Tips & Advice

Four Rifton Pacer Caster Features You Might Not Know

June 21, 2011 by Elena Noble, MPT

Recently I’ve had requests to describe the four key functions of the caster on the Pacer Gait Trainer. I’ve discovered that it’s possible to use the Pacer for years without fully appreciating everything these casters can do.

Two photographs depicts the Rifton Pacer Gait Trainer casters with arrows pointing the features including brake, variable drag, one-way ratchet control and swivel lock

Pacer Caster Feature Breakdown
Rifton now has two caster sizes, large and small. The large Pacer caster fits the XL, large and medium sized Pacer. The small caster is found on the small and mini Pacers. Both the large and small casters have the same functionality, but in a slightly different configuration.

When looking at a Rifton Pacer caster, this is what you will find:

  • Brake
  • Swivel lock
  • One-way ratchet control
  • Variable drag

Function: Fully locks the Pacer caster
Applied/Clinical use:

  • Lock for transfers into Pacer
  • Locking all four casters allows your client to practice standing and weight-bearing.

Swivel Lock
Function: Positions and maintains the caster in a straight line (no lateral movement)
Applied/Clinical use:

  • Lock all four swivels to help clients walk in a straight line
  • For variable steering, unlock one (or two) swivels front or back.

One-way ratchet control
Function: Positions caster to move in one direction only (blocks involuntary backwards movement)
Applied/Clinical use:

  • Set this control for a client who has difficulty maintaining forward momentum during gait. For improved effect, use this feature in conjunction with swivel lock.

Variable drag
Function: Creates resistance on the caster to slow it down (think of it as a partial brake)Applied/Clinical use:

  • Slow down fast, uncontrolled gait by rotating the drag dial towards max drag (turtle icon)
  • The resistance of the drag can also be used to strengthen muscles during gait.
  • Set the drag on one of the posterior casters to prevent veering to one side

Has this “how-to” been helpful? Please let me know by commenting below. And let me know if you want a “how-to” on any other accessory or piece of equipment.

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Reply by Megan on June 22, 2011 at 12:49 PM

It is wonderful that you provide all this help with the Rifton special needs equipment. Is there anyone who would be interested in volunteering to help orphans in Ukraine with their special needs equipment? Thank you, Megan