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To push or to pull?

  1. Nov 29, 2004 #1
    Please help me out with this question ...

    While using a wheelbarrel to move heavy logs, you bump into a log laying across your path. Would it be easier to pull or push the wheelbarrel over the log blocking your path? And, why?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2004 #2
    Think about the vectors of the forces you apply to the wheelbarrel in each case. You need to move the wheelbarrel up and over the log. Which force vector has a component pointing upwards?
  4. Nov 29, 2004 #3
    Would that be the force you're exerting upward by pulling the wheelbarrel along and then over the log?
  5. Nov 29, 2004 #4
    If you are pulling it with your arms, you have approximately equal force vector components in the x and y direction, with a resultant force point at about 45 degrees between the two.
  6. Nov 29, 2004 #5
    I too thought about that also while pushing my wheel barrow. Then it was noticed
    my wheel barrow had small tires with air which seem to push over the log easier
    then with my older wheel barrow with hard tires, I did try it by pulling the wheel
    barrow over the log and used the hard rubber tire wheel barrow and the one with
    the air went over easier then the hard tire in either case.
  7. Nov 30, 2004 #6
    when pulling, you're pulling up
    when pushing, you're pushing down
    got it?
  8. Nov 30, 2004 #7
    Yea I got it! Thanks so much for all of your help!
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