A Guide to Safely Removing and Replacing Casters on High-Value Equipment.

Even a seemingly simple task like removing a caster wheel on high-value machinery requires careful consideration, especially when the equipment is used in critical applications like military and aerospace. 

Let’s review the process, including things to keep in mind to ensure safe caster removal and what to consider to ensure you have the right replacement caster.

Essential Steps for Safe Caster Removal:

  1. Secure the Load: Before removing the caster, ensure the equipment is completely stationary and powered down. You will also want to have the equipment that the caster is getting removed from high enough to work on. Utilize jacks, wedges, or a lifting mechanism to support the equipment’s weight at a comfortable height and ensure the equipment is secure to prevent any accidental tipping or shifting.

    Plate caster

    Plate caster

  2. Identify the Caster Type: Different casters have varying removal mechanisms. Consult the equipment manual or manufacturer’s instructions for specific details. Generally, casters involve a bolt-on, snap-lock, or threaded stem design. Aerol casters are plate or flat-face casters, which means the top of the caster plate is bolted onto the equipment it is intended to move. 
  3. Gather the Right Tools: To remove bolt-on casters, you will need wrenches or sockets to loosen the bolts. Remember to keep the equipment stabilized after you remove the caster.
    4. Removing the Wheel: When removing a caster wheel, use the right tools to avoid forcing the caster plate off. Also, avoid prying or twisting, which can damage the equipment or caster. You also shouldn’t attempt to remove casters while the equipment is under load. The only weight you should be working with is the equipment itself.

To add longevity to your casters, perform regular maintenance on your casters and replace worn or damaged ones promptly to maintain safety and equipment performance.

Safety and Caster Selection.

Always wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as safety glasses, gloves, and sturdy footwear, to prevent injuries. Aerol also offers heavy-duty caster swivel locks and caster brakes to help protect both service personnel and the equipment they are moving.

Choosing the Right Replacement:

Once you’ve removed the caster, selecting the correct replacement caster is necessary. If your new caster isn’t identical to your other casters, or you don’t know the exact specifications for optimal performance and safety, here are some key factors to consider:

RELATED: How To Select the Right Industrial Caster

  • Weight Capacity: Choose casters with a load capacity exceeding the equipment’s weight. This safety factor considers that not all four wheels may touch the ground at all times, so you need to account for the extra stress.
  • Tread Material: Consider the application environment. Polyurethane or nylon treads offer good durability and floor protection, while steel or phenolic options provide better high-temperature resistance. Pneumatic and cushion tread wheels are great for outdoor use and offer a level of shock mitigation.
  • Swivel and Locking Mechanisms: Swivel casters offer manoeuvrability and, with the addition of a locking mechanism, provide stability. Caster wheel brakes can slow and stop a cart to supplement operator strength and reduce strain. They can also help prevent carts or racks from moving unexpectedly, preventing damage to the product and injury to employees.
  • Environmental Factors: When selecting the right wheel material and design, consider factors like temperature extremes, moisture, or chemical exposure. 

Aerol: Your Partner in Mobility.

At Aerol, we understand the critical role of casters in demanding applications. Our heavy-duty aluminum casters are specifically engineered to meet the rigorous needs of military, aviation, aerospace, and industrial environments. We offer a wide range of caster types and sizes, ensuring you find the perfect fit for your equipment.

Aerol’s Advantage:

  • Unmatched Strength and Durability: Our casters are constructed from high-grade aluminum, offering superior strength and a long lifespan, even under extreme loads.
  • Safety by Design: Every Aerol caster incorporates safety features like double ball bearings, secure locking mechanisms, and robust construction to guarantee reliable performance.
    • Expert Guidance: Talk to our solutions specialists to learn more about our comprehensive caster solutions. We are here to assist you in choosing the right casters for your application and provide specialized solutions for removing and replacing casters in critical environments.