James is a current freelance writer. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Southern New Hampshire University in English & Creative Writing.
Using the CartManager XD Manually
To turn on the mule, this requires a small key, which is usually connected to a black cover. Insert the key into the machine's ignition box and turn the key horizontal. When the key is inserted vertical, the machine is off. This is kind of like driving a car. Assuming the orange light works at the top of the machine, this light will be flashing automatically when the mule is turned on. The mule will not remain "on" if the key is ever removed from the machine's ignition box. The emergency stop button is the medium-size button in-between the two black thruster handle bars. If this button is ever pushed in, gently pull out the button after first twisting it clock-wise. Then, turn off the mule and immediately turn it back on. I'll later explain issues related to this subject matter down below. The user will know when the button has been pushed in if the battery icon is simply flashing. The little switch on top of the black base of the machine is the horn because of the trumpet symbol. On most CartManager machines, this will be loud and quite unpleasant to hear after a little while.
In order to get the CartManager or mule to move, you have to pull forward just a little bit on the black thrust handle bars. It doesn't take much to get the machine to move. If you pull forward on the handle bars all the way, the machine will move at top speed. When using the mule for the first time, I recommend trying it out nearby the cart garages at Wal-Mart. DO NOT try using the machine for the first time near a wall or out in the middle of the parking lot around cars. If you're not careful, you can actually pin yourself against a concrete wall with the machine, if you forget which direction to turn the handle bars and are standing a few feet away from the wall. The machine weighs about 695 pounds, so you can imagine just how painful it could be. Always remember that moving the handles forward will automatically move the machine forward and pulling back on the handle bars will cause the mule to reverse backwards when turned on.
Using the CartManager XD with the Remote
In order to get the mule to move with the remote, the user must first press the green circular button and then, either the turtle or rabbit button. If the little light at the top left hand corner of the remote doesn't flash the color of red after touching the buttons, either readjust your batteries or get new ones. Needless to say, the turtle button resembles a slow speed whereas the rabbit symbolizes a much faster speed. The max speed on the remote is 3.47 miles per hour, which is a little bit faster than a brisk walking pace. The reverse speed on the mule is 1.49 miles per hour.
Using the remote is completely necessary once you have at least one cart on the mule. When you have a full load of at least 20 carts, it is important for the remote user to guide the front of the cart row. The mule will go in the direction that it is being guided from the front. In order to stop without all of the carts coming off of the mule, the guider near the front will have to pull back on the first shopping cart on the end. When using the CartManager to push up the long rows of carts in the cart garages, I highly recommend individuals to use the turtle speed.
How useful and powerful is the CartManager?
Each mule can push about 200 carts in a straight line on a flat surface with a full battery charge. You will never do this at a Wal-Mart store, but you can use the machine to push up the longer rows in the grocery garage at super stores. Trolley Control's personal preference is about 25 shopping carts. One of the number one rules managers tell cart pushers is to never have more than 20 carts on the mules when collecting them from the parking lot. As I said before in another article though, this is just not practical on Thanksgiving and Christmas eve nights. Not to mention, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays too. There will be a couple of days out of the week where you should have more than 20 carts on the CartManager. This can easily work if you have another cart pusher nearby to help guide the middle of the cart row. If an individual is alone and there are about 35 carts on the mule, he or she will have to guide from the middle section while steering from the front of the cart row. This will require a little bit of practice.
When collecting 20+ carts on the mule from the parking lot and you're by yourself, try to finish your collection load on the rows closest to the garages. The longer the distance a cart pusher has to walk back to the garage by him or herself with 20+ carts, the more difficult it will be to get all the carts back into the garage without any problems. This is the general rule of thumb. For the battery, try not to use the mule when the battery is on red. The machine will move at a speed slower than the turtle speed. I highly recommend charging the mule once the battery gets to one or two yellow dots remaining. Whenever you're not using the CartManager, make sure to charge the battery using the plug and cord connected to the machine itself. It is recommended for individuals to use a standard, three-prong, grounded, 110-volt (230-volt in Europe) power outlet for recharging the mule's batteries.
What to do when problems occur!
The CartManager XD machines are not that durable, especially when five to ten cart pushers are using them every single day of every single week. Things can get broken. Flat tires are not uncommon, the machine can get damaged if a Wal-Mart customer backs out of his or her own parking space and bumps it, the charger can get run over, the mule keys can get lost, the remotes can get lost and even the remotes can break. The problems can be endless at times. On icy or windy days when you're working one side of the parking lot by yourself, try not to have more than 20 carts on the mule. Regardless, this is one of the major rules for cart pushers at every Wal-Mart store anyways. For flat tires, I would not recommend trying to use the mule when at least one of the tires are flat. Not only will it create loud noises out in the parking lot around customers, you'll put the CartManager at a great risk of tipping over. For programming a new remote to the mule, watch the video down below. If one of the mule keys gets lost, you cannot use one mule key for both mules.
However, I was able to get a mule to turn on with a paper clip. If you are able to get the mule to turn on with a paper clip, do not press the emergency stop button. This can create a big problem without the mule key itself. When it comes to charging the mule, the machine will still charge if left turned on and plugged in. All three circular dots next to the ignition panel should be flashing when the machine is charging. If one of the remotes gets lost or broken, feel free to have another cart pusher work on your garage with you outside. Like using the remote itself, this will require one cart pusher to guide the front of the cart row connected to the mule and another person to operate the mule by manually using the black handle bars. Communication between cart pushers is important in order for this to work out effectively. This can successfully work with hand signals or by the guider yelling "stop," "slow," "rabbit" or "turtle." I have seen cart pushers use straps before as well. Not all Wal-Mart stores provide straps for their cart associates to use. There is a little hook down below at the front of the machine that will make this possible.
How to program the remote to work with the Cart Manager XD!
© 2018 James Foglio
garnet46 on July 19, 2020:
i think the cart manager is a useful tool to use at
any WALMART store just respect the customer,
abd the cart manage. LOOK AFTER IT!