So now that we've had our etymology lesson, I didn't come here to talk about wheelbarrows. I came to talk about the oxen substitute for them: slip scrapers.
|Hauling compost. And a shovel.|
The angle of this photo makes the left handle look longer than it is,
but it doesn't stick out more than 18 inches from the back, I swear.
Traditionally used to move material by digging into it and dumping it at the destination (More on that at some other time, but you must pinky-swear here and now that if you get a slip scraper and you're going to put handles on it, you'll put short-enough-to-look-ridiculous handles on it. Long handles will quickly turn a slip scraper into a slip catapult), slip scrapers are also useful for almost all of those wheelbarrow related tasks: moving one bale of hay, hauling dirt or compost, and carrying loads like rocks or bricks.
Slip scrapers don't hold any more than a wheelbarrow and the advantage of loading down low is negligible, but you get the task done and you got one more chance to work your oxen, which is more fun that wheeling a barrel, whatever that is.