Jerome Kuenzi can pull his home-built garden cart anywhere without worrying that it will tip over on rough ground. A home-built suspension system allows the cart’s front and rear axles to pivot independently from side to side, keeping the cart stable.
The cart measures 4 ft. long by 2 ft. wide and rides on 10-in. wheelbarrow tires. It has removable 1-ft. tall, expanded metal sides and an expanded metal floor. It can be pulled either by hand or behind a small tractor.
“I designed and built the cart myself in our shop,” says the 17-year-old Kuenzi. “I came up with the idea because I want to be a mechanical engineer someday, and this was a way to challenge myself. Our old garden cart was built flimsy and broke while going over a steep drop-off that leads to our big garden. My cart is much more sturdy, and even with a heavy load it won’t tip over.”
The cart mounts on a pair of V-shaped steel frames that allow both axles – made from 1 by 2-in. tubing - to pivot. Heavy-duty bolts attached to steel brackets connect the axles to the wheels. A pair of metal hinges on each each steering link allow the cart to tilt back and forth according to the terrain, without bending the steering linkage.
A pair of cables, one on each side of the cart, connect both axles together so that only one axle can tilt at a time. “The cables are connected to long vertical bolts that run through both axles,” says Kuenzi. “Each cable runs up and over a pair of pulleys, one at the front of the wagon and one at the back.
“Both axles are free to pivot from side to side, but because of the cables only one axle at a time can tilt up or down,” says Kuenzi. “When one axle tilts one way, the other axle tilts the other way.”
A vertical bolt through the front axle allows the hitch to pivot from side to side, and a horizontal bolt allows the hitch to pivot up or down.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jerome Kuenzi, 102 117th Ave. N.E., Salem, Oregon 97317 (ph 503 576-9940; firstname.lastname@example.org).