Friday, July 18, 2014

Carling Reid
About that Wheelbarrow Life

In my first week excavating at an archaeological site, I never thought that I would be subjected to abuse; wheelbarrow abuse, or as I like to call it abruisment. My legs were covered with lines of bruises, commonly mistaken as dirt, although dirt could be a definite possibility. I was never arrested by my beacons of hard labour, but rather confused; why was every other persons legs free from this abruisment? It did not take long to figure out the reason, my wheelbarrow skills lacked... skill. Making it up the Everest that is Spoil Mountain was not the issue, dumping the load was. When I lifted the wheelbarrow the wheel would come out from beneath it. Trying to save it I would over-correct and the little devil would come back and hit me in the legs. This left me with a few questions: how were the others able to unload and not get beat up in the process? What are the proper techniques, if at all, that would allow for my legs to be free from this horror? In trying to find the most convenient and less dangerous way, I have heard to the rumors and will now share with you three techniques that others have found successful.

Foot + Wheel 

Used by many and sworn to work by all that do, placing your foot on the wheel of the wheelbarrow is helpful when large loads of dirt cause the user to loss control. Lifting the wheelbarrow up slightly, then finding the wheel with your foot prevents the wheel from rolling away and potentially losing it down Spoil Mountain. In my opinion, this method works great if your legs are long enough to reach the wheel, if you are strong enough to left a full wheelbarrow and if the load is not too heavy. 

Side Dump

Although not as graceful, the side dump is just as effective in the quest for an empty wheelbarrow. To complete the side dump,after making it to the top of Spoil Mountain, the user will work at a slight angle and simply dump the contents over the side of the wheelbarrow. It still allows for all the contents to be dumped without worrying about the possibility of the wheel running away from you. In the case that the wheelbarrow does in fact start a treacherous descent down Spoil Mountain, it can be grabbed at the bar that is located beneath it, between the back props and be lifted back to safety. All in all this method works great, but I do find some dirt is always left at the bottom. 

Rock + Wheel

Although I personally have never used this method, I have heard the rumors about its greatness. By simply placing a rock at the top of Spoil Mountain one can then prop the wheel against it when dumping the dirt and ensure that when shaking remaining dirt from the depths of the wheelbarrow, the wheel will not start taking off down the hill. I have yet to try this method, but I see the potential. Could it be the answer to all wheelbarrow problems?

I'm happy to report that since thediscovery of these techniques I have received no more bruises involving the wheelbarrow. You may ask what is my chosentechnique? I combine the ease of the side dump and the safety of the foot on the wheel. It ensures that the load of dirt will be properly emptied and that my legswill be free of chronic abruisment. The old bruises are healing and I have reached a happy place with the dreaded piece of technology, but I will not stop searching for the ideal method of the all important wheelbarrow dump. 

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