Steel Caster Failure - Common Issues And How To Avoid Them

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Steel Caster Failure - Common Issues And How To Avoid Them

Steel Caster Failure - Common Issues And How To Avoid Them

28 November 2015
, Articles

If you frequently use material handling carts or larger moveable pallets in your manufacturing warehouse, then these items very likely have steel casters on the bottom that help to move the carts and pallets along. These casters are the smallest parts of the carts, but they are likely the most important. Unfortunately, casters can fail over time. This typically happens due to improper use of the devices. Keep reading to learn about caster failure and what you can do to avoid the issue.

Cart Overloading

If you typically need to move large or heavy boxes or other items from one side of your warehouse to another, then you may be tempted to stack items on top of one another to save yourself a trip. While the cart bottom will help to distribute weight over the entire area of the cart, each caster will need to withstand about one-quarter of the weight. If you exceed the loading capacity weight of the cart you are using, then the caster can fail. Typically, overloading will cause the caster bracket or frame to collapse onto the wheel below it. The forks that hold the wheel can bend as well and force the wheel to fold underneath the cart. 

To avoid this caster failure issue, make sure to never load your cart with more weight than it is rated for. The cart should be labeled with the weight capacity. This capacity may be several hundred pounds or several thousand pounds, depending on the size of the cart. If you typically move the same sorts of equipment, boxes, or objects, then consider weighing these items so you have an idea of how many can be placed on the cart at once. Your manufacturing facility likely has an industrial floor scale for you to use for this purpose.

Impact Force

Keep in mind that the weight placed on the cart is not the only factor that can cause force to be applied to the steel casters. If you suddenly hit an object or roll the cart hard over a bump on the floor, then this can cause a caster failure, even if the weight placed on the cart meets the weight capacity rating. This happens because the speed that you push the cart, as well as the weight of the cart, will combine together when you hit something. This is called g-force, and it can cause a great deal of weight to be forced against your casters under relatively normal circumstances.

For example, if you push a cart holding 100 pounds of weight along at a normal speed and hit an object, the weight and the speed can combine to force two or three times as much weight against the casters. If your cart is only rated to hold 100 pounds of weight, then the 200 or 300 pounds of force may cause the casters to fail. If your warehouse is cluttered or if there are dips and bumps along the floor, then it is best to reduce weight to about half the rated capacity to keep excessive amounts of force from ruining your casters.

Fast Speeds

While weight and force are two of the most common issues that will cause caster failure, wear and tear of the wheels can cause issues too. Specifically, friction and heat can cause the rubber wheels to crack, warp, and generally break apart. This type of friction is caused by speed when you force your cart along too quickly against the floor. As the cart picks up speed, the rubber skids across the floor quickly and this creates heat. Even more heat and friction will be created if your warehouse floor is made from a rough concrete material.

You can easily reduce friction and heat concerns by pushing the cart slowly. You should walk at a normal speed. Most people will walk normally at a speed of about 3.1 miles per hour. If you are concerned that you may be walking too fast with your cart, think about wearing a pedometer that gauges speed or invest in a running watch, and keep your walking speed around the 3 mile an hour mark. 

Click here for more information about steel casters.

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cutting the cost of industrial supplies

All of the supplies that your business needs to operate each day can cost you a hefty sum by the end of the year. Of course you can't skip ordering these things because business would come to a halt, but you can find some ways to reduce the cost of those supplies. Our blog will show you different ways to save on the cost of the industrial supplies that your business requires each and every day. Cutting those costs will help you now and many, many years into the future so you can increase the profits you enjoy and your business can thrive.