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Self-Propelled Wheelbarrow
"I built this self-propelled wheelbarrow out of an old Ariens snowblower and junk parts. It comes in handy for a variety of jobs," says Arthur Moulton, Alton, N.H.
  The 3-wheeled carrier is powered by a 5 hp Briggs & Stratton engine mounted on a 1972 Ariens snowblower. The single caster wheel on front is located about 4 ft. ahead of the snowblower's rear wheels. In between is a U-shaped metal frame made from old bed rails, with 2-ft. high rectangular "holders" on front and back. A dump-style, sideways-mounted wheelbarrow bucket can be bolted to the floor.
  He unbolted the impeller and housing from the snowblower, keeping the handlebars, frame, and transmission. He replaced the snowblower's original 6 hp electric start engine with a 5 hp, rope start Briggs & Stratton. The snowblower's wheels were replaced with bigger, 12-in. high wheels off a Bolens riding mower, and the straight drive axle was replaced with the mower's chain-drive differential in order to make it easier to steer with the caster wheel on front.
  He then made a metal frame that goes on in place of the housing with two bolts. The front part of the frame attaches to the single caster wheel. The wheel is supported by the forks, spindle and bearings off an old bicycle.
  "I'm well pleased with how it turned out," says Moulton. "It didn't cost much to build - I spent more money on welding rods than I did on anything else.
  "Most of the time I run it in first gear. Because I replaced the snowblower's original straight drive axle with the Bolen riding mower's differential, what used to be forward is now reverse so I had to relabel the control lever accordingly. I replaced the snowblower's original straight drive axle because without a differential it would've been hard to steer.
  "It's easy to operate. All I do is put it in gear and squeeze the clutch handle to go forward. I was concerned whether the caster wheel would work alright when carrying a load, but it does. It steers better than I thought it would. I often pull the rig up alongside my log splitter and load it with firewood, which I then haul to my wood pile or into my shed. I also haul compost which I use on my lawn and around gardens."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Arthur H. Moulton, Box 183, Alton, N.H. 03809 (ph 603 875-3329).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2