Maintaining Your Casters & Wheels

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 Published By: Roy Williams

Is your dolly, platform cart, towline or other material handling equipment failing to work properly?  Are you struggling to move those heavy loads?  The answer to your troubles could be quite simple.  9 times out of 10, worn out casters or improperly selected wheels are at fault.

A quick visual inspection can pinpoint the problem.  If the wheels are worn out or rougher in some areas than others, a replacement of  your casters or wheels should correct the problem.

Here are some best practices for preventive care.

Check Your Fasteners:  Manufacturers recommend inspecting the wheel frames and fasteners periodically to make sure that nothing is amiss.  Turn your equipment on its side so that you can closely examine it to check for broken deck boards or welds, loose bolts or nuts, or distorted framework.  Fixing these problems before using the equipment will prevent further damage to the wheels or other components.

Inspect Your Wheels:  View the wheel surface to check for any signs of visible tread wear.  Is there a flat spot?  This is typically a sign of foreign material accumulating around the hub or axle.  A seemingly benign matter such as thread, hair or string can easily cause the wheel to bind and create a flat spot.  Are your wheels badly worn?  It’s imperative to replace them promptly to prevent floor damage, load shifting and steering problems.

Lubricate All Grease Fittings:  Develop and stick to a consistent lubrication schedule.  Under standard working conditions, grease fittings need to be lubricated every six months. However, if used in corrosive or wet applications it may be necessary to lubricate the fitting more often.  Consider changing to sealed or delrin wheel bearings and protect the caster swivel raceway with special seals.

The Right Wheel:  There are numerous wheels to select from that are specifically designed to carry excessive weight, roll quietly, protect floors and function in wet, corrosive or high heat environments. There are wheels that are suitable for high impact conditions, clean room operations and non-conductive situations.  A larger wheel has greater mobility but the right wheel tread will also make a big difference.  Make sure you have the right wheel for your application.

Casters of Amarillo is here to help.  We are a locally owned company with over 4 decades of experience in the caster and material handling equipment industry.  We offer a full range of casters from the lightest duty to extra-heavy duty for applications in all types of industries. Let us be your preferred source for pallet jacks, hand trucks, service carts and more. Our goal is to meet customers’ requirements for quality products, friendly service and competitive prices.