What does it mean if someone says that a cart has 5 inch caster wheels? Casters are measured according to several dimensions. You will need to know these measurements if you are shopping for replacement casters or parts. If you are installing new casters, you will encounter these terms when a dealer recommends appropriate models for your application.
Wheels are labeled in sizes according to their diameter. In the above example, the 5 inch caster wheel refers to the wheel’s diameter. The larger the wheel, the more weight it can hold and the more easily it moves a load. Larger is not always better, however. In some applications, you may prefer a smaller wheel that resists movement so that a cart does not roll away from you.
You may also encounter wheel widths. The wider the wheel, the more stability that you have. For fragile equipment where you do not want a lot of tilting while moving, you will want wider wheels.
Top Mounting Plate
The top plate, which attaches to chair legs and cart bottoms, has a width and a length. There are bolt holes drilled in the plate. You can specify the diameter and locations of these holes. The plate size needs to fit securely on to the object you are supporting. The plate holes need to align with the holes on the object’s face so that the bolts can go through and hold everything in place.
Other Important Measurements
When it comes to the combined caster and wheel assembly, manufacturers report the overall height from the bottom of the wheel to the top plate. This impacts the stability and height of your load.
The dynamic weight capacity of the caster should support the loads that you plan to move. The capacities of all of the casters on a cart should add up to a number that is greater than the maximum load you anticipate carrying. You want to have a safety margin.
You may need to take into account the swivel radius if you have limited space within which the wheel may fit. The swivel radius is the horizontal distance between the vertical axis around which the caster rotates and the outer edge of the wheel. In order for the casterwheel to rotate a full 360 degrees, it must have clearance greater than the swivel radius.
There are several key measurements when replacing an existing caster or adding casters to furniture or carts. Each application requires different sizes. It may be helpful to consult with the experts at your dealer before making a selection.