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Hand Brake

Puts a stop to carts rolling all over the parking lot.
  (+5, -1)
(+5, -1)
  [vote for,

The other day I was driving through a supermarket parking lot when I noticed a shopping cart go careening across the lot, stopping only when it smashed into a parked car. That got me to thinking, since no one actually returns the carts to the deposit area, why not put brakes on them. This way, even though the cart is left unattended in the middle of aparking lot, it will at least stay in one spot and not cause damage to any people or their vehicles.

I suggest that shopping carts have a hand brake put on them. It would be similar to the kill switch on most push mowers. A lever across the handle on the shopping cart, you would have to squeeze it for the cart to roll. Then when the handle is released the lever would also be released and apply the brake to the cart. This way a cart never strays off when unattended.

EvilDoer, Jun 19 2003

UB's take on the problem http://www.halfbake..._20Ding_20Protector
[po, Oct 17 2004]


       doesn't a shopping trolley that suddenly decides to go careering about the car park all on its own, suggest that the laws of physics just do not apply to shopping trolleys.
po, Jun 19 2003

       It was helped along by a gust of wind.
EvilDoer, Jun 19 2003

       I thought rolling away was supposed to be prevented by the inevtible broken / jammed wheel.
snarfyguy, Jun 19 2003

       That's how they make airport trolleys (over here, anyway) - you have to hold the handle down to release the brake.   

       But this would present quite a problem to the poor Joe assigned to round them up, surely? (Though I guess the airport trolleys have a way of dealing with this, as I've seen half-mile long trains of them being pushed across the concourse.)
DrCurry, Jun 19 2003

       The solution is not some crazy and expensive brake contraption. The solution lies with cart wheels, which are just too dang rolly. Many carts have already evolved toward the ideal, which is one crippled and poorly rolling wheel. This can be overcome while pushing, but the presence of the crippled wheel will prevent wind-powered excursions, at least at speeds capable of damage. The Crippled Wheel retrofit can be accomplished by one dedicated teenage employee with a ballpeen hammer.
bungston, Jun 19 2003

       //It was helped along by a gust of wind// you ought to try pushing our lousy trolleys.
po, Jun 19 2003

       [DrCurry] The brakes on some airport trolleys only brake the rear wheels (end where you push). When a trolley is pushed into another one it just lifts the rear wheels off the ground so only the last trolley in the line brakes.
kbecker, Jun 19 2003

       The Crippled Wheel option [bungston] proposes makes my blood pressure rise just in consideration. I hate badly rolling carts.   

       I think that there are some carts already being made whose wheels retract to prevent their rolling. In this case the carts are designed to be hard to steal and the wheels collapse at the perimeter of the store parking lot when they encounter a radio signal system similar to one of those invisible fences for dogs. I think these are used the most in New York -- those darn New Yorkers . . .
bristolz, Jun 19 2003

       Now if we can just get them to stop pooping on the grass...
DrCurry, Jun 19 2003

       I also considered a crippled wheel type approach. Possibly something that worked like a centripetal clutch, only in reverse. It would be locked when sitting still then release the wheel as it begins to roll. Might keep the cart form rolling down hill or in a soft breeze, but the problem here would be that a good gust of wind could still force the cart to roll.
EvilDoer, Jun 19 2003

       Make it so carts can only roll on a flat surface, but not on any type of incline. (A braking system similar to that on in-line skates where by raising the heel higher than the toe you slow down the wheels)
phundug, Jun 20 2003

       The solution is quite simple - Snipers.
thumbwax, Jun 21 2003

       One place I shopped had carts that required you to insert a quarter to get the cart. The quarter was returned when you took the cart back into the store and re-attached the locking mechanism.
Zimmy, Jun 21 2003

       + I was going to finally post something and here it is, already halfbaked by EvilDoer.   

       I have been wondering why this handbrake idea has still not been implemented. The release would be activated by holding onto the handle, while "driving" it, or while the front flap is folded in, as when entire trains of shopping carts are gathered from the lot. Retrieved carts should be parked so that shoppers can select a cart from the handle side, so the brakes remain released during selection.
XSarenkaX, Apr 27 2009


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