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Wheels And Casters - How to Perform General Maintenance on Wheels and Casters

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If you live in a standard household or operate any sort of business, chances are that you have several pieces of mobile furniture that use wheels and casters instead of having blunt legs. Wheels and casters do not operate at peak performance for more than three months without regular maintenance. As with any equipment or furniture with moving parts, the lifespan of this equipment can be extended one-hundred fold by simply carrying out a regularly scheduled maintenance program. If this is for your business, you will save a lot of money by not having to replace your fixed assets so soon. If for your home, you not only save money, but you save yourself the trouble of having to redecorate time and again.

The most common pieces of equipment that use wheels and casters are chairs and shelves. Other furniture with wheels and casters can include tables, carts, TV stands, cots, or chests of drawers. Following this system of maintenance for wheels and casters will assure you of getting full use out of any of this equipment.

1. Operation
Never use your equipment for purposes that go beyond its limits or the intent of its design. Abusing your equipment is a sure-fire way to shorten its lifespan and possibly damage other equipment for which it is being used.

  • Do not overload your equipment with wheels and casters.
  • Set objects lightly onto the equipment. Dropping objects will put undue stress on the casters or wheels many times the weight of the object.
  • Do not use indoor equipment with wheels or casters at high speeds.
  • Do not use indoor equipment with wheels and casters outdoors.

2. Inspection
The first step in general maintenance on wheels and casters is an inspection. Here is what you should be looking for:

  • Broken boards, shelves, decks, or welds.
  • The tightness of nuts and bolts. Tighten them if loose.
  • Balance and symmetry of the frame. Lopsidedness.
  • Straightness of the legs, if applicable.
  • Casters and wheels are mounted with lock-washers. If not, replace standard washers with lock-washers.
  • Tread on wheels. Replace as needed. Keep replacements handy if your equipment is necessary for the smooth operation of a business.
  • Tighten axel nuts, if necessary.
  • Check the swivel and operation of casters. If there is excessive play, replace casters.
  • Corrosion. File or sand down corrosion. Paint with corrosive-inhibiting paint to prevent further corrosion.
  • If brakes are present, check if they are operating correctly, locking down, and easily unlocked.

3. Cleaning
Clean debris or stuck-on dirt with a brush. Try not to use soap unless absolutely necessary. Soap can cause the wheels and casters to lose lubrication. Use a pressure sprayer for excessive, hard-to-remove dirt and grime. Dry wheels and casters thoroughly.

4. Lubrication
Caster bearing and wheels with bearings should always have adequate lubrication. A multi-purpose grease that can withstand pressure and high temperatures is recommended. For wheels, lubricate all friction points and axles. This will help them glide more smoothly. Lubrication should be done every one to six months. The frequency depends on the specific use of the equipment. Regular lubrication will greatly extend the life of your wheels and casters. Two brands of lubrication that work well are Citgo EP1 and Exxon EP1.

These maintenance guidelines will ensure your equipment works properly and will extend the lifetime of the equipment indefinitely.

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