# Effort Force for a Wheelbarrow

• B
Abu
If you are using a wheelbarrow, the materials in it should be placed to as close as the fulcrum (the wheel) as possible. This is because the load torque of the materials will decrease, and the effort force required to support the wheel barrow will decrease as well, because Torque = Fr. Is this correct / does that makes sense?

Like if I wanted to design a wheelbarrow, it would make sense to keep the load as close to the fulcrum as possible, right?

berkeman
Mentor
If you are using a wheelbarrow, the materials in it should be placed to as close as the fulcrum (the wheel) as possible. This is because the load torque of the materials will decrease, and the effort force required to support the wheel barrow will decrease as well, because Torque = Fr. Is this correct / does that makes sense?

Like if I wanted to design a wheelbarrow, it would make sense to keep the load as close to the fulcrum as possible, right?
There can be a stability issue if the center of mass is directly over the fulcrum, right? There is a tradeoff between the stability and the lifting force required, I believe.

Abu
kuruman
Homework Helper
Gold Member
Right. However note that what matters is the ratio of the distances from the fulcrum to the points of application of the load and effort, not the actual distances.

On edit: Aargh! @berkeman paid me back by beating me to it.

berkeman and Abu
Abu
There can be a stability issue if the center of mass is directly over the fulcrum, right? There is a tradeoff between the stability and the lifting force required, I believe.
Oh, right. Didn't even think of that. So that means that the wheelbarrow will have a tendency to tip towards the fulcrum because that is where the center of mass is? And if so, despite causing it to tip, wouldn't that help lessen the effort force even more? Or am I overthinking it?

Thanks for the responses by the way!

berkeman
Mentor
I just know that as a practical matter when using a wheelbarrow and heavy loads, I sometimes have trouble when hitting bumps as I push it forward. The farther forward the load is biased, the harder it is to keep it from tipping forward.

It's not so much an issue with uniform loads like sand and wet tanbark, but can be a problem when moving uneven slabs of broken concrete, for example. It's harder to balance the load evenly in the wheelbarrow with that kind of load, so I often end up biasing it back a bit to keep it more stable (despite the higher lifting force required).

jbriggs444 and Abu
Abu
I just know that as a practical matter when using a wheelbarrow and heavy loads, I sometimes have trouble when hitting bumps as I push it forward. The farther forward the load is biased, the harder it is to keep it from tipping forward.

It's not so much an issue with uniform loads like sand and wet tanbark, but can be a problem when moving uneven slabs of broken concrete, for example. It's harder to balance the load evenly in the wheelbarrow with that kind of load, so I often end up biasing it back a bit to keep it more stable (despite the higher lifting force required).
Ah okay, I understand now. Thank you for your time and responses.

berkeman