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Variable Swivel Wheel Cart

Cart with adjustable wheel swivels
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I recently assembled an equipment cart that has 2 fixed wheels and 2 swiveled wheels. The assembly instructions indicated that the swiveled wheels should be installed in the rear (closest to the "driver" assuming the cart is before the horse/driver.)

This is opposite to the conventional location of swiveled wheels in a shopping cart (fixed wheels close to the driver, swiveled wheels in the front of the cart.)

I can see advantages to both arrangements, but it occurred to me that a simple control over the range of swivelability (?) for each wheel could be the best of all.

csea, Feb 19 2014

Wikipedia list of vehicles with 4-wheel steering http://en.wikipedia...four-wheel_steering
As implied in an annotation. [Vernon, Feb 19 2014]

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       That is known as "four-wheeled steering". It was kind of faddish some years ago, in the auto industry. But since not much about it is in the news lately, apparently it wasn't quite worth the hype.
Vernon, Feb 19 2014
  

       I always thought, for rally/offroad cars, the rear steering was seriously underdone. A sideways vector would be an avantage in a hairpin.
wjt, Feb 19 2014
  

       Back to the original idea: yes this could be nice. Four wheel swivel carts are sometimes useful, but annoying when traveling longer distances or with heavy loads. Having the swiveling rear wheels makes it much easier to turn heavy loads, but if the load is light and you want to go fast, you definitely want the front wheels to swivel, not the back.   

       The mechanism is somewhat baked in a stroller I have, where the front wheels can be set to swivel or not. Those aren't too convenient since this is controlled with a foot switch on the swivel rather than a lever on the handle. Of course controlling it from the handle would probably make it too expensive to be worth the extra cost.
scad mientist, Feb 19 2014
  

       Even that is too simple for my (halfbaked) tastes. How about mounting all the wheels in tracks that facilitate sliding, and you could manually adjust all four wheels location with regards to front/back/wheelbase?
normzone, Feb 19 2014
  

       No no no. You could do it that way, of course, but...   

       What you need, if I may say so, is a large battery- operated fan forcing air beneath the trolly, and a rubberized skirt, thereby producing a Hovercart.   

       If a simulation of front- or rear-wheel swivel is required, this can easily accomplished by lateral thrusters controlled by a simple inertial guidance system, to resist motion in the appropriate direction.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 19 2014
  

       The question is if you intend to pull or push the cart.
WcW, Feb 19 2014
  

       You could have each wheel swivelling, but not free. The orientation of each wheel is controlled by actuators (either electrical or mechanical as you prefer), and the pushing handle of the cart is fitted with two handgrips. Each handgrip controls the orientation of one wheel, by twisting the grip in one of two orthogonal directions.
pocmloc, Feb 19 2014
  

       Clearly what's needed here are rotacasters.
RayfordSteele, Feb 19 2014
  

       I disagree.
Alterother, Feb 19 2014
  

       //The question is if you intend to pull or push the cart.//   

       Absolutely not. The question is _whether_ you intend to pull or push the cart.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 19 2014
  
      
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