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New Way To Motorize A Wheelbarrow
Here's an easy way to add power to an existing wheelbarrow. The chain-driven "MotoBarrow" wheel simply bolts to a standard 6, 8 or 10-cu. ft. wheelbarrow.
Roger Simons at Innovative Fabrications got the idea for the MotoBarrow kit when his wife and son were moving rock across a creek and up a hill on their property. His wife said they needed a powered unit and asked why they couldn't just put a motor on the existing wheelbarrow.
Simons put together a prototype, and it worked great. People saw it and suggested he get it patented.
Several prototypes and a patent later, Simons is now marketing the kit direct. No modification of the wheelbarrow is needed. The MotoBarrow simply bolts on where the factory-installed front wheel or wheels attach. The compact unit fits inside the existing frame of a traditional wheelbarrow, making storage easy.
The 3-wheel model uses three standard wheels, but has 30 lbs. pressure in the center wheel and 15 lbs. on outside wheels to ensure easy turning.
"The higher pressure in the center wheel lets it turn like a dream, while the side wheels add stability," says Simons. "Plus when you have to go through uneven soil like a tilled garden, it pulls evenly as there is always at least one wheel that hits the high spots and keeps pulling."
The MotoBarrow consists of a powder-coated steel frame, four-cycle gas engine, chain-drive gear reduction system, axle, tires and hand throttle. The drive features quick-adjust chain adjustors and sealed bearings. An optional rear axle attachment is also available to replace the rear feet and eliminate the need to lift the wheelbarrow while moving.
The MotoBarrow throttle can be mounted for left or right hand control. With its centrifugal clutch, the drive remains in neutral until the throttle is activated. At full throttle the MotoBarrow moves at a brisk walk.
Customers can choose from a 1.6-hp, four-stroke Honda or a 1.4-hp four-stroke Subaru. Both are priced at $549.95 for the 3-wheel drive model. A 2-wheel model sells for $499.95. The rear wheel attachment is priced at $129.95. Shipping is extra. Simons says the company can also mount the MotoBarrow on a new wheelbarrow and sell it as a complete unit.
"One of the unique things about the drive is the square tubing over square tubing that we use for the subframe," says Simons. "It prevents transfer of engine vibration to the frame of the wheelbarrow."
The unique drive system uses reversible hubs on the drive axle to engage the wheels. A lug on the hub pushes against an ear on the wheel to push the wheelbarrow forward. Slip out the securing pin, reverse the hub and the wheels become freewheeling.
The drive lug acts like a differential. When you turn, it allows the outer wheel to run ahead of the inner wheel; yet you still have positraction," explains Simons.
On the 3-wheel model, either or both outside wheels can be disengaged from the drive if not needed. On the 2-wheel model, one of the wheels can be disengaged.
Simon points out that attaching or detaching the unit can be done in a few minutes.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Innovative Fabrications LLC, 13501 Scanlan Way, Davidson, N.C. 28036 (ph 704 892-1017; contact@motobarrow.com; www. motobarrow.com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6