Maintaining Caster Wheels
The user is responsible for proper maintenance and operation of equipment. Some equipment is abused or subjected to unreasonable demands. Don't overload or drop loads on carts or trucks. High speeds on rough floors can create severe impact or shock loads that may cause wheel or equipment failure. Periodically examine equipment for:
Frame and Fasteners
Tighten loose bolts and nuts and look for broken welds or deck boards. Look for frame distortion due to overloads or impact loads. A distorted frame can cause premature wheel failure because of abnormal loads on one or two casters. If casters are stem type, bolted or riveted in place, make sure the legs of the equipment are not bent and mounting bolts are properly secured. Always use lock nuts or lock washers in mounting casters. Be sure casters with expanding adapters in tubular equipment are held firmly in place.
Wheel and swivel bearings last longer if lubricated regularly. Some lube applied to friction points on the wheel hub, washer, and leg surfaces of straight roller bearing systems reduces drag and improves reliability. Normal conditions may warrant lubrication every six months, but once a month may be necessary in a corrosive application. Cart washings may necessitate lubrication after each wash.
Check for visible points of tread wear. Flat spots may indicate foreign material, such as string, thread, etc., causing wheels to bind. Thread guards will delay build-up of such materials. Loose casters or frozen wheels are the other causes of this problem. Replace wheel and/or caster to avoid erratic rolling. After inspecting and making corrections, be sure axle nut is properly tightened. Use lock washers or nuts on all axles. Tighten loose axle immediately to avoid becoming cocked in the caster housing/rig and locking up. Keep replacement wheels and bearings on hand to avoid costly downtime.
If swivel assembly is loose, it may need to be replaced. If caster has a king bolt nut, make sure it is securely fastened. If swivel assembly does not turn freely, check raceways for corrosion or dirt. If equipment has rigid casters at one end, make sure caster housing/rig is not bent.