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BUILD YOUR OWN FREE UTILITY TRAILER!

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A special Tony's Trailers VIDEO giving more info on Shopping Cart Conversions is now available on YouTube! Click here!

"Great DIY videos! Hopefully folks will be inspired. It doesn't take much to make a real difference in a homeless person's life. Tony, you're a real hero to Victoria's street community, providing them with a practical and dignified way to clean up the streets by collecting bottles and cans - a service that should be rewarded more significantly. Thank you for your kindness, innovation, and generosity! " - Janine Bandcroft. founder Victoria Street Newz.

"Our friend and bike trailer aficionado put together this great 9 part series of video posts about converting a shopping cart into a bike trailer. Tony offers a wide selection of bike cargo trailers at his site Tony's Trailers. Officially, Tony is one of our competitors as a trailer manufacturer and distributor. But when it comes to the bike trailer market, we're really all in it together. Tony has come up with some really unique designs for trailers and more than anything loves to share his passion for cycling and bike trailering" - from Josh Lipton for BikeShopHub.com.

"Great videos!! You are a great teacher, Tony. Thanks! " - YouTube comment from eyewashington.

"Wow that is an awesome invention." - YouTube comment from oxfords1.

We can help!

A SELECTION OF PARTS IS AVAILABLE TO HELP YOU IN YOUR ENDEAVOURS:

  • Standard U-Hitch
  • $65 (US $51)
  • Swivel Hitch
  • $94 (US $67)
  • Holistic Hitch
  • $50 (US $40)
  • Bolt-on kit for a shopping cart conversions
  • $260 (US $205)
  • Weld-on kit for a shopping cart conversions
  • $210 (US $166)

    Wheels:
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    SizeRimHubSpokesAxle DiamTireCost Each
    12.5”Pl Pl Pl˝"2.25”$25 (US $20)
    12.5”StlStlStl˝”2.25”$35 (US $28)
    16”PlPlPl˝”1.75”$45 (US $36)
    16"StlStlStl˝”1.75”$45 (US $36)
    20”PlPl/AlPl˝”1.75”$50 (US $40) (Middle wheel in the above picture)
    20”AlAlSS˝”1.75”$50 (US $40) (Either of the outside wheels in the above picture)
    20”PlPl/AlPl5/8”Sleeved1.75”$100 (US $79)

    I modify the wheels in the picture to improve their load capability by installing 3 rows of precision sealed bearings in each hub.

    To order these parts, see our Order page, or contact us.

    Tony's DIY Trailers are in the news!

    On this page:

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    They are getting more colorful-spotted near Nelson, BC.
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    "Blue Beauty" donated as a prize in Duncan's 2012 Bike to Work Week. Shown in "push mode".

    Building your own free utility trailer:

    Yes it's true you can and I will show you some pictures that will get you started looking for the free material to build your own cargo trailer. All the materials can be had for free; this includes a derelict shopping cart and old bicycles and parts. Of course you supply the labor and tools and equipment to do the work.

    I must stress that you observe all safety precautions and make sure the welding is performed by a competent welder.

    This initiative came out of a program to enable recycling of materials by those most disadvantaged in our society and in effect it produces a 100% recycled trailer or pushcart which when used for recycling is purely and simply the most effective and ecologically sound way to help save the Planet.

    I have produced about 90 of these so far, looking at different ways of using whatever is available-there are many ways to go and your own initiative is given free scope-within some design considerations. We are looking to get schools and groups with access to metal working tools to participate-making these either for their own use or to donate to recycling programs.

    Our ultimate aim here is to create a community bike shop to facilitate storage and repairs to keep the fleet on the roads with maintenance programs for the carts and the pulling bikes.

    All the ones made so far have gone to the Homeless population here on this Island so the pix also show the nitty-gritty of life on the streets, which however is eased a little by using a trailer or pushcart for their possessions and to increase revenue from hauling more bottles and cans and other refundables.

    "Just discovered your web site and had to email you with a huge congratulations. Wow, I love it. I'm in the process of building my own bike trailer to carry salvaged lumber which I'll use to build custom furniture. It's been a journey of discoveries, trial and all too often temporary set backs. :-) Not having any metal working skills or tools to speak of, the hitch has been my biggest challenge. The pics on your site have lent new inspiration to the 'Grand Final Solution'. " - John Bamberger.

    Let's start with the largest item we need-the shopping cart. Most grocery chains are happy to get them recycled for free once they are rusty or the casters are wobbly or bent or the baskets bent so they won't stack together anymore-lots of reasons. Just make sure to ask for them and don't assume they are yours until the store agrees to give them to you. They may want assurance that you will take their name off them, although some are happy to be associated with a social entrerprise of this type. Getting the old bikes is easier and almost any kind and size works-some better than others.

    I'll show a few pix here to get you started and add more as I continue making a few more conversions.

    There should be enough detail in the pix to help you-I hope so –Given the time constraints of running a one-man business I can't promise to answer any questions. I will though try to get more pix posted and some text.

    "Thanks for the info! All you're designs are really inspiring." Garrett (www.hammertimetoolcoop.blogspot.com).

    What is a possibility is that a social advocacy group will be looking for funding to generate a video and/or a manual to be made available to any person or group that wants to get involved and help make a difference to our poor suffering Planet! Seems they all shy away when the word homeless is mentioned. So I decided to use some of my vast profits and get Andrew Ainsley, a famed advocate and Videographer, to do the job.

    Read Jason Youman's Monday Magazine article Hey, What's in the Cart?

    "Tonys Trailers Utility Trailer is a page with lots of photographs showing you how you can build a utility bicycle trailer out of a redundant shopping trolley. This shopping trolley bike trailer is built from all re-cycled parts and looks to be a good all round weight carrier." - from Solson.

    "My boyfriend John came up with an idea yesterday. We were just finishing up lunch when he said: Darling beloved girlfriend of mine, have you featured old shopping trolleys on your terrifically awesome site Recycle This? Because there are currently three we'll have to get rid of – the one half-buried in grass in the woodland next to our house and the two further down the stream in the woods proper (where all the rubbish collects )" Megan says: "make these sweet bike trailers!!" - from www.RecycleThis.co.uk.

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    Our New Upscale Model:
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    The Upscale model in trailer mode. The front caster will be retracted before riding off into the Sunset.
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    Upscale model, Close-up.
    Click to Enlarge. Upscale model in push mode, only one person is needed but Amanda of CGC in Duncan is getting a taste for when they get one as a public loaner.

     

     

    THIS IS EVEN EASIER-FABRICATE A SET OF BRACKETS, OR BUY THE KIT FROM ME

    Another method for shopping cart conversions is where the axle and towbar are fabricated for bolting onto the cart. This saves welding on the carts which typically need to have the paint or chrome removed first-an unpleasant task which require masks and good ventilation following standard safety practices. The other advantage of this is I can supply these brackets for bolt-on and you could supply your own wheels-I can tell you where to buy them.

    However if you want to go the welding route we can supply the parts for you to weld on, you can still supply your own wheels.

    We can now cater to the general public who want a super trailer for low cost.

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    Click to Enlarge. NOW AVAILABLE. If you can get a shopping cart donated, make sure that it is all metal and looks almost identical to the one in the pictures. Then you take a hacksaw and cut off all the parts you don't see,( it's quite remarkable how easily this can be done-Some only require two cuts!). Then order a kit to make your very own trailer. I can tell you where to buy the Cart-type wheels (eg. Northern Tool sells them for about $25 each) if you can't salvage any from derelect kiddie trailers. The kit will include eveything else you need, including the 1/2 " threaded axles and nuts for the wheels. It will look a bit different from the pix as I am working at getting it into a smaller package to keep prices and shipping costs down. You'll end up with a super-strong, durable, long lasting trailer equivelant to one costing upwards of $600! If you give me your town and zip I can get a quote for shipping. PS.-IT COMES UNPAINTED.

    Click to Enlarge. Build your own Holistic Hitch. Click to Enlarge.

    The first pic shows the parts. On the left is the towbar tube, in this case a 1-1/4" OD, ERW steel tube with a wall thickness of 0.049". Next is a 3/4" NC Coupling nut, then a 3/4" X 1" NC bolt, Then a large washer with an ID of about 1-1/4"and 3/16" thick. (You may need two washers to get that thickness) The other pic shows the coupling nut inserted into the end of the towbar-It's a close fit- and gets welded. The washer gets welded to the head of the bolt-a slot helps the fit-also it can be angled to suit the angle of the seat-post This supercedes the Holistic hitch shown in the website and is much easier to make. Click on the images to enlarge them.

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    Two ways of doing things- how could one be so absolutely wrong and yet be the one of choice by the authorities???

    The B-Train

    That's B for Binner of course

    Continuing our campaign to get all recycling everywhere done by Human Power, we realize the need for more capacity, and while the larger shopping carts haven't become available to our program- yet, we can still make better use of the regular sizes. We have proved in the past that trains work-haven't tried more than three trailers-yet, but two is a good start and once again all the parts are available for free. WHAT A DEAL! Here are some pix of the prototype which will be in action in Victoria next week.
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    Why we need a B-Train.
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    B-Train in Action.
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    Faithful test crew ready to roll.
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    Simplicity itself the Pup hitch.
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    Introducing Bodner's Balls. Works great with
    all our hitches.
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    Tight turns no problem.


    Watch the YouTube video - the Binner will find a way!

    More Ideas From France


    From
    Les Remorque A Velo.

    Making a Living With Shopping Carts


    Watch the YouTube video Carts of Darkness.

    "The Flying Futon"

    There's a wealth of opportunities for recycling and reuse out there in our great wasteland of planned obsolescence. Besides the shopping cart conversions, many other structures can fuel our appetite for building carts and trailers to be used for recycling or fossil-fuel-free hauling. The Futon falls beautifully into place, no need even for the cutting torch-it easily unbolted-not sure what sort of vibrations could have loosened the bolts so quickly as it was in like-new condition.( cost me all of $25 at the Thrift Store) Once unbolted it was just a matter of rearranging the pieces, adding wheels, axles and a towbar with the Holistic Hitch. Plus some scrap plywood. Result a floor, 7 feet by 2 feet, with flared sides giving it a truly capacious capacity-and room to sleep-with the obvious title of "The Flying Futon".
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    Futon- Before Pic.
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    Flying Futon. After recycling.

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    Damien a long-time client of Tony's Trailers
    tries out his new Flying Futon

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    Flying Futon Covered Wagon. Malcolm uses his Flying Futon to run his landscaping business as well as live in. See more on Tumblr.

    Downhill Demon

    In the process of modifying and in general cutting up shopping carts to make trailers and/or handcarts for Binners, it gradually dawned on me that rather then scrap the parts left over, I could build something for fun and well maybe something to arouse public awareness of the potential for reusing as well as recycling. The Downhill Demon is the result and the pix are self explanatory. The intrepid test pilot is my neighbour Jared, who is always willing to push the envelope and accept physical challenges- like BMXing on the local skateboard park. Click here for action shots and construction details of this the first DD and the standard design for racing and competition. One of the inputs into my subconscious was I am sure the film “VEER” and the video “Carts of Darkness” both showing downhill racing on bikes and shopping carts. The resulting racer is shown and while it's not 100% parts from shopping carts the next one will be.

    I had to build the prototype first to get the steering worked out, and may add brakes later. (Don't want to sissify this so we'll ask the drivers).

    I am hoping we can arrange some International races with the Cart Racers from Vancouver and the Zoobombers from Portland.

    Need help with that of course.

    The ultimate aim is to have High School metal shops, and others such as community bike shops build the shopping cart conversions and having the students lend their ingenuity by adding the Speed demon to their repertoire will make it more interesting.

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    Could this be the Cadillac of shopping cart conversions?

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    Latest DD-The Silver Ghost.
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    Brake detail, Silver ghost, in case you want to stop!
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    NDP MP Denise Savoie takes a spin!

     

     

    THE ROCKET SHIP PROJECT IS COMPLETED AND FARIS TAKES OFF!

    The latest DD is heading to Vancouver to be fitted with a custom designed seat and Rocket Ship body for Faris, a small boy who is already excited about the project. Here are some close ups of the construction details if you want to make your own:
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    Next stage of the rocket ship-heading off to Vancouver to the body building shop, a six hour trip for Greg: Not exactly the Warp speed we are aiming for but I am sure the body will make a big difference.
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    FARIS IS OVER THE MOON.

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    "Well folks our friend Faris and his family hosted a special rocket launch party yesterday at their house in Burnaby. Attached is a photo taken in June of Faris being fitted up with a child car seat installed in the Downhill Demon, the chopped shopping cart that Tony Hoar custom built for him. The other photo is Faris in the finished rocketship, taken yesterday. The body frame was made with bike rims of various diameters, steel wire and some nuts and bolts. That part was an Andy Hunter and Greg Robinson operation with generous support from Ed Luciano and Mighty Riders, who provided space and materials. The body is sheet plastic that was cut and installed by Greg, using another 60+ nuts bolts and washers, which was done at the Vancouver Civic Theatres' housing and properties shop, with help from Dave Goodfellow. An enormous Thank You to all who helped with this project! What is so cool is that Faris has never steered before. Now he can go for long trips with Mom or Dad, who get great exercise pushing the rocket, and Faris can set the course and go to whichever planets he chooses. It took about 24 hours after the party had ended for the ecstatic phonecall to come from Faris and his Mommy. Guess what? Travel by Rocket is a huge hit! They were breathless after a day of high adventure! Love from Greg and Kellie."



    See below for Jared and the original Downhill Demon.


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    Cart Conversion Gallery

    Call for "Rolling Art"

    If you have a pic of a good use for a shopping cart please send it in with suitable text and we will feature it on our web page-it has to be a shopping cart somehow in the structure.

     

     

    Another use for old shopping carts:

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    Ptolemy Elrington's amazing art made from old supermarket trolleys pulled out from the river.

     

     

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    Shopping cart conversions in the big TO.

     

     

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    Korean designer Jaebeom Jeong's Shopping Cart Bicycles "The Cartrider".

     

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    Jonah from New Zealand sent these pix with this caution:
    "Hi Tony, my name is Jonah, I'm from New Zealand. I just saw your bike trailer video on youtube, and decided to share a pic of one of the trailers I've been running for years now. Apart from the titanium pins in my ankle, I've had entirely positive experiences with this particular machine, although I now endeavour to make them with self-engaging trailer brakes. Regards, Jonah Marinovich
    PS, As you probably are aware, carting a cast iron bathtub with a bike cart is an activity to be undertaken with care!"

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    This is possibly a staged joke. If not, and this is the first time it was used, I hope the wires were thoroughly cleaned of chrome, paint, or whatever the coating was. I can't see if there is a fire in the pit, but it could be a real toxic treat. Not recommended but the cart could stilll be converted to a trailer.
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    This pic has been around for a while, but only this one shot. I wouldn't recommend this until I'd seen it take a corner, especially with a loaded basket. But who knows -and I'm not about to build one to test it out. A serious consideration is the the reduction in braking power with there no longer being a front brake.

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    These three pix are from the blog Gizmodo.com. Be interesting to know how it's kept from tipping, maybe the guy wires or supports are not in place in the pic. Interesting to see some similarities to the New York carts from 21 years ago, the N.Y. ones had the wheels slide out as you extended the cart thus keeping it from tipping.
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    This article was published in 1988, so after 21 years are we any further ahead with Homelessness?

    For more interesting and creative trailers, please see our new section, Way-Out Stuff!

    Hi Tony, Love the trailers, I've just finished one that involves a lot of cut up shopping trolleys as well, a great resource eh? Big love from the other side of a pond, Andy (www.trailersfromtrash.wordpress.com).

    ......More cart conversions with a Gallic flare on this site. It shows how to use the rear-triangle from scrap bicycles, which allows you to use back wheels on your trailer. Good Idea! because pretty soon we will run out of front wheels. However theoretically back wheels are less able to handle the side-loads generated by a two-wheeled trailer in the turns, although In practice this may not be noticeable. But it doesn't hurt to go a little slower round the corners anyway with whatever wheels you are using.

    Edar.org is an interesting project, looks well funded and is expanding. All based on an adoption of the, by now, Iconic shopping cart


    Viggo Mortensen in The Road, with shopping cart.

    Tony's Trailers Logo
    http://www.tonystrailers.com

    766 Handy Road, Mill Bay
    British Columbia, Canada, V0R 2P1
    Phone: (250) 743-9915   E-mail Tony.

    All material within this site is © 2000-2014 by Tony Hoar. All rights reserved.

    Prices and specifications subject to change without notice.