Believe it or not, the casters you use in your workplace can have a tremendous impact on safety and help reduce the costs of workplace injury. Keeping down noise levels and increasing ergonomic efficiency are critical to your employees’ overall health.  Aside from these, heavy-duty locking casters including swivel lock casters are also a great consideration – especially when unwanted movement is a major concern.

Let’s review the benefits associated with heavy-duty casters with locks as well as the different brake types. This information can help you can decide which option is best for your company’s needs.

Three Types of Brakes

The mechanism that locks a caster in place is known as a caster brake, and there are several different types from which you can choose. The most common include the single-side brake, the dual side brake, the face contact brake, and the wrap-around brake.

  • Single-Side Brake – If you utilize medium-sized heavy-duty casters with wheels ranging in size from six to 12 inches, then a single side brake is the best option. It offers some of the most ergonomic brake operation in the industry.
  • Wrap-Around Brake – The wrap-around brake is the only option that gives operators access to the caster brake regardless of the caster’s orientation. This brake is ideal for swiveling wheels on carts, racks, and equipment that’s frequently moved by hand.
  • Face Contact Brake – This brake requires the user to tighten the brake shoe against the caster tread. Though it does provide robust stopping power it is not as ergonomic as the other options.
  • Dual-Side Brake – This brake is one of the most cost-effective for companies on tight budgets. With this operation, the user must manually engage the brake on both sides. Its other benefits include it being strong and powerful, making it ideal for creating heavy-duty locking casters.

Ergonomic brakes and cam brakes are also available, but these typically do not provide the same stopping power for heavy-duty use.

Swivel Locks

Caster brakes can prevent casters from rolling, but only swivel lock casters can prevent swivels from activating. If you need to convert a swivel caster to a rigid caster, you should consider swivel locks as well as brakes. The types include:

  • Heavy Duty Swivel Lock – This swivel lock’s long handle is made from machined steel for simpler activation and more staying power.
  • Vertical Mounted Swivel Lock –  The vertically mounted swivel lock is perfect for all your heavy-duty locking casters. Especially when a handle is not ideal. This one mounts under the yoke base and locks more securely than the standard swivel lock.
  • Demountable Swivel Lock – Many of today’s casters can be ordered as swivel lock casters. You can also implement demountable swivel locks to convert your existing casters. Demountable swivel locks areused in demanding applications such as the aerospace ground support industry. These locks are installed in the field and provide an incredible locking action.

There are several other types of locks, as well, including ergonomic foot-activated locks, passive locks, and others. These locking casters are critical in numerous applications as they prevent injuries and even property damage when used as intended. It is important to learn more about your options so that you can make the right choice for your company’s needs without sacrificing safety or going over your budget.