[permaculture] A better wheelbarrow

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Sun Jan 22 21:48:46 EST 2012


On 1/22/2012 9:09 PM, Lawrence F. London, Jr. wrote:
> On 1/22/2012 8:36 PM, Bob Waldrop wrote:
>> As most of us know, the typical wheelbarrow in use these days
>> requires the person pushing the wheelbarrow to bear a good portion of
>> the weight of the load. Our version of the wheelbarrow basically is
>> like a stretcher, only with a wheel instead of someone up front
>> carrying the front end.
>>
>> As it turns out, the Chinese had a much better idea for a
>> wheelbarrow. It consists of one large central wheel, topped with a
>> framework, with platforms on either side for the load. The person
>> pushing the wheelbarrow thus carries none of the weight, he or she is
>> just pushing and steering. All the weight lays upon the wheel and its
>> axel. Going forward, we are all going to make a new acquaintance with
>> manual labor, and I for one am going to try to build one of these for
>> my work this summer, since I use a wheelbarrow a lot and as I get
>> older, it’s not getting any easier to maneuver it.
>>
>> Here is a great article on the subject, complete with pictures and
>> contemporaneous accounts from days of yore.
>> www.lowtechmagazine.com/2011/12/the-chinese-wheelbarrow.html
>
> Thanks for the great link to Low Tech Magazine, Bob.
> I have always liked the "Garden Way" two-wheeled cart though there could
> be improvements made to the design such as positioning the wheel axle in
> a more central position with regard to the load - I think the axis is
> moved forward somewhat to make it easier to dump out a load. I would
> suggest having two versions, one designed for dumping and one for
> hauling with manual load removal. Combining the two uses detracts from
> the energy efficiency and ease of use of the barrow. Designing the
> hauling with manual load removal version with a well designed and
> fabricated flip front panel (dump front) would be the best of all design
> option maybe as you could do incremental load dumping and spreading a
> whole lot easier than tipping part of the load out by lifting the barrow
> vertically.  See the pic of the one-wheeled version the fellow in
> balancing on his head. For me a one wheeled version would be less useful
> than a two wheeled one.

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