The Care and Choosing of Your Cart's Casters

If it’s true that “The shoes make the man,” then the casters surely make the cart. Although rarely given much thought, the foundation upon which your laundry and linen carts and hampers rest carries all sorts of ramifications for your company’s profitability and your customer or patient satisfaction levels.

Maintenance-Free Casters

R&B Wire's patented 5-inch "Clean Wheel System" casters are designed specifically for Laundromats, hotels, hospitals, and dry cleaning stores. The sealed bearings resist lint, hair and thread pickup. The proprietary thread guard deflects the debris from accumulating around the nut and bolt, making them virtually maintenance-free.

The larger caster features a wider wheel that can handle a large weight capacity by distributing the load over the width of the wheel, allowing smooth and easy rolling across floors. The tapered polyurethane wheels further reduce friction and the heavy-duty yoke made of case-hardened steel offers maximum durability and long-lasting performance.

For Bearing Large Loads

When transporting large loads, it can be hard to steer straight and keep the unit under control if all four corners of the cart or truck have swiveling casters. You end up banging into a lot walls and sharp corners. Here’s where you want to opt for two swivels on one end and two rigid or fixed casters on the other. A great example is this heavy-duty 48 cu. ft. turnabout truck that can carry huge loads of clean and soiled linens, thanks to the caster configuration.

For Navigating Small Loads Through Tight Spaces

When you need to move in and out of small and narrow spaces transporting lighter loads, go with swivel casters on all four corners. This allows you to glide smoothly in any direction, rolling in and out of elevators or easing around sharp corners. Four corner swivel casters are ideal for use in coin laundromats and in commercial kitchens where space is at a premium. Traffic patterns around the cooking, prep and dishwashing areas are often very tight: “Behind you!”

When Negotiating Uneven Surfaces

Choose a diamond caster pattern when you need to move a heavy load over uneven surfaces. The two larger casters in the middle and two smaller casters on each end allow you to “rock and roll” the cart or truck over thresholds or uneven surfaces.

The diamond pattern is great for use in hospitality settings such as resorts or hotels that require frequent transitioning from indoor, smooth flooring to outdoor pavement, brick, or gravel paths.

Protecting Your Flooring

The last thing you want your guests to see in a five-star resort or first-class restaurant is ugly streak marks on the floor from the wheels on your linen and utility carts. The highest quality wheels are made from non-marking polyurethane or TPR (Thermoplastic Rubber). Less expensive wheels are often made of inferior materials that damage floors, so be sure to confirm you’re getting the leave-no-marks-behind wheels.

If you need to clean your unsealed casters…

If you operate a laundromat, your customers are putting their family’s clean clothes in these carts. If you work in a dining, lodging, or health care setting, people’s health and well-being depend on the maintenance of sanitary conditions and consistent hygiene practices. Just as you keep your washers, dryers and linen storage areas up to code, your carts’ casters need attention too.

Hopefully, you already use the sealed raceway and bearings featured on all R&B casters, but if not, your carts’ bearings may need to be removed and cleaned to prevent lint, hair and debris from gathering around the center bolt and nut.

You can open the raceway and remove the axle bolt and nut from the caster, clean the bearings with a fresh rag, and repack them with grease -- but an open raceway will ultimately yield to the same problem again and again. A single or dual sealed bearing system prevents debris from damaging the bearing and keeps things rolling smoothly for years, while also ensuring that your facility is sparkling and sanitary.