A caster is a wheeled attachment connected to the underside of furniture or equipment. Office chairs, warehouse boxes, and hand trucks all use casters. The locking caster is a wheel with an additional mechanism to secure it in place. Casters with brakes stop wheel movement, while casters with locks control swivel rotation. Sometimes a caster needs to be locked to provide stability during loading and unloading. Locking casters work on industrial carts and home appliances such as washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers. Several types of locking casters are available.
Side Lock Casters
When the brake pedal engages, a metal plate presses against the side of the wheel, increasing friction and causing the wheel to stop moving. This metal plate can bend if the load is too heavy, making the wheel unable to lock. Side locking casters are therefore not recommended for heavy industrial uses.
Tech Lock Casters
Tech locks work with larger and heavy-duty casters. A large pedal sits on the back of the caster, which makes it easy to engage. Tech locks are more robust than side lock casters but not as strong as total lock casters. Tech locks have the advantage of being retrofitted to wheels already in place. There is no need to replace the entire mechanism.
Cheap tech lock brakes often use thin metal, which can warp with repeated use. Paying more for thicker metal is recommended. Also, noise can be a problem if the metal becomes loose but doesn’t detach from the caster mechanism. The foot pedal is a common point of failure, as it is constantly being stomped on to engage and disengage the lock. Make sure the pedal is also composed of sturdy metal.
Total Lock Casters
A total lock caster secures the wheel and swivel concurrently, making this the most secure type of locking caster for loading and unloading. Total locks are part of the caster mechanism. Retrofitting is not possible. Some of the most prevalent faults in a poor-quality total lock are thin metal, many moving parts, and plastic pieces. Because there are fewer places where the locking caster mechanism may fail, a one-piece mechanism is preferable.
As you can see, locking casters are the perfect solution for those who need to move heavy objects regularly. They’re great for indoor and outdoor use, as locking casters can easily handle surfaces like carpet or grass. Whether you have an office with lots of equipment that moves from place to place or you work in a warehouse where pallets must constantly be rearranged, locking caster wheels help your items stay secure during transport.