Win a copy of Compost Teas for the Organic Grower this week in the Composting forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Devaka Cooray
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Dave Burton
  • Dan Boone
gardeners:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
  • Mike Barkley

Good long-distance wheelbarrow/cart?

 
Posts: 21
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
6
forest garden fish fiber arts
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I get coffee grounds from several nearby gas stations, and do about 8 miles a week with a standard $40 wheelbarrow from Lowes. The sidewalks around here leave a lot to be desired and I love the maneuverability of the single wheel. But the sloping shape makes it hard to fit much in there with any real stability. Plus, I've already had to replace a couple of parts. I tried building a Chinese-style one from scratch, but I tried to do it entirely out of wood and kind of gave up once it hit 75lb unloaded.

Anyone have a wheelbarrow/cart that they really like? I'm looking for a flat bottom, high maneuverability, and capacity to hold a decent amount of weight comfortably. I like pushing better than pulling so I can see that I'm not running over stuff, but I can be flexible for a cart that meets the other criteria.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2224
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
155
books composting toilet bee rocket stoves wood heat homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sounds like what you need is actually a bike trailer.
 
pioneer
Posts: 955
Location: 4b
153
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I bought this Gorilla cart for my lady, and we both really like it.  Much more stable than a wheelbarrow, holds more, and it is much easier to pull a load for a longer distance than to push it.  We use it for everything, including moving heavy loads of rocks.  With a heavy load of rock, if you are going uphill, you may have to use one person to push and one to pull, but short of that, we find it much easier to use than a wheelbarrow, and it fits through smaller spaces.  The sides come off easily for flat loads
that won't fit in the cart with the sides on.
Gorilla cart on Amazon

Gorilla-Cart.JPG
[Thumbnail for Gorilla-Cart.JPG]
 
Wiley Fry
Posts: 21
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
6
forest garden fish fiber arts
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Michael Cox wrote:Sounds like what you need is actually a bike trailer.



Unfortunately, the good people of Colorado Springs seem to have decided that it's really fun to try to run me over with their cars. Being on foot gives me a lot more flexibility in terms of dodging when I need to.
 
Wiley Fry
Posts: 21
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
6
forest garden fish fiber arts
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Trace Oswald wrote:I bought this Gorilla cart for my lady, and we both really like it.  Much more stable than a wheelbarrow, holds more, and it is much easier to pull a load for a longer distance than to push it.  We use it for everything, including moving heavy loads of rocks.  With a heavy load of rock, if you are going uphill, you may have to use one person to push and one to pull, but short of that, we find it much easier to use than a wheelbarrow, and it fits through smaller spaces.  The sides come off easily for flat loads
that won't fit in the cart with the sides on.
Gorilla cart on Amazon



How's it's turning radius? I always worry about agility with four-wheeled carts.
 
Trace Oswald
pioneer
Posts: 955
Location: 4b
153
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Wiley Fry wrote:

Trace Oswald wrote:I bought this Gorilla cart for my lady, and we both really like it.  Much more stable than a wheelbarrow, holds more, and it is much easier to pull a load for a longer distance than to push it.  We use it for everything, including moving heavy loads of rocks.  With a heavy load of rock, if you are going uphill, you may have to use one person to push and one to pull, but short of that, we find it much easier to use than a wheelbarrow, and it fits through smaller spaces.  The sides come off easily for flat loads
that won't fit in the cart with the sides on.
Gorilla cart on Amazon



How's it's turning radius? I always worry about agility with four-wheeled carts.



We are both happy with it.  It's hard to see how the front axle is attached in the picture, but it will turn in a complete circle with the back wheels staying in roughly the same place.  
 
Posts: 113
15
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have heard good things about the Gorilla dump cart that comes in three capacities; 600, 1,200 & 1,500 lb capacities. My experience with garden carts w/ inflated tires is the wheels are often the weak point and often need to be replaced with new, better wheels or have an inner tube added, something I’ve had to do with a couple of wheelbarrows, a garden cart and a hand truck over the years. I suspect the Gorilla carts are no exception to that caveat. Despite that I intend to get one for my spouse to use around the garden.

If the intention is to tow the cart behind a bicycle I would prefer a two wheeled trailer purpose built for bicycle towing.
 
pollinator
Posts: 440
Location: Denmark 57N
77
fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a similar thing to that cart, I hate it. If you turn sharply with a load it will tip over, it is VERY heavy to pull, 4X the friction of a wheelbarrow and pulling it for any length of time twists you round as you can only pull with one hand. I've only taken it 1 mile to the shop to pick up a new gas flask and that was horrible I wished I had taken the normal wheelbarrow even though you have to carry some of the weight yourself with them.
 
Trace Oswald
pioneer
Posts: 955
Location: 4b
153
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Skandi Rogers wrote:I have a similar thing to that cart, I hate it. If you turn sharply with a load it will tip over, it is VERY heavy to pull, 4X the friction of a wheelbarrow and pulling it for any length of time twists you round as you can only pull with one hand. I've only taken it 1 mile to the shop to pick up a new gas flask and that was horrible I wished I had taken the normal wheelbarrow even though you have to carry some of the weight yourself with them.



I guess it really is a matter of right tool for the job.  Carrying heavy loads, I've tipped over far more wheelbarrows.  I find that with a wheelbarrow, I'm doing more of the work on ground that isn't level.  Going downhill, you have to hold the handles up and pull back on the wheelbarrow, where going uphill, it is much harder to push than pull in my opinion.  On uneven ground, with any amount of weight in a wheelbarrow, it gets stuck in every rut, and you have to throw your body weight into it to get over the hump or rut or whatever.  Again, a heavy load in those conditions makes it very hard to push the wheelbarrow, and greatly increases the chance you will tip over while your full body weight is leaning into the load, rather than lifting straight up on the handles.  My lady, that weighs about 120 lbs soaking wet, can use the cart with loads she can't budge with a wheelbarrow.  

I don't really agree with the 4x the friction statement.  With a well designed wheelbarrow, on level ground, the one wheel is taking all of the weight.  If you are on a surface that isn't very solid, the one wheel sinks in much more than the four wheels will.

I guess each person would have to try both and decide for themselves.  I will say, for me, since we got the cart, I use it far more often than I use the wheelbarrow.
 
pollinator
Posts: 312
Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
43
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A friend had one that was a wagon with 4 wheel steering.  It was a a red expanded metal that was basically an upscale kids wagon.  All 4 wheels steered.  Just googled and this was the first one I found.(it isn't quite llike the one I remember but it is the the 4 wheel steering)

 
master steward
Posts: 4321
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1320
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PlattCrossing.jpg
Handcart
 
pollinator
Posts: 845
Location: Pac Northwest, east of the Cascades
213
hugelkultur forest garden trees chicken wofati earthworks building solar rocket stoves woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Since you mentioned that you prefer to push rather than pull. It doesn't have the flat bottom, but puts you behind the thing rather than in front. Plus the stability of 4 wheels.



https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/big-4-wheeler-wheelbarrow-10-cu-ft
 
Joseph Lofthouse
master steward
Posts: 4321
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1320
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This is my favorite cart for hauling heavy things long distances. Since this photo was taken, I have added an electric assist for help in getting up the hills.
squash-bike-trailer.jpg
[Thumbnail for squash-bike-trailer.jpg]
Cart for hauling hundred pounds of squash.
bike-trailer-squashes.jpg
[Thumbnail for bike-trailer-squashes.jpg]
Bike trailer hauling squash
 
Posts: 307
Location: Stone Garden Farm Richfield Twp., Ohio
20
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wonder if we are related. Probably not, but I have heard of some of our family heading west. We here though, have been in this Township and County since Ohio became a State in 1803. ~~Actually somewhat before that. If you're ever over this way, stop by, we'll figure it out.

In any case, we here on this farm have about 15 wheelbarrows in many different configerations, and three of those type green wagons. We use them all, lots. Everyday. And it just depends on the job and the terrain. Sometimes single steel wheels are best, sometimes 4 rubber wheels. Sometimes high walled and high capacity, sometimes shallow and light. A few are plastic, most are steel. You just have to try them out and see which is best for you. ~~But one thing I have found out is that it really is best to get the right tool. You can minimize the work or you can make the work much harder. The trick is to be smart enough to do it the easy way. Unfortunately an awful lot of folks spend a great deal of their lives working "hard" to get enough experience to get that figured out.


 
Posts: 5
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I really love my gorilla cart.  We received it as a housewarming gift.  It's the 1200 capacity, with dumping capabilities.  My ONLY complaint is there are no brakes, and our property is pretty hilly.  
 
Posts: 1
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator



I use one similar to the Strongway Garden Cart.  Very easy to push, even when loaded.

 
gardener
Posts: 840
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
220
duck books chicken cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@ Wiley Fry: Have you read this thread? https://permies.com/t/102220/Wheelbarrow-wheeled-cart
There's lots of debating and photos of options.
The bike trailer (Burley) we used for our kids had a "walking attachment" that allowed it to be easily pushed by hand and I used it a lot for grocery shopping, but not as far as you're trekking. It's not as flat on the bottom as the garden cart I built (see above thread), but it was light weight and not at all tippy!
I totally agree that for some of us, pushing is much more comfortable. That said, our plan is to adapt a wagon we were gifted, with a new handle that is wide enough that I can pull with both hands at once. If we get that far, I'll post a picture, but there are more pressing things in the queue.
 
pollinator
Posts: 613
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
106
goat dog forest garden duck trees books chicken food preservation cooking woodworking homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know if there IS a perfect wheelbarrow or cart. We've been through so many in the 27 years we have lived here -- including the monumental waste of money known as the DR Powerwagon -- and really no one thing seems to work well for everything a homesteader asks of it. That power wagon was meant to be the end all of workhorses for us. We envisioned piles of rocks and wood being floated around with the near-magical ease of pushing a lawn mower, (and maybe if we had lived in the suburbs with a manicured grass lawn and wide sidewalks everywhere, it might have done what we wanted it to -- of course, if we lived where we had nothing but smooth grass and flat concrete, we wouldn't have needed it in the first place). But for driving out in the woods, up and down hills, through mud and rocks -- FORGET IT! It has the dumbest wheel configuration I have ever seen and it's so top heavy, hitting a slight dip in terrain or a short slope when it has a stack of wood inside it will topple it instantly unless you are hanging on for dear life to the handles when it happens. Plus the gears have a nasty habit of sticking when you try to go from one to the other while driving it. Reverse is the worst to stick. I once got pinned against a tree and nearly crushed by the stupid thing when I reversed it to maneuver around a bad spot in the trail and then couldn't unstick it to go forward and the gas lever also stuck when I let go of it to stop the darned thing! We finally stripped it down and put a lower platform on it so we could haul loads without tipping it and so we could see over the top of the load to steer (that was the other bad design element -- the cargo box was about waist high so when loaded with wood, you couldn't see over the top!) but we couldn't do anything about those sticking gears.

The little nursery wagons and carts are okay for light garden work, but the wheels wear out quickly and cost too much to replace. It's almost cheaper to just buy a new cart on some of them. Wheelbarrows are too apt to puncture in rocky terrain (and they tip easily for the same reason the power wagon did -- we don't have a flat homestead) but they are the best thing we've found for the really rugged work around the place. We just shell out for a solid rubber tire every 10 years or so, and we're good to go. I do like that Big-4 Wheelbarrow though for balance. I wonder if they make puncture-proof tires for it?
 
Posts: 115
Location: winston oregon
cattle forest garden greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you're willing to raise cattle an interesting is 2 set them up on a cart to pull large loads of mulch and coffee grounds don't know if this will be useful but I figured I'd mention this and if you want to have good practices Allan Savory and Mark Shepherd are good examples
 
Posts: 4
Location: Zone 7
1
forest garden fungi trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've used a Gorilla Cart that I purchased from LOWES exclusively for hauling on my farmstead, and have a few complaints:

1) Cheaply made tires easily rupture.  (They do fix up easily with a tire repair inflator can)

2) Tendency to tip over easily while transversing on a slope.  (Mine fell over several times hauling logs from the forest)

3) Ineffective for hauling caber-length logs or longer objects. (Haven't found a good way to tie them down)

They are very maneuverable, however, and the size is good for mulch, bricks, water jugs, etc.  Great on flat lands at least.

-Kilt
 
Skandi Rogers
pollinator
Posts: 440
Location: Denmark 57N
77
fungi foraging trees cooking food preservation
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was just out picking up potato tops and filling the wheelbarrow right up, which since I've done this for several days as they wilt down made it quite heavy.. I had a though about this thread. Do none of you PULL your wheelbarrow? Because I realised I do, I probably pull it more than I push it, as our ground is bumpy and it's much easier to pull something up over a bump than push. Thinking about it I always pull it when it is heavy with wood or stone/soil. I only push it when it's empty or in a confined space.
 
gardener
Posts: 906
Location: Ohio, USA
153
dog forest garden fish fungi trees urban food preservation solar woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have something like in this picture, but old and plastic bottomed. Real easy to manuever and can attach as a wagon or stroller.  I use it to move kids and 5 gallon buckets and logs...or did until it broke.  These are relatively common to find broken curbside.
Screenshot_20190627-161754_Google.jpg
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_20190627-161754_Google.jpg]
Kid cart
 
gardener
Posts: 2349
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
152
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you are traveling on pavement,  consider a handtruck.
You can strap a trashcan or barrel to it,  and they are very maneuverable.
You could even use it with stacking totes or milkcrates.
 
Posts: 14
Location: north west Michigan
4
fish books bike
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just made a cart out of two front 20" bike tires, some small trees, and some screws. I am primarily using it to haul logs as I cut trails with hand tools. These logs are going in my first hugelkulture. The cart works great on uneven terrain especially when the load is balanced over the wheels. You could easily add some totes to the top of the cart. I will eventually work out an attachment for my bicycle.

20190621_203943.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190621_203943.jpg]
This is the cart I made with a Gorilla Cart in the background. I have been finding 'treasures' such as this truck hood as I cut trails
20190625_204929.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190625_204929.jpg]
ready to go on the hugel.
 
Jay Angler
gardener
Posts: 840
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
220
duck books chicken cooking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@ Justin Geradot: Lovely cart! The things I like about your cart are: 1. That you supported the wheels at both sides - some re-purposed bike carts only have wheel supports on one side, like the running cart I re-purposed and your gorilla cart in the picture, and it's just not as good mechanically.
2. That you can run long objects all the way through and keep them balanced. I'm trying to figure out how to do that for my next cart, but still be able to add a back plate when needed.
I'd like to suggest that if you find it useful on an ongoing basis, you consider buying appropriate length bolts (1/4 inch wide at least) and washers, grease them well and use them instead of screws. That's strictly from my experience, so others may disagree.
You may find that at some point you will want to add sides to stop things from getting to the wheels and damaging the spokes, but so long as the loads you're tending to carry can be easily tied, it will do the job. My altered running cart is fine if we're carrying square buckets (which is what I intended it to do), but when I've occasionally tried to use it for other purposes, I've found that to be a problem. At the moment it's got a bigger problem (the supports for the front wheel broke), so there's no point worrying about sidewalls until we decide on a fix for the wheels.
I hope you keep building creative but useful projects like this one (and posting pictures) as it helps people see what can be done!
 
Justin Gerardot
Posts: 14
Location: north west Michigan
4
fish books bike
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@ Jay Angler: thanks. I like the idea of using bolts in the future now that i like the general design. Perhaps a similar cart with the wheels supported on both sides, but mounted on a pallet would be nice. You could use the full width or cut the pallet in half. Using a pallet would make attaching sidewalls easier as well. I chose screws because thats what i had. I think i will get plenty use out of it before the screws rip out. Then i could just rebuild.

Also, the long handles come in handy when trying to balance longer loads. They are the perfect height to attach to my seatpost on my bike.
 
master pollinator
Posts: 669
Location: Ontario, Canada
129
homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm thinking of buying this:



Any experience with these, good or bad?
 
Posts: 35
Location: Hartwell Georgia USA
19
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I loved my two wheeled cart. When the bottom and eventually the sides rotted out they were easily replaced with plywood and recovered with the metal protector pieces. One can haul long loads and stand to the side to haul it along. I have a homemade one now but it just isn't the same as the above pic.
 
Jay Angler
gardener
Posts: 840
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
220
duck books chicken cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have two friends with the same or similar and they're both happy with theirs. Like every set of wheels, they've got their positives and negatives, and at least part of that is whether the size fits your body.  The only reason I don't have one is that my husband choked on the price new and I've not run across a used one.
 
Timothy Markus
master pollinator
Posts: 669
Location: Ontario, Canada
129
homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They're asking $100 CAD.  Is that a decent price?
 
Jay Angler
gardener
Posts: 840
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
220
duck books chicken cooking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In my opinion, if it's in decent shape, yes. The metal version that Lee Valley currently sells is $400, and new ones I looked at in the past were in that range. Tires are expensive these days for ones of good enough quality to handle farm work, so if they look cracked and thin, you could try offering less and give that as a reason.
 
Posts: 72
Location: Hot, humid, sometimes hurricane drenched west central Florida
9
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have 3 carts. One I only use if my other two are occupied with stuff. I don't like it because my shins hit the bar across the bottom so I can't walk with a normal gait. For body weight/strength comparison purposes I'm female, 60 years old, about 5'8" 140#'s and very strong for my age. When it comes to picking the right cart, it's got to be right for your body.
The one I use most is the gorilla poly dump cart. I like it because the tires go over my lumpy uneven ground and it turns in a tight circle. It's never tipped over, and the pneumatic tires inflate easily with a bike. pump. My heaviest load is about 160#'s stacked pretty high and if the tires are inflated right it rolls over the ground easily. When I bought it I put it to work right away and I've loved it ever since.
The other cart that I have is the gorilla steel heavy duty cart. I almost never use the sides, and for my purposes it's perfect. I often need to haul lumber so I needed something that would do that. I don't use it as much as the other one so when I need it, I need it.
These photos all came from amazon but I bought the carts from home depot. Sorry they're so gigantic :/
Good luck in your search! You're getting alot of good advice.
20190630_124255.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190630_124255.jpg]
I use it mostly like this.
20190630_124315.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190630_124315.jpg]
But I haul logs once in awhile (for hugel beds!!) with the sides on.
20190630_124328.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190630_124328.jpg]
Empty with sides up and black plastic liner in. I never use the liner.
20190630_124347.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190630_124347.jpg]
I use the dump feature alot. It always leaves a little in the bottom and I have to flip it completely over to get it all out. Annoying, but not a problem, really.
20190630_124358.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20190630_124358.jpg]
And there it is.
 
Posts: 51
Location: Del Rio, TX
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just chiming in to add one more type of rugged cart that some may find useful: a game cart (for hauling deer or elk), which costs around $70. Also, for bike trailers, it may be worth checking out Rambo ebike trailers. A cool back-country cart I saw has 2 inline wheels and is called a Neet Kart, but at $450 I'm not ready to test it.


 
garden master
Posts: 2585
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
487
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This has been a timely and useful thread for me.  This spring I discovered that the steel frame of my $14 garage sale wheelbarrow that I've been using for the last five years had rusted away under the paint, such that basically the nose of my wheelbarrow was fixing to plumb fall off.  A quick inventory of the other $5-and-similar wheelbarrows that I've turned up at garage sales over the years established that there was nothing that would roll or could be repaired at reasonable effort.  So I've been limping along, hand-carrying buckets of dirt and such.  But it put behind my whole project of getting a new kitchen container garden established handy to my front door, because I need to move a lot of pallets (for pallet tables) and containers and dirt and wood chips.  And because I am behind, I still have various plant starts languishing in small pots that should have been in big tubs months ago!  And now that the summer heat finally arrived, albeit six weeks or so late, I'm moving a lot slower and keeping plants alive in tiny pots is a much bigger hassle.  It was getting to a point of desperation, and I was facing with horror the idea that I might have to just bite the bullet and pay full retail for a brand new wheelbarrow.  

Then this thread put the notion of the Gorilla carts in front of my face.  And for what I do -- longer distances, smaller loads, flat land -- they seemed promising.  I was just about to buy the $90 800lb-capacity one via Amazon  when I noticed that the local Tractor Supply was clearancing a big two-front-wheel tub barrow for a similar price, down from about $140 list.   So that had me waffling uselessly again.  

And then my Saturday garage sales settled the matter.  I'd been out and was home again, done for the day, when a new garage sale popped up on local Facebook, not 2 miles from my house.  Listing was 22 minutes old when I saw it, and though the text about the sale was unpromising, there was a photo of the stuff for sale.  On my tiny phone in bright daylight, looking at a photo that was all bright sunlit grass and high-contrast shade under trees, I almost missed it:



I'm not saying I broke any speed limits getting to that sale, but I might have bent one.  As was not clear from peering at my phone, the cart on offer was indeed a Gorilla brand, an 800lb model, assembled but never used.  They were asking $50 but after some negotiating hilarity involving one flat tire (the thing had been sitting in a garage for a couple of years) and a compressor that the guy couldn't figure out how to operate as he attempted to air the tire, I got it for $45.  (It aired up fine in 90 seconds with the 12v air pump I carry in my car.)  

When I say new, I mean, those tires had never rolled on anything but clean concrete, and the glossy cardboard product information placard was still ziptied to the handle.  So I got a bargain.

I just got back inside after putting it to its first serious tryout.  For my circumstances, I'm impressed!  I was able to stack four pallets on it (sides up!) and move them in one trip across rough grass full of gopher holes and the pits dogs dig chasing gophers, without it making any attempt to tip over.  I was able to put four five gallon buckets  full of wet soil in it and pull it effortlessly.  A big bag of potting soil and a bunch of plants in heavy 1-gallon clay pots, easy peasy; that would have been a problem in a wheelbarrow because the shifting angles would have knocked the pots over and against each other, making a mess and possibly breaking pots or plants.

Fundamentally, for me, I discovered that the four wheeled cart is a better choice for working in heat/humidity than a wheelbarrow.  Here's why.  If you are just carrying buckets by hand, or carrying any load in a wheelbarrow, the work process involves lifting the load and then, you know, staggering forward.  You're working to move and you're working (to some extent) just to hold the load up and in moving position.  (Big wheel barrows reduce the latter, but not the old-fashioned kind I've had.)  So I would frequently and easily find myself exhausted and flopsweating when working with a barrow or carrying loads by hand; once I would start to move with a load, I would tend to push on through my comfort level and stamina in order to get the load to its destination.  That felt "easier" than setting down the load and stopping for the frequent breaks I might in fact need on a hot humid day.  

With the four wheeled cart, there's no such pressure.  I can putter along, stand in the shade of the oak tree, stop to look at a dandelion, whatever.  The load isn't putting any pressure on me except when I choose to move it forward, which I can do at my own pace.  Net result is, I don't get so hot and sweaty that I say "fuck it!" and go inside for the day, not nearly as quickly.  I'd say I got about six times as much done this morning as I would have without the cart, and was out for at least an hour deeper into the day's heat than I would have managed without it.

So, it's early days, but I'm currently a fan.
 
Leslie Russell
Posts: 72
Location: Hot, humid, sometimes hurricane drenched west central Florida
9
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dan, I'm so happy for you and that you found a solution for your particular applications. And I'm a little jealous you stole that cart 😏
 
Jay Angler
gardener
Posts: 840
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
220
duck books chicken cooking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
@Dan Boone - Awesome score! Your post inspires me to get a wider "T" handle on the smaller wagon I was given. I just can't pull it one handed without twisting my back and irritating it. Your wagon definitely sounds bigger than mine, and it's great that it's really helping you get the things on your list accomplished safely.
 
pollinator
Posts: 289
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
71
urban books building solar rocket stoves ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What about an ordinary bicycle?
Set it up with hooks or panniers mounted low, beside the wheels, such that you could carry 5 gallon pails (I'm guessing that's your method, since you asked about a flat bottom...)
You could load up empty pails and still ride the bike to the stations, saving time, then load up and walk the loaded bike home.

As for the Chinese wheelbarrow idea, how about starting with bicycle parts. You get lightweight and inexpensive stuff, standard parts for repair, probably even for free...
There's another thread about a "game carrier" here: Trad-Chinese-single-wheel-barrow that uses a motorcycle wheel...

I use a handtruck for my compost picking-up. I carry a stack of three pails at a time, though usually I only have to walk 75 feet to and from my truck (occasionally a whole block if parking is congested).
It is fairly easy going (I have a high quality Magliner handtruck) and I could imagine going longer distances with it. There are models for carrying round objects (beer kegs, gas cylinders, barrels) that cradle the load and would be a bit more secure/stable than the flat, box-moving style (what I just happen to have).

The "Garden Way Cart" / "Vermont Carts" / "Strongway Carts" with the two "bicycle" cart wheels are much easier to push than any wheelbarrow. They come in two sizes.
The balance is nice, and if you had six pails (2 rows of 3) centered over the wheels, there's hardly any effort to lift the handle.
Plus, the end by the wheels lifts off for easy loading (and dumping out) of the load.
 
Dan Boone
garden master
Posts: 2585
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
487
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jay Angler wrote:@Dan Boone - Awesome score! Your post inspires me to get a wider "T" handle on the smaller wagon I was given. I just can't pull it one handed without twisting my back and irritating it.



I have been really lucky so far with back and joint stuff -- I really don't suffer from problems with them.  Pulling the cart does put a differential strain on my torso, but the cart rolls so easily that it hasn't been a problem yet.

I am amused to report that it was only the third full day on the property for the new cart (Tuesday) when it got me a honey-do request.  "Now that you have that new cart, do you think you could...?"

My wife had me pull an old cruddy 14,500 BTU window air conditioner out of the storage where we put it when it got so gunked up with dust bunnies and dog hair that it stopped working, and wheel it out into the middle of the driveway where she could attack it with a garden hose, spray soap, various brushes, cleansers, cotton swabs, and who knows what.  We had swapped in a 6,500 BTU unit that just isn't getting the job done now that the hot season is upon us.  Then today I used the cart to wheel that newly-cleaned-up heavy beast (not sure how heavy, but it's right at the maximum I can lift, so somewhere between 80 and 120 pounds) right through the door into the living room and up under the window she wanted it installed in.   It was a lot easier than staggering around with an air conditioner in my arms, I tell you what!
 
I am a man of mystery. Mostly because of this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!