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Using keyways to drive your business forward

For motorized equipment, a complete caster isn't the best solution when you need mobility. That's where drive wheels come in.  Whether you are working in the aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, or another industry, keyway drive wheels and drive wheels can play a key role in your operation. Most of these environments require easy rolling, heavy loads, continuous use, and precision performance; keyway drive wheels can provide this exact solution.


How keyway drive wheels work

Of the various types of drive wheels, keyway products are the most common, cost-effective, and simple of them. Keyway drive wheels provide mobility to a load by enabling the wheel to attach to the shaft of a motorized load. Keyway drive wheels are considered a type of industrial caster wheel that is connected to the shaft by a set screw, or other similar parts such as nuts and bolts, cotter pins, tapered locking bushings, welding, and more. Keyways are machined directly into the wheel hub and are to be aligned with the keyseat of the shaft. Filling the space between the keyway and the keyseat is, you guessed it, the key.


Keyway drive wheel features

Generally, these heavy duty industrial wheels are used on power transmission equipment. The type of equipment, load weight, floor surface and other environmental conditions will dictate the needed industrial wheel size and material(s) for your application. Other features to expect in high-quality, precision keyway drive wheel parts include:

  • Polyurethane, rubber, semi-steel, forged steel or stainless steel tread material
  • Aluminum or cast iron core for additional strength
  • Set screws, nuts and bolts, cotter pins, tapered locking bushings, welding, and interference fits
  • Weight capacity that can exceed 7,000 pounds per wheel
  • Various bore sizes and hub lengths
  • Extremely wide selection in keyway sizes, including custom options

CasterDepot offers an array of keyway drive wheel products, but some are more common than others. If you're looking for high weight capacities and minimal lead times, we would likely suggest a metal drive wheel from Hamilton Caster. If floor protection is a must, the GTHN Series wheel products from Blickle are a strong candidate. Finally, if your application is unusual or the keyway size is not one of the most common sizes, Trew Industrial Wheel products are likely able to meet your needs.

Selecting the best wheels requires some knowledge about the shaft size and the width and depth needed for the keyway. CasterDepot can supply the exact parts to meet your project's needs, including keyway drive wheels for your equipment and projects of any scale.