Building A Big Ol’ Powerful Wheelbarrow

Sometimes you’ve gotta haul big heavy loads around a wide area. Regular wheelbarrows are fine, but it can quickly grow tiring when one has to make multiple trips. [Workshop from Scratch] instead elected to build a powered wheelbarrow, with plenty of grunt to shift loads about.

The build is absolutely from the ground up, welded up from sections of steel RHS, and given rear steering for plenty of maneuverability. The actual job of steering is handled by a rack repurposed from automotive use, set up with a single-sided attachment to the rear wheel assembly. It’s quite a neat and tidy way of doing the job, and seems to work well. Drive is sent to the front wheels through a hydrostatic lawnmower transmission. A 17-horsepower engine provides plenty of grunt for the job at hand, even coming with electric start already fitted for the ultimate in ease-of-use.

It’s impressive to see just how much of the rig was put together from raw materials; even the fuel tank was fabricated in steel. We’ve seen similar builds from [Workshop from Scratch] before, like this tidy bandsaw. Video after the break.

16 thoughts on “Building A Big Ol’ Powerful Wheelbarrow

  1. Not exactly a new idea, I have a friend that has a 3 wheeled version of this that was made in a factory. They can be very useful. Instead of a gas powered version, use a brushless electric motor. Build one of those converted alternators to 3 phase motor and now you not only have a useful yard implement but it is the same color as your lawn ! Paint it JD Greene! It would be silent, which your neighbors will surely love, you won’t have to build a system for reversing it, the controller will do that. You won’t need a fuel tank, that space would address battery location issues, you could use an electric linear actuator to dump the bucket and build a canopy over the seat to put solar panels on for charging the batteries.

    1. I would put the batteries under the seat, would help to have more weight on the rear, so the thing does not topple over when you unload it.
      I guess you could use an electric motor to build a lift (kind of a linear motor with a spindle) for dumping the bucket too.

    2. The problem with that is tools like this are usually used infrequently, for long periods of time. Potentially for trips, as well. This is the exact worst use case for an electric motor, because you would need massive batteries that just sit in storage all the time. Bear also in mind that when working on a project that is large enough to require a motorized dump truck, the chances of neighbors being near enough to care are not high. I think this is a perfect application of a small engine like he chose, though I agree that a linear actuator on the bucket would be an excellent addition.

  2. That’s really neat. Reminds me of the concrete buggy I tried to drive on the I-40 bridge at Memphis. Just did not have the skills to drive down three 2x12s laid on top of the rebar, dump the load and back out. After I fell off the boards the 2nd time I said no more. I’ll hurt someone if I keep at this.

    1. I’m wondering more why he didn’t put hydraulic dump capability on something he went to so much trouble to build well, walking around to hand dump is kinda a waste, he totally should have automated taking a dump 😏

  3. Beautiful built.

    One thing it lacked (I think) is a dead mans switch. I can see someone easily pass out and get their feet stuck driving into whatever carrying a heavy load.

    1. Back in the dark ages when a teenager, a mate had a kids quad bike with no suspension other than the squishy tires. Awesome fun, but so small we would occasionally run over our feet while when coming a cropper/attempting to avoid bramble bushes. Didn’t weigh anything so now a problem/lucky. The quad was pretty easy to pick up despite being a 4 stroke.

      Can’t imagine the same would be true of this beast, especially full of rocks.

  4. Very nice build. But I’m a bit dubious about actual use.
    Why everything is made out of 8mm stock? It look way too sturdy to carry such small bucket.
    I’m sure an regular electric wheelbarrow is much more agile and efficient. (and neighborhood friendly too as already mentioned)

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