Castors and castor wheel fixings are an extremely common accessory across many industries. They’re so common in fact that if you’re currently sat in an office, it’s very likely that the chair you’re on has them!
They’re durable in design and tend to last for years without fail. So much so, it’s easy to forget just how convenient they are. However, if just one of them does go, it can affect the mobility and stability of the whole unit. And so with the next step to find a replacement, it isn’t actually as straight forward as you may think!
For many reasons, castors and castor wheel fixings are notoriously difficult to fit and buy individual components for. Notably, because if they are from different factories then there is a good chance the replacement won’t fit.
As such, to make life easier, we’ve adapted our site to help you out! Online we offer a ‘Castor + Fixing’ filter to ensure a perfect match! Alternatively, unless you know exactly which fitting (or individual component) you need (such as a socket, pin or insert) then some of these are available as samples to test.
Another aspect to consider is the function. There is a wide variety of castors available, with a range of different wheel fixings. Subsequently, finding the right one can be a real challenge! So, we’ve put a guide together to explore the various fixing types, and help you find what you need.
Bolthole castors & Single Bolt Castors
Bolthole castors and single bolt castors are a very popular and common option. This is because of their diverse range of applications. Both of which can be mounted to almost any type of fixing point! From veneered MDF and solid wood, to sheet steel and tubing, there’ll be a suitable castor to available.
Bolt Hole Castors
Bolt hole castors have a single hole at the top of the castor wheel bracket. This hole allows for a bolt to be passed through the hole and fixed to the unit / machinery.
Single Bolt Castors (AKA Single Stud Castors)
Single bolt castors have a single bolt(stud) protruding from the castor bracket. This bolt then fixes directly to the equipment/machinery.
These castors can also be connected into metal tubes. However, this will require some moderation in order to fix securely in place. To connect them, there are numerous options available, such as expanding or threaded tube inserts:
Available in a range of sizes and materials, these inserts are pushed into the end of the tube. They have a female threaded section running through the center, which the castor bolt connects to. The ribs of the insert then provide an interference fit to prevent the insert from coming out, while connecting the castor fitting firmly in place.
Top Plate Castors
These are another popular castor wheel fixing option. These comprise of a square or rectangular steel top plate. The top plate is then connected to the castor through a ball-bearing swivel race.
The plates are fitted 4 bolts (2-hole versions are available, but suited to smaller applications), 1 in each corner for connecting to the equipment. Both configurations have been designed to allow for easy fixing to wood/boarding, sheet steel, fabricated brackets and more!
These castors typically provide the highest strength as the weight bearing is evenly distributed. They also offer a greater load bearing than bolthole castors.
Suitable for towing heavier units, they are commonly found on trolleys, boxing/crates, garage applications and other industrial units. It is important to note that the plate mechanism must be used in conjunction with a matching plate size. This is to ensure that weight can be evenly distributed.
With these castors, the brake is double blocked, which blocks both the castor and swivel using a foot pedal lock. This means that while the break is applied, the castor is immobilized.
They come in a range of sizes and are suitable for both industrial and domestic use. Thus making them perfect for office chairs, trolleys, tables and other movable units.
Industrial Castors, Heavy duty castors & Load Rated Castors
These have a durable, compact mechanism which has been developed to move heavy loads; designed with allowance for higher travelling speeds.
These come in the form of braked castors, unbraked castors, twin wheel castors or load rated castors. All of which are impact-resistant and vibration-absorbent, allowing for easy mobility of heavy load capacities. A basic rule to get the total capacity (for an evenly distributed load) is that provided 4 castors are being fitted, times the castor load by 3.
Commonly, these can be found on assembly systems, industrial truck and trolley applications and other heavy transport systems where mobility is essential.
Stem Fitting Castors
Similar to single bolt castors, stem fitting castors have a metal stem protruding from the top of the castor. A female insert is then fixed to the appliance (typically into wooden surfaces) and the stem of the castor connects into the female insert.
It is important to consider which type of flooring your castor is going to be used on. Not only can using unsuitable castors increase the likelihood of breakage, but they can also cause damage to the unit, and flooring, while also being unsuitable for use on uneven flooring.
To counteract this, try and use the opposite wheel texture/type to the floor it is used on. For hard flooring, use soft wheels. For soft flooring, use hard wheels.