The jockey wheel is a small mechanism with a wheel fitted inside it. It is primarily designed for guidance or steering purposes, and can either be used as a guide wheel (in such instances, it operates generally as part of a pair, and can be used for movement or retention, or to add tension to a rope or a chain), or as a retractable wheel that can be fitted in front of a trailer or any other vehicle. It helps increase the manoeuvring capabilities of the trailer unit. These jockey wheels are also installed under trolleys and other smaller trailers.
The jockey wheel is different from all other wheels on a vehicle. First of all, it’s considerably smaller than a full-sized wheel. You don’t need to worry about filling up the tyre with air either. Secondly, the jockey wheel mechanism is designed for a bit of leeway, but it can’t really handle major bumps on the road. Therefore, the jockey wheel should be used strictly on flat and smooth surfaces. Most trailers, trolleys, and vehicles are designed strictly for on-road use. Due to the constant wear and tear and the diminutive size of the jockey wheel, you will need to replace it quite frequently. Ideally, the jockey wheel needs to be replaced after a few months of consistent use. The surface of the tyre gets scratched and takes on heavy damage, which makes steering difficult. Here is a brief guide to assist you in replacing a jockey wheel.
Remove the Mechanism
Before you can dislodge the jockey wheel from its position, you will need to remove the mechanism. When buying a jockey wheel replacement, make sure you buy a wheel that is adequately sized. Use the dimensions from the current wheel to help you place your order. You can easily order your replacement jockey wheel online and have it delivered to your home or business. Because it is used to maintain the balance of any vehicle, you will need to have a replacement at the ready before removing the wheel. Otherwise, the vehicle will not function properly. Make sure you carefully unscrew the smaller screws from the top before dislodging the mechanism. In some cases, a retractable pin is also inserted into the vehicle to ensure that the jockey wheel doesn’t fall off.
Fitting the New Wheel
Several kinds of jockey wheels are available, ranging from the Maypole design to Knott and telescopic wheels. Spring-loaded jockey wheels are also commonly used with certain vehicles. You have to make sure that you buy a jockey wheel that is suitable and can be easily fitted on the trolley. Once the jockey wheel has been installed, move the trolley around for a bit to see whether the wheel is lodged in place before putting any weight on it.