Two 12V batteries, employing the same technology as Zallys’ larger Jespi and Helpful units, power the Brio by delivering small amounts of power over a long time. Up to eight hours of work can be obtained from a single eight-hour charge and it comes with its own on-board charger. You simply reverse the barrow up to a socket and plug it in. Charging automatically stops when the batteries are full.
Starting the Brio is simply a matter of turning a key. Operation is via the twist-grip handles, the right grip giving forward travel and the left reverse. Other controls, including speed, are on a small dashboard. Its forward speed is a good walking pace but, for safety reasons, the Brio is 50 per cent slower in reverse than it is in forward travel.
Steering is similar to a wheelbarrow but without the effort. The third wheel — the large rear castor wheel — takes all the strain and is responsible for giving the unit a very nifty, tight turning circle.
The testers find the controls simple to use. “I could get used to this,” says one, “but I think its real use would be with a sprayer fitted. A 100-litre sprayer on wheels is really handy.”
Loads can be tipped by gripping the lever to unlock the pan.
Handy for accessing confined spaces and with an ability to work on slopes up to 30?, the Brio should find applications in domestic landscaping, especially in noise-sensitive locations. Various tyre options can be specified.
Zallys equipment is imported and supplied in the UK by Dennis.
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