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Business: Supermarket: Trolley: Wheel
Grocery Cart Rear Casters   (+6, -7)  [vote for, against]
Swivel wheels for the back

While driving through the grocery store today (with a cart, not a car), I noticed how whenever I turned, the back wheels want to skid sideways.

The effect is much more pronounced when the cart is full of heavy items. When attempting a sharp turn, the back wheels skid in the proper direction, while the front wheels remain stationary. This makes the cart very difficult to turn.

I suggest moving the casters (swivel wheels) from the front to the back, giving it rear steering like a forklift. It might take some getting used to, but it will have an excellent turning radius.

A more elegant solution would be to have castors on all four wheels, along with a mechanism for locking either the front or back pair forward. The mechanism would be connected via brake cables to a lever on the cart's handle. Drivers would be able to change from front to rear wheel steering on the fly.
-- Aq_Bi, Jan 21 2005

The solution to the problem. Shopping_20Bumper_20Carts
Handels on both sides! [cuckoointherye, Jan 23 2005]

Genius. [+]
-- Blumster, Jan 22 2005

Then, when the little tykes in the store run and hop on an empty cart, the cart will spin a bit and cause a spectacular crash. [+]

Oh. You meant switch the front and back wheels. It'd be much more comical if all four were casters, not to mention it could turn on the spot. In that case, the above situation could cause wild fishtailing. Even better.
-- tekym, Jan 22 2005

This is baked, and widely known to exist. B&Q hardware stores in the UK use this system, and the'yre by no means alone. It has a major disadvantage - you have to push the back end in the opposite direction to where you want to steer. Consequently, if you get too close to a wall, you can find yourself unable to steer away from it.
-- david_scothern, Jan 22 2005

Push it backwards.
-- waugsqueke, Jan 22 2005

Handels on both sides?
-- cuckoointherye, Jan 23 2005

Someone else was complaining that the trolleys in their part of the world *have* rear casters and thus need some half-baked widget or other to counteract that.
-- DrCurry, Jan 24 2005

The idea has been revised. See last paragraph.
-- Aq_Bi, Jan 24 2005

Again, in the UK we have 4-wheel castors. Sadly lacking in terms of on-the-fly reconfiguration though.
-- david_scothern, Jan 24 2005

I work for a local grocery store. I like the idea of having grocery carts with all four wheels that swivel. But, there is a drawback to that plain. I am one of those Trolley Boys mentioned in the Golden Retrive a Trolley section. The problem is when you have several carts nested together they sometimes want to go wherever they want to instead of where intended. I think if you was not able to lock the rear set when the carts are nested together it would really aggervate the problem.
-- jefferyb304, Jun 11 2005

At Ikea they have carts with all the wheels on casters. steering & stopping was heck! I've heard of experimental bikes with rear steering, but the rider has trouble with oversteering.
-- the great unknown, May 08 2007

(IMHO) four castors are the best. Controlling the cart is all about technique. High speed turns can be accomplished by grabbing the side of the cart and rotating it with your-elf at the centre of the turn. Four also allow freestyle manoeuvres such as travelling pirouettes and drifting.
-- neutrinos_shadow, May 08 2007

random, halfbakery