For this week’s topic, we are going to focus on a few versions of the common brake options we offer for different caster series. I work very hard with my team to provide all of my customers with the best casters and wheels for their unique applications. I always strive to find a set up that provides maximum ease of rollability. One of the best compliments we can receive is hearing how great our casters and wheels are rolling, so sometimes in these situations, we need to be able to make them stop rolling. In the sections below, we will highlight a handful of brake options that we often recommend to our customers to help you determine which brake would be the right fit for you.
Starting with the cam brake, this is a brake that is activated from the side of the caster. When you turn or push down on the brake lever, its design forces the lever to push against the fork of the rig causing it to compress and squeeze the wheel. This brake design creates a locking force against the wheel hub to hold loads securely. The larger foot pedal makes the brake easy to operate, provides better foot placement, and can be activated from either end of the pedal for greater convenience.
My second brake option is the top lock brake/tread lock brake. The top lock brake is set up similar to the cam brake and creates a strong braking action on all wheel types. How this brake differs from the cam lock brake is that it has a brake arm which extends up along the caster rig and over the wheel tread. When this brake is activated, the design of the brake kit causes this arm to pull back and down on the wheel creating the braking force. The design of this brake allows the brake mechanism to lock firmly and is easy to engage and disengage.
Third, in the lineup is the tech lock brake. The simple toe activated lever on this brake style holds heavy loads securely and is easily accessible. With an advanced brake pad design, the brake holds a variety of wheel types. The Tech Lock brake essentially provides a maintenance-free operation due to the fact that it operates with only two moving parts.
Fourth on my list is the total lock brake. This is what I would call the king of all brakes. With a press of the foot, the total lock will lock both the wheel and swivel capabilities of the caster in any position. This provides a very secure lock for any unit these are stopping because not only can the wheels not move but the rig is unable to move as well. The angled design of the brake pedal makes this brake easy to operate and easy to access with your foot which makes this a very convenience and effective brake option.
Last but not least, there is a combination of the swivel and directional lock brake. These brakes come in hand operated models and foot operated models. Swivel locks quickly convert a swivel caster into a rigid caster for straight-line tracking. Depending on the series of the caster, these come in foot activated pedal styles or they come with a hand-activated ring lock. With the foot-activated brakes, a simple press of the toe will activate the lock. For the hand-activated locks, there is a ring connected to a spring loaded plunger. Simply pull the ring back, turn the plunger ¼ turn in either direction until it is in the lock position. If you want to unlock, simply pull the plunger back again, give another ¼ turn until it is in the lock position.