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Hi experts I would like to build a cart to move items around my yard. Sort of like a four wheeled wheel barrow Answered

I do not have a tractor but would like  it to be able to carry mulch and things.  Electric powered. i am thinking two drive wheels and two casters. If i can drive wheels independent of each other than i should be able to steer the cart.

My lot is pretty flat. no more than a couple feet rise in 100 feet. No steep slopes.

I thing the total weight of the cart empty will be 1200 lbs with a load of around 800 +-. 

No need to be a speed machine as I will walk behind

Any help would be great

thanks Bill


To move that kind of weight safely on an incline will need some serious torque. That kind of weight can kill you if the load is dumped on you or runs you over!

I would think you would need forklift motors for that kind of torque and a very solid gearbox. Electric wheelchair drive trains will just not cut it. That kind of load is probably excluding a chain drive as well. If you use a chain, add a 'deadmans brake' as well. 200lbs will pick up some speed even on a slight incline and I would not want to try and stop it either.

If it were me, I would go to the local scrap yard and find a live axle for the driven wheels, handbrake cables and brakes. Take the prop as well. Source yourself a refurbed forklift motor, these take 36V+. Have a dig through eBay for a 100A plus motor speed controller. For steering, I would use a solid beam on the front with a central pivot and mount an on/off switch on the handle that is a 'push to make release to break'.

Mount an easily reached lever on the outside of the cart for the handbrake!

Good luck with the project. Please post an 'ible when you have finished!

+1 electric wheel chair all the way.

Ebay carries the motor/gearbox

For the rest build out of plywood.it will be plenty strong enough and easy to repair.

Hi Rick Thanks for the reply. I intend to make it out of tubular steel and plywood

My biggest question is how big do the motors have to be


150 - 250 watts should do it - anything that will move a human in a wheel chair will be fine for you.

Hi Rick

My concern is the weight difference from a wheel chair to a wagon which may weight 2000 +- lbs and the tire Diameter will be a little bigger.

Looking forward to your thoughts


909 Kg is almost a metric tonne Mmm a LOT of weight. More then my car is rated to tow.

I doubt you will hump (I mean carry - an English expression) such a large load.

Your going to need a reasonable amount of power + a large battery pack to get that lot going.

This is one reason you need a very low speed geared motor. + remember you will be using smaller wheels than the wheelchair making things slower still.

I think you may need to a) have a look at commercial offerings and see what they can carry vs motor size
b) build one and see how it goes.

Pneumatic wheelbarrow wheels make a good ATV wheel.

Check out electric wheelchair chassis/motors - they can be had for inexpensive on kijij/ebay etc and are geared for power. Mated with some all-terrain treads and they can handle most areas.


Wide and tall tires.

At that weight you may need to use 2 motors on each drive wheel and double the batteries,  Wheel chairs are rated more like 300 lbs. on hard surfaces.

You might be better off finding an old golf cart somewhere and using that as your starting point.