Are you one of the 180,450 bakers in the United States? Are you thinking about opening a bakery? Well, if you are, there are millions of small details you need to consider, and one of them is casters. Here's what you need to think about.
Where Do You Want Caster Wheels?
In a commercial bakery, caster wheels can be an incredibly convenient way to lend mobility to a range of items. You need to identify where caster wheels will be useful and invest in them accordingly.
For instance, you may want wheels on your dough troughs. A dough trough is for kneading bread and leaving it to rise. If your bakery makes more than just bread, you may want the ability to roll this out when you need it and then, stow it away when you are working on other baked goods. Caster wheels make that possible. Even if you have an antique wooden dough trough, you can still add wheels to it.
Racks can also benefit from caster wheels. With wheels, you can easily roll the rack over to the oven and place your hot baking pans on it. Then, you can move the rack closer to the area where you serve your customers or to stock your bakery case. Without wheels, you would have to move one pan at a time through your establishment.
Which Material Do You Want?
Caster wheels come in a range of materials. You can get inflatable rubber, sleek stainless, sturdy vinyl, or other materials. Ultimately, you need something that can roll through your facility easily.
If you have carpet, you may want inflatable wheels. However, that's rare for bakeries, and in most cases, stainless steel or vinyl are the easiest for sliding over hard surface floors. Smooth materials are also easier to clean—you don't want flour or dough stuck between the treads of rigid caster wheels. In regards to cleaning, you may also want to check out a grease-resistant neoprene rubber wheels. That's especially important if you use a lot of butter.
Do You Need Resistance to High Temperatures?
In some cases, your casters don't have to resist high temperatures, but if they are on metal carts, the metal may conduct heat through the rest of the cart. In those cases, you need casters that can withstand high temps. Steel can work. Otherwise, look for special vinyl wheels.
How Are You Going to Stop Items From Rolling Around?
When it comes to mobility, you want it when you need it, but you don't want the situation to get out of control. Because of that, it's essential to get casters with brakes. This rule applies regardless of which items you are putting the caster wheels on.
Ideally, you want foot brakes. Those have a lever that is large enough to depress with your foot. Brakes that you have to bend down and engage with your hand can be annoying to manage.
Do You Have a Maintenance Plan?
Ideally, the caster wheels in your bakery shouldn't need a lot of maintenance, but you may want to think about that. First, you can avoid unnecessary caster maintenance by buying quality wheels. Saving money on cheap wheels can often cost you more in the long run if they stop rolling properly and need to be replaced.
Then, you need to think about oiling the wheels. Some caster wheels have a little cartridge of oil in the internal part of the wheel, and that can save you time on lubrication. In other cases, you need to lubricate all the moving parts on a regular basis.
To get more ideas, check out a store or website that sells caster wheels. You may be shocked at all the variety.