Some Terms to Learn When Choosing Castor Wheels

Castor wheels can be added to many furniture pieces and DIY projects for easier moving when needed. You might also have equipment at an office other such facility that is on castor wheels which now need replacing. When you shop for these wheels, you may be surprised to find more options and choices than you expected, so note a few terms to learn and which might help you to find the right castor wheels for your project or commercial equipment.

Load capacity

Load capacity means the weight that needs to be supported by a castor wheel. However, when figuring this capacity, remember to divide the weight of your equipment by the number of wheels you'll be installing. For example, if the equipment or furniture piece is 1000 kilograms, and you will be installing four castor wheels on its bottom, you would divide that 1000 by 4; the load capacity needed for each wheel would then be 250 kilograms.

Stem or plate mount

The mount refers to the part of the castor wheel that actually installs onto the furniture piece. Some mounts are actually long stems, and these are called tubing. If you choose tubing, you may need to know the gauge, which is the thickness of the tube, and the length, meaning how deep it would sit inside the piece.

Some castor wheels don't have this stem, but are attached to a plate that gets bolted directly to the piece. If you choose plate-mounted castors, note the bolt pattern; this should fit a current plate, if any, or you may need to ensure a new plate will actually fit the underside of the piece without hanging over a side. Also, if you find that a piece of equipment is consistently breaking the stems of its castor wheels, you might change to plate-mounted wheels for greater stability.

Operating environment

The operating environment refers to where you would use the equipment with the castor wheels. If a floor surface might be wet, for example, and the piece will be used around electrical equipment, you'll want rubber wheels to reduce the risk of shock.  Deep tread is also good for rolling a piece through water and other such spills, which is something to consider for equipment that would be used in a kitchen. However, those deep treads might cause resistance on carpeting. Plastic, white wheels are good for tile floors where rubber might leave scuff marks, whereas rubber wheels might absorb more sound, which is important in hospitals and other areas you want to keep quiet.