A Quick Guide to Castors Load Calculations in Multiple Configurations

In some cases it’s beneficial to use a mixture of castor configurations to get the ideal solution for your application and environment.

This document gives a quick guide to calculating castor load capacities in these different configurations.  It is important for efficiency and safety to get the load calculations right. If you would like any expert help and guidance with castor load capacities please don’t hesitate to call us on;  01249 470 434.

Multiple Configurations – with load calculations
You don’t have to use the same castors throughout. In some cases it’s beneficial to use a mixture of castor configurations to get the ideal solution for your application and environment.

Two swivel + two fixed – this offers the safest handling and load control with good steering on straight runs and cambers. When moving, the two fixed castors should lead with the swivel castors at the back for easier manoeuvrability.  This configuration works for most loads. Each castor load capacity should be calculated to be at least 33% of total load as when moving one or other of the castors may lose contact on uneven floors thereby putting its load onto the remaining castors.

One swivel & two fixed – this will allow easy manoeuvrability but is only recommended for light loads. To ensure safe handling (avoiding tipping issues) loads must he distributed evenly. For this configuration, calculate the castor load capacity to b e a minimum of 40% of the total load weight.

Three swivel – this will allow maximum manoeuvrability but it will be difficult to control on straight runs, and sloping or uneven surfaces. This set up is advised only for small trolleys with light loads. For this configuration calculate castor load capacity to be a minimum of 40% of the total load weight.

Four swivel – this will give you maximum manoeuvrability ideal for smaller spaces. But it will be harder to control on longer straight runs, or sloping and uneven surfaces. This will be especially noticeable with heavier loads. This can be addressed by using castors with directional locks. Each castor load capacity should be calculated to be at least 33% of total load as, when moving one or other castors may lose contact on uneven floors putting its load onto the remaining castors.

Four swivel & two fixed, centrally pivoting – usually used on long trolleys to optimise control and manoeuvrability. The two central fixed castors are usually one size larger or the same size as the swivel castors and fitted with 25mm packing under the top plate. Castor capacity for the fixed castors should be at least 50% of total gross load. Swivel castor loads will vary.

Two swivel & two fixed, centrally pivoting – similar to the above but less stable if the load is not evenly distributed. The two central fixed castors are usually the same size as the swivel or one size larger and fitted with a 25mm packing under the top plate. Castor capacity for the fixed castors should be at least 50% of total gross load.

Swivel castor loads will vary. If you would like expert advice on the most appropriate configurations for your requirements please call us.

For expert help and guidance with castor load capacities please don’t hesitate to contact a member of the team on 01249 822 222 or email us at sales@bilgroup.co.uk for further information. We are here to help.