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Brakes are a very important option for heavy duty industrial casters. Brakes allow the user to stop carts in motion and lock them in place, which can serve application purposes or increase safety by reducing the chance of a runaway cart. There are many different types of caster brake options available with different characteristics. Three of the more popular brake designs include:

1. Polyurethane Cam Brakes

The polyurethane cam brakes utilize a cam made from polyurethane.  The cam is then used to tighten a plate against the running surface of the wheel, locking the wheel in place.  The cam can be actuated from a variety of different methods, from handles to levers molded directly into the cam.  The polyurethane cam brake provides good holding force which can be adjusted depending on how far the cam is turned into the wheel.  Another benefit to this type of brake is the actuation method can be done with feet, so operator strain from bending over to actuate with a hand can be eliminated.  These brakes can be mounted on the leading or trailing edge of a caster.

2. Face Contact Brakes

Face contact brakes use a threaded rod to push a plate into the running surface of the wheel.  The threaded rod has a handle attached to the end of it and is tightened by hand.  These brakes provide a large holding force and are good in heavy load applications.  These brakes can be mounted on the leading or trailing edge of a caster.  The drawback to this type of brake is the operator needs to bend over and tighten/loosen the brake by hand, which increases operator strain and can take up more time than a foot actuated brake.

3. Side Brakes

Side brakes utilize a foot pedal on the side of the caster which, when actuated, presses a washer into the hub of the wheel.  These brakes are very easy to lock and unlock and can be done with the operator’s foot.  They also take up very little room since they are mounted to the side of the caster and fit within the swivel radius of the caster wheel.  The drawback to these brakes is they do not provide much holding force and therefore are suited better for light duty applications.

These are just a few of the brake designs for heavy duty industrial casters.  Choosing the correct brake design can improve the operation and safety of your caster application. Our engineering staff at Caster Concepts, Inc can assist you when you are in need of a brake on your industrial caster and wheels.

We are a leader in manufacturing industrial casters and caster wheels. For further information and a custom beyond standard solution please call 517-680-7950, or email