One big wheel powered wheelbarrow

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HermitJohn, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    A standard wheelbarrow is handy even to get wood IF you have a path. Otherwise you are continually bumping up against rock or bit of limb or whatever that stops standard wheelbarrow wheel cold. Wont even mention pushing loaded wheelbarrow uphill....

    So been wondering about designing a motorized wood cart with one big wheel say like 15inch temp spare tire from car. The wheel would be in the middle with motor above it and racks in front and rear of the wheel/engine. Simple centrifugal clutch to engage/disengage power.

    Anybody built such a thing? Closest I've seen is a powered one wheel homemade cart some guy made to get deer carcass out of woods. I am sure he needed a buddy or two to keep it stablized as it was rather large flat platform and looked very tipsy.

    One big wheel should navigate smaller stuff on path without having to stop and move it. Raising center of gravity not good thing as it would make it more unstable, but necessary evil.

    The commercial made power wheelbarrows are just transaxle out of a garden tractor with dump box on top of it. Would be useless for what I want not to mention heavy and insanely overpriced for what they are.
     
  2. arcticow

    arcticow Well-Known Member

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    How wide a tire would you go with on it? That could help stabilize it, too.
     

  3. palani

    palani Well-Known Member

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    Rokon makes a 2-wheel drive motorcycle with a drawbar and a wood cart. Why walk when you can ride?
     
  4. cheapskate

    cheapskate Cheap but not free

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    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source...g-ms1g-m1&oq=power+wheelb&fp=7bb90598241b844f

    http://images.google.com/images?um=...wheelbarrow&btnG=Search&aq=f&oq=&aqi=&start=0


    There are some them out there. Maybe some of these will give you some ideas on building your own?

    As for me, I bought a Jeep branded wheelbarrow years ago, and unless someone steals it from me, I think it will last me my life.

    2 tires on the front are foam filled so they wont go flat, the tub is a durable heavy duty plastic, all hardware and fasteners are stainless steel so no rusting, and the handles are heavy duty square steel.
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pull the wheel barrow backwards and it will ride right over the little bumps and take less manpower. TRY IT - It works
     
  6. Callieslamb

    Callieslamb Well-Known Member

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    I would love a small motorized cart like that - but smaller as in Bike wheels or motorcycle wheels - for hauling 'stuff' out of the barn and into the compost pile! Design away!
     
  7. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i live downhill from my wood supply. my 2 wheeled wheelbarrow is awesome. it is much more stable than a single wheel barrow. it will be even more awesome when i can find some actual steel wheels to replace the cheap junk i bought at TSC...the wheels that had the hubs crack right out of the wheels under the weight of a full load banging over rocks and into holes. :)
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    For most tasks I find I'm using a pull wagon over a push wheelbarrow. Treat yourself and go buy a 4 wheeler with a rack mounted basket! :) Farmshow has had a couple of power assist wheel barrows, but you need to subscribe to get details.
     
  9. unkabuzz

    unkabuzz Member

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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2010
  10. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I am talking something that can wind its way through awkward path to get cut up firewood without making a smooth path for it, since once the wood is picked up, path would no longer be used. The two wheeled and commercial power wheelbarrows are too low to the ground. Big wheel rolls over uneven ground easier. It would have to be geared way way slow to go over rough ground.

    I am thinking more along a powered version of this very old Chinese design: [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Excellent engineering design far as ground clearance and ease of pushing with the large center wheel, but nowhere as convenient far as carrying a load as modern wheelbarrow. Well depending what you want to do with it. I think it could be a good design for gathering wood if you balance the load and gear it very slow driven by small engine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2010
  11. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    That is what I was referring to when I mentioned a wheelbarrow on top of a riding lawnmower transaxle. It would be worthless out in woods with that low axle two wheel design. Sure it could be handy for suburbanites or moving things over smooth path or yard. As to price, I paid less for my 50hp diesel farm tractor.... Its for people with too much money burning a hole in their pocket.
     
  12. Harry Chickpea

    Harry Chickpea Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Why is it when I see the thread title I get the image of a struggling and sweating little kid on his Big Wheel trike, with a rope attached to the back, heroically pulling a wheelbarrow guided by his father, who has a beer in hand? :D

    Something like this seems like a perfect task for a mashup using a lead-acid battery, an electric scooter motor and a couple of cruiser bike wheels - one powered, one free-wheeling and only about six inches apart.

    Bike tires are tall to get through mud and very strong. Having two will not appreciably widen the path requirements, but will make the barrow more stable. A friction drive with a large diameter wheel attached to the bike wheel can allow a relatively high speed motor to torque down by minimizing the diameter of the output shaft. Wheelbarrows don't get a lot of continuous use, but between loading and unloading times actual run time may only be a few minutes, well within the capacity of a decent battery.
     
  13. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would never go for a single-wheeled barrow again, motorized or no. You waste so much energy keeping it balanced and you easily torque your back. I can move so much more with my two-wheeler and no danger for spilling or destroying my back.

    If you want to design something with the wheel in the center like in the picture, consider having 2 bicycle wheels slanted towards each other at the top [ /\ ] for more stability.
     
  14. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I still dont think you folk are getting the idea of how poorly two wheels would work in a very rocky side of hill with various forest litter including branches, partially rotted logs, etc. Not talking some suburban backyard. What happens when one of the two wheels goes in hole and other is high and dry, its going to tip and spill the relatively heavy load, right? Even if I cut a path through any wood, I couldnt even safely get a tractor in there. Yea its that bad.

    clearing a path to allow comfortable navigation with normal two wheel conveyances would mean more work than just walking out the wood armload by armload. Slipping with armload of wood can ruin your day (and body) too, plus VERY SLOW way to move any significant amount firewood. Hand carrying wood long distances is very disagreeable to me and makes me procrastinate and avoid it. A single wheel can snake around obstructions far easier than two wheels. I have had some luck with normal one wheel contractor style wheelbarrow in flatter area, but the wheel is small and too easily hangs up with the rocks and roots, or gets trapped in hole, etc. and the frame part in front of wheel will hang too since it sits so low. Pushing (or pulling) a loaded wheelbarrow uphill also isnt my fondest activity. Thus my idea of adding engine. It just would have to be geared very slow.
     
  15. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    HermitJohn I really wish that you and I lived closer to each other. I think we would work well together to produce some really off of the wall ideas into reality. It is fun at the very least to think about ideas and what would be needed to produce a usable item. If a test item is built, so what if it doesn't work or is found to be a totally useless idea after all.

    Our thoughts are different on the aforementioned barrow project. I would opt for an electric battery powered unit, in part because I don't like noise of any kind and a gas engine would produce such. Electric would also allow an easy on/off finger switch instead of revving up a gas engine to engage a centrifugal clutch. Used to auger a lot of wheat while filling a grain drill box so I think a large battery powered unit would work.

    I understand the need for a single wheel. Also for balancing tire pressure to decrease rolling resistance and to also the tire to flex over an object.

    As to the many multi-wheel suggestions---I am guessing that many of you have simply never used a wheelbarrow enough to become confident and comfortable to use one with ease. Guess I learned from pushing loaded brick barrows along 2"X12" (10½") board paths on top of scaffolding while supplying masons with their needs. It is necessary to learn immediately. Also the same for pushing a barrow full of mortar while going over the overlap bumps of the boards.

    Powered barrows, wheel hoes----come on spring so that I can get the welder out and set to work.
     
  16. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I like quiet too, but battery big enough would add considerable weight and need second one if first leaves me stranded. I am impressed enough with Honda and Honda-clone engines, dont think I would be totally annoyed by noise. I tend to prefer bigger engine run half throttle than smaller engine running full out. Buzzy engines annoying, half throttle engine not so bad. This also is just for places I cant easily get to with tractor or 4wd pickup or conventional wheelbarrow.

    I may just build a non-powered big wheel wheelbarrow first to see how I like it. Just time and welding rod. Dont like it, then its scrap for next project. Course if I design it so engine could be added later, that would probably be good..... Save building a second one. I suspect to get it slow enough have to use jackshaft. It will only have one speed so have to pick one that doesnt annoy me. A creeper gear for rough going and walking speed gear once out of the brush nice but probably not possible as only speed control I would have is engine rpm.
     
  17. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Watch out mentioning them together or I'll combine them..... I've actually got the remains of an old factory built single wheel garden plow that looks much like that. I never put an engine on it cause it had a steel drive wheel with paddles. Knew that would be horrible with all my rocks. Probably be halfway decent with a weighted aggressive tread rubber tire. Well on previously worked soil, not going to plow sod with it.
     
  18. FarmboyBill

    FarmboyBill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ive got a powered 1` wheel wheel hoe called the iron mule. Never used it tho. Will this year. I also got a Wards 2 wheeled garden tractor with reverse. The reverse works from the back of another belt when I pull a rod and the belt back comes up against the drive wheel. Anyways, I see that Harbor Freight has a segmented belt, that I think might make a better contact than a smooth belt.
     
  19. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    HJ one problem I think about with gasoline engine use and centrifugal clutch is that the engine has to be wrapped up a fair amount, i.e. 2,000 rpms or more depending upon the clutch. http://www.noramclutch.com/CLUTCHES/4000.html

    Instead of a jack shaft if you could incorporate a true mower transmission it would probably be better. Not sure when the old riding mowers did away with the truly geared ones but they seem to be getting harder to find on old mowers. More of a variable speed type of deal now.

    The old paddle wheeled garden tractor might be more valuable to sell as parts than for salvage. Quite a bit of interest in them for use at antique engine/tractor shows.
     
  20. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    HJ
    a mini bike wheel and sprocket should be about the right size.
    light wieght motor and gear reduction , thats easy one of the mini tillers put a chain sprocket on one side to drive the mini bike wheel
    boom you have a stardard powered wheel barrel
    Would that work for ya ??