Saturday, October 16, 2010

A tool you should own

You see? Not big enough...

Some purchases are not that easy. Wheelbarrows for example. A wheelbarrow is a handy tool well designed to distribute weight of the load between the wheel and the operator so it enables you to carry more weight than you could do alone. The capacity is variable of course, but somewhere around 170 liters is an average. And with that capacity you should be able to carry with you projectile hardware or large bundles of papers much easier.

But how do you know which one to choose? Should I go for that small hand propelled machine especially designed to be pushed and guided by single person? Or do I want something more rugged and hardy that can manage all kinds of weather?

When shopping for a wheelbarrow its necessary to first determine your intended purpose. Gardeners for example generally prefer the smaller garden variety because those offers plenty of room for gardening tools, potting soil, and plants but is still very maneuverable. Construction workers however need something tougher to cope with the harder environment they work in. My thinking however is that I (or at least you Americans reading this) need something in-between. I would like to have something big enough so I don’t need to go several times back and from the soup-kitchen getting a meal, but it should also be easy to handle and small enough to fit in my shelter.

Furthermore should I buy with one wheel or two? I mean the two-wheel type is a bit more stable so you don’t knock over that big pile of bundles and, if used for sleeping, it will be more stable. The more universal one-wheel type however is easier to maneuver and if you want to unload, for instance in a bank or in a shop, the one-wheel type is easier to handle and trouble-free turning around those empty shelves.

And then you have the material it is made of. Should I go for the plastic type or something in steel? Both commodities might be scarce in the future and you do not want the wheelbarrow to be tempting to other squatters. Maybe I can find one in wood? But wait, wood could be used to feed fires, so wood might not be such a good idea. I did find one wheel-barrow nicknamed ‘The Big Bertha’ and that has a nice bombastic Germanic sound to it and it was apparently equipped with flat-free tires and that would minimize any problem with trying to find a new wheel if I happen to roll over some barbwire. But the Chinese seem to have a lot of nice ones being sold so this is a hard decision.

I do suggest however that many of you out there start pondering on this issue, especially if you’re living in Bernanke country.

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