A Trailbarrow is just what it sounds like - a wheelbarrow for the trail. They're lightweight, easy to maneuver, functional, and comfortable to use. But, you may ask, what is a trailbarrow doing on a site about yurts? Well, I don't have a good answer to that - other than I hope to help other people revel in the joy of moving heavy and awkward things by hand. They are fun to make and use. You know the expression "the right tool for the right job". Well Trailbarrows are the right tool for moving heavy and awkward things by hand.
Characteristics of a Trailbarrow:
- The Center of Gravity is as low as possible
- The belly-band allows you to use your body to push the load instead of your shoulders
- The shoulder strap transfers the weight to your torso instead of the wrists and arms
- Keep the overall weight as low as possible.
- It's strong enough to carry the things you want to move.
- Include attachment points for straps or bungees to secure the load while moving.
This is Mike's latest design for a trailbarrow has a wider stance but is still easy to maneuvre. It's very rugged and can easily handle 300 lbs. It's great for moving firewood, and up to (7) 5-gallon buckets of water, compost, or crushed stone. The idea is based off of a system called the WHaTS (Wheeled Hand Tool System). The list of things that this mover can transport is really impressive! My version is not as versatile as theirs with all of the attachments - but it serves our needs quite well. In the picture below you can see the undercarriage of the tank. One design change I would make in a future version would be to make the wheels easier to remove for tube patching or tire replacement.
The first rendition of this design used wheelbarrow wheels because they are robust and easy to fashion an axle for - but I found that it had trouble with the somewhat rough terrain in my life. So I upgraded it to the 20" bmx bike wheels and it works much better. Bmx wheels have a lot of spokes and are capable of carrying heavy loads (the more spokes a wheel has usually corresponds to it's load carrying capacity). The steam bent wheel covers in the current model were fun to make, but added to the complexity of the design. It is very important to have the wheel covers to prevent the load from getting caught up in the spokes of the wheel.
This trailbarrow was Bill's "daily driver" through the forest trail. Cedar and thin marine plywood make it extremely light. The thick tire give a nice cushion when rolling over roots and rocks. Nails at the top of the plywood fender are perfect for hanging bags of groceries or nails depending on your project at hand. The shoulder strap and belly band take the weight off of the arms, shoulders, and wrists. The Belly band allows you to push the trailbarrow over small obstacles with your legs and torso and not your arms - this makes a big difference! This trailbarrow is not suited for carrying heavy loads. For that there is the big trailbarrow (scroll down). Here are some detail photos in case you want to make one...
This is Bill's "big trailbarrow" which is the first cantilevered wheelbarrow I used. It is marvellous how little weight is on my arms when it is balanced well. If the front cantilever could be extended out, it would take more weight off of the user's arms, but that would sacrifice maneuverability. This trailbarrow also has a belly band and a shoulder strap.