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Tips to minimizing wheel failure

Warehouse logistics involve all the people, processes, and programs required to keep items moving in, around, and through the warehouse.  Today’s large fulfillment centers rely on efficient processes to keep products and revenue on track. And their hand-controlled guided vehicles, small drive units, and AGVs depend on their wheels to keep things moving. Wheel failure is not an option. 

One way to keep your efficiency numbers up is by regularly checking the wheels on your AGVs or carts. That way you can keep minor issues from becoming major ones. 

It comes down to the nuts and bolts

One easy check is to make sure the nuts and bolts on your wheels are tight, and that you aren’t missing lock nuts or washers. And if your wheels are not swiveling freely, this could be due to a lack of lubrication. Properly lubricating casters that aren’t maintenance-free is a vital part of maintenance. Sometimes, difficulty turning or swiveling may also be the result of debris in the caster.

Movement issues also can appear as casters age. For example, the swivel section may display excessive play due to worn-out components. A  loose swivel means it may need to be replaced. You should also replace wheels that become hard to pull or push. This helps prevent overexertion injuries on manual carts and increases the battery life on motorized ones. 

Another factor to consider (covered in a previous post) is wheel composition. In most instances, a poly wheel offers the best combination of performance and benefits. Softer compounds like rubber mean easier heat buildup in continuous moving applications. 

Caster Concepts offers a wide variety of high-quality ergonomic products proven to lower required push and pull forces: Crown casters, TWERGO® wheels, and round tread wheels are excellent solutions for your ergonomic needs.

Bearing this in mind…

Two casters may look similar outside,  but the bearings packed inside the swivel section of a caster may be very different. Bearings are an integral part of a caster, as they are the primary driver of how easily the caster (and the cart) will turn and maneuver.

Precision bearings have a longer use life than regular bearings. Two examples used in heavy loads include:

Precision Tapered Bearings

The precision tapered bearing is the most effective bearing for heavy loads. It is capable of absorbing excessive side thrust loading and can be used where high-speed operation is essential. Bearings should be periodically inspected to ensure proper adjustment.

Precision Sealed Ball Bearings

Recommended for maximum rolling ease with no maintenance lubrication required. Quiet operation for medium-duty to heavy-duty loads. Not suggested for severe side or impact loads.

Sound efficiency practices can make or break a warehousing or distribution business’s bottom line.  Caster Concepts offers a variety of casters and wheels, as well as powered applications, for organizations looking to maximize efficiency and reduce the risk of overexertion injuries.