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Designing a bespoke festival trolley for Glastonbury


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17 minutes ago, Andrew_Ntu said:

Wow that looks very complex, @paulshane suggested similiar with 20 inch BMX tires, do you think those would suffice? 
Although i've got to keep compactability in mind, I might actually have to go for better suspension if it'll allow me to get smaller tires on.

I'm still quite unsure about how many wheels to go for. I'm worried about balancing issues with two wheels but I know what you mean about four wheels on uneven ground.

What are your thoughts on three wheels also? I've seen this fishing barrow which has some great reviews.

To be honest, all the options you've been given in this thread would work and they'd be what I'd go for rather than building something complicated like in my video - i.e. if it's cheap and easy and people have tried and tested it at a festival, then that's all I'd need to hear.  So the prams, bmx-wheels etc. would all be good solutions.

My answer was more aimed at whatever you're trying to achieve with your Uni project.  Presumably you've got to demonstrate some kind of design process, so you will probably get more brownie points if you can explain how you went about choosing the options.  That wheel-building video shows a >100 year old approach which is still the current state of the art when it comes to making strong light wheels - because it purely relies on tiny light steel spokes arranged in a particular way to purely engage their huge tensile strength and avoid compression or bending, where they have very little strength.

As far as wheel numbers is concerned, I'd go for 2, purely because that's what rickshaws and horse-buggies have, and solutions which have evolved over hundreds of years are usually as near-as-damnit optimal.  Your two feet are the ultimate tool when it comes to crossing rough ground, and a rickshaw optimises their use whilst supporting the load.  The problem with a rickshaw is that it's not free-standing, but that's solved by having long harness arms which mean you can pick it up with little effort.  You could also build in a frame that comes round the rear of the trolley that allows your mates to help by pushing.  All this talk of rickshaws and buggies makes it sound like a monster, but you'd be scaling it down to whatever size you need for a festival load of beer/tents.

I wouldn't go for suspension, unless you're on the sort of course where you get more brownie points for complicated technical bells and whistles.  It's too much weight and complexity for too little advantage.  I'd save all my cunning for ways of having it demountable to turn it into a tent frame or a bench or something else that would be useful whilst you're at the festival.

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I thought about trying to design an all-weather festival trolley some time ago. The worst problem to overcome is always the mud. There are many varieties of mud to deal with that frequent Glastonbur

Hello Andrew, Hopefully you'll get more of a response here. However it is late on a Sunday, so be patient. My own views are that I like the collapsible element. Personally I would go for pne

Massive big wheels

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42 minutes ago, Andrew_Ntu said:

What are your thoughts on three wheels also? I've seen this fishing barrow which has some great reviews.
TF Gear Juggernaut, All terrain carp fishing barrow.
For manoeuvring, the user puts their weight on the handles and it lifts the trolley up, pivoting on the two back wheels. TF-Gear-Juggernaut-All-Terrain-Carp-Fishing-Tackle.jpg.81f52aa05546e20bfa229ca1c3d3c65e.jpg

 

I think when it's got heavy stuff on it this would be hard to push down. I like the fact that it's got two handles though because as I said it's hard to pull with one handle. Much easier if both handles are lifted than pushed down though.

On the standard garden trolley (henceforth to be known as the SGT) the handle is for both pulling and steering. If you could design something with 4 fat wheels, two handles for pulling/pushing and the ability to steer at the same time you'd be on to a winner I reckon. I can't stress enough how good the SGT has been over the years though and I've seen lots of other custom designs discarded by the pathways during that time so if it were me I'd not stray too far from the classic design (trying really hard not to use the phrase "reinventing the wheel" here). 

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14 hours ago, Andrew_Ntu said:

Looking for any advice/suggestions/input for my product design 4th year university project! 

I'm designing a festival trolley to transport your gear from the car to the tent, i'm going to start manufacturing a prototype next month.

I'm sure you guys are familiar with the current offerings and see them scattered around the walkways on your way to your camp. The four wheel ones are basically garden trolleys marketed as festival trolleys, they aren't designed for heavy loads and stacking high. More suited for short distances. And the two wheeled sack carts that are designed for a warehouse environments.

For transporting it there, it will either be collapsible to fit into the boot of a car or sit ontop of the car like a roof rack, ideally without requiring roof bars to be fitted.
I'm also thinking of having it serve as a chair as a secondary function....although i'm concentrating on making it a festival trolley that works at the moment.
I've also considered it functioning as a cooler box too...although i'm unsure on how many people would want this feature? Thoughts?

I've attached a quick sketch of my current design which highlights the desired features can be seen below, and i've written out my justifications of each feature.
Let me know any further features that might be desirable too. 

Four wheels: For greater stability, although i have considered three wheels too.
Pneumatic or semi-pneumatic rubber tires: Unsure which to go for yet, although semi-pneumatic has better puncture resistance. 
Two handles: One at the front, one at the back, allowing for both push and pull. Pushing will be the primary method as it is more ergonomic. The handle at the front is for a second user to assist pulling uphill and over rough terrain.
Ratchet straps: Bungee cords are popular but I imagine incorporating some fixed ratchet straps which have a larger surface area should be better at securing the load. Hopefully this will put people off from using seran wrap and duct tape, which has environmental implications.
Breaks: Users i've spoken too have expressed struggles when going downhill. Adding breaks should help better the control. (these will also have a lock mechanism to prevent theft)
Mud guards - Unsure about these as people have reported wood chippings clogging up between the guards and wheels which jam it.

I've been looking at fishing trollies for inspiration, and buggies for collapsible systems. Any suggestions of where else to look?

Additionally, rhe shape of the trolley and collapsible system is not yet finalised. I'm still unsure if it'll be a bare metal frame or canvas.

My tutors suggested having a base in which modular attachments can be purchased for the trolley. E.g. if you're travelling as a large group a more heavy duty frame can be attached to the base, whereas a smaller group could opt for a smaller version. Although i disagree with this, as i imagine users would want to put as much on their trolley as possible to save their back, no matter how small or large your group is. What are your guys thoughts on this?

20200307_133906.jpg

Perhaps a can holder for strongbow dark fruit/ water etc so when you need to take a break on route to intended camping spot you can easily have a refreshing beverage.

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Your basic design looks fab. We have a garden trolley that's survived several Glastonburys and Drownloads - severe mud.

Our design points:

- Our current trolley folds inside out so wheels up and all dry in the car - brilliant. We re-pack the trolley, so it's empty in the car (also wouldn't be able to lift it and it wouldn't fit in the car).
- Tarp to go over the top that serves as a car protector too.
- Consider wire sides not canvass - let the water through if in rain, also have them double collapse so it folds smaller when in car.
- As said before, no mud guards, just clearance and decent pneumatic tyres. A spare would be fab. Clearance is key.
- Ability to disable it - we take the wheels off (or, at Glastonbury we put it in the lockup).
- Break is a fab idea but not essential - would rather it mud proof and simple that complicated with a break.
- Push and more importantly pull - have a harness so I can strap my mate to a yoke and whip him up the hill of death. Make it impossible for him to look behind so he can't see that I'm not pushing. Fit a seat on the back so I can ride up that hill.
- Straps way better than bungees - but keep lots of bungee hook points so that last thing can be strapped on 

Ours is like this:

Heavy Duty Metal Gardening Trolley - Green Trailer Cart
We cover it in grease over winter to stop any rust, we carry spare pins and a puncture kit/pump. It's fabulous.

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3 minutes ago, hfuhruhurr said:

Your basic design looks fab. We have a garden trolley that's survived several Glastonburys and Drownloads - severe mud.

Our design points:

- Our current trolley folds inside out so wheels up and all dry in the car - brilliant. We re-pack the trolley, so it's empty in the car (also wouldn't be able to lift it and it wouldn't fit in the car).
- Tarp to go over the top that serves as a car protector too.
- Consider wire sides not canvass - let the water through if in rain, also have them double collapse so it folds smaller when in car.
- As said before, no mud guards, just clearance and decent pneumatic tyres. A spare would be fab. Clearance is key.
- Ability to disable it - we take the wheels off (or, at Glastonbury we put it in the lockup).
- Break is a fab idea but not essential - would rather it mud proof and simple that complicated with a break.
- Push and more importantly pull - have a harness so I can strap my mate to a yoke and whip him up the hill of death. Make it impossible for him to look behind so he can't see that I'm not pushing. Fit a seat on the back so I can ride up that hill.
- Straps way better than bungees - but keep lots of bungee hook points so that last thing can be strapped on 

Ours is like this:

Heavy Duty Metal Gardening Trolley - Green Trailer Cart
We cover it in grease over winter to stop any rust, we carry spare pins and a puncture kit/pump. It's fabulous.

I've also had this trolley (or one similar) for many years and it's never let me down (well, just the once).  Just one change I would make (and have made) is to replace the standard pneumatic wheels with solid wheels - they've the same form factor as the standard wheels above, but being solid, aren't prone to punctures.  And you don't want a puncture when you're half a mile from your campsite with a full load.

These are the wheels I'm talking about...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01MXW9457/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

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9 minutes ago, hfuhruhurr said:

Your basic design looks fab. We have a garden trolley that's survived several Glastonburys and Drownloads - severe mud.

Our design points:

- Our current trolley folds inside out so wheels up and all dry in the car - brilliant. We re-pack the trolley, so it's empty in the car (also wouldn't be able to lift it and it wouldn't fit in the car).
- Tarp to go over the top that serves as a car protector too.
- Consider wire sides not canvass - let the water through if in rain, also have them double collapse so it folds smaller when in car.
- As said before, no mud guards, just clearance and decent pneumatic tyres. A spare would be fab. Clearance is key.
- Ability to disable it - we take the wheels off (or, at Glastonbury we put it in the lockup).
- Break is a fab idea but not essential - would rather it mud proof and simple that complicated with a break.
- Push and more importantly pull - have a harness so I can strap my mate to a yoke and whip him up the hill of death. Make it impossible for him to look behind so he can't see that I'm not pushing. Fit a seat on the back so I can ride up that hill.
- Straps way better than bungees - but keep lots of bungee hook points so that last thing can be strapped on 

Ours is like this:

Heavy Duty Metal Gardening Trolley - Green Trailer Cart
We cover it in grease over winter to stop any rust, we carry spare pins and a puncture kit/pump. It's fabulous.

Sounds like you've had a very similar experience as us. Love the ideas I've put in red though.

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Oh, and being silly for a second I saw a TV programme the other day where John Richardson was controlling a drone with his mind. So if you could make it steerable using mind control then I think you'd have a winner.

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I've had a few thoughts about trying to make my own trolley... some great ideas in this thread 🙂

Pretty convinced that two large wheels like a rickshaw (As previously suggested by several posters) would be the ultimate way to go for ease of pulling over rough terrain and through mud. 

Clearly that does come at the cost of manoeuvrability and ability to nudge it along bit by bit without having to pick up the handles every time - like when you're in a queue... I was contemplating a design with a small jockey wheel sitting underneath the front of the load bed that could be lowered for when you wanted it to stand by itself, or raised up for when you were pulling it any distance - like car trailers or caravans use.

If using two big wheels, depending on how complicated you want to make the construction & how big the wheels would be, you could actually have the load bed lower than the wheel axles - this would help with stability.

Personally I'd prefer a flat load bed with plenty of places to hook down straps and just tie everything on really solidly, rather than having sides.

Would love to see the final design you come up with!

 

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5 minutes ago, s30foster said:

Love the fold-ability of this but not the £299 price tag...

This is a key part of product development. 
 

You can make anything but the hard part is making something at a price people are willing to pay and you’re still able to make a profit. 

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2 hours ago, Andrew_Ntu said:

Ah think i'll be staying away from an electric version! How did these wheels hold up though? Were they okay? I was thinking of using wider ones with a larger surface area.

Good point, do you know what part of the wheel it is that gets clogged up? Also they'll likely be removable when it comes to getting it into the car and for cleaning after the festival. Additionally I want to make it easy for users to repair punctures to keep in-line with sustainaiblity.

Thanks! Those tracks look cool! That would be interesting, I wonder how heavy and how costly that would be though 😬 
I agree, i've seen loads of people stacking high too, i'll look at incorporating some adjustable sides.
Yeah good point, could look into a buggy for those family friendly festivals for further development.

As for Anti-theft, i've considered either having some sort of tire locking mechanism, as there will be breaks on it anyway or some sort of anchor into the ground, like a stake that it can be locked into? I think i want to avoid saying "just store it in your tent".

 

This looks good, i'll look into this.
Does it turn by pivoting it on it's back two wheels?
How do the wheels hold up? Are they better than those smaller pneumatic tires you can get? 

This looks great man, £9 what a deal. How does the steering work? Do the front two rotate freely? 

Both front and rear pair will steer or I can lock them in the frontal position 

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1 hour ago, Yoghurt on a Stick said:

I have previously looked at such an item, but there's no way they were around the £9 mark. You got a right bargain there oneeye. 

It was over 10 years ago, before the secret got out i reckon; absolute bargain i agree. The couple I bought it off made a real effort to clean it up before hand thinking it would be used to carry a baby. The look on their face when I explained it was to carry beer not baby 🤣🤣

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1 hour ago, s30foster said:

Love the fold-ability of this but not the £299 price tag...

 

Doesn't look as simple to take apart once assembled and those wheels are getting lost in the mud. A total non-starter if you ask me.

I do like the way it folds though, and the structure looks solid.

 

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3 hours ago, paulshane said:

You need to design something that will be easy to push/pull through potentially gooey mud. Design something that will work ok in soft sand, and you'll be on target.

Fishing trolleys and the like are geared towards rough terrain, not deep sloppy mud, smaller wheels will end up ploughing not turning, making progress difficult. Cheapo 20inch plastic bmx wheels will work fine.

 

This is something I made for a 'soapbox' race last year:

Yeah fair point, Bmx wheels sound intereseting i'll look into that.

What wheels are the ones on the front of your soapbox? 

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Just now, Andrew_Ntu said:

Yeah fair point, Bmx wheels sound intereseting i'll look into that.

What wheels are the ones on the front of your soapbox? 

wheelbarrow wheels, on go-kart stub axles, machined to take two bearings, rather than the rubbish plastic 'bearings' they come with.

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3 hours ago, Gilb said:

I would say something heavy with tracks would be ideal but is simply not practical for your average festival-goer to transport. 
Therefore the next best thing would be some large-ish wheeled with non-pneumatic (solid) tyre. i.e. pram wheels are thin enough not to tempt grippy mud on to them and excess mud can be easily scraped from them. With these you'll require an extra strength axle and protected wheel-bearings so that there is less ingress from the liquid mud. Maybe an auto-scrape system that cleaves off any mud stuck to the wheels as they rotate.
A well-sprung suspension should also protect the axle/wheels from the bashing of a heavier load.
Your push-pull handle system is ideal and allows for a 2-man effort when in sticky situations.

I look forward to your final solution. For me I have already found the ultimate solution - rent a motorhome

Hahah great read, mud will definetly push the trolley to it's limits. Autocleaning would be nice...i think there are some threads that might be designed to do that? Or i might be making that up. 

Glad you agree with the 2 handle system, always seems to be the case of not being sure where to grab when you're in a sticky one.

Cheers for the advice!

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1 hour ago, oneeye said:

It was over 10 years ago, before the secret got out i reckon; absolute bargain i agree. The couple I bought it off made a real effort to clean it up before hand thinking it would be used to carry a baby. The look on their face when I explained it was to carry beer not baby 🤣🤣

I know that this'll sound weird but I once bought a bust of David Bowie that a housewife had made for her child, but the child didn't like it. I loved it. I gave it to my wife as a house warming present, for the place we live in now. Anyway, I got talking to this housewife on line about art, and how I like to make things from scrap and waste materials. So, during a get together of my mates at our house, I decided to send her some photos of her old david Bowie statue. I think it may have been the photo of my wife holding the bust up to her breast, that may have done it. Needless to say, she hasn't got back to me on that one.

There's actually worse - I once bought a doll off ebay for an art piece (not all of it is scrap and recycled stuff. Some of it has to be bought in, to fit something that I'd have no interest in creating). Anyhow i got a letter from the person who sent me the baby doll, asking how she was doing? I thought to myself ' Shall I tell her that the baby doll is stuck to a board, with a fag hanging out of it's mouth, with six vintage monkey grips around it's head and body, like they were thrown by a knife thrower'. I decided that it would be wise not to tell her.

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3 hours ago, bombfrog said:

The closest we got to the death of the trolley was when the pin that links the handle to the front axel (the bit that it all twists around to steer the wheels) fell apart in deep mud but we were able to stick something else in to keep it altogether. That's the only really weak point we've ever found.

 

Some good points here, thanks for the detailed reply!

 

Noted, a weak axel seems to be a common problem.

As for materials i'm probably going with tubular metal too, possibly aluminium or steel, depending on how the strength and cost works out.
Are the wheels not detachable then? I was debating whether to have the option to take the wheels off or not when collapsing as this might create weak points...but If the wheels were fixed then I could argue that you could just pack around the wheels once it's in the boot?

Like how you mentioend about standardised parts. That'll also help keep the manufacturing costs down.

3 hours ago, bombfrog said:
  • It's hard to pull/push =  with one hand on the handle I often end up pulling with both hands behind my back. When going uphill or through mud somebody had to push from behind and there's nothing to grip onto to do that. Often it involves pushing on a tent or box which might fall out. 
  •  

Maybe i could go with a larger pulling bar for both hands? or even a rickshaw style bar which comes up around hip-height for a more natural pulling position, with it still being connected to a steering axel.

 

3 hours ago, bombfrog said:
  • The sides aren't high enough -  so tall things can potentially fall out. We've fashioned a canopy to put over the top of it made out of a bungee net and bungee ropes. These clip in 4 corners underneath the trolley and it's basically impossible for anything to fall out then. An "official part" made to fit would be good.
  •  

Hmm i've toyed with the idea of a canopy, I like how it'll keep everything dry and help secure the load further, but i'm worried it might restrict the user in the way they stack their things....Although this could be good, as we want to avoid people from stacking crazy high. How would you imagine an official part to secure it? I've got a few ideas that i'll sketch out, it'd be nice to know what you think of them.

3 hours ago, bombfrog said:
  • Ground clearance - could be a bit higher, for mud years.

 

Will be keeping this in mind, as it'll solve the problem of mud clogging up between the base and wheels which people have been mentioning.

 

3 hours ago, bombfrog said:

Also, I love your idea of turning it onto a chair if this is possible. I've had the same thought but I always figured we'd break it. It's strong but it does bounce/twist a bit if you put the full weight of a human sitting on it so I'm not sure if you'll succeed with this unless the underneath is fixed to the main body at the sides, not just in the middle.

 

 Thanks, i'd really like to give it an extra purpose once it's done its main job. So on yours is the wheel frame more in the middle? and the trolley base extends over them slightly? Trying to picture it. 

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3 hours ago, Mark E. Spliff said:

My answer was more aimed at whatever you're trying to achieve with your Uni project.  Presumably you've got to demonstrate some kind of design process, so you will probably get more brownie points if you can explain how you went about choosing the options.  That wheel-building video shows a >100 year old approach which is still the current state of the art when it comes to making strong light wheels - because it purely relies on tiny light steel spokes arranged in a particular way to purely engage their huge tensile strength and avoid compression or bending, where they have very little strength.

 

Ah gotcha, yeah you're right about the design process and justifying our choices, this one will likely be a lot of trial and error through model making and prototyping. 

Fair point about the suspension, like you said, i'll probably be better off putting time into a secondary purpose or umouuntable system, depending on where the design goes. I'm guessing you come from a design/engineering background yourself? 

I like the idea of a rickshaw... there'd be no issue of having a steering axel which could break either. I wonder how safe it is on your back from a health and safety point of view...i'll look into this and sketch up some ideas. Thanks for the suggestion!

3 hours ago, Mark E. Spliff said:

As far as wheel numbers is concerned, I'd go for 2, purely because that's what rickshaws and horse-buggies have, and solutions which have evolved over hundreds of years are usually as near-as-damnit optimal.  Your two feet are the ultimate tool when it comes to crossing rough ground, and a rickshaw optimises their use whilst supporting the load.  The problem with a rickshaw is that it's not free-standing, but that's solved by having long harness arms which mean you can pick it up with little effort.  You could also build in a frame that comes round the rear of the trolley that allows your mates to help by pushing.  All this talk of rickshaws and buggies makes it sound like a monster, but you'd be scaling it down to whatever size you need for a festival load of beer/tents.

 

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3 hours ago, bombfrog said:

I think when it's got heavy stuff on it this would be hard to push down. I like the fact that it's got two handles though because as I said it's hard to pull with one handle. Much easier if both handles are lifted than pushed down though.

On the standard garden trolley (henceforth to be known as the SGT) the handle is for both pulling and steering. If you could design something with 4 fat wheels, two handles for pulling/pushing and the ability to steer at the same time you'd be on to a winner I reckon. I can't stress enough how good the SGT has been over the years though and I've seen lots of other custom designs discarded by the pathways during that time so if it were me I'd not stray too far from the classic design (trying really hard not to use the phrase "reinventing the wheel" here). 

For sure, i've heard good things about the sgt's and I don't want to my design to be too radical. 
That's a good point about steering, If I'm saying the primary method of moving it is pushing it from the back handles...
Maybe two free moving wheels like they have on shopping trolleys? Although i've heard that these can be difficuilt to steer the way you want them to go....I'll need to bare in mind navigating the winding 'S' queues too

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21 minutes ago, Andrew_Ntu said:

Hmm i've toyed with the idea of a canopy, I like how it'll keep everything dry and help secure the load further, but i'm worried it might restrict the user in the way they stack their things....Although this could be good, as we want to avoid people from stacking crazy high. How would you imagine an official part to secure it? I've got a few ideas that i'll sketch out, it'd be nice to know what you think of them.

Couldn't it just come with a separate plastic lightweight tarpaulin, which would cover the items inside, and wouldn't restrict anybody's ambitions on building their load high?

I was once congratulated by an entrance steward for having the second highest load that he had seen that day. He then went on to tell me that the highest had been a couple who had balanced their child on the very top of their pile. I seem to remember him saying they stopped the couple and told them to take the child off the top.  

 

 

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Have the wheels outside of the frame rather than below it, much more stable, people like to stack high so have a low and wide axle, though not so low as to get stuck on bumps. Making it simple, pins that can be removed to de assemble for instance. Also keep the weight light as possible whilst maintaining tenstile strength, a lot of trolleys are either so weak they break within minutes or so bulky that once fully loaded the weight is a nightmare on the arms. Canvas is a great idea for the sides, I wonder how much you could use something like bamboo for the top frame, lighter than steel but still strong and inexpensive, and have the handles and arms bolted to the metal sub frame. Ratchet straps are the way forward 

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45 minutes ago, Andrew_Ntu said:

Hmm i've toyed with the idea of a canopy, I like how it'll keep everything dry and help secure the load further, but i'm worried it might restrict the user in the way they stack their things....

That's why we use a bungee net. Doesn't keep anything dry but it does stretch over any load and keeps everything in place...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VHO89DI?tag=duckduckgo-brave-uk-21&linkCode=osi&th=1&psc=1

another couple of bungee ropes can be hooked to the corners to pin it to the trolley if it doesn't reach.

 

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If you want to go down the canopy route and gain extra points for sustainability why not look at the option of using discarded tents from festivals. Already lightweight and waterproof they also come with poles too. 

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