We recently moved out to the country with a long driveway. After trudging the quarter-mile to retrieve our trash can, I noticed the neighbor was using his ATV to drive down and get his.
That made me jealous. I don’t have an ATV, and I can’t justify buying one just to retrieve my trash can. The neighbor had a contraption on the back of the ATV that he hooked the garbage can to and then sped back to his house with it.
If you have a relatively flat driveway, it will be easier to find a solution than if you have uneven pavement. My mother-in-law lives up a one-mile drive that is only accessible with 4-wheel-drive. We just leave her trashcan down by the road.
Watching the ease with how my neighbor put his trash can out got me started on my hunt for the best way to haul my own garbage can back up from the street. Here are the options I found. I’ll show you my favorites, and some DIY contraptions out there.
Drag It With Your Hand
Ok, so forgive me for being overly simplistic, but I have to throw this one in there. If you have a riding lawnmower or golf cart, it is pretty easy to hold the garbage bin with one arm while you drive with the other.
Granted, this requires that you have good arm strength. There is also a risk of scratching up your vehicle with this method. You definitely don’t want to hang out of your truck window and try to one-hand it down the gravel driveway.
Heck, you could also tweak your back if you aren’t careful. But, hopping on your lawn tractor and hauling trash by hand is the easiest option, especially for returning an empty trash can.
Hook It On Your Hitch
This works well for bringing your empty trash cans in on your way home from work. I always have a 2-inch ball hitch on the back of my SUV. I hop out of my car, check the mail and then hook my trash can on the back of the ball hitch and drive up to the house. It’s simple.
The downside is that every other week when we have the recycling out, I have to make a second trip down to get the other bin.
Most cars have a receiver hitch (or they can have one added). This not only lets you pull your garbage bins in, but you can also haul trailers up to your vehicle’s towing limit.
Nothing crazy here, just hooking the handle of the trash can on the ball hitch. The downside is that this method does not work well if the can is full of trash.
Cansporter Trash Hauler
This is probably the best option for an smooth driveway or even mud. It lifts the trash can entirely off the ground so that it doesn’t bump along on its weak wheels. Even if it is extremely full, the weight is put on your hitch, not on the trash can wheels. So you won’t have to call the garbage company and explain how you ruined yet another one of their trash cans.
The Cansporter is pretty simple. You tilt the hook down, and slide the cart up to it. Then tilt the cart up. While the Cansporter requires only moderate effort from the user to lift it, there is still a little effort involved. For any healthy human, this isn’t a problem. The key thing with this option is that you need the horizontal crossbar on your cart in order for it to work. My cart doesn’t have that horizontal member so it isn’t an option for me.
I found the Cansporter for sale at a shop in Colorado called HitchCorner. I gave them a call and they are quite knowledgeable folks about all things hitches.
The garbage commander is getting more exposure these days and I think they will soon be the dominant player in the market. Their system works on passenger vehicles without a hitch, ATVs, Gold carts, and Trucks.
What is great about this model is that it pulls your trash cart by the handle. There is no major lifting of a loaded can, and it is easy to connect and disconnect.
Now, you still have weight on those wheels, so you want to drive slowly, especially if you are going over rough ground.
I don’t like how big it is. There is no way that you will leave it in your car all week just to have it handy for trash day. But if you have a long driveway, it makes sense to go through the hassle of installing it.
Of course, if you have Golf carts, an ATV or lawnmower, this would be an excellent option to install permanently.
I think this option beats the others when it comes to ease of use.
Hitch Cargo Carrier
The hitch cargo carrier is an easy way to carry your garbage cans to the street. The advantage of a cargo carrier is that you can leave it attached and then also use it throughout the weak for other tasks such as hauling groceries.
A standard 65-gallon trash can is 26-3/8 inches deep by 26 inches wide. As long as there is room for your trash can on the carrier, it will fit well.
You will need to lift the garbage can up onto the carrier and strap it into place. This makes it more cumbersome than any of the other options on here, but it is the most versatile option as well since it can serve other purposes throughout the week.
Build Your Own DIY Garbage Hooks
There are several Pinterest boards, forum posts, and Youtube videos on how to build your own carrying mount. I picked my favorite one, and if you are a handy individual, you can make one on your own.
It’s basically a long steel bar with some little hooks mounted on it. I think I’d be inclined to build it out of aluminum to save some weight, especially if you are already using a MIG welder. Might cost a little more, but also makes it easier for the wife to use.
Who knows, maybe your next business will be selling these brackets!
Go With The Tow Tuff Dumpster Dolly
I like this one because of how cheap it is. You can hardly buy the materials needed to build this. So for an affordable price, you can get an off-the-shelf model that is ready to use.
It fits over your 2-inch ball so putting it on and taking it off is extremely simple. Just slip it on, tow your trash, and then take it off. Honestly, the dumpster dolly might be the best idea we’ve seen.
As with the other models you can use it with Golf Carts, ATVs, and UTVs as well as any standard vehicle with a 2-inch ball hitch.