How to haul garbage cans to the street with your car

This is what they didn't tell you when you moved out to the country.

Brian Cooley Editor at Large
Brian Cooley is CNET's Editor at large and has been with the brand since 1995. He currently focuses on electrification of vehicles but also follows the big trends in smart home, digital healthcare, 5G, the future of food, and augmented & virtual realities. Cooley is a sought after presenter by brands and their agencies when they want to understand how consumers react to new technologies. He has been a regular featured speaker at CES, Cannes Lions, Advertising Week and the Publicis HealthFront. He was born and raised in Silicon Valley when Apple's campus was mostly apricots.
Expertise Automotive technology, smart home, digital health. Credentials
  • 5G Technician, ETA International
Brian Cooley
3 min read

Many city slickers and suburbanites took the pandemic as an opportunity to move to the exurbs, away from the homogenized convenience of densely populated areas. If you're one of them you probably had to embrace technologies like a septic system, propane fuel and satellite internet. But a change you may not have foreseen is garbage: How do you get heavy cans down a potentially long driveway to the road where they're picked up? There are several devices aimed at making that easy, using the car, sport utility, or pickup you already own. Here are two I find very useful.

Cansporter and Garbage Commander

Two ways to turn the vehicle you already drive into a handy garbage can hauler.


There's is a hitch

For either of these devices you'll need a trailer hitch on your vehicle, preferably with a 2" receiver which is the square hole into which you slide accessories like bike racks or garbage carriers. You can probably install a hitch from a company like Curt yourself in a few hours if you're mechanically inclined, or head to U-Haul where they can install a hitch on anything in about an hour.

2-inch trailer hitch receiver

This is the essential connection for so many garbage can hauler and bike racks: A trailer hitch with a 2-inch receiver, the square hole where you slide in accessories.


Two ways to haul

Now you can connect the Cansporter or the Garbage Commander. They both move cans but that's about all they have in common:  The Garbage Commander is a can rolling device that pulls them on their own wheels behind your vehicle and can pull four or more cans at a time. In the video you'll see in detail how the cans lean back and are clipped into place.

Garbage Commander

The Garbage Commander pulls cans along on their own wheels and can pull a lot of cans hitched together. But bear that method in mind if you have to traverse a badly rutted road or deep snow.


The Cansporter holds cans off the ground after you push them onto its cradles with a clever cantilever action. It can move a maximum of two cans at a time as there is no way to daisy chain more as with the Garbage Commander. In the video I show you how the cantilever action get cans onto the device without a dead lift.

Garbage Commander

The Cansporter carries cans completely off the ground, holding them by the same bar that professional refuse equipment typically attaches do.


How to choose a can hauler

Choose the right device for you needs by checking off these key decision points:

  • Capacity: The Garbage Commander can readily pull four cans or more at a time while the Cansporter maxes out in a two-can configuration.
  • Maneuverability: The Garbage Commander prevents you from backing up when cans are attached while the Cansporter allows you full maneuverability when hauling cans and no concern about rutted or snowy driveways.
  • Attachment: The Garbage Commander grabs cans with a somewhat fussy clip system while the Cansporter uses what I found to be a simpler cantilever system. 
  • Bulkiness: The Garbage Commander is light enough to pick up with one hand while the Cansporter may be too heavy for someone who is slight or has physical infirmities, all of which is moot if you leave the device on your vehicle all the time.
  • Price: The Garbage Commander ($99 to $135) costs roughly half as much as the Cansporter ($197 to $310) when similar models are compared.

I like both products and they offer meaningful differences that speak to different buyer's needs, driveway conditions, and budget.

Welcome to the exurbs, now that you've figured out the garbage cans you can work on what kind of plants deer don't eat.