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What Should I Consider When Buying a Wheelbarrow?

Shannon Kietzman
Shannon Kietzman

As early as 200 CE, the wheelbarrow was invented to transport supplies to sick and injured soldiers on the battlefields of China. Today, the use has changed, but the basic design has remained essentially the same. It still contains a bin for holding materials, handles to help a person lift it off the ground, and one or two wheels to help transport the contents from point A to point B.

There are two main types of wheelbarrow: the traditional and the garden cart. The traditional version has sloped sides, one wheel, and two handles, and is composed of metal and plastic parts. It only has one wheel, so the user has to balance it to use it. At the same time, the single wheel makes it easy to move around corners.

The garden cart version has only one handle. This forms a bar across the front, much like the push bar on a lawn mower. A garden cart is generally made of wood and has two wheels. The sides and the bottom are flat.

A traditional wheelbarrow is easy to manuever but requires balancing.
A traditional wheelbarrow is easy to manuever but requires balancing.

Garden carts provide more stability than a traditional wheelbarrow, but the two wheels can make them bulky and difficult to maneuver around corners. In addition, garden carts can be pushed or pulled because of the handle bar, while the traditional version can usually only be pushed.

When shopping for a wheelbarrow, you should first think about what you want to use it for. Some prefer the garden cart version because it offers plenty of space for gardening tools, potting soil, plant food, and plants. Garden carts also offer far more storage space.

At the same type, garden carts have flat sides, which makes it difficult or impossible to dump the contents. People often have to use a shovel to remove weeds, dirt, and other messy contents. In addition, wet materials can damage the cart’s floor and sides if it is made of wood.

A traditional wheelbarrow, on the other hand, can be tipped to dump contents in the appropriate spot. In addition, it can handle both wet and dry materials. In fact, the user can easily mix a batch of concrete and then dump it into the correct spot, and then wash it out quickly with a hose.

Both traditional and garden cart wheelbarrows come in different shapes and sizes. When making your purchase, it's critical for you to consider weight. While an empty wheelbarrow is easy to push around, it can become extremely heavy when filled with dirt, weeds, or wood chips. A large one may offer more space, but it can also become impossible to push when bearing a full load. A six-foot square (1.8 sq.m.) wheelbarrow will typically work well for a single family’s outdoor chores.

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    • A traditional wheelbarrow is easy to manuever but requires balancing.
      By: cbckchristine
      A traditional wheelbarrow is easy to manuever but requires balancing.