If you have a heavy engine to lift, a set of caster wheels is a great help, and it might even save your back and arms from some strain. It is the way to go if you want to get an engine up on stands.
If you’re buying a set of caster wheels, there are three things you need to look for to work best when lifting an engine.
- The casters need to lock so they can hold the engine’s weight
- The caster wheels need to swivel, so you can rotate the engine as needed once it is on the stand.
- If they’re going under a heavy load like that, they better be tough and made of steel, not plastic.
How to choose a caster wheel?
It sounds like a no-brainer, but you should choose caster wheels that are rated for the engine’s weight. If your engine hoist can be adjusted to different heights, then make sure the casters you purchase fit under those heights as well. For example, if your engine stand is adjustable to two different heights, then the casters should fit under both of those heights.
There are three main types of caster wheels:
- Hard rubber wheel sets look similar to small car tires, but they don’t have an inner tube or air. These are pretty durable and will last a long time. The downside is that they cannot be used on certain surfaces because the rubber will wear out and could cause damage.
- Plastic or nylon wheelsets are lightweight and made for lighter-duty applications like moving lawn chairs around the pool deck outside. If you’re using this type of caster wheel, make sure there is a lock so it won’t roll away as your engine comes off the engine hoist.
- Cast-iron wheelsets are an excellent choice if you have a heavy load to move around. They are made of either solid or pneumatic tires, but they will hold up better than plastic ones. The added weight of the cast iron may make the caster wheel more difficult to swivel as needed
As for industrial casters, they’re tough and well-made. The swivel caster wheels will turn in any direction, which is good when you want to rotate the engine. They also have brakes that lock up to make sure it stays where you want it once the engine hoist has been removed from under it. These casters are made for heavy-duty applications, so they are a good choice for your engine stand.
What size casters should you use?
It will depend on the size and weight of your engine. The caster wheels you purchase should be able to fit under the lowest height setting on the engine hoist, so your engine can sit evenly on them.
On average, most heavy-duty casters are rated for about 2,000 pounds per set. So if there is a total weight of the engine and the engine stand together, your casters should be able to hold 2,000 pounds or more.
Purchasing a set of caster wheels will make lifting your engine straight up and onto the engine stand easier. Once the engine is lifted off of the engine hoist, you can swivel these casters around as needed for convenience.