Caster Safety

Users are responsible for the proper operation and maintenance of the manual material handling equipment they use. Some equipment will quickly become damaged and unsafe if abused or subjected to improper demands. If equipment is regularly maintained and not abused, you will get the maximum safety and service performance from your casters.

  • Do not overload equipment
  • Do not drop heavy loads on carts or trucks
  • Do not use at high speeds

These uses create severe impact and shock loads that may lead to wheel and equipment failure.

Periodically turn the equipment on its end or side and check the following:

  • Look for broken welds or deck boards.
  • Tighten loose bolts and nuts.
  • Look for frame distortion caused by overloads and impact loads.

Distorted frames can lead to wheel failure by placing disproportionate loads on one or two casters.

  • If casters are stem types (bolted or riveted in place), make certain that the legs of the equipment are not bent, and that mounting bolts are securely fastened.
  • Always use locknuts or lock washers in mounting casters.
  • Be sure casters with expanding applicators in tubular equipment are held firmly in place.


If you are using casters as a component part on equipment for resale, you must advise and pass this information along to those who purchase the equipment. You should place the proper instructions on your product to relay this information to the user.

Lubrication is essential. The lubrication schedule depends on your specific application. Normal conditions may warrant lubrication every six months, but monthly lubrication may be necessary for applications in wet or corrosive environments.
Lubrication may be required after each cart washing. Special high temperature, water-resistant lubricants must be used for these applications. can provide stainless steel casters that require less maintenance in frequent cart-washing applications.
Regular lubrication adds to the life of wheel and swivel bearings. A little lube spillover to friction points on the wheel hub, thrust washer, and leg surface of straight roller bearing systems reduces drag and improves roll ability.

Check wheels for visible tread wear. Flat spots may indicate accumulation of foreign material, such as string or thread, which can cause the wheel to bind. Remove the axle bolt and nut. Clean out foreign material and check internal components for wear or failure. Re-assemble if the parts are not damaged.
Thread guards may be installed to delay build-up if foreign material is a continuing problem. Loose casters and frozen wheels can also cause flat spots. Proper maintenance, especially tightening of bolts, proper lubrication, and replacement of damaged casters will enhance equipment roll ability and tracking performance.
Badly worn or "chunked out" rubber tires can also cause erratic steering, bumping, load shifting, and floor damage. Replacement wheels and bearings should be kept on hand to reduce costly downtime.
After wheels have been inspected and repaired, be sure the axle nut is properly tightened. Use lock washers or locknuts on all axles. If the caster axle is loose, tighten immediately. The wheel may be damaged or lock up if it is cocked in the caster horn.

Check the swivel assemblies to see if there is excessive play due to wear. If the swivel assembly is loose, it is advisable to replace it (fork or rig) or the entire caster. If the caster has a king bolt and nut, make sure it is fastened securely. If the swivel does not turn freely, check for corrosion or dirt binding the raceways. Again, it may be necessary to replace the swivel assembly or the entire caster.
If the equipment has rigid or stationary casters at one end, make sure that the caster horns are not bent or distorted.

Check brakes and locks for proper operation. It is recommended that scaffold caster brakes be tested daily or before each use of the equipment. Apply brakes one at a time and attempt to move the equipment to make sure that each brake is not slipping or loose. If brakes slip due to worn or damaged wheels, replace the wheels immediately, and re-test the brakes. If the brake mechanism itself is not operating properly, repair or
replace it. Always re-test brakes immediately after repairs or replacement, before returning equipment to use. Alberta Casters Ltd. offers a wide selection of brakes and locks. Contact the branch for further information.

Towing - Power Operation
Power driven equipment, whether it is by a tow line, tractor drawn, or mechanically moved by conveyor, will require casters specifically designed for this use. Series which are compatible with this type of operation are so specified within this catalog, but consultation with the factory is recommended to ensure the proper caster for each specific towing or power driven equipment application.