Wheel Rating System
Use Hamilton’s wheel rating system to guide your selection process. Considering the vast number of wheel offerings, this tool can simplify and expedite the decision. Four of the most common criteria used in the market are: durability, rollability, floor preservation, and quiet operation. Make the best selection decision by weighing the most relevant factors in your specific situations. Some compromise is almost always required. For example, achieving the absolute best rollability may lead to selecting a potentially floor-damaging wheel, and that may be unacceptable for economic and practical reasons. Hamilton’s wheel rating system can help lead to an optimum selection.
Overall, this is a barometer of how long the caster or wheel should last under “normal” conditions. Abnormal conditions include environmental challenges such as extreme temperatures, exposure to sunlight, significant shock loading, floor debris, excessive speed, and the presence of chemicals. To the extent one or more of these environmental conditions exist, and considering the desired longevity of the wheels, use the “durability” rating as a comparative guide.
Rollability, or ease of rolling, is becoming an increasingly significant part of wheel buying decisions. Ergonomics and worker safety are the primary reasons for this emphasis. Hamilton has extensive testing data on wheel rollability, and has based the rollability rating on the test results. The rollability rating is useful for comparative purposes, but if absolute and specific data is required, include a search of the “startup force” and “maintain force” (under Ergonomics and Engineering.)
Wheel types can significantly affect a factory floor. When preserving a floor is a high priority, pay close attention to this rating. In general, harder wheels cause more wear or damage to floors. Softer wheels, particularly those with resilient tread such as polyurethane or rubber, are much easier on floors. Offsetting the advantages of resilient tread can be rollability and overall load capacity, so some compromise may be necessary. Some very hard wheels are reasonably floor protective (examples are Hamilton’s Plastex and Nylast series), but tend to be noisy in operation.
Industrial safety regulations place high value on restricting noise levels to protect workers’ hearing. Wheels can contribute to excessive noise, and for that reason Hamilton includes a rating for this aspect. Resilient tread wheels are generally the champions of quieter wheels. The extensive variety of these wheels can make selection difficult, so the Hamilton rating provides a basis for comparison. Larger wheels with thicker and softer treads normally prove to be the quietest. Very hard wheels, and frequently under light loads, can be noisiest as they generate the most vibrations.