Your casters are vital components of your facility. After all, ensuring your casters are solid and up to the task of moving heavy loads can prevent injuries and catastrophic failures. If your company cannot afford the downtime associated with injuries or sudden caster failures, then it’s vitally important for you to inspect your heavy duty casters now and potentially save yourself some time in the future.
Be Proactive to Save Money
The saying that “time is money” is doubly true when it comes to business endeavors, so it is easy to understand exactly why you need to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to things like inspections. After all, you probably inspect your machinery and equipment regularly to ensure that you can keep your company moving right along, but if you aren’t including your casters in these regular inspections, you’re doing yourself a terrible disservice. When you are proactive about caster inspections, you can avoid costly maintenance and repair that could take hours – if not days – to complete. In the end, this keeps your company up and running and helps you avoid downtime.
What to Inspect
Now that you’re aware of the importance of regular caster inspections, it’s important to understand what you need to look for when that time comes. There are several things to check during each inspection.
- Is the caster fastened tightly to the cart or other equipment? The first thing you should do is check the thread stems, anchor bolts, and other fasteners designed to secure your caster to the carts or equipment to ensure they are tight. Sometimes, with regular wear and tear, these can come loose and create a significant risk. If you find any casters that are mounted without lock nuts or lock washers, be sure to install these as they can keep things tighter longer.
- Are the swivel heads’ grease nipples still in place? Many swivel casters have what are known as “grease nipples” that keep the swivels lubricated and functioning as they should. Check the casters to make sure the grease nipples haven’t fallen out of place, and if they have, or if they look damaged, they should be replaced. Many of today’s maintenance-free casters eliminate this risk, so if it becomes a common problem, consider making the switch.
- Are the bearings lubricated? If you are not using maintenance-free casters, then you will need to lubricate the ball bearings every so often in order to keep them moving freely. Failing to do so could cause a caster to lock, and at the very least, it increases the amount of exertion required to move the load. Be sure you’re using the right lubricant for the application; some wash away when exposed to water, and others can break down when exposed to certain chemicals.
- Is the wheel tread in good condition? Over time, caster wheel tread can wear or become damaged. During your inspection, be sure that you check for frayed areas, flat spots, and built-up string or thread wrapped between the axle and the wheel.
The best way to keep your business running smoothly involves properly inspecting and maintaining all of your equipment – including your caster wheels – regularly. These best practices can reduce costly downtime and prevent employee injury. For more information about maintenance, contact your caster manufacturer.