We investigate the roto-breathers recently observed in experiments on Josephson ladders subjected to a uniform transverse bias current. We describe the switching mechanism in which the number of rotating junctions increases. In the region close to switching we find that frequency locking, period doubling, quasi-periodic behaviour and symmetry breaking all occur. This suggests that a chaotic dynamic occurs in the switching process. Close to switching the induced flux increases sharply and clearly plays an important role in the switching mechanism. We also find three critical frequencies which are independent of the dissipation constant $\alpha$, provided that $\alpha$ is not too large.
This is a pre-print. It is also available at: http://arxiv.org/abs/cond-mat/0004078.