Electric Wheelbarrow




My name is Evan Pickett.  I graduated as a dual major in both mechanical and manufacturing engineering. I love coming up with new designs and innovative solutions to any problems I encounter - or to projects that are thrown my way. Rather than just making something that will work, I prefer to make something that will work better than ever anticipated. That’s what I’ve come up with on my latest idea: the 100 Hills Wheelbarrow. This design started as a basic assistant for yard work, but with beta testing has shown remarkable versatility. It can help so many people in many different modalities My wife moved 4 yards of dirt and 4 yards of rock up a hill in the mud at the end of an Oregon winter 6 weeks post-op from major surgery. As she said, "There is no way to do that without your wheelbarrow. Everyone needs one of these.” I see this allowing our aging population to continue doing difficult projects in their yard longer. I see a use for contractors, beach goers, race pit crews, and so many other areas. My wheelbarrow will go up hills, through mud, gravel, sand, bark dust, over small obstacles on the ground, all with little effort from the user.

With the prize money I will purchase enough parts to build 50 wheelbarrows as a first edition build. With these 50 units, I will have enough product to get my wheelbarrows UL certified and bring them to market.  I will use the rest of the money to define my business brand with the help of a marketing team. I am also working on a website that the wheelbarrows will eventually be sold from. www.deadnutsdesignco.com

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Jack Daniel's Independence Project Contest

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Jack Daniel's Independence Project Contest

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    76 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Hi, i'm aika??????
    i really want to built electric wheelbarrow for my college project but i have no reference to do it. May i have your tutorial how to make the electric wheelbarrow?


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice work, but you should check out www.haulzall.com , they have been making these for years

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I like the idea of being able to ride on the Instructables version of the electric wheelbarrow.
    Great idea!

    Bill WW

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Congratulations on second place win! I did not even make it to the finalists. I was looking forward to the (remote) chance of winning the IPad. Was kind of hopeful when there were only 30 entrants. But yes, I enjoyed and learned from the experience.

    I spent yesterday wheelbarrowing heavy loads of mud and dirt uphill. Today my 71 year old body really feels yesterday's efforts. I could have used an electric power assist.

    I'm also a mechanical engineer, retired from employment but not from engineering and building.

    Washington State

    2 replies
    bennelsonBill WW

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Glad to see that a fellow "electric vehicle guy" placed in the contest.

    I was really thinking of this as the entry to beat right off the bat!

    Nice design and great job!

    Bill WWbennelson

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Gee, thanks, but I did not win anything. I only "wished" I had a powered weelbarrow! My entry did not even make it to the finalists.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    It is getting to be that time. What time you ask? It is almost time for the good folk at Jack Daniel’s to name the first, second and third place winner of the Independence Project. I am having mixed feelings about how soon I got my project up here. On one hand I was up pretty early and got some good publicity and it has been p for a long time, but on the other hand I am now of the 6th page of projects. The contest has gone from 30 projects to over 110 in the last 3 days. I know there are some great projects out there, but don't forget the fun we had in the beginning.

    One last thing.
    If I win I will give DEEP discounts to instructables members on the purchase of wheelbarrows or kits.

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Of course, if you're like me, you switch the entries to be ordered by views, since they tend to be the better ones. Especially since there are now 296 entries. It's impressive that you held such a commanding "view" lead for so long. My guess is you're a finalist at the very least. I just hope I make it as a finalist (or more) also. Good luck in the contest.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome, man. No doubt the max speed for the wheelbarrow will have to be cut in half to be safe enough for the general public :)

    10 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It has a 1200 watt hub motor and 2.5 watt hour battery. It will go about 4 miles at top speed. Naturally range will be decreased the more time you are in the high power draw.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Err...2.5 watt hour would get you 1/10th of a mile. typo maybe? I just ask because 2.5 kw hour doesn't make sense to me either, as 2.5kwh costs about $2000.

    Curious as to what it is


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Good call, I should have seen it.

    What voltage though? That would make the number of amp hours a meaningful measurement.

    alan brownKinnishian

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Not sure this is appropriate in this forum, but I have a completely different invention (medical field) that requires an engineer that understands motors and motor controllers, and it looks like there are several of you here. Ideally, I would like to create it using a 4 to 5 inch hub motor. If you or any or your colleagues do consulting, I would love to be contacted.
    MindSkid Labs

    And to Evan: Great idea! I want to see it turned into an extreme sport with wheelbarrow races!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    You're welcome.

    I was thinking about the voltage when I posted above and I'll guess those are two 2.5 amp-hour batteries in series. It's a 1,200 watt motor and at 24 volts it'd be pulling half the current it would at 12 volts which makes everything easier. Since there's a speed controller half the current makes it smaller, cheaper and with less in the way of cooling headaches.

    By the way author (sorry, I can't quite bring myself to use your handle), why so much power? A bit of poking around tells me that's a hub motor for an electric scooter capable of keeping up with road traffic. Is torque inadequate with a 500 or 750 watt hub motor?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Hmm, there really aren't too many BLDC controllers that are setup for 12V, except those for rc motors. So 24v makes sense simply because there are a ton of well priced controllers at that price.

    The thing is that the controller fets are seeing phase amps, and for a given motor setup, a 24v controller could actually be more difficult to control. Because it's a BLDC motor the author needs to be careful about how the max speed compared to the typical usage speed.

    Say 12v gets you to 10mph, and you don't want to go faster than that, and you typically go 5mph. If you run 24v on that, your top speed will be 20mph. If you want to go 10mph at 12v and pull 600 watts you will need 50 amps from the battery, and you will feed 10amps through the fets. If you want to go 10mph at 24 with 600 watts power you will need only 25 amps from the battery, but your duty cycle will be 50%, and the phase wires will still see 50 amps. The controller however will have more switching losses at 24v. I haven't given the best or 100% perfect answer here, but the general idea is that it's not necessarily better to run higher voltage.

    Running a 1200 watt motor is a good idea, because the wheelbarrow application is not a very ideal situation for the motor. If the motor is capable of 1200watts, it will be more likely to survive the less than ideal conditions of running it at slow speeds.

    It looks like he's running a "magicpie" it's by goldenmotor. They're decent hubmotors, like 9C continentals, but with a built in controller. I don't know if he's running it with or without the builtin controller. The believe the builtin does not put out 1200 watts, so maybe he's using an external one, which would actually be more reliable. You can run the magic pie at 3000 watts without burning it up, but if the conditions are bad, you can burn it up at 600 watts. Electric motors are different than gas motors in that they have a peak power at which point you have dramatically increased heat losses, but they also have a big range below that peak power in which if you treat them well you can coax a lot of power, but if you don't apply them properly, you can burn up the motor. That's why often a motor is derated, because if you run it at full power up a steep hill you'll burn up a motor that could otherwise deliver that power if you were on flats. But if you run at half power the same motor up the steep hill, it could possibly tolerate that hill before building too much heat.

    I would add to this advice:

    Consider licensing the product.

    Get a "Provisional Patent" which only costs $110 and is fairly easy to get. It will give you one year of IP protection while you shop your idea out to potential manufacturers...

    http://www.amazon.com/One-Simple-Idea-Licensing-Goldmine/dp/0071756159 is an "A to Z" book on how to do it... the author repeats himself and could get to the point much quicker but you will see the value in his approach.

    here is an interview from the author: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btowykZt3OA

    his enthusiasm is infectious...

    This may save you lots and lots of money and allow you to profit off your idea without taking the risk... there are already manufacturers out there that are suited to produce your item that already have distribution channels and already know the system to get a product to market and approved for safety measures...

    then you can move on to other inventions and products! Hope this helps.