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Castor Configurations

Castor Configurations

Wheel Size & Castor Configurations

The most common mistake when fitting castors is to fit wheel diameters that are too small for the real needs of the trolley and its user. Surveys in both Australia and overseas, show that small castors often get caught in uneven floors, ridges, gaps and holes which leads to possible injuries. On the other hand large diameter wheels, while often adding less than 10% to the cost of the trolley, will make that trolley 500% easier and thus safer to use.

Minimum Diameter Castor Guideline:

  • 125mm for non-patient trolleys
  • 175mm for patient trolleys used indoors
  • 200mm for trolleys used out doors or for loads over 200kg. Smaller castors can still be used in restricted circumstances, for instance, use on lightweight equipment.

In general, castors of:

  • 100mm size are recommended up to 120kg trolley loads, but only on smooth floors and for short distances. They can be used on ward furniture, but not on catering or hospitality equipment.
  • 75mm are even more restricted, being recommended only up to 100kg trolley loads and again only on smooth floors without obstructions for short distances.
  • 50mm are recommended only up to 80kg trolley loads and for very short distances.
  • If used on carpets a maximum load of 50kg is appropriate.

Larger wheels:

  • are easier to roll along the length of corridors, over ridges, e.g. at the edge of carpets, into lifts
  • reduce vibration to patients and equipment and minimise shock transferring to the user’s arms from impacts
  • are more robust/resistant to damage, remain functioning efficiently for longer than smaller wheels.

Consider also the other castor features that will affect push effort and ride comfort:

  • Tyre material
  • Tyre width & profile
  • Bearing type (in the wheel and the castor head race)
  • Use of threadguards
  • Type and number of castor brakes (including directional lock)
  • Heavy trolley: fixed at front (eg. Hospital beds)
  • Light trolleys: fixed at rear (eg. Shopping trolleys)

Shown below are several typical castor mounting arrangements often used on carts, trucks and other mobile equipment.
Each arrangement offers its own advantages and performance qualities.

 

Castor Configuration 

Castor Manoeuvrability

Castor Stability

Castor Steering

wheel-size-castor-configurations-1.jpg

Maximum.
Can be moved back & forth
and sideways.
Perfect for confined spaces.

Good except on narrow trolleys.
Up to 4 total brake castors possible.
This is your classic supermarket trolley (bi-directional
trolley)
wheel-size-castor-configurations-2.jpg Good except in confined spaces (cannot move sideways Very stable.
Can negotiate ramps easily.
Only 2 total brake castors possible
Accurate.
Push with fixed castors leading for long trolleys.
wheel-size-castor-configurations-3.jpg High.
Can be turned in own length
but not moved sideways
Most stable.
Up to 4 total brake castors possible

Excellent!
Superbly easy to steer.(bidirectional trolley).

 

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