In the industrial world, having the ability to move machinery, carts and heavy objects with ease is absolutely critical. There are quite a few types of mounting wheels, most commonly referred to as casters, which are designed for various forms and functions. Once the best type of caster is identified for a business, it is just as important to keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear. Businesses that require the use of large casters, in particular, should stay wary of signs that it may be time to replace this tool.
Most casters perform quietly when first put into use. Modern technology has even developed to a point that ensures that some casters on the market are practically silent. It’s important, for this reason, to take note of squeaking and grinding noises. There are a number of factors that could lead to a caster starting to make unusual noises. Beyond the general concept of wearing out this tool, noises can also be a sign of poor lubrication. While improving the lubrication of a caster can be a temporary improvement, the arrival of squeaking or screeching noises typically already indicates enough wear and tear to warrant replacement.
Whether on the metal and plastic parts of a caster or a rubber or polyurethane wheel itself, cracks are never a good sign. This type of wear can, once again, be the result of normal usage, but it can also be attributed to environmental conditions. Consider consulting with an expert to confirm if the space in which a caster is being stored is optimal. Factors like temperature and humidity can certainly affect this type of tool over a longer period of time.
Similarly, even the most resilient wheels can end up becoming a bit uneven. Small cracks can easily grow into a bigger issue, and uneven treads with pieces missing from the wheels can become a risk to the function. If a caster is being used to move an object across any sort of rugged surface, the risk of trouble continues to grow even more — additionally, debris and materials from a workspace floor can continue to manifest in these uneven treads and cause further damage. The level of damage is also dependent on the material of the caster. Regardless, uneven treads are a big red flag.
As with any machinery critical to running a business, casters are a helpful tool that requires attention and upkeep. If and when these signs of trouble begin to arise, know that replacing a caster can keep things rolling as smoothly as possible.