Casters and Wheels


When mounted to the underside of a piece of equipment, casters and wheels make it easier for personnel or machinery to transport a load or group of items from one place to another in a manufacturing or distribution facility. Typical industrial applications include platform trucks, carts, hand trucks, assemblies and tow line conveyor carriers.

Casters, Wheels, and Accessories Guide 101

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There are several types of casters and wheels. These include:

  • Rigid (or stationary) casters – These fixed-position casters feature a wheel mounted to a stationary fork (also called a horn). The wheel can only roll along a straight line path. Accessories, such as wheel locks, prevent the caster wheel from moving to hold the load in place.
  • Swivel casters – Featuring a wheel mounted to a fork (also called a horn) that is mounted to a pivoting swivel joint, these casters can rotate a full 360° so the wheel can roll in any direction. Accessories, including caster locks, prevent the caster from swiveling to move the load in a single direction.
  • Wheels – Offered in a wide variety of hardness, materials, sizes, and treads. Wheel materials include:

    • Metal
    • Phenolic resin
    • Plastic
    • Pneumatic
    • Polyurethane
    • Rubber
    The appropriate choice of caster wheels depends on many application-specific factors, such as:

    • Amount of use
    • Environmental conditions (moisture, extreme temperature)
    • Exposure to chemicals or liquids
    • Floor surface and condition
    • Load weight
    • Loading shocks
    • Noise restrictions
    • Speeds

Casters and wheels are used in a variety of areas to support processing and picking throughout a facility:

  • Assembly: Transporting loads to, from and through assembly processes
  • Order picking: On carts and forklifts, transporting pallets and totes throughout a facility
  • Production: Moving in-process parts through a production line
  • Replenishment: Transferring items from storage to picking locations
  • Transport: Moving loads and equipment throughout a facility

Casters and wheels provide a variety of benefits:

  • Mobility – Adding wheels and casters to a platform or piece of equipment makes it easy to transport a load or machinery throughout a facility to support processing and handling
  • Ergonomics – Because they facilitate motion, wheels and casters lessen physical strains and stresses on personnel as they move heavy loads
  • Transport – Wheels and casters enable easier storage and manufacturing processes because they help to speed the travel of component parts and inventory throughout a facility

Casters and sheels are used in nearly every industry, including:>

  • Automotive
  • Bakery
  • Beverage
  • Chemical
  • Electronics
  • Food
  • Hospital
  • Manufacturing
  • Office
  • Paper
  • Plastics
  • Retail
  • Warehousing and distribution