In today’s day and age, the world revolves around the wheel. You will find some type of wheel in many obvious and not so obvious places.
The obvious ones will be attached onto things such as vehicles (Cars, boats, planes, bikes, trolleys etc.), and the not so obvious in appliances such as washing machines, electric toothbrushes and computer hardware.
Many millennia ago the wheel had not yet been invented.
Since the invention of the wheel we have seen the rise of many arts and crafts, along with eased workloads and the use of hundreds, if not thousands, of ancient and modern inventions.
We now have the ability to capture and harness the forces of gravity, friction and speed.
As an example, a ship will use a big wheel to steer itself around.
The wheel is normally rather large with long and thick spokes as support.
The reason the wheel is fitted with spokes and not of a solid design is to reduce the weight of the wheel and have it such that it can still be turned and controlled with relative ease.
If you are turning a big wheel of this design it makes the middle part that would normally be connected to the axle turn at a slower rate but at the same generating a greater force. The greater the size of the steering wheel, the greater the force or torque it will generate with less inputted energy.
Why is the wheel so important to us?
If you ask the people of today they will most probably tell you that in order to use a wheel you will need a road. This however is contrary to why the original wheels were first used.
The real reason that wheels had such a big impact was actually for the opposite reason. They were best used when there were no clean and smooth roads to for any kind of reliable transportation.
Long before these carts and wagons were used, the normal method of transportation of goods and persons would have been by animal.
This method would have consisted of a sledge or moving platform pulled along by donkeys, wolves, dogs or animals of this nature.
The biggest problem that was encountered by using sledges was friction which slowed and tired out the animals.
This is why the wheel was such an important discovery and posed as one of the greatest assets to humans throughout history.
It was found that by adding wheels to sledges and carts you almost completed removed the force of friction and this made moving any kind of load much easier than dragging it along the ground. The only friction left to battle against was that where the wheel met the axle.
The only decision left to make was the size of trolley wheels you needed on your particular cart or sledge, following the rule which states, the bigger the wheel, the easier it is to turn.