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Inventor on the move

The Urban Sled. PHOTOS/STEVE RENDLE

Sled is a ‘buzz to ride’
Masterton inventor William Rowland reckons he might be on to something with a unique form of transport writes Emma Brown.

William Rowland’s Urban Sled is part wheelbarrow, part sled, part mobility scooter.

The motorised wheelbarrow is powered by a mobility scooter motor and features a platform at the back to stand on.

As with many ideas, necessity was the mother of this invention.

William Rowland and his Urban Sled.

Rowland created the sled after passing on his ute to his daughter as a wedding present.

In need of a mode of transport to take tools out to the garden, he packed everything into the wheelbarrow and tied the dogs to the handles.

While walking along with the dogs, a passerby commented: “Nice horse and cart you have there.”

And that was the lightbulb moment.

Having spent nearly two years on the project, the current version is the fifth prototype.

He’s started the process of talking to potential manufacturers and is excited about the prospect of bringing his first product to market.

A fan of dog sleds, Rowlands said that sport was part of inspiration behind the design.

Keen to test the ride out, he’s already taken it down to Countdown supermarket to do his shopping.

“I got a few looks, but it was interesting as I was quite a bit taller and could see up on the top shelves.

“I went right in, no plastic bags – it goes in the wheelbarrow and then into the cupboard.”

There are ongoing changes and new ideas in the works, and Rowlands is looking forward to what comes next — “it’s a buzz to ride”.

“This is my heart … creating things to make the working man’s life easier.”

Rowlands is hoping this prototype is only the start of a range of different the models.

“I hope to make a rural one that is a bit more rugged.”

For inquiries into the Urban Sled, contact William Rowland on 022 381 1774

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