37degrees
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:05 am

How to transport soil when wheelbarrow isn't an option?

Hi everyone,

New here.

I have a bit of a situation I was hoping to get some help with.
I need to move between 5-10 cubic metres of topsoil to an area behind my house where I'm hoping to create a lawn.

The issue I have is that it uphill, through a steep, rocky garden. So can't use a wheelbarrow. I'm thinking that I'm basically going to have to carry it in by hand. I don't mind the slog (too much anyway), but does anyone know of a backpack or similar designed for this? I was thinking of something like a fruit picking basket I could load up and carry up the hill.

Would love to hear any other ideas?

Thanks!

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: How to transport soil when wheelbarrow isn't an option?

Sounds like a two person job. Pile a bunch of it on a tarp and drag it up the hill, with the second person walking behind, holding the back end of the tarp up, so it doesn't slide off the back.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28234
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: How to transport soil when wheelbarrow isn't an option?

Yesterday, my kids were playing and were carrying a (King size) down comforter stuffed in an extra large canvas laundry bag with string cinch closed top over their shoulder/on their back -- up and down the stairs. They said they were playing soldier/sailor because it reminded them of the gear duffel they use.

Of course soil would be much heavier than a comforter, but maybe something similar would work? A heavy burlap sack like for coffee beans or even used/2nd hand actual sailor's duffle bag from whatever organization/system you have in your area that sells them.

You might even be able to lay a quantity of soil in a middle of a square tarp and pull up the four corners (tying opposite corners or bunching them together if you are strong enough to grip) then carry that over your shoulder/back.

(Squat. While leaving the bottom of the sack/middle of the tarp resting on the ground, pull up and hold the top of the sack/duffel/tarp corners from behind you, over your dominant shoulder, and lean forward/rest most of the the weight on your back. Then lift up by unsquatting/using your thigh muscles to stand up.)

...don't try to carry too much all at once. If you can't carry very much on your own, then definitely a two person job.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

tomc
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2661
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: How to transport soil when wheelbarrow isn't an option?

There such a thing as a burden basket. I haven't built one in ten years. I would probably make a yoke and take partly filled five gallon buckets up hill.

A yoke in this example is a stout enough stick with notches for bucket handles on either end. Start light. A yoke will change your balance. Carry often, fall down rarely...
Think like a tree
© 2016 Invisable Inc.

Ohio Tiller
Green Thumb
Posts: 463
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:39 am
Location: Ohio

Re: How to transport soil when wheelbarrow isn't an option?

You could build a back pack type deal like they use for hauling brick mortar up ladders. It is just a wooden L shaped frame with canvas or (tarp) attached to make a basket or bag like area they fill. The ones I saw had openings at the bottom on the back that the guys would back up over the mortar bin and somebody would pull the rope and it would dump out then they would tie it back and down the ladder they would go. Hard work but it did work for them. This was way back before the cement truck with the giant booms on them.

User avatar
ElizabethB
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2105
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: How to transport soil when wheelbarrow isn't an option?

37degrees - warm welcome to the forum. If you opt for a tarp don't use a light weight plastic one. It will probably rip on the stones. Get a heavy duty plastic one or use heavy duty painter's canvas -heavy canvas that they use as a drop cloth.

Good luck - I do not envy you.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

37degrees
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:05 am

Re: How to transport soil when wheelbarrow isn't an option?

Ha! Thank you all for your kind suggestions.

I think I'll start with a heavy tarp and the promise of a cold beer for a helper.

It sounds like it's going to be a decent workout!

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11676
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: How to transport soil when wheelbarrow isn't an option?

I'd say if it is accessible by truck or by bear cat, I'd hire it out. It would be much faster and easier on the back.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Bobberman
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2437
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:31 pm
Location: Latrobe Pa.

Re: How to transport soil when wheelbarrow isn't an option?

The heavy flat plastic sleds or the round disk sled that you can attach a rope to will allow you to pull two five gallon buckets easy. Another way is the small round swimming pull about 4 feet across for $10 made of heavy plastic you can tie a rope to it and slide it even across rocks with about 10 gallon of dirt.. Take the wheel off a wheel barrow and pull it up the hill it will slide over the rocks on the metal bed with little effort. Actually you can pull a regular wheel barrow up a hill easier than pushing it and it will go over the rocks easy when you pull it! Also a small red wagon with 4 wheels will work and is easy to pull!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

User avatar
tomf
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3233
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 8:15 am
Location: Oregon

Re: How to transport soil when wheelbarrow isn't an option?

Get some big buckets and hire a bunch of local kids to carry them.
The things I do are an evolution and I am always learning. My way is not the only way of doing things, and I may and will change the way I do things as I learn better ways. So any advice that I give is in that spirit.



Return to “Landscaping”