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Pallet Jack Wheels: What You Need to Know and How to Replace Them

pallet jack replacement wheels

Learn about pallet jack wheels and how to replace them in this helpful questions and answers article from WarehouseIQ.com. Scroll down to read on, or buy replacement pallet jack wheels in our online store. Its easy and we ship to address in the USA and Canada.

This article answers the following pallet jack wheel questions. Click to auto scroll to the Q&A:


What are the types of pallet jack wheels?

Standard pallet jacks use two types of wheels: 

      • Load wheels 
      • Steering wheels - sometimes called steer wheels

    Load wheels

    Load wheels are usually smaller in size (3 inches or less) and found under the forks on a pallet jack. The wheels help support the load being carried and assist with travel. Load wheels do not swivel and follow the motion of the forks instead. 

    Steering Wheels

    Steering or steer wheels are found at the front of the pallet jack and tend to be larger (typically 7 to 8 inches). The wheels help with steering and allow for the pallet jack to turn. They are on a swivelling base that is controlled by the jack's handles. 

    What are the components of a pallet jack wheel? 

    Understanding terms that relate to pallet wheels will help you be prepared to do maintenance or replace the wheels. Here is what you need to know. Pallet jack wheels consist of three parts: 

      • Tread. The outermost part of the wheel that makes contact with the floor. It is molded to the hub.
      • Bearing. This is found under the tread and is mounted to the machine within the hub. These help the wheel spin by using internal ball bearings to minimize friction.
      • Axle. A steel bar that fits through the bearing and mounts to the machine. It fits through the bearing and mounts within a cradle to the fork linkages.
      • Axle Roll Pin: This pin is used to secure the axle to the wheel and stop it from coming off.

    To help see the illustrating below which helps identify each component of a pallet jack wheel replacement kit. The image is from our pallet jack replacement wheels kit that you can buy online and ship to your U.S. or Canadian company.

    pallet jack wheel parts

      Why is pallet jack wheel maintenance important? 

      The wheels on a pallet jack impact the effectiveness of the equipment. The wheels allow for movement but also help with steering and load-bearing. Therefore, the machine cannot function correctly when the wheels are damaged or worn. This can lead to damage to merchandise, damage to flooring, worker injuries, and more. As such, pallet jack maintenance is vital to improve productivity, minimize expenses, and promote worker safety. Changing wheels an important step on a maintenance to-do list.  

      Pallet jack wheels are made of which materials? 

      The axle and the bearing are typically made from steel. The tread is often made from nylon or polyurethane but can be made from other materials, including rubber, steel, silicon, etc. 

      Nylon pallet jack wheels

      Nylon is a synthetic plastic material typically made from petroleum. Nylon wheels are: 

          • Tough and durable 
          • Better suited for harsh, wet, or rough environments such as factories, cold freezers, rough floors, etc.
          • Chemical and puncture resistant 
          • Less shock-absorbing 
          • Louder and more likely to mark floors, so better for non-public spaces 
          • Better for heavier loads

        Polyurethane pallet jack wheels

        Polyurethane is a plastic material made of polymer units linked by urethane groups. Polyurethane wheels are: 

            • Shock absorbing and quieter 
            • Easy to move due to the low rolling resistance 
            • Better suited for soft floors (e.g., laminated), such as in retail spaces 
            • Less likely to mark floors 
            • More easily damaged by large debris and harsher working conditions. No ideal if sharp debris may be present in the work environment
            • Quieter so better for use in public spaces.

          Are nylon or polyurethane pallet jack wheels better? 

          Which are better? Both materials have pros and cons. Looking at the environment, floors, and noise level can help inform on which type you should choose. 

          For example, if the pallet jack will be used primarily in harsh environments, nylon would likely be the better option. If working in an area where wheel marks would be an issue, polyurethane would be better. However, if the space also has a lot of debris, business owners must weigh the importance of unmarked floors against the durability of polyurethane. Businesses must also consider the noise level of the facility. In a smaller workplace, like a store, the noise from nylon wheels may disturb customers, but this may not be an issue in a large industrial warehouse. 

          Can you repair pallet jack wheels? 

          It is best to replace damaged pallet rack wheels. It is possible to replace a component of the wheel (e.g., bearing). However, removing the part may cause damage to the wheel, resulting in additional costs. 

          How to know if a pallet jack wheel is damaged? 

          One of the best ways to know if a pallet jack wheel is damaged is by inspecting the diameter of the wheel. The rule of thumb is that wheels should be replaced once the tread is worn down to a ¼ inch or less than the original diameter. 

          Other signs that the wheel should be replaced include: 

          • Broken or cracked wheel
          • There are flat spots on the tread 
          • The steer wheels do not turn easily 
          • Tread is gone 
          • Broken bearing 

          It is important to note that steer and load wheels should be replaced in pairs, as uneven wear can cause stress or damage to the wheel components or pallet jack. 

          When to replace pallet jack wheels

          Obvious wear and tear is a good indicator of when a pallet hack's wheels should be replaced. 

          You should also replace pallet jack wheels once they’re worn down about ¼ of an inch or 0.6 cm. This advice should be followed for both pallet jack steer wheels and load wheels.

          ere are several other factors that will require replacing pallet jack wheels include:

          • Cracked steer wheel hubs
          • Chunking
          • Accumulation of debris and dirt stopping a wheel from turning easily
          • Missing or worn wheel tread
          • Damaged entry wheels
          • Wheels that don’t easily turn

          When replacing a pallet jack wheel be sure to change load and steer wheels in pairs - even if only one needs to be replaced.

          How to replace a pallet jack wheel? 

          The process for replacing a pallet jack wheel may vary depending on the type or design. However, the general steps include the following: 

          1) Determine what pallet jack wheel parts are needed. Will the whole wheel be replaced or a component? Is the wheel made from nylon or polyurethane? Will the wheel fit the machine? Etc.  2) Get the appropriate tools Standard tools that may be needed include a hammer, a mandrel, and of course new replacement wheel kits.  

          Replacing pallet jack wheels 

          • Begin with flipping the pallet jack on its back or its side  
          • Removing the tension pins keeping the axle in place
          • Removing the axle 
          • Installing the new wheels
          • Putting the axel and tension pins back in place 

          Here is a video showing how to replace load wheels on a pallet jack: Replace the load wheels on a pallet jack

          Where to find pallet jack wheel replacements

          Many industrial manufacturers and general retail sites or stores sell pallet jack wheels and components. They are also often sold by the manufacturers of the pallet jack. 

          You can also buy pallet jack replacement wheels here that fit 80% of pallet jack brands including:

              • Toyota
              • Yale
              • Hyster
              • Raymond
              • Mitsubishi
              • Caterpillar/CAT
              • Jungheinrich
              • Nissan
              • TCM
              • BigJoe
              • Uline

          If you have a Crown pallet jack, use this link

          How much do replacement pallet jack wheels cost? 

          The price for pallet jack wheels depends on the type of wheel and the material it is made from. For example, nylon wheels are usually cheaper than polyurethane wheels. 

          On average, load wheels are typically cheaper, ranging from $45 to $60+. Steering wheels usually cost between $50 to $60+. Full replacement kits with 2 sets of wheels, bearings and axles are in the $150 to $200 range. In our online store, you'll get the best price.

          How to minimize wear and tear on pallet rack wheels? 

          Wear and tear on pallet rack wheels is inevitable, but below are some tips to reduce it: 

          • Picking the suitable wheel material for the environment (e.g., polyurethane wheels are likely to get damaged quickly in debris-filled environments) 
          • Removing unnecessary dirt and debris from the floor and the wheels. This allows the wheels to move more freely.    
          • Avoid overloading. Ensure workers know and follow the load capacities. 
          • Lubricate the pallet jack. It allows the wheels to roll more smoothly.  
          • Inspect regularly. This should be done at least every six months. It helps ensure damaged wheels are caught early and avoid other unnecessary costs (e.g., damaged pallets). 
          • Minimize unnecessary travel. Certain pallet jacks are better suited for shorter distances (e.g., manual pallet jacks), so traveling long distances with a heavy load can increase wear and tear. 
          • Avoid uneven floors or inclines. This increases the likelihood of the wheels cracking. 

          How To Measure Pallet Jack Wheels

          When replacing pallet jack wheels, you will need to know the measurement of their diameter. The best way to measure them is by using a digital caliper.

          Here is how:

          1. Extend the caliper larger than the wheel.
          2. Place it over the center of the load wheel (where the axle goes) and close it snug around the edges of wheel tread.
          3. Read your measurement.
          4. If it is 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) or less than the original wheel diameter, it is time to replace the wheel with new ones.

          Ways to minimize pallet jack wheel wear and tear

          There are some best practices to follow in your warehouse or at your facility where you use a pallet jack to help reduce wear and tear of your pallet jack wheels.

          1. Clear the floors of debris or trash: (use these hanging trash receptacles) This will reduce the chances of getting gouges in the wheels or cutting chunks from them.
          2. Clean wheels of dirt and accumulated debris: This keeps wheels clear an allows them to turn well and not get jammed. Freely rolling wheels is important for the operation of your pallet jack.
          3. Avoid drops: Don't operate your pallet jack over curbs, slopes or inclines where possible, Abrupt drops can damage wheels.
          4. Don't overload your jack: Keep loads within recommended weight tolerances so that your pallet truck doesn't suffer excessive wear and tear.
          5. Do not park heavily loaded pallet jacks: Heavy loads on a pallet jack will flatten wheel treads over time if left parked for long periods of time. Flattened pallet jack wheels won't turn properly.
          6. Grease the pallet jack parts including axles: Axles, bearings and wheels need to be lubricated properly.
          7. Inspect your wheels: Pallet jack wheels should be inspected for wear and tear every six months or after heavy periods of use.
          8. Replace wheels every six months: Pallet jack wheels should be replaced every 6-8 months assuming regular use. Inspect every quarter for heavily used pallet jacks.
          9. Add inspections before busy seasons: It is important to inspect pallet jack wheels before a busy season such as the post Labor Day and pre-Christmas period. Better to swap out wheels instead of having to urgently replace them during high season. 

          I need help with pallet jack wheels replacement. Who can I call or email?

          Our material handling experts here at Warehouse IQ are available during North American business hours to answer your questions and help you buy pallet jack replacement wheels. You can email us at: store@warehouseiq.com or call us at 1-888-310-0008 x2.