The vast majority of the attention paid to casters has always been focused on the wheel. After all, the wheel is where “the rubber meets the road.” The wheel determines the grip of the caster and its effect on the surface that it travels across. However, there are a number of separate pieces to a caster, and each and every one of them is integral. Today we shall focus on the mounts.
Types of Mounts
There are several types of mounts that are used with casters, and they each have their own characteristics. Some offer mobility, while others a promise stability. There are any number of exotic materials and special engineering processes that can be used on the mounts to grant them special characteristics.
For example, stems are often used for casters that have to attach to a limited surface area. This may be because they need to preserve valuable material, such as the casters that are used on furniture or electronics equipment, or they may be intended to move in place for maximum mobility, such as the 4 inch caster wheels that are so often found on shopping carts. These stem mounts might either be a simple post, or they may be threaded for permanent attachment. Left- and right-hand threaded posts are available. These can be useful for casters on objects that see consistent and repetitive use, as a threading can be chosen that lies in the opposite direction of ordinary travel. Swivel stem casters are available with brakes, locks, or heavy duty reinforcement for challenging workplaces. The stem makes them easy to replace if they are damaged or a different configuration is needed. Stems that use either metric or standard measurements are always available. Other specialty stems include the grip neck stem, the grip ring stem, the round stem, the hollow kingpin, the expanding adapter, and the square grip ring.
Bolted and Fixed Mounts
The most durable and long-lasting way to attach a caster to an object that has to be moved is to use the simple expedients of heavy metal and heavy bolts. There is no practical limit to how strong a caster can be made. If the mounting is made of strong material and attached correctly, then the axle and the caster surface will fail hundreds of times earlier than the mount will ever leave its housing. A metal mount with a metal caster will be practically indestructible under the vast majority of circumstances. This option is also known to be particularly economical. For customers seeking the right combination of durability and affordability, fixed mounts for casters are ideal. They are also easy to change out with the proper equipment. It should also be noted that many types of equipment will use fixed mount casters for the back and swivel mounts for the front. The swivel mounts allow easy piloting of the cargo while the rear mounts give sure footing and power.
Accessories for Mounts
As previously discussed, there are several types of accessories that can be incorporated into the mounting. The most common are swivels and brakes. A swivel is a reinforced pivot point that allows the caster to rotate freely around one axis. A brake is a clamping mechanism that locks the caster in place. Both are available for nearly every configuration.