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Castor configuration plays a big part in ensuring your castors work well for your chosen application. Learn the basic configurations and the advantages and disadvantages of each, so you can choose the right configuration and maximise the potential of your castors.
Basic Castor Configurations
The three basic castor configurations are:
Both four-wheel configurations can be modified by using a mix of rigid and swivel castors.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Castor Configuration
Four Wheel Swivel
A trolley with this type of configuration has a swivel castor on each corner. This provides excellent load capacity and stability, except on narrow trolleys. The swivel castors allow the trolley to be manoeuvred in all directions, including sideways, which makes it a great option for small spaces. The downside to this configuration is that travelling in a straight line over a long distance can be challenging. However, this can be easily solved by using swivel castor locks.
Four Wheel Rigid-swivel
This configuration is one of the most popular. It usually involves two rigid castors at the front of the trolley and two swivel castors at the back. The benefit of adding rigid castors to the four-wheel configuration is added stability and ease of use. The trolley can be steered accurately and maintain a straight line with ease. This makes it great on ramps and when trailing. The load bearing capacity is excellent, but it’s not well suited to small spaces because it can’t be moved sideways.
Four Wheel Diamond Rigid
A diamond configuration places a castor on the front, back and sides of a trolley base, rather than in each corner. The trolley pivots on the centre castors and can’t be pushed or pulled sideways. This is a low-cost option, as less maintenance is required on rigid castors than on swivel castors. A rigid diamond configuration is ideal for trolleys that will predominantly travel in a straight line, but it is only recommended for light- to medium-sized loads.
Four Wheel Diamond Rigid-swivel
Swapping two rigid castors for swivel in a diamond configuration increases the trolley’s load capacity and manoeuvrability. It has a small turning circle, which is ideal in small spaces, but there is a risk of overturning if the trolley is pushed or pulled sideways when the load in not centred.
A six-wheel configuration is ideal for heavier loads or long trolleys, as it has excellent load bearing capacity and superior stability. The swivel castors on each corner provide excellent manoeuvrability and a small turning circle, but a trolley with this configuration can’t move sideways.
Choosing the Right Configuration for Your Application
If you need advice on which configuration would best suit your application, speak to our castor experts on 1300 836 831.