Why Caster Position Matters

Why Caster Position Matters

As stated in the articles regarding centre of gravity, it is usually best to locate the casters as far forward as possible. But since wheelchair prescription is a series of compromises, one needs to understand what suffers when something is improved.

Consider the TiLite ZR, ZRA, TX and TR since these chairs are essentially custom made and offer configurations that are virtually unlimited. When looking at the side elevation (side view), the greater the distance between the rear wheels and the casters, the less weight there will be on the casters. This is a good thing ... but like chocolate, too much is not a good thing. Looking at a front view, it is desirable to minimize the distance between the casters. The issues that impact on how far they can be pushed forward and brought inward include:

Footrest interference

  • Mitigated by...
    • More taper
    • Less tight front end (e.g. 80° rather than 85°)
    • 90° footrest loop (squared off rather than radiused) to allow more caster wheel intrusion into the medial space.
    • Smaller diameter casters

Transfers

  • Pushing the casters forward may require that they be moved laterally to clear the footrest assembly. For lateral transfers, it is more difficult to gain a close approach to tub, toilet, bed, car, etc. if the caster assembly is protruding.

Maneuverability

  • With a wider front end, it is more difficult to negotiate confined spaces
  • Casters too far forward will inhibit the approach to objects
  • Casters too far forward may interfere with transfers

Transportation

  • Casters too far forward may make the “package” too big to transfer into a vehicle

What our Clients are Saying

open quotesWe especially appreciated the extra support you gave us when we went on our Children's Wish vacation to Disneyworld in Florida, providing us with a portable oximeter and concentrator for the airplane. Sandra even visited Michael in the hospital prior to our departure to ensure we had the best equipment to suit Michael's medically fragile needs. Michael needed the oxygen on the plane both ways and we felt confident in your choice for him way above the clouds. close quotes
― Michael and Family, Kitchener ON