at one of our warehouses to pick up a custom seven foot grand piano made to order. As my fellow worker and I used the new dollie to transfer the piano into the truck, one of the new plastic casters shattered from the severe cold, throwing the custom seven foot grand piano abruptly to the ground. The damage was catastrophic! The customer was irate. The company had to take the hit and order a new piano and in the end the manager was no longer our manager.

Two major questions you need to ask yourself prior to purchasing casters would be…

1. What will you be using it for? Yes, I know, for moving, but moving what? Are they particularly heavy items?

2. What is the environment you will be mostly using it in? Will it be used outside as much as inside, on tile, or on carpet?

With so many wheel/caster options available, it can be quite the challenge to make a selection for your application. Let’s cover the first few important steps prior to purchasing caster wheels for your application chair casters.

First and foremost is Caster Capacity. The caster capacity is the total weight an individual caster can support. In order to figure which caster capacity best suits your application you must follow this equation… Divide the total weight of the maximum load you will be needing the casters for by the number of casters you are going to attach to the dollie. Now choose the caster with a caster capacity greater than or equal to your result.

There are guidelines for regarding types of casters and floor surface ratings that should be taken into consideration.

Asphalt: Rubber, Polyurethane and Semi to Full Pneumatics are excellent, Phenolic (molded plastic) and Polyolefin are fair, and Iron or Semi-Steel are not recommended for use on asphalt.

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