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Link to drywall trailer?

I'm in an on-line argument about bikes. The car folks are using the argument -"you can't carry drywall on a bike".

Sometime recently, either through this forum or the bike-pgh site, there was a pic of a bike carrying drywall (I think it was in Boulder Co).

Could someone point me to it?



2009-06-23 14:51:15

I'd be tempted to counter with "You can't haul a hay wagon with a car, either. Use the right tool for the job."

2009-06-23 16:25:04

This is something that I have been trying to get this figured out myself. I know it can be done, though in PGH you would want somew kind of motor assist.

Drywall, plywood, lumber, a couch...

I did carry dumpstered drywall on a cargo trike, full sheets might not be possible... But..

You could also crush a sheet of drywall and stuff it in a chrome bag... That might shut em up, unless they said FULL SHEET..

I have a design for a drywall trailer...

2009-06-23 17:03:23

Google image search: bakfiets

2009-06-23 17:05:25

All these images are excellent and I maight use them.

The thing is, this guys specifically started talking about carrying drywall and there was a particular image of a guy carrying 5 or 6 drywall sheets on a trailer accompanied by another bicyclist.

I saw it in the last week or so, and I imagine it was through this site...



2009-06-23 17:09:37

You need really low gearing if you are hauling heavy weight like that. I think some horsepower would make the job easier.

2009-06-23 18:51:25

First, don't get me wrong, I love carrying things most people think could not be carried by bike, but there is a limit to what makes sense. 6 sheets of drywall would be well over 300 pounds. There is nothing safe about riding on the street with that kinda weight, not to mention a 4x8 trailer sticking out into traffic. A danger to yourself and others.

The trailer to tow that kind of weight would need to be quite heavy itself, to support the weight and prevent the drywall from cracking. Don't forget somewhere to put the 60 pound bucket of joint compound. Probably be better off with a hand cart.

I could see a 2 man bike-pickup truck vehicle working well for this, but being legally able to ride this on the street is questionable. With 4 wheels the load could be distributed well, and an extra 3/4 of a horsepower or so would help the contraption move out of it's own way. Maybe a Amish safety triangle could make it legal?

The wife and I have debated getting a hold of one of those 4 wheeled surreys, put the 2 kids up front, fly a Pittsburgh flag and a few Terrible Towels from the top, see how long it would take to get pulled over.

2009-06-23 19:05:06

...this thread reminds me of a Car Talk skit where a guy tried to carry 12 or some odd number of sheets of plywood on top of his car--secured only by his hand. Needless to say, it didn't work....

2009-06-23 19:52:48

I loaded up, 2x4's at the home depo on a bike trailer. I got some very interested looks from the guys with the 2700+ pound trucks. I have always found that when I carry stuff I get those looks, like a dirty kid stuck in a refugee camp. They see me doing something they could never think they could do. Marketing for autos has been very thorough, and victimises alot of folks.

I have carried, drywall, a water heater, 26 found in the woods aluminum car rims, cargo trikes, 55 gal barrel, people, laundery, groceries, and lot's more. I have found that people have no problem yeilding, (as long as you are not pokey), because they see someting like that and it does speak through thier North American automotive brainwashing.

I would think less about being self concious when doing something like that and I would adress your own fears.

One Less Car is just that, not "a weak subsitute for a car, and sorry I'm in your way Sir".

2009-06-23 22:27:17

I always hate that "you can't carry drywall on a bike" or "you can't carry drywall with a compact car". You know how many times I have had to carry dry wall in the five years I have owned my Toyota Matrix? Never.

2009-06-24 19:15:42

possible not practical.

2009-06-24 20:40:45

That's not totally right. I bet there would be a-lot more houses fixed in PGH if people didn't "need a truck" to get materials.

2009-06-25 03:10:27

Oh, you can cut 4x8 sheets in half at the home depo, and your trailer would be 4x4 not 4x8. If you are ok at drywall that extra seam is not a big deal.

2009-06-25 03:13:06

I think home depot will rent a truck to haul yer goods. Yes, here it is:

I just ask my brother in law to borrow his though...

I know that's not the point of this post, but if someone is trying to argue against bicycles by saying that they can't haul drywall, I might just say, so?

There are a lot of things that you can't do in a car that you can do on a bike, but that's fine too.

2009-06-25 03:22:47

Like 630 miles per gallon on a bike...

2009-06-25 03:33:45

and check out the piano bike

I like the pusher bike.

2009-06-25 13:36:28

Drywall is chintzy. Real quality home repairs are done with plaster. A bucket of plaster and a roll of wire lath fit in any old bike trailer.

2009-06-25 15:08:56

Use a wheelchair, cut everything off but the side rails that the wheels attach to, cut up a huffy or magna to make the hitch. The hitch should be attached to the seat post, use a padlock to secure it. Really simple way to build a drywall trailer.

2009-06-26 17:31:34

check out the cetmacargo bikes at

2009-06-29 16:01:43
Googled "design for bicycle cart that can hold sheet of drywall" and this thread was the first result A few days ago I was triumphantly carrying a sheet of drywall cut into four 2x4 sections on the back of my bike rack, along with several liters of vegetable oil and soda until I got a flat at the bottom of a hill before my house (made it from the Waterfront to Braddock) So then I had to go partway up, hold the bike on an incline and pump up, go some more, repeat. Not fun I could just ask several different people for a lift, but I wanted the drywall then. Then after I got the drywall home and cut it up further, I decided I actually needed 1/4" drywall and not 3/8" drywall. Despite Lyle's admonition against drywall, I don't feel like plastering an 18"x8' section of lath. So now I'm considering just putting up the 3/8" stuff where the lath is, then putting furring strips over that and then putting up 1/2" drywall over the lath. Sigh... As far as weight goes, one or two sheets doesn't seem like much weight and I already have the joint compound at my house, so that isn't a problem. With the new 4' law, a four foot wide trailer would only be about 2-2-1/2' wide on each side of the bike, so cars should still be about two feet away from that
2014-01-01 20:56:38
Then after I got the drywall home and cut it up further, I decided I actually needed 1/4? drywall and not 3/8? drywall. Despite Lyle’s admonition against drywall, I don’t feel like plastering an 18?x8? section of lath. So now I’m considering just putting up the 3/8? stuff where the lath is, then putting furring strips over that and then putting up 1/2? drywall over the lath. Sigh…
Ah, the joys of home ownership...
2014-01-02 07:35:20
Yeah, the worst thing about me doing this is my general carelessness when it comes to bike repair The bike I'm riding now has only a front wheel brake because I've been too lazy to fix my other bike and take the rear wheel I'm riding on now for a rim replacement after I hit a pothole and the brake cable on the front is frayed. Perhaps one of my new years bike resolutions should be to stop riding bikes into the ground...
2014-01-02 14:35:04
i'd ride to the u-haul place & rent a van for the day.
2014-01-03 06:34:57
pbeaves wrote:i’d ride to the u-haul place & rent a van for the day.
Home depot rents a truck for $20 for the first 75 minutes. That's plenty of time to load up, drive home, unload, and get back. Even double that price is a deal to move enough drywall for a room. I'm sure you could rig something up with one of those surly trailers, but really, it doesn't seem worth the effort for that type of cargo. I'd prefer the right tool for the job and in this case, I don't think it's a bike trailer in this case. However, you could more easily haul lathe and plaster on a bike trailer.
2014-01-03 10:15:55
^ I agree. If you really wanted to, you could build a triangulated rack or sub-frame on top of that +$1,000 trailer to handle a few 4x8 sheets of drywall. What I have in mind is essentially two artist's easels, side by side, that you bolt to the frame, with the drywall sheets leaning (and secured) against the "easel" sub-frame(s) at an angle. Cross-winds would be rough indeed, but the bigger problem is that you would spend at least $30 on materials (beyond the $1,000 trailer) when you could just rent a truck for $20. My hat's off to this sort of self-sufficiency, but doing this cost-effectively is likely impossible.
2014-01-03 12:13:44
Makes me think of the "flying futon" with the rear folded down (assuming it does fold down, but hey, it's all DIY ideas so do it how it works for you). The really big trailer, along with built-in assist is on my, "gee I think it would be fun to try if my wife wouldn't kill me for doing it or just get really annoyed at what a time sink it is" list. In the meantime, I would be strapping it to the roof rack of her jeep, bigger loads renting a truck.
2014-01-03 12:38:17
Every time I get into one of these situations I enviously look at those Surly trailers... Kind of like Cosette looking at that doll Speaking of the right tool for the job... I was just reading this drywall article and it points out that often, 8' drywall sheets aren't the ideal solution. If sheets are placed perpendicular to the framing, you'll have less butted joints (I.E. more beveled edges, which are easier to finish) Some walls could even have no butted joints because drywall comes up to 16' long. (Depending on what kind of access you have to the site) Behold this poor photograph: drywall I think the 3/8th will work okay... So Mick, you can tell that guy somebody hauled drywall with his bike
2014-01-03 22:39:12
If you get drywall from an actual building supply company, they'll deliver it for free. There's a great place by me called Ceiling System Distributors that has all different shapes and sizes (4x8, 4x9, 4x10, 4x12) and all of the widths. We ordered enough to do our entire second floor and they delivered it into our garage. We also own a truck, which we bought after we drove home from Lowes with me holding 10' of copper pipe on my shoulder to keep it from going though the front windshield in our Matrix. We put about 4000 miles a year on the truck - mostly to building type stores. But we're also doing a full scale gut/remodel of our house. If I were just doing a room or two, I wouldn't bother with the truck. It's too expensive on gas and parts.
2014-01-04 06:57:47
Zipcar also has a few pickup trucks (and SUVs and minivans). It comes out to ~$14 for the first hour and $2 less for subsequent hours since you only pay the rental car tax once. There is one truck downtown and one by the main library, and maybe one other one. Gas and insurance is included, so it's not too bad. It would be cool if there was a place to rent bike trailers and cargo bikes too. I looked at those Surly trailers when they came out but they are wicked expensive, and would take up a lot of garage space too.
2014-01-04 09:29:38
salty wrote: It would be cool if there was a place to rent bike trailers and cargo bikes too.
Good luck trying to secure liability insurance on that one...
2014-01-04 12:25:04
So is the time for Zipbike here? Why can we easily rent a 2+k pound beast that can go over 100mph with 10+ gallons of highly flammable liquid sloshing around in it for about $15-20 per day and it's so difficult to rent a bike?
2014-01-04 15:30:57
I think the insinuation is that it would be harder to get insurance for carrying heavy cargo on bikes. Golden Triangle has child trailers, which would seem to carry a lot more valuable cargo and presumably they have insurance. U-Haul also rents trailers and there are a lot of horror stories out there about them, so I can't imagine it would be impossible. Probably just have to sign a waiver and agree to carry only a certain weight limit.
2014-01-07 00:23:54
spinlister has an option to search bike types, cargo bikes included. None available in this area, but did a search in DC where I'll be in two weeks and found two (well one I'd call a real cargo bike and an xtracycle).
2014-01-07 08:45:44
I never understood why none of the bike shops even have a cargo bike as a display model. I want one !! they just want to sell carbon fiber race crap and do not cater to the utilitarian side. ( this needs to change ) when is the last time you seen a cargo bike in the city ? An employee at REI has one but other than that i have never seen one on the trail. ?
2014-01-18 12:27:57
Someone in Boston (MA) was thinking the same thing, so they opened a bike shop to sell them (Bicycle Belle). That could happen here, too.
2014-01-18 13:14:51
I've seen Kona Utes at the Trek shop before. Chris usually has his bakfiets around Thick, and I'm sure he could get you one. I do see people riding them occasionally - one of my coworkers has an El Mundo, I saw a woman riding a longtail on Shady Ave a couple months ago, the family of the boy that got hit in Point Breeze has one... so, they're around but definitely not very common. I'd like to see more of them, but then again I've been trying to justify getting one for years but I just can't - aside from the high cost it would take up a lot of garage space. I did just get a new trailer (Burley Travoy) though, which has a lot of the same utility and folds up to virtually nothing when not being used.
2014-01-18 17:16:25
cowchip wrote:they just want to sell carbon fiber race crap and do not cater to the utilitarian side.
And, of course, you know what demand on those bikes is currently... PMTCC rides pretty often through Beaver. There is one bike store there --,-80.30103&spn=0.003404,0.005375&sll=41.117935,-77.604698&sspn=6.9258,11.008301&hnear=Pittsburgh,+Pennsylvania+15219&t=m&z=18 -- Snitger's Bicycle Store. We have pretty good relationship with the store owner. He tried to sell Kona Ute. Just before 2012 PMTCC Tri State Ride we stopped at his store trying to secure support (as a rest stop and mechanical). And I saw Kone Uta in store. We've talked about utilitarian bicycles for a long time. Now could you guess how much time it took just sell one? BTW you can walk in into Thick and Chris will order utilitarian bike for you. As well Trek in Robinson and ProBike in South Hills.
2014-01-18 18:52:46
I saw a cargo bike in Oakland yesterday. It makes sense for bike stores to cater to the masses. They're already kind of a niche market and people willing to haul a lot of crap on a bike is a niche within a niche. I'm also not convinced that a good trailer is not better than a good cargo bike, but I suppose that depends on what the person is doing with it. For those of us with basement bike repair bays (as Stu put it) I cannot imagine trying to get one down there
2014-01-18 20:25:54