In port crane industry, the surface hardening technique is widely used in order to improve the strength of wheel. But the hardening depth is chosen only by according to the experience, and the effect of different hardened depths is not studied theoretically. In this paper, the contact stresses in wheel with different hardening depth have been analyzed by applying three-dimensional finite element model. Based on this model, the ANSYS10.0 finite element software is used. The elastic wheel is used to verify the numerical results with the Hertz’s theory. Three different hardening depths, namely 10mm, 25mm and whole hardened wheel, under three different vertical loads were applied. The effect of hardening depth of a surface hardened wheel is discussed by comparing the contact stresses and contact areas from the numerical results.