Finding Better Equipment For My Employees

From Creating The Right Environment To Cleaning Your Wheels: Five Tips To Help Casters Move Through Carpet

by Jared De Hooge

Using caster wheels on carpet can be tricky, but with the right wheels and the right environment, you can easily combine casters and carpet. Whether you are pushing a cart full of books through a library, rolling a chair to the next cubicle at your office, or using caster wheels in any other capacity, you need them to be smooth and fast. Here are some essential tips to achieving and maintaining speed and mobility on carpet:

1. Create an easy rolling environment.

Before you start thinking about your casters, you need to ensure they have the right environment for smooth and easy rolling. In heavy traffic areas, you may want to cover your carpet with plastic floor mats. These mats have tiny spikes along their bottoms so they stay in place easily, but along the top, they have a smooth vinyl surface. You can buy runners or mats depending on your needs.

When it's time to put new carpet in your facility, keep your caster wheels in mind. Don't just focus on style. Instead, opt for a low, pile carpet that is easy to roll over. Unfortunately, shag carpet or other carpet with deep, lush pile can be hard to move casters through.

2. Opt for hard casters with polished surfaces.

When choosing your casters, look for wheels made of hard materials such as polyurethane, nylon or steel. Ideally, you want them to be as smooth and sleek as possible, and you may even want them to be polished. That helps reduce friction between the wheels and the carpet.

3. Choose large casters

In addition to materials, you also have to consider the size of your wheels. Casters come in a range of sizes, and if you are using them on carpet, you want to opt for the largest casters possible.

Small casters can get lost in the fibers of your carpet, and they typically have a hard time moving through it. In contrast, large casters can simply flatten the carpet fibers as they move along their path, and that makes movement easier.

4. Clean your casters regularly.

Whether you use casters on carpet or other surfaces, you should clean them on a regular basis. In most cases, to clean your casters, you simply need to remove them, soak them in soapy water, dry them, and lubricate when you are done. With casters used on carpeting, however, you need to remove hair and carpet fibers first. These can wind around parts of your casters and prevent them from moving smoothly.

You may remove some of the hair with a vacuum, but if there are any long fibers wrapped around the stem of the caster, they may not respond to the vacuum. To remove these, use the bottle opener from a multi-tool or Swiss Army Knife to pull loose one end of the fiber, and then manually pull off the rest of it. You may have to repeat this process multiple times to remove all of the hair and carpet fibers from your casters.

5. Don't overload your casters.

In addition to ensuring that you buy the right casters, maintain them well and provide them with a free rolling environment, you also need to pay attention to their weight bearing capacity. When you buy caster wheels, the packaging should tell you what weight the wheels are designed to accommodate.

If you overload your casters, they will sink more deeply into the carpet, and it will be hard for them to roll. In addition, they may become misshapen from all of the extra pressure, and that also makes it hard for them to roll.

Contact a company like Garland's, Inc. for more information on casters.