How this engineer is using her skills and creative design to lighten the load

As someone who constantly moves stuff around my garage, yard and neighborhood (you know, for fun), seeing this invention was like watching the final scene of “The Sixth Sense”.  The solution was RIGHT THERE in front of me all this time, I just couldn’t see it for myself! That’s usually the way of the best inventions, or songs or whatever, the simple ones which any of us could have created, are often the best!

Hand-trucks (aka dollys) are great tools for a very specific job. They are good at moving a moderate load a short distance, on very even terrain. If that load gets too heavy or the distance gets very far or there are ANY bumps are in the path, a hand-truck becomes a bit of a liability. I was moving bags of concrete with one yesterday. It’s neither easy or fun.

Engineering the Hand-truck Bicycle hybrid that we all should have thought of

Laura Kampf is a fantastic fabricator, designer and all-around maker. She obviously had a need here, which as you know is the mother of invention. Laura lives in a city-center and had to walk a good distance to the grocery. Lugging a case of beer that far, on foot, is a pain. That appears to be when inspiration struck.

Laura carved up an old BMX bicycle and a hand-truck to build this ingenious monstrosity. She re-used many of the components, including the wheels, tires and frame. One of the more interesting decisions was to switch to a smaller wheel in a central position. This configuration enabled her to keep the load low, while preserving the steering benefits of a central wheel. The downside to this? Bumps could be an issue. She will need to stick to smooth paved paths, even so, it’s a much easier and more enjoyable journey!

As a fabricator myself, I’d make a couple of small changes. As you may guess, I’d like to experiment with larger wheels. Since I would be moving things over bumpy terrain, I think those 20” wheels from a BMX would be handy. Not sure how that would affect load capacity or distribution, but it’s worth a shot. Also, the only way to load this seems to be with the help of someone. Someone needs to balance the bike while someone else stacks suds on the deck. I’m wondering if a small, forward-mounted kick-stand could be helpful for single-person operation?

Go check out Laura’s YouTube channel here. Her content is great to get kids, or anyone, inspired to become makers themselves.

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Think that's cool? Watch Laura build a sidecar for her bike!

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Adam Beck

Director of Marketing at CADENAS PARTsolutions | A graduate of the Richard Farmer School of Business Marketing at Miami University in Oxford Ohio, Adam has years of experience in marketing and design for a variety of industries. He enjoys many outlets for creativity including working on custom cars and guitars. He’s also a fan of Formula1 racing and the Cincinnati Bengals. Adam currently lives in Ohio with his wife Stephanie, daughter Nora and son Otto.