Sunday, 22 May 2011

Cart vitale

There is a drought across most of France, and although we don't have a hosepipe ban in the Mayenne yet, one will surely come. I don't yet have an electricity supply to my well, and using watering cans is hard work and time-consuming, so I have been looking for another watering solution that doesn't involve hosepipes.

I started with the idea of a wheeled water tank that I can fill up an then tow behind my lawn mower. Being a farming area, you can find a lot of used water bowsers for sale, but they are too big. Starting at 500 litres and built for rough use on farms, they weigh anything up to a ton when full. Much too big for my little mower.

I ended up with the concept of a number of jerry cans on a cart. I can pull the cart around with my mower, and load it up to capacity with cans. I can get empty plastic containers up the dump, so I am left with the problem of finding a trailer that I can tow. A new or used "proper" aluminium one would be a few hundred euros; overkill and too expensive for what I have in mind.

I was explaining this problem to my friend Christian in the coffee bar the other day, and it turns out that he has an old unused cart that should do the job. Great! Even better, I can have it for free! A bit of refurbishment and off we go.

Here it is! A good set of metal wheels and axle, the rest of it wood, some of it rotten.

Knock the floor out, take a good look at the chassis.

Cut the rotted ends of the chassis,

Replace the strut with a new one,

Make a new floor out of some old oak planks I happen to have lying around,

Some sides so the water containers don't slide off, and off we go!

Oops! Handle broke. Idea sound, execution failure. Must make a new handle....


Tim Trent said...

I've had the same cart for the last 50 years. It's had 6 new handles and 4 new chassis and 2 new sets of wheels in that time. It's as good today as the first day it was made.

Mark said...

When your sick of it, could I have a borrow?

Mark In Mayenne said...

Sure thing, Mark

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