16
Oct 2010
by mark

Hauling a large load of e-waste by e-bike

Hauling a large load of e-waste on the Yuba Mundo
Today I hauled between 600 and 800 pounds of e-waste from the hardware co-op at church to the annual e-waste recycling event hosted at Earlham College and serviced by RecycleForce.

To haul that volume by bike, I used this Yuba Mundo with an 18 gallon container strapped to each side-loader racks along with this Bikes-at-Work trailer. On the trailer I’ve stacked a 45 gallon container and a 36 gallon container.

It took 4 trips with this set-up to the destination a mile a way. The trailer expands fairly easily to be 8′ long, but I thought I might reach the practical weight limit for one load before I ran out of volume. Technically, the bike is rated to carry over 400 lbs of cargo in addition to the rider, and the trailer is rated to carry 300 lbs. Practically, I’ve found that handling and hill climbing can be challenging with loads much over 200 lbs, and I wouldn’t currently attempt to carry much more than 300 lbs. (Dave Deming once hauled 400 lbs of bananas on his Mundo, but the handling wasn’t pretty).

I was also concerned that the route to the drop off involved going up a hill on Main Street, and I didn’t want to risk overloading the bike for that.

It turned out that the electric assist made short work of the hauling this load, including being able to climb the hill at 16 mph. I likely could have safely reduced the number of trips by using the longer trailer set-up. No sweating or grunting required.

While hauling more weight at once may have worked, I take hauling this much weight on a bike seriously and wanted to be conservative about what I was attempting.

The “Stand Alone” double-sided kickstand was indensiple for this job, keeping the bike level and steady as we loaded and unloaded the bike and trailer.

All the weight towards the rear of the bike did create some real concerns. One was that bike could start to tip off the centerstand towards the back corner if it was too far off balance. Also, the weight on the rear plus some pressure from the trailer hitch both unweighted the front wheel some. That made handling a bit twitchy, especially at low speeds.

If that effect had been stronger, it could have also caused the front-wheel drive motor to not engage as well, causing more problems.

Thanks to Kent and Justin who also helped with the project.

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