Help Hub / Advice & Guidance / Castors And Wheels / Signs to replace your castors

Signs to replace your castors

When should I replace my castors?

What signs should I look for that indicate I need to replace my castor wheels?

Castors are designed to ensure that your equipment operates smoothly and has a low roll resistance so making it easier and safer to move and manoeuvre loads. 

Over time, no matter how well maintained they are, castor wheels can become damaged and show signs of deterioration that will start to affect the performance of the castor and its ability to do its job.

Regular maintenance can help prolong the life of a castor but if your castors are displaying clear signs of wear and tear, then you should consider replacing them, and soon.

Replacing them before they fail will save you time and money in the future.

Failing Castors – what are the signs to look out for?

There are numerous signs that will give you advanced warning that your castors need replacing. If you spot these signs early on, then you can arrange for them to be replaced when you choose to do so and not be forced into action when they do properly fail. By being proactive you can avoid the lost time and frustration associated with broken castors. You will also avoid the risk of equipment or people being damaged and the costs and lost productivity that would go with that.

What are the main signs of impending castor failure.

Lack of Manoeuvrability

One clear sign is if your equipment becomes difficult to manoeuvre.  Equipment that used to roll with a slight push for example, now needs far greater effort to get it moving.

When the castor wheels are new, roll resistance is low and your equipment moves easily under load.  After years of use, the castor wheels will suffer from increasing roll resistance which can make pushing and moving the items difficult. This situation will reduce efficiency and productivity in the workplace as equipment becomes harder to manoeuvre. 

There are a variety of reasons why this loss of manoeuvrability may occur:

If you spot any sign of obvious damage, then you should definitely plan to replace it. If the castor looks misshapen, dented, crooked or in any way deformed it will soon need replacing as this won’t just affect manoeuvrability but also the load that can be carried safely.

Worn or damaged treads

You should inspect the castor treads for signs of damage as this is a very common problem which can cause difficulty in rolling and cornering, which in turn can lead to uneven movement and poor control.

Cracks are more likely to occur with soft rubber-based castors than harder wearing nylon ones.  

Unfortunately, operators often continue to use equipment where castors have clear signs of excessive wear and tear on the treads. This just causes further damage and loss of efficiency, even though it is very simple to remove and replace the castor as the bracket is still likely to be in good condition. 

Please be aware that prevention is always cheaper than cure so using castors that are suitable for your application is the best way to avoid early castor failures. 

If you are not sure which type of castor wheel you need, please just contact us for advice, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Listen for Noises

Loud or unusual noises – such as creaking, rattling, squeaking or screeching when you are using your trolley, cart or any other moving equipment is another clear sign that your castors are going to need replacing.

If you hear a rattling sound,this could indicate that the axle hole is worn and the castor wheel is becoming loose or that the bearings are worn.  In either case the castor needs to be replaced.

A screeching sound, like metal rubbing against metal, can also indicate a problem with the bearings.  If lubricating the bearings does not fix this, then it is an indication that the bearings are worn or missing and that the castor needs replacing.

The noise you hear may come from the tread, indicating that the tread is damaged as discussed above. 

If your castors are unusually noisy, they should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid damage to other parts of the castor assembly unit or to the moving equipment itself.

Signs of floor damage

If you start to notice damage to the floor such as scrapes and scratches, markings, or chipping, then you should inspect your castors for signs of wear as highlighted the above. Old or damaged castors should always be replaced. They are on their way to failing but could cause floor damage before they do.

Replacing castors is simple!

If you need to replace your castors, you have several options.  You can replace the entire castor unit, parts of it or just the castor wheel itself.  When replacing, it is important that you choose a good quality castor that is suitable for your application.  Most castors are designed so that they can be easily removed from the bracket (fixing) meaning that only the castor wheel needs to be replaced.  This ensures that castor replacement is quick, easy and economical. 

If your castors are failing earlier than you would expect, it could be that you are not using the correct castors for the job. If you are not sure which type of castor wheel you need to meet your specific requirements contact us – we are always ready to listen and assist.

If it is just the castor you are replacing, then the replacement castor should simply slot into the fittings of the old castor.  In most cases the fixings will either be bolt hole, stem fitting or a plate fixing.

We always have thousands of castors and wheels in stock. See our range of castors here and use the handy on-page filters to help you select the right castor for you.  There is also more information in our guide to buying castors.

Alternatively, you can give us a set of measurements via our online form and we will be able to see if we have something suitable that isn’t on our website or we can look to manufacture this for you.

Give us a call!

But if you would rather speak to a specialist please call us – we’d be delighted to speak to you. Our specialist can advise which castor will be the most suitable for your applications. We know our castors! We’ll be happy to help you.