Many people confuse the term wheels with casters; however, they are not the same thing at all. Wheels are a component of casters, as casters include not only the wheel, but also the frame. Steel casters come in two forms: rigid or swivel. A rigid caster is a wheel that is set in a rigid frame, and as a result, can only roll forward or backwards. On the other hand, a swivel caster is where the wheel is set in a swivel frame. This means that this type of caster can rotate 360 degrees with ease. One of the main concerns that consumers have is whether they should opt for rigid or swivel casters. This article will help outline some of the factors you should consider when making a decision.
Walk the Line with Rigid Casters
As mentioned above, rigid casters are only capable of moving forwards and backwards. They do not turn. Because of this, rigid casters cannot be steered. This will limit overall maneuverability of the cargo, which can be a problem for some people. As rigid casters cannot be steered, they can only be used in environments with a lot of space. Although rigid casters have a limited range of motion, they tend to be stronger than swivel casters by a long shot, and can easily handle higher weight capabilities as a result.
Rigid casters do not require a lot of maintenance or repair work. They tend to be a tad more durable, as long as they are used properly. Those who opt for rigid casters must make sure that all of the casters are aligned properly for optimal and smoother movements.
Turn and Steer with Swivel Casters
Unlike rigid casters, swivel steel casters are able to offer greater maneuverability. This makes them the optimal choice for those working in tight environments without a lot of space. Swivel casters can cut corners with ease, as they rotate 360 degrees and can easily change directions. As mentioned above, swivel casters cannot take on large loads like rigid casters. In addition, it can take some time to align all of the wheels in the same direction, so it may take more effort to set swivel casters in motion in comparison to rigid casters.
The maneuverability of swivel casters should be credited to the ball bearings that keep the wheels turning. These ball bearings are under a tremendous amount of stress. Those who do decide to go with swivel casters will need to keep the ball bearings lubricated in order to keep the swivel casters in good condition.
Choose Both to Reap the Benefits of Both Worlds
At times, you may need to move your cargo not only backwards and forwards, but also in different directions. If this is the case, you may be able to install both swivel and rigid casters on the same piece of equipment with one type at the front of the equipment and the other at the back. This should give you the ability to enjoy the best of both worlds. Whether this is a possibly or not will depend on the type of equipment you are working with and the type of load you are moving.
Steel casters are relatively easy to install onto any piece of equipment, and can make your life a lot easier – especially when moving heavy and large loads. The important thing is to determine the type of caster that will be best for your situation, as this can depend on a variety of different factors. Regardless of whether you will be purchasing rigid or swivel steel casters, the quality of the casters, as well as their load capacities, should always be taken into consideration.
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