Why is it easier to pull a cart over a bump instead of pushing it over one?



Why is it easier to pull a cart over a bump instead of pushing it over one?

In: Physics

It depends where you’re pulling from and where you’re pushing from and the design of the cart. Sometimes pushing is easier, sometimes pulling is easier.

Pulling something usually involvea you also very slightly pulling it up off the ground. Where as pushing usually very slightly pushes it into the ground.

When there is a bump its obviously pretty hard to get over it if you are pushing something down into said bump.

Usually, when you push something you are applying mostly sideways force to it, but also some downward force. When pulling, you’re also applying sideways force but also some upward force. The downward force can make it more difficult for the object to get over a bump, since the object has to go up.

When you push, you’re mainly using upper body strength and when you pull you’re using more lower body strength.

Since a person has more lower body strength, leg muscles, it makes it easier to pull something than to push it.

It’s because of how you interact with the balance of the cart. When you go over a bump, the front wheels have to lift, meaning the cart needs to tip slightly. When you pull the cart, you directly lift the front, but when you push, you’re on the opposite side of the fulcrum from the point that you need to manipulate. There’s also a bit of biology involved in how you use your arms to push versus pull and distribute force in that manner.