Water barrel bike trailer

Written by Jim Sheehan
Tuesday, 14 February 2017 15:39

OCBC has been designing and building cargo trailers intermittently for some time, as a way to re-use bike parts and provide low-cost carrying capacity for cyclists. In 2012 Barton Hiatt got this project solidly underway (see his work journal at bikecart.org), with prototypes in use and production methods documented.  We have been using the last of his prototypes since then, for things like keg rides and trips to the sledding hill, but have been intending to make a bigger version.

We now have an excuse to start building that, with the hopes that it will be usable by citizen tree stewards to water street trees planted under the Reforest Our City project -- we have promised them a working model to demonstrate on Arbor Day, April 24th 2017, with a 10 ft. hose and 55 gal. drum (enough to water 11 trees semi-weekly, weighing 540 lbs).  If it works for them we may need to scale up to produce several, but even if not we'll find it useful to have around, and reproducible for anyone who wants a robust DIY alternative to re-purposed kid-trailers.

Update, April 2017:
Thanks to great engineering help from a truly solid volunteer, the trailer project is moving to the next phase: training volunteers from the 2100 Lakeside Men's Shelter with Traffic Skills and trailer-specific riding techniques, as they water street trees in a pilot of this major effort to make Cleveland back into the "Forest City".  See the trailer in action in this video.

This version holds 250lbs (about 30 gal.) of water, and will cost $250. We plan a more robust version to hold a full 55 gal. drum, but testing this design with a full barrel, braking hard bent the hitch arm, so the next iteration will either have a welded frame or be 4-wheeled cart with remote brakes -- either way a much bigger job, which we'll undertake as time permits.

Any volunteers are welcome to help in this effort, to practice some back-porch engineering and/or learn some useful metal-working skills -- and earn volunteer credits while helping develop another earned income source for OCBC. 

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 April 2017 20:51 )