Choosing Casters for Planters

Metal planters with casters offer the versatility and mobility for a large container with plants, which would be simply unmovable because of the weight of the plants and soil.  In a home setting one may want to rearrange the patio design with ease, and in a commercial setting municipal codes may not allow a permanent plant container on a sidewalk and etc., so the planter would need to be rolled away at the end of each business day.

Powder coated aluminum planters with casters on a patio

When adding casters to a planter box there are several considerations:

The total weight of the planter box, including soil and plants, should be considered when selecting casters.  Traditional soil weight is approximately 100 pounds per cubic foot, and lightweight soil is 40 pounds per cubic foot.  Using our stock corten steel planer dimensions of 20”x46”x20”H as an example and using this cubic feet calculator we can determine that the planter box holds 10.64 cubic feet of soil, in addition to the empty weight of the planter. 

By multiplying soil weight per cubic foot times 10.64 cubic feet we can determine that the planter using traditional soil weight is 1,064 lbs, and for lightweight soil the weight is 425.60 lbs.

Each caster will have a weight capacity assigned by the manufacturer.  Each caster for our planters has the capacity of 1000 lbs, thus four casters can support a planter that is up to 4,000 lbs.

Casters can have built-in brakes for locations where there is a slope or if the planter needs additional stability.  Generally, the caster wheel will be made from a plastic composite or cast iron.  The plastic composite will not rust and will be smoother to roll and maneuver.  The cast iron wheels provide a great industrial look and are also abrasion resistant, but usually are in a larger form factor.  For planters that are extra long or require maneuverability it is important to have casters that swivel.

Because planters can be very heavy when filled with soil it is important to consider the thickness and the durability of the material of the planter box.  It may not be possible to safely bolt the casters directly to the planter box.  This is why for our planters we have designed a caster frame that the planter sits in and the four casters bolt to.  Further, all four casters swivel and have built-in brakes.