How to pull a wheelbarrow behind a riding mower. Riding mowers are perfect for large lawns and commercial uses because they cover greater ground than walk-behind mowers in a shorter period.
For some, investing in a riding mower is a no-brainer as it can be useful for many other purposes with a little ingenuity. One of the little-known applications of these mowers is using them as a cheap dumping lawn cart by pulling a wheelbarrow behind it.
With this setup, you can quickly dump loads of grass clippings and other trash, effectively taking the hard work out of yard clean-up tasks.
Now, if you’re enthusiastic about turning a wheelbarrow into a handy trailer, here is how to pull a wheelbarrow behind a riding mower and haul a lot of trash with it.
How to pull a wheelbarrow behind a riding mower
A tow-behind cart for your ride-on mower is virtually necessary if you own a large yard. Employ these tricks to turn your wheelbarrow into a trailer you pull behind your lawnmower.
Option 1: Use a Wheelbarrow towing hitch to convert wheelbarrow to cart
You can attach your wheelbarrow to countless towing vehicles, including riding mowers, garden tractors, ATVs/UTVs, and more with a hitch. The main issue it overcomes is the need for your riding mower to give lateral or horizontal stability to the wheelbarrow.
The hitch achieves this through the design…
To begin with, the gadget comprises a disc mounted horizontally to the rear of the mower, with a diameter to match the distance between the 2 handles of your wheelbarrow.
The disc is usually designed to rotate freely about its axis – typically in a horizontal plane. At the same time, you fasten the handles of your wheelbarrow to its perimeter using universal couplings.
As a result, the wheelbarrow can swing horizontally and vertically in line with the mower, in almost the same way a two-wheel trailer moves in relation to the towing car.
You can choose to make a DIY wheelbarrow towing hitch compatible with your ride-on mower unit or shop for an aftermarket model.
Overall, using a strong towing hitch is perhaps the easiest method to hook up a wheelbarrow to your riding lawnmower when you want to use it to clean out debris.
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NOTE: Check out this video that demonstrates that. Here is another one.
Option 2: Use a Tow-bar for wheelbarrows
A tow bar is probably the greatest alternative to the towing hitch and works superbly.
Mostly, a tow bar assembly to transform a standard two-wheeled wheelbarrow into a versatile lawn care trailer consists of a bar of heavy-duty metal box tubing with horizontal holes (at the wheelbarrow’s end) and vertical holes (at the mower end).
The wheelbarrow end slides onto the axle-of your wheelbarrow-in such a way that the bar is kept between the toe plate and the tub of your wheelbarrow.
Grommets are placed on the axle (on each side of the tow bar) to center the entire bar assembly on the axle properly.
A threaded post, inserted into the previously-made holes (in the mower end of the tow bar) and locked securely into place with nuts make up the final part of the setup.
Turning to its usage, both handles of your wheelbarrow are raised before the post is inserted right into the aperture- of your mower’s draw bar- from the bottom of the aperture.
The wheelbarrow cannot detach during transport as the weight is cantilevered to prevent it from disengaging from the mower. The other notable thing is that the legs of your wheelbarrow will be raised off the ground with this invention.
If needed, you can modify this design if you intend to haul heavy loads- simply attach a piece of iron (should be flat) to the upper side of the wheelbarrow rails close to the dumping end.
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With that, the tow bar rests on the newly-added flat iron rather than your wheelbarrow’s toe bracket, giving your ‘barrow-cart’ more strength.
Since no vendors are selling readymade wheel tow bars for riding mowers – at least at the time of writing this- your best bet is adapting the plan we have explained above to build yours.
You will be surprised how simple this concept can be to implement, even if you’re not mechanically inclined.
Provide a dolly (or a similar set of wheels)
Another method of making your wheelbarrow serve as a pull-behind trailer to be towed by a riding lawn mower is to come up with a dolly or other small pair of wheels on which your wheelbarrow rides once you connect the dolly to the riding lawnmower.
However, this technique has a couple of drawbacks.
For example, several distinct parts and a complex interchange of the device’s supporting arms is needed to make a garden trailer out of your wheelbarrow successfully.
Besides, wheelbarrow restraining safety chains and wheel straps are a must-have for you to secure the towed wheelbarrow to the riding mower. You may contact your nearest webbing or rigging vendors and arrange with them to make customized wheel straps and safety chains to suit.
In short, it takes quite a bit of detailed engineering to create a safe and strong enough dolly for the purpose. Look for inspiration from YouTube if you want to take this path.
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In summary, here is how to pull a wheelbarrow behind a riding mower: Add a tow bar assembly and connect it to the wheelbarrow or simply use a sturdy wheelbarrow towing hitch.
You can also go the more difficult way and fabricate a dolly for the wheelbarrow to ride or a set of wheels that can function similarly. Of course, regardless of your method, you can easily unhook the wheelbarrow from the mower and use it normally when needed.
References and Citations:
Instructables Living: Lawnmower Utility Trailer- https://www.instructables.com/Lawnmower-Utility-Trailer/