Whether you’re fighting with a cart at the grocery store or rolling a squeaky library cart through the stacks, you know just how annoying those squeaky wheels can be. When you’re in charge of keeping carts operational, caster wheel maintenance is an important part of your job. Here are four tips for keeping your carts quiet and reliable.
1. Proper Use
Shopping carts tend to get noisy and swerve annoyingly because they are constantly overloaded. Heavy loads put too much pressure on wheels and the components connected to them. Do your best to educate cart users on appropriate loads for each type of cart. It’s also a good idea to discuss speed and surface factors with cart users.
2. Inside/Outside Rules
Many carts are manufactured for inside use, and they’ll pick up a lot of sand and debris when used outside. This can quickly affect the durability of the wheel systems. Treat carts with care during use and caster wheels will last much longer. Other elements, such as extreme temperatures, can lead to damages. Some wheel materials can handle extremely high temperatures, while others can be used appropriately in cold weather. Keep this in mind when purchasing the wheels.
3. Regular Maintenance
The right TLC for caster wheels begins with regular lubrication and cleaning. Many wheels are left unsealed, so it’s not unusual for dust and bits to get inside. Regular lubrication prevents some of that debris from causing damage and improves quiet operation. When the carts aren’t in use, keep them stored inside to avoid harmful outdoor elements. If you need them, some caster wheels are more appropriate for outside applications than others.
4. Keep Surfaces Clean
A lot of wheel damage on large casters is the result of banging into objects on the floor. Even a tiny piece of hardware on the floor, like a washer, can bring cast iron, phenolic, or forged steel caster wheels to a halt, especially if the cart has a heavy load. In addition to damaging the wheels, that abrupt stop could cause injury to the cart user and the load on the cart.
The proper care of your cart begins with close attention to the wheels. A quiet, steady-rolling cart is possible when carts are used properly and maintained regularly. Pay attention to where carts are used and the cleanliness of floors to improve wheel durability. Following through with these four tips is a good way to make caster wheels last longer and to keep cart users happier.