Wheel & Castor

A wheel is made out of a tread tyre, rim and wheel bearing.

A wheel becomes a castor by installing the wheel in a housing.
Depending on the type of housing, the result is a swivel castor or a fixed castor.

  • The swivel castors can be rotated thru’ 360° by using a ball bearing-mounted swivel bearing, ensuring good manoeuvrability.
  • The fixed castors, in contrast, cannot rotate and are fixed in place, and ensure good directional stability.

In most cases, 2 swivel castors and 2 fixed castors are affixed.


Plain bearing

Simple, largely maintenance-free bearing. Shock- and impact resistant. Suitable for use in damp environments. For low-speed devices (max. 4 km/h) and for short distances.

Ball bearing

Sturdy, hardwearing, largely maintenance-free bearings. Low bearing friction. Shock- and impact resistant. Permanent lubrication. The most frequently used bearings for low-speed devices (max. 4 km/h). Smoother rolling compared to plain bearings.

Precision ball bearing

For speeds of up to 20 km/h and heavier loads. Low rolling resistance when in use.

The choice of wheel and castor primarily
depends on:

1. The loadbearing capacity required

What does a wheel/castor has to carry?
– The load of a castor can be calculated using the following rule of thumb:  load = (inherent weight + max. load)/3
– It is divided by 3 because on uneven flooring, even an item of equipment with 4 castors will only have 3 castors in contact with the floor, and these 3 then carry the full weight.
– This is a very general way to determine the loadbearing capacity. Ask your supplier for a detailed calculation.

The load capacities specified in our product range for wheels and castors apply for speeds of up to 4 km/h and an ambient temperature of 10°C to 60°C.

2. The floor conditions

Is the floor rough or smooth? Is the floor covered in tiles, concrete, or is it heavy-duty industrial flooring? In general, on smooth industry floors, you can use harder wheels (thin tread) while, on rough industry floors, soft wheels (thick tread) are better performing. Choose non-marking castors if you wish to avoid leaving rubber tread marks. If there are ground sills, extra loadbearing capacity must be factored in. Choose wheels with plain bearings and a stainless steel housing in food production areas or on wet surfaces.

3. The frequency of use

Is the equipment moved only on occasion, or all the time?

4. Environmental factors (temperature, including
temperature fluctuations, chemicals, moisture and
hygiene requirements)

Every site of use involves specific requirements. Moisture, cold, heat, temperature fluctuations, electrical conductivity and chemicals all affect the durability, rolling properties or the smoothness of motion.

5. Comfort

You can also choose the required level of comfort and smoothness. The material of the wheels determines the rolling properties and ride comfort.
Solid rubber rolls smoothly and silently. The strength and load capacity are limited however.
Polyamide is shock- and impact resistant, chemically resistant and hard-wearing. On the other hand it is a non-elastic material.
Polyurethane is extremely wear resistant, noise absorbing and has excellent rolling properties thanks to its elasticity.

6. Specific dimensions such as wheel diameter,
overall height and hub length, or plate sizes and
assembly hole spacing for castors

7. Quality of the used materials

VULKOLLAN® is one of the most powerful elastomers in the market. The excellent mechanical properties ensure a wheel with maximum dynamic load capacity and a long service life, even in difficult and demanding conditions. 


PRINTHANE™ is the generic name for all Vulkoprin PU-elastomers developed specifically for extreme fields of application.

Read more on high end materials used by Vulkoprin: click here

Read more on our private label Printhane: click here


I am Bert. Your wheel technology specialist.

  • Knowledge transfer: Read my lectures or consult the downloadable content in this TechCorner.
  • Customer cases: read here 
  • Product offer:

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  • CAD drawings