5 Reasons Your Heavy Duty Swivel Caster Is Broken

Among the three most common reasons heavy-duty swivel casters are broken, excess swivel offset, improper bearing selection, and high speeds are excessive swivel offset and brinelling. While this is a common problem, the solution is simple. Here are some tips for troubleshooting your broken casters. Hopefully, these tips will help you save money, time, and frustration!

Excessive swivel offset

If a heavy-duty swivel caster‘s swivel offset is too large, it is probably not durable enough for your needs. In most cases, this type of broken caster can cause damage to its components. It may also affect the overall performance of your equipment. Depending on the model, swivel leads may also be damaged. Therefore, it’s essential to consider the swivel lead size before buying a caster.

An excessive swivel offset occurs when the caster’s yoke and wheel are too far apart. The offset distance between the kingpin and the axle centerline will cause the yoke leg to break away from the swivel when the load is placed on the caster. A reasonable offset distance is somewhere between, so choosing the proper caster for your application is essential.


A heavy-duty swivel caster can suffer from brinelling, which is a recessed dent in a hard surface. This damage affects the performance of the swivel caster, increasing the swiveling force. This can be detrimental to the operation of the caster, as it may result in excess vibration, spalling, and bearing failure. The leading cause of brinellingBrinelling is excessive load force distributed over a small surface area. This can occur during repeated impact loads or even from a single application of force.

Another significant feature of a heavy-duty swivel caster is its kingpin or mounting plate. This retaining yoke or horn serves as the lower raceway, which is the bearing for the main load. Unfortunately, the double raceway configuration is susceptible to this hammering, and the divergent position of the ball bearings causes a loose fit. Furthermore, the machining requirements of the competition result in reduced strength and premature fatigue of the raceway.

Improper bearing selection

The most common reason a heavy-duty swivel caster breaks is improper bearing selection. Bearings limit the movement of the caster and reduce friction between moving parts. If not chosen properly, these components can lead to premature failure of the caster. Consider the bearing material, the race construction, and access. The following are some tips for selecting the correct bearing.

The most common causes of a broken swivel caster are improper bearing selection, bad design, and improper installation. The study found that 50 percent of the tested casters failed in the laboratory and the field. While some manufacturers attributed these failures to the rough terrain and other environmental factors, others suggested additional factors are needed to replicate these failures. During the testing, most casters failed before reaching a hundred thousand MDT cycles, which is equivalent to three to five years of outdoor use.

High speeds

The high speeds that a heavy-duty swivel cart experiences can have disastrous consequences for the caster. High speeds can cause overheating, damage to the wheel hub, and even bearing failure. Therefore, the right caster should be selected according to the cart’s speed. For example, a manual material handling cart will need a different type of caster than a towable cart, which can reach speeds of over 5 MPH.

When choosing a heavy-duty swivel cart, consider the caster’s speed. The higher the rate, the greater the load. Higher speeds will require a longer swivel lead and higher swivel speed if the high-speed operation is in a tight space. However, keep in mind that high-speed applications require adequate blending to prevent chattering.


If you have ever experienced the fluttering sound of a heavy-duty swivel caster, you are not alone. This annoying sound is caused by a misaligned swivel caster, which is usually not balanced and shimmying when in use. This problem is typically the result of high speeds and misalignment, which leads to increased noise, excessive wear and tear, and possible caster malfunction. In extreme cases, it can even lead to a severe accident if it causes the caster to lose track.

When comparing heavy-duty swivel casters, the one with the largest lead is the most durable. Kingpinless casters, on the other hand, require regular grease, and some heavy equipment moving casters have an open raceway, which collects debris that damages the caster. In these cases, you may want to purchase two swivel casters with a longer lead for your heavy loads.

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