Photographer David Woodhead tells us how the HandiMoova has made light of his outdoor projects
I’m using a HandiMoova to transport large format photography equipment during location shoots. My combined payload is 21kg, for one flightcase (49cm wide x 27cm deep x 41cm high) and a tripod that is 93cm long when collapsed. I attach these using four bungee cords with hooked ends which can grab the tubing pretty much everywhere.
For my test run I tried it over varying terrain to judge how well it can cope and what are the limitations. Hard surfaces are obviously dead easy and I found it stable when dragged, following a straight line without wobbling. My previous small footprint trolley would struggle and rock side to side due to its wheels being narrower than the payload.
HandiMoova’s wheelbase is wider than my case so keeps this in check and doesn’t deviate from its course. I tried getting up and down various steps: small, large, stone, wood. I found if you take care and work slowly then all of these are achievable. The contents of my case includes some delicate mechanisms (eg. lens shutters) so I made sure to control the motion over steps and kerbs, trying not to introduce any big shocks to the equipment. I’m satisfied things went ok.
The only problem came when faced with an enclosed step narrower than HandiMoova. There was no way around that one so I unlashed the gear and carried it and the trolley through the gap individually. Not a flaw in the design, but something to be aware of depending on the environment you encounter.
Off-road terrain I tried included uneven wet grass which was very easily handled. Hardpack bridleways I found are also well suited to the trolley. Happy with those I then challenged it with some boggy mud with deep ruts from motorbike scramblers. It had been raining and everything was very soft with lots of deep puddles. The height of the wheels really helped here as it kept the case lifted above the surface of the water. Wet mud sloshes around the insides of the wheels, their concave shape works excellently to move the muck instantly away and they kept turning throughout. I was very impressed in this regard and it should allow me to access tough locations that might not otherwise be possible with my heavy gear.
While I do prefer to pull the load behind me with one hand I did test pushing it in front of me on the worst ground. This can be effective and I think it’s better for some scenarios. I found pushing to be easier using both hands, with the trolley centrally in front of your body.
My only criticism here is that the foam grip is not wide enough to cushion two hands simultaneously. There would be more handling options if the foam was longer and followed the 90º curves around to the downtubes. Having deliberately navigated some really tough terrain I’m satisfied that the HandiMoova is an excellent trolley for my particular application. I believe it’s reasonably priced for the quality of its materials and very solid construction. I would happily recommend photographers to consider it for field work.