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Q & A

QUESTIONS ABOUT US

Q: Do you manufacture the wheels and castors yourself?

A: No. We are an independent wholesale distributor. We are however very particular about the manufacturers we do buy from and only buy and sell high quality products which are manufactured in Europe.

Q: Are you ISO Accredited?

A: No, we are not. However, all of the products on this website are purchased from manufacturers who are ISO accredited. We considered ISO accreditation, but concluded that given the nature of our business there was no commercial justification for it. Copies of our supplier's ISO certificates are available upon request.

Q: Do you only sell to the trade?

A: No. We are the largest trade supplier in the UK for forklift wheels, but at the same time we sell all manner of industrial wheels and castors to many different companies and individuals.

Q: It looks like you have a lot of stock but are those figures real and where is the stock currently held?

A: The stock figures on our website come automatically from our internal stock management system and so yes, they are real and the stock itself is located in our 4500 sq. ft warehouse in Hampshire, England.

Q: How many wheels do you stock?

A: It fluctuates from week to week, but we stock at cost value more than £1million worth of wheels and castors or put it another way: around 70,000 individual wheels across just over 4000 unique wheel and castor types.

Q: How long have you been selling wheels and castors for?

A: Technica Engineering Partnership as it was originally named began in 1998, and that is what the "TEP" in our logo stands for. It was incorporated into a limited Company TEP Technica Ltd in 2005. It is to this day a family owned business where the owners are still very much involved in its continuing success.

WEBSITE QUESTIONS

Q: Do I need to register to access all the sections of your website?

A: Not unless you want to specifically search for forklift wheels. To help us prevent improper use of this service we ask that you register some of your details first.

Q: Can I just check out as a guest as I am in a hurry and don’t want to register?

A: Yes but bear in mind the only difference between guest check out and registering is you have to add a password.

Q: Will you store my bank details?

A: We will not, however there is an option for you to store your bank details during the online payment process to make it easier to order next time. This feature is fully encrypted and provided to you directly by the merchant - Adyen© not TEP Technica.

Q: Do I have to place my order through the online shop?

A: Not necessarily. If you prefer to speak to someone you can call us for advice, and if you then decide to order something we can take your order over the phone.

Q: The website says you have 12pcs in stock. Is this correct?

A: Yes. Our website links directly to our stock system in real time. All stock is based at our main warehouse here in North East Hampshire, England.

Q: My login has been blocked for doing too many searches on your website.

A: This is a security feature to protect our website from improper use which unfortunately sometimes catches out legitimate customers. Please contact us and we will unblock your login.

Q: I want to order a product from your special offers section but you don't have enough in stock, what should I do?

A: The special offers section is for stock items which are either discontinued or stock we are removing from our main catalogue, therefore we will not be able to restock these items so please do not order more than is available from stock.

TECHNICAL QUESTIONS

Q: How do I find out the co-efficient of friction for a tread material?

A: You can find datasheets with this information for all the different tread materials in the download section at the bottom of the homepage.

Q: What is Vulkollan®?

A: Vulkollan® is a specific type of high-grade hot cast polyurethane which is sold under license by Covestro AG (formerly Bayer AG). It is the material of choice for many OEMs because of its superior mechanical properties. For example, better wear and tear resistance, better load bearing and rebound resistance and longer service life than can be achieved by standard polymers.

Q: Why is the colour on some of your Vulkollan® wheels in different shades of yellow and brown?

A: Vulkollan® will change colour over time. As a hot cast polymer, it begins life in liquid form as a translucent milky white but quickly becomes yellow/brown in colour. Afterwards the tread will darken over time due to the effects of ultra violet light on the Vulkollan® ingredient Desmodur 15. This uneven colour change is naturally occurring and has no detrimental effect to the material. In fact, it is a useful tool to help reassure you that the material being supplied is the superior polymer and not a cheaper polyurethane alternative.

Q: How can I find out the tolerance for one of your wheels or castor?

A: Most of our wheels and castors have standard industrial tolerances however if it is significant for your specific requirements then we recommend you check with us first.

Q: I need some wheels for something I am currently designing, what would you recommend?

A: Firstly, we would recommend you don’t re-design the wheel. To improve price and lead time it would be best to find an existing product that would be most suitable for your new design. We have plenty of experience with all types of applications so give our technical sales team a call and they will be happy to help.

Q: How long should a forklift wheel last?

A: Difficult to say as there are many factors that will determine the lifespan of a forklift wheel.  To help you get the most out of your forklift wheels best to only buy original equipment wheels and you should ensure your warehouse floor is flat, regularly cleaned and kept clear of obstacles and debris. Forklift driver behaviour is also a major factor in protecting your wheels, regular forklift training and driver awareness courses are highly recommended.

Q: What else can I do to improve the life span of my forklift wheels?

A: Make sure you are fitting the most suitable tread material for your specific application. If you are not sure, then don’t hesitate to ask. Fitting the correct wheel can not only increase the lifespan of your wheels and significantly reduce your replacement costs but also improve health and safety in your workplace.

Q: How will I know when I should replace a forklift wheel?

A: The correct time to replace a worn wheel will depend on the model of forklift you have, the size and type of wheel you need to replace and importantly the way your forklift has been setup. You should always check with your qualified forklift engineer to make sure your wheel is being replaced at the correct time.

Q: The tread on my forklift has completely debonded from the hub and I was wondering if this is a warranty claim?

A: If the wheel has debonded due to a manufacturing fault, then this typically will happen within 48 hours of being fitted to the truck. If there is no visible damage to the wheel then it is certainly worth contacting us to request warranty.

Q: Why are your Vulkollan® wheels more expensive than your polyurethane wheels?

A: Vulkollan® as a compound is mechanically superior to polyurethane but it is also technically more complicated and therefore more expensive than polyurethane to produce. However for many industrial applications Vulkollan® will not only perform better it will be more cost efficient than less expensive materials. I should add that there are very few supplies in the UK who can offer you Vulkollan®, and due to the large volumes that we buy every week we are able to offer the most competitive prices too.

Q: Why would we need to have electrically conductive forklift wheels?

A: If your business has any hazardous areas where there is a potential risk of explosion then you should speak to a specialist about what modifications to your forklift trucks you must invest in to be legally compliant.

Q: Do your electrically conductive forklift wheels meet the minimum European requirements for forklifts operating in hazardous zones where there may be a risk of explosion?

A: Yes.  We only supply a specially patented Electrically Conductive Vulkollan® compound for forklift wheels which comfortably exceed the requirements set by DIN EN 12527ff Standard for electrical volume resistance. Our wheels deflect electrostatic charges through the entire tread and over the entire contact area regardless of the wear of the tread. The mechanical capabilities are only slightly reduced from that of standard Vulkollan®.

Q: Can you explain the tread hardness descriptions on your website?

A: There are different methods available to test material hardness. For very hard materials such as steel we use the Vickers Hardness Scale for example: 30-80HV5 where 30-80 = hardness range, HV  = Vickers scale and 5 = force used in kilograms. For softer materials such as polyurethane we use the Shore Scale A and D. Important to note that there is a tolerance on all hardness measurements and you are advised that they are all for guidance purposes only.

DELIVERY QUESTIONS

Q: Can I collect my order?

A: Yes of course. You can collect your order during our open hours which are Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 5:00pm GMT. Please make sure you bring your order details with you.

Q: How much do you charge for shipping?

A: If you are in the UK mainland and your order is over £50 we will not charge you for next day shipping. If your order is less in value we charge a flat fee of £6.50. For anything else it will depend on the weight of your order, the type of delivery service you select and where you want it delivered. You can see your shipping charge prior to placing your order during the checkout process.

Q: I have just placed an order online, when will I receive it?

A: That depends on when you placed it, what delivery option you chose, and where you want your order delivered too. The best thing to do is read through our delivery and returns section on the website as this gives details on all the options. If you are still not sure, then give us a call.

Q: I am based in the UK mainland and have just placed an order, when will I receive it?

A: If your order is in stock and you placed it online before 3:30pm on a working day you will receive it the next working day.

Q: Can I track my delivery?

A: All our delivery options include tracking and delivery updates, however some shipping methods can only be tracked or progress chased by giving us a call. We will be happy to help.

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Do you offer a recovering service?

A: We did a very long time ago but now we only supply brand new wheels. Rebonds are typically cheaper to buy, and still useful on the rare occasions when it is not possible to source a new replacement however in most situations it is almost impossible to recommend them. You may invalidate any machinery warranty you have in the event that a rebonded wheel debonds during service plus you may not have use of your equipment while the wheel is taken away to be recovered. Recoated wheels typically have a shorter service life so any cost saving to the customer at the time of purchase is invariably lost by the higher replacement costs, additional fitting costs and loss of productivity from the increased disruption to your business.

Q: I thought buying rebonded wheels was better for the environment as we are recycling the old hub?

A: It sound logical, but it is a myth. New wheels are produced in very high volumes in modern production facilities using highly efficient and heavily automated processes. Rebonds are typically produced in very low volumes using outdated and inefficient methods which consume far too much energy to offset any perceived environmental benefits. When you include the additional environmental costs of getting the old hubs to the rebonder, and the shorter life span of rebonded wheels there is no gain to the customer in reducing their environmental or carbon emissions footprint.

Q: I have just placed an order online but now I want to change it, can I?

A: Please call the office straight away on 0044 (0)1256 763744, and provided it has not already been despatched we should be able to change it for you.

Q: I have just received my order and realised I have ordered the wrong item.

A: Please return the item to us within 14 days of receiving it and we will refund you the item less any shipping costs we incurred. Please remember that the item has to be returned in new condition and you are responsible for getting it to us so we recommend you use a secured courier.

Q: Do you offer any warranty on your wheels and castors?

A: Absolutely. We offer a full 12 month manufacturer’s warranty.

Q: What is your warranty returns procedure?

A: Please refer to the delivery and returns section. All the information on our returns procedure is there, but if you still have a query please don’t hesitate to call us.

Q: Is there a minimum order quantity?

A: No, you can order as little or as much as you like.

Q: What if I want to order a wheel online that is not currently in stock?

A: We recommend you contact us to get a confirmed delivery time before placing your order, as lead time is subject to availability so can vary from wheel to wheel. If you have already placed your order online, we will confirm expected delivery date via an email order confirmation.

Q: Can you explain some of the key terminology used on your website?

Pitch Circle Diameter (PCD) = is the diameter of the circle which passes through the centre of all the stud holes.

Countersunk = This refers to the stud holes on drive wheels. If the stud hole is countersunk, then the hole has a chamfer to allow all or part of the bolt head to finish below the surface of the wheel face. It is important when replacing an existing wheel to ensure correct fitment of the original bolts.

Offset = The offset of a swivel castor assembly is the distance from the centre of the bracket surface to the centre line of the wheel.

Bolt Hole Spacing = is the distance between the centre points of the opposing bolt holes on the top plate of a swivel castor.

Top Plate Size = The overall dimensions of the top plate in swivel castors. Most top plates are rectangular.

Mounting Width = Sometimes called “clamping width” or fitting width, this is a measurement of a wheel showing the width of the wheel at centre most point of the hub. A very important dimension when making sure your wheel when in situ fits safely and securely.

Chamber Diameter = This is also the bearing diameter. When a wheel has no bearings fitted this is the diameter of the hole in which the bearing is to be fitted.

Chamber Depth = This is the depth of the hole in which the bearing is to be fitted. Different bearings with different depths can potentially be fitted to the same wheel to offer different bore hole diameters

Bearing Depth = Is a measurement of the bearing itself. Also known as bearing width, this is the thickness of the bearing.

Imperial = Some press on tyres have an imperial measurement as well as or instead of their metric equivalent. The measurement is in inches, the first number is the outside diameter, the second number is the tread width and the third number is the inner diameter. For example: 13 x 3 x 10 is 13inches outside diameter, 3inches wide and 10inches inner diameter.

Load Capacity = is in kilograms and is a general guide to the allowable weight the wheel or castor can carry in normal operating conditions, on a smooth floor while travelling at low speeds.

Q: What is the shelf life of your wheels?

A: Vulkollan and polyurethane like most materials will to some extent degrade over time, however in this case we are talking quite a long time. A shelf life of 4 to 5 years should still be fine in most circumstances.