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Keeping Casters And Wheels In Good Shape Over Bumpy Ground

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If you commonly move a variety of products around your manufacturing plant and need to use carts, then both the wheels and the casters on the bottom will help with the swift and stable movements. However, if the floor around your manufacturing plant is uneven and bumpy, then the casters and wheels will retain a great deal or stress, pressure, and vibrations. This can cause substantial wear and tear and the need for new hardware much more quickly than you desire. You can prevent wear issues with the following tips.

Add The Right Hardware

The steel casters on the bottom of your carts are fastened with the assistance of bolts. Four bolts are common on each caster and they fit through the top plate and the cart itself. These bolts can unfortunately succumb to vibrations as wheels move over uneven ground and the bolts back up out of the top plate openings. If you have steel carts, then consider removing the bolts and welding the top plates in place. Use MIG welding wire with a high silicon and manganese content so the welds can withstand a good deal of wear as your carts are used. If you do not have a MIG welder in your plant, then you can contact a welder to complete the job for you in a relatively quick manner.

If you cannot or do not want to weld the casters in place, then change the bolts in the top plate with self-sealing or self-locking varieties. These types of bolts come with pressure-sealing washers on the end made with flexible silicone or rubber o-rings. These same types of rings are sometimes featured on the tops of the bolts as well, and some products also have silicone along the threaded body. The silicone materials secure the hardware so it cannot move unless a significant amount of pressure is forced against the bolts and nuts. You also may want to replace the kingpin that attaches the swivel part of the caster to the top plate with a locking bolt. This is a good option if the kingpin assembly is not an integral or attached variety.

There is also a bolt that fits through the yoke and wheel assembly part of the caster. Fitting a locking nut on this part of the caster may be a good idea too, if wheels feel loose or seem wobbly.

Change The Wheels

If you have solid rubber, resin, nylon, or steel wheels attached to your cart casters, then change the wheels to pneumatic varieties. These air-filled wheels will absorb shock as they roll over obstacles and uneven ground so casters do not sustain the bulk of the wear and tear when carts are in use. Pneumatic wheels are typically made out or rubber or polyurethane materials. If you want superior resistance to wear and good durability, then polyurethane is the best material to pick. However, if you want better flexibility and shock absorption, then pick the rubber tires. However, keep in mind that rubber tires are more likely to form holes and punctures than tougher polyurethane varieties. 

When picking out the tires, also look at the tread on the bottom. The tread should have a textured pattern, especially if there is sometimes moisture across the floors in the facility. This will help to keep the tires from slipping. Tread also adds grip that will help the wheels move over uneven ground. Tread pattern and depth will vary between the different wheel varieties that are available. While deep treads may be needed in facilities with floors that are constantly wet, the tread depth will reduce the diameter of the air-filled part of the wheel. For example, if you have a two inch tire with a one inch core and a half inch deep tread, then the pneumatic part will only be about one-half inch thick. For the best shock absorption, look for thicker pneumatic wheels with treads that are only four or five millimeters deep.