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Managing caster chatter

An investment in extended lead casters is your solution to caster chatter, or the shimmying action of the wheels that takes place on carts and other rolling equipment. There are a number of reasons for caster chatter (also known as caster flutter or a caster shimmy) along with a variety of effective solutions. Let’s figure out the problem and just what you can do about it. It will be important to make the right choice, and there are many factors in your extended lead caster selection that directly affect the success of your rolling equipment.

Why Do I Have Caster Chatter?

You’ve seen it on the shop floor and in the garage. You have a heavy load and your equipment begins to shift and sway from side to side. There are some common causes for cart caster and wheel flutter, or shimmying, especially when it comes to industrial uses:

  •  Many casters provide swivel action so that carts and other rolling units can be pushed in various directions with ease. It is possible for the swivel element of a caster to become loose and cause shimmying.
  • If a caster is incorrectly mounted or damage has affected parts of the caster, a misalignment results and can cause flutter in the caster.
  • Even when the best casters are used to support transport at higher speeds, it is common to experience shimmying. The correct components along with proper balance are critical where any sort of speed is required.
  • Extreme load weights can cause the issue of flutter when inappropriate casters and wheels are used on your rolling equipment. Lighten the load or find the right parts for your workplace needs.

Figuring out the cause for your caster flutter is important if you want to find a solution that fits your particular needs. While shimmying is not always an issue,  it can be a huge roadblock for high-productivity locations such as labs, plants, hospitals, or cleanrooms. Let’s learn why.

So I Have a Cart Shimmy—What’s The Issue?

If you are moving parts in a garage, a little shimmy may not cause an issue and not warrant making expensive changes. However, if you are working among a crew, it is certainly a safety precaution. Defective swivel casters on transport vehicles can lead to costly problems and cause safety issues in the workplace. Anytime heavy-duty equipment and people are involved, it is essential to create a safe and efficient workplace. Here are issues that may arise:

  • Excessive, unwanted noise that may be a distraction in the workplace and affect productivity
  • Increased wear on caster bearings and other caster components that require part replacements
  • Loss of equipment control, which can lead to lost loads, unsafe conditions and injuries

To eliminate caster shimmy, consider extended lead casters that are designed for proper swivel, alignment, speed, and load.

Extended Lead Casters and Wheels

Extended lead casters are often the solution for wheels that shimmy. With an extended lead caster, you an increased swivel lead (i.e. the horizontal distance measured between the center of the top plate and the center of the wheel) reduces sideways force and offers a more natural caster frequency. These swivel casters are made with superior machined ball bearings and a reduced wheel mass designed to prevent shimmy and more evenly distribute frequency. Wheel composition is also a critical factor for increasing ground friction when you get ready to upgrade your mobile caster units.

Some of our most popular extended lead casters use with our highly popular AXX Wheel. Others are common extended lead casters can be found in the 68 Series and 71 Series from Albion Caster and as a non-standard option on the 4 Series Enforcer caster products from Colson Caster.

Let CasterDepot be your caster connection for quality extended lead casters, and get rid of your cart caster shimmy before an unexpected event or disaster takes place.