5 Reasons Castors Fail And How To Prevent Them
T Tracey Williams

5 Reasons Castors Fail And How To Prevent Them

Jan 19, 2023

When the wheels come off and castors fail on a trolley or roll cage, the consequences can be costly and frustrating. Damage to stock and equipment, and injury to staff is also a possibility. Investing in reliable and durable castors and wheels, therefore, is crucial for any business who depends on the fast and efficient movement of stock.

The Most Common Reasons Why Castors Fail

There are several reasons why castors fail, most of which can be prevented by choosing the correct wheels for each application and operating environment.

1. Extreme Temperatures

In some environments, such as cold storage or commercial kitchens, temperatures can fluctuate wildly, which can affect the condition of castor wheels. In particular, they may melt or develop flat spots, causing them to operate less efficiently. Heavy duty castors are a viable alternative, as these are manufactured with resistant materials that withstand temperature extremes.

2. Excessive Speed

Industrial castor wheels are available in a variety of speed ranges, as running them too quickly can cause damage due to overheating. If you are seeking castor wheels for a hectic working environment in which stock will need to be rapidly moved, make sure you consider their speed range so that you don’t purchase wheels that are designed for slower movements.

3. Exceeding Loading Capacity

Industrial wheels and castors are designed to accommodate heavy loads and have exceptional manoeuvrability, but most have a load capacity that should not be exceeded. There are wheels and castors designed for specific trolley shapes and sizes to prevent issues with loading. Where castors are repeatedly subjected to excess weight, it is likely they’ll be subjected to shock loads and a cause the trolley to be unstable. To avoid this problem, divide the combined mass of the maximum load and the equipment by the number of castors to find the load capacity. You can purchase castors with a higher capacity, if necessary, to allow for uneven floors, rocking, or shock loads.

For each castor configuration listed below, there are calculations to be made to know the capacity limit for each wheel:

  • Two swivel castors and two fixed castors: load divided by three
  • Four swivel castors: load divided by three
  • One swivel castor and two fixed castors: load divided by 2.5
  • Three swivel castors: load divided by 2.5
  • Four swivel castors and two fixed castors (central pivot): load divided by two
  • Two swivel castors and two fixed castors: load divided by two

4. Uneven Loading

Castors work most efficiently when the weight of the load is spread across them. This means trolleys should be loaded evenly, to prevent excess pressure being exerted on one or more castors, leading them to break or fail.

5. The Wrong Bearing

Bearings play a vital part in fully functioning industrial castors, but there isn’t a single bearing type for all wheels. The bearing should be carefully chosen to match the castor and the operating environment, to ensure that it doesn’t corrode or fail prematurely. Seek professional advice if you are unsure.

For Expert Advice, Contact Rolltek International

At Rolltek International, we design, manufacture, and supply an extensive range of industrial castors and can provide expert advice about which will be most suited to your application and needs. To find out more, please get in touch on 01788 229400.

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