Metal Fabrication: The Secret To A Great Roll Cage

Run Away Carts! Tips For Stopping And Slowing Caster Wheels

by Sally Burke

Steel casters provide you with more strength than casters made of many other materials, and they can help you move heavy loads across your facility easily. However, there will be times when you don't want your cart to move at all, and in those cases, you need accessories that will hold your casters and your cart in place.

Take a look at these tips:

1. Add caster brakes

If your steel casters don't have brakes built into them, you can add them. Caster brake kits typically include a bolt, axle nut and washer with a small lever-shaped braking mechanism. You slip the bolt through the caster, attach the brake, and secure it all with the nut and washer.

Then, to stop the casters from rolling, you just need to press down on the brake with your foot. Ideally, you should plan to add a caster brake to each wheel on the cart. Keep in mind some brakes stop the casters from swiveling, which is important for cart control, and others stop the casters from moving altogether.

2. Consider floor truck locks

A floor truck lock is installed on the cart itself rather than on the wheels. The lock comes as a single unit, and you simply have to attach it to the base of the cart. It features a flat piece of metal on the top -- this has holes so that you can push screws through the holes into your cart.

Once attached, the brake has a foot pedal, and when you engage the foot pedal, a rod extends down toward the floor. The rod has a piece of rubber attached to it. The rubber sits flush on the floor and prevents the cart from moving.

3. Switch the bearing sleeves in your casters.

In some cases, you need more than brakes. You need items to help you slow down your casters so that you have greater control over your cart. Casters are designed to roll easily, and in most cases, that make sense. However, if you have steel casters and a sleek, polished concrete floor, your carts may move faster than you like. As a result, they could slip out of the grasp of your employees, and their momentum could cause them to roll away.

Switching the bearing sleeves may help. Consider removing the metal bearing sleeves from your steel casters and replacing them with plastic sleeves. There are a number of different plastic sleeves, and in most cases, they are reserved for use in wet environments and especially in environments with corrosive elements that may be tough on metals.

However, these bearings can be used in other environments as well, and they offer decreased rollability. That can help a lot with control.

4. Add traction to your caster wheels.

If changing the bearings isn't possible, you can easily alter the amount of friction between your steel casters and your floor. You simply need to add some tread to your casters. You can buy rubber traction tape, and to apply it, you simply stick it on.

Alternatively, in a pinch, you can add rubber traction just by wrapping your caster wheels in rubberbands.

5. Invest in caster cups

If you plan to park your cart permanently, caster cups can help you hold it in place. Caster cups or coasters are small pieces of rubber. You set four of them on the floor. Then, you roll your cart into position so that each caster is sitting on a caster cup.

These cups augment the brakes on the caster wheels. Alternatively, if you want to stop using your cart to move things and want to consign it to be a permanent storage shelf, you can remove the casters and put in plastic caps.

For more ideas on how to stop roll away carts on caster wheels, contact a caster wheel expert.