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The impossible shopping trolleys

26 Apr

Only the front two wheels of a car can turn left and right. Can you imagine driving a car whose four wheels would all turn while you drove? It would be insanity!

So why then, do all four wheels on Australian shopping trolleys (carts) turn? And not just a little, they all turn 360 degrees. Everyone here seems to think this is normal. Sigh. I suppose they don’t know any better.

Turning from one aisle to the next involves the front of the trolley staying pretty much still, and the back part, the part that I’m pushing, swinging around in a very wide semi-circle, with me chasing after it whilst trying not to run any old ladies down.

When I’m all finished with my shopping, I push the trolley full of groceries AND two rambunctious children outside, towards the car. I have to go down a hill between the shop’s front door, and the car park. A nice, paved, under cover, side-walked hill. But it also slopes just a tiny, tiny bit to the right.

Since all four wheels can turn 360 degrees, the shopping trolley then tries to go sideways down the hill as well as forward.  To avoid maiming people, or having the trolley fall over on it’s side, spilling groceries and giving the kids brain damage, I have to actually stand next to the crazy trolley, one hand on the front, the other on the back, just to keep it on my intended path. Ridiculous.

Then we get to the botton of the hill and the back of the trolley kicks out and I have to use all of my might to stop it, and then turn it toward the direction I actually want it to go.

I know people who have had these ridiculous trolleys actually tip over on them. With kids and groceries inside. Can you imagine the embarrassment? And I’ve heard these stories from more than one person. It’s actually not an uncommon occurrence.

Who thought 4 turning wheels would be a good idea? I think said person needs a swift kick in the rear. And then why was this ridiculous idea implemented on every single shopping trolley in Australia? I wonder if they have ever had proper shopping trolleys over here. You know, ones that have back wheels that don’t turn left or right (but go forward of course), and front wheels that do. Trolley’s that you can turn without pulling a muscle in your back. Trolleys that don’t try to kill your children and/or damage all of your food.

This is just another reason I love Costco. Finally, there is a here. The first time I went there, I had slight nightmares about pushing around a giant sized crazy Australian style shopping trolley. Thank goodness Costco has brought with them the American style shopping trolley. It’s such a relief to go there and actually be able to push the trolley properly. Not to mention I can look at all the American things I grew up with. , ,  those that Costco makes themselves.  It’s like being back to the U.S. while I’m in there. So I really like it. And no, they didn’t pay me or give me anything to write this, we just went there the other day. And by mentioning this, I can put up the adorable photos I took while I was there. Yeah, my little man loves to smile for the camera. Hannah, not so much.

Let’s hope the American shopping trolleys catch on.

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Copyright 2012 Sheri Thomson

12 Responses to “The impossible shopping trolleys”

  1. April 27, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    I feel sorry for you!!! We only have those terrible carts at Ikea over here. I could not imagine grocery shopping like that. It’s hard enough shopping with 2 kids! And Costco rocks :)

    • April 27, 2012 at 8:15 am #

      Oh man, I can’t imagine pushing one of those full of flat packed furniture!!!!! And yeah, Costco does rock!

  2. April 28, 2012 at 1:14 am #

    Looks like the kids are having normal fun with this awkward shopping cart.Mister’s smile just melts us away.

    • April 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

      Oh, that is the normal shopping cart at Costco. But they have fun in the awkward ones too…. And thanks, mr. Man’s smile melts me too

  3. April 28, 2012 at 5:38 am #

    We went to IKEA a few weeks ago and their carts are like that! It was a total nightmare. My kids tried “Drifting” (Stunt car driving) the carts all over the store until finally I started looking at them and saying “Where is your mother? You kids probably need to find her…”

    • April 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm #


    • May 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

      Feel Free to follow our trlloey’s. We leave at 6:30 from Wheel Fun Rentals at 22 State Street. Pull behind us.. don’t forget to hop out and grap some cookies and hot apple cider to enjoy on your ride Happy Holidays. Don’t forget next year Trolley Holiday Light tickets go on sale Oct 1

  4. April 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Your kids are seriously adorable! Love, love, LOVE that pic of the two of them in the Costco (I’m assuming) parking area. Too cute!

    In Canada, we only have those awful carts at Ikea (like Sleepless at Sunset) and you should hear Hubs rage on and on and on about them while were in there… he REALLY hates them. He says that he totally feels your pain!

    • April 28, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

      Thanks! So maybe those carts are a European thing and Australia just went with it. Don’t know why since they are so ridiculous…

  5. May 18, 2012 at 4:22 am #

    I love this story, we, too, in England have these impossible shopping trolleys! The wheels go in which ever direction they please, usually in opposite directions so the trolley stays in one place. I can totally sympathize about getting from the shop to the car with a full trolley, its a nightmare going up hill, we also stand by the side and push/pull the darn thing! Love your blog!

    • May 18, 2012 at 7:33 am #

      Thanks :) Why would anyone make such trolleys???? Ridiculous….


  1. Bribery « - October 9, 2012

    […] needed some things from the supermarket while we were at the shopping centre, so I pushed the ridiculous shopping trolley that has 4 turning wheels instead of just the front two towards Coles. We had to pass an ice cream […]

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