Signs your Casters are Giving Up
Choosing the right casters and maintaining them are a good way to protect your mobility investment. But we all know that casters are often out of sight and therefore out of mind and don’t always get the attention they deserve. At the same time, there can be some pretty precious cargo riding on those casters and if one or more of them fails, the results can be very costly. Minimally, failed casters are a pain in the butt because they require immediate attention. So, to help you know when it’s time to call Caster 911, in this issue of CasterU we present some of the signs that your casters are about to give up on you.
If your casters are screeching or rattling, it could mean that they are badly in need of lubrication. In general, casters should be lubricated twice a year. Extreme noise could also indicate that the wheel bearing has seized or is about to seize. It could also mean that the wrong wheel bearing type is being used. For example, a caster may be experiencing more side thrust than originally anticipated, meaning that it really needs a tapered bearing. Finally, extreme noise could mean that the yoke is worn or that the caster is misaligned.
Push & Pull Problems
Equipment that has become significantly harder to push could be the result of corrosion or rust on the caster. This can also be the result of casters being used at excessive speeds and, in turn, leading to overheating or damage to the hub.
If equipment is much harder to turn, there is likely a problem with the swivel yoke or rig. This could be the result of brinelling which occurs when ball bearings create a groove in the cap of the raceway that limits the swivel of the caster.
Uneven Wheel Wear or Flat Spots
Flat spots may indicate that foreign material, such as string, thread, metal or dirt is causing wheels to bind. It could also be that the wheel material is not appropriate for the temperatures or environment in which the caster is being used.
This can be due to overall loads that exceed capacity. It can also be the result of excessive impact loads, which occur when equipment goes over a large bump and the resulting g-force magnifies the load beyond the capacity of the casters.
Top Plate Detachment
If equipment goes over an obstacle or is subject to severe conditions, the top plate may bend, separating it from the equipment. This could also indicate that the wrong hardware or washers were used to install the caster.
Bent Stem or Kingpin
This can happen as a result of a collision with other equipment or impact with an obstacle. Uneven loads where one caster bears much more weight than the others could also cause this contortion.
If you notice any of the above, it’s an emergency and your casters likely need replacing. Of course, using the right casters and ensuring they are properly maintained will prevent a 911 call.
For help or advice on how to avoid a caster catastrophe, contact your Algood Sales Rep or reach out to our customer service team by email email@example.com or by phone at +1 (800) 254-6633.