Outfitting a bicycle as primary farm vehicle

Discussion in 'General chat' started by andrew_k, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. andrew_k

    andrew_k Junior Member

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    We're in the process of moving from our 1/2 acre gardens to 6 acres of paddocks and fruit trees (hopefully... if they accept our offer...). Yes, I have big plans. that's for another thread, later :p

    As the land is relatively flat, I will be using my bicycle as the primary "farm vehicle" whenever possible. Have people seen bikes outfitted for farm use before? What kind of features are most beneficial?

    My initial plan is a simple and versatile trailer, based on the 90kg version of this - https://www.carryfreedom.com/Y-Frame.html. My thoughts are that I could have different "tops" to put on the flat base for different tasks --
    - a largish box with sides and tool storage for pruning/general property work
    - another flat base on top of layer of innerspring mattress to provide cushioning for carrying easily bruised fruit

    As I'll be doing the rounds every morning before sunrise (except summer), some high-power LED floodlights will be essential. No dramas there, I've designed and built high output LED lights before so I'll rig something removable...

    ...and for the conflicting bit
    This bike will also get me to the train station on days I have to work in the city, and will be left at the station all day. So I wan't to keep it light (ie: keep farming-specific items removable) or weld on permanent fixtures.

    Any and all advice is warmly welcomed. My internet searches for info returns predominantly ATV info, regardless of using the term "bicycle".
     
  2. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    I would choose a well designed sidecar over a trailer any day , you can just pull up and hop off without it falling over , it wont jacknife and cause massive personal injury , you can stack vertically no problem , but then ive allways liked them .
    Rob
     
  3. Unmutual

    Unmutual Junior Member

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    Try a search for cargo bicycles. I'm not sure I saw one outfitted for farming per se. However, it's the personal touches that make things enjoyable to use.
     
  4. Speedy

    Speedy Junior Member

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    Terra has made a good point .
    a side car or a trike might be better for a farm situation.
    like comparing a motorbike to a quadbike.

    I've always thought a tadpole type trike would be really handy.
    ie. two wheels at front to take the load and steer
    and a single rear drive wheel.
    you could keep an eye on or even hold and steady your load if it was big and bulky.

    I'd imagine it shouldn't be too difficult to make the front carriage/wheels/frame
    and attach it to the headtube of an existing ladies bike (low topbar)
    maybe with some minor modifications but without having to interfere with the drive chain/gears etc.

    a cargo trike or freight trike.
     
  5. andrew_k

    andrew_k Junior Member

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    Hmm.. very interesting, the sidecar and trike suggestions certainly make for a more stable farm vehicle. I can especially imagine a tadpole trike being stable and easier to manoeuvre through tight corners on rows due to not having the long tail to be conscious of. There are only two primary designs amongst this set of photos from a cargo bike race - https://www.flickr.com/photos/16nine/sets/72157617073724471/ - one being the tadpole and the other looks to trade stability for higher cornering speed.

    It's hard to edge away from the "many functions for each element" aspect of a combined commuter and cargo bike.

    Time to get more practice with the stick welder I think!
     
  6. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
  7. andrew_k

    andrew_k Junior Member

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    Original design, but $$$$$. I wouldn't want to have a heavy load so high off the ground either.

    The video of the shopping cart welded to the front of a bike is closer to my budget.
     
  8. aroideana

    aroideana Junior Member

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    tadpole type trikes are common in Central America , was fascinated by them when I saw lots in Guatemala . I have an electric powered cargo trike , though it is not the best over rough ground .
     
  9. andrew_k

    andrew_k Junior Member

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    Do you know off-hand the diameter of your wheels? I can't help but think if I can make the front out of two sacrificial mountainbikes with suspension I'd get a much smoother ride.

    A PV-charged electric engine would be excellent, though the extra weight would be a serious pain for an already heavy vehicle.
     
  10. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    If you want to try a sidecar start with around 900mm width (centre tyre to centre tyre) put the third wheel axle 800mm or there abouts forward of the rear wheel axle . "Toe" the third wheel in a little , ie build it so the third wheel is turning a little not paralell to other wheels , this stops the sideways drag and helps turning , dont be put off by the FEAR factor once you get used to them they are great fun .
     

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