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6 Genius Wagon-Maintenance Hacks That Will Save You A Trip To The Wainwright

Your wainwright doesn’t want you to know about these!

1. You own more jockey boxes than you even know: When you have a to-do list that includes dropping the kids off at school, running errands after work, and about a million other things, you don’t have time to race around the county getting quotes from different wainwrights on the price of a good jockey box. Chances are, those trips to big box stores have left you with a variety of plastic containers to choose from. Pick one, affix it to the centerboard, and stop thinking about it.

2. A spare curtain rod can be an axel: Not counting the eternity it takes for the wainwright to hear the front desk bell over the sound of his hammering, a broken axel can mean four days of repair, minimum. Or you could fix it ASAP with that curtain rod you’ve got stashed against the spare luggage in the basement. Simply remove the damaged axel and thread the rod through the braces on the rear bolster. Sand the ends down to fit comfortably into the skeins, and you’re in business.

3. Coffee cans make the best grease buckets: Unless you want your wheels seizing up, you need a functioning grease bucket. Getting one installed at your wainwright means burning time in the waiting room while he is pawning this job off to his young apprentice with the glass eye. Why pay top dollar just to have it done by a fumbling, depth-perception-challenged novice? With an $8 can of Folgers you can fix it within minutes while ensuring it goes on straight the first time.

4. Scuffed-up toe board? Try toothpaste: Ask a wainwright how often you should replace your toe board, and he’ll probably suggest changing it out hourly. You only need to take one look at his overflowing grain cellar to realize that a scrupulous wainwright is not a successful wainwright! A dollop of toothpaste and an old brush are all you need to scrub out the stains and thus avoid the sales pressure we all feel standing in the musky air of the wainwright’s shop.

5. If you’ve got spare linens, you’ve got a spare bonnet: While there’s nothing to keep the kids’ basketball from tearing through your wagon’s bonnet, there is a fix that doesn’t require you to endure your wainwright trying to upsell you to a totally unnecessary canvas bonnet. Grab a spare sheet from the linen closet to drape over the bows, staple it into place, and voilà! An easy and drama-free solution.

6. Rubber shower stoppers also stop wagons: Nothing ruins brunch plans like having your wagon jolt to an abrupt stop when a street urchin gets stuck in the rear brake mechanism. Your wainwright will surely drag his feet fixing this because he has an exclusive wagon-repair contract with the fire department and always prioritizes their jobs. Solution? Nail a rubber shower stopper directly to the brake shoe, reassemble the chain, promise to hire the now-freed transient for some odd jobs around your property for his trouble, then test your handiwork with a few pumps. Your wallet will thank you!