Choosing Yard Maintenance Tools: What’s the Right Wheelbarrow for You?

Whether you have a small yard or a large expanse of land, you need to get things from point A to point B. One of the oldest and simplest ways to do this is with the aid of a wheelbarrow.  When you go shopping for one, you may be surprised at the variety available today. Before heading to the store, think about your needs.

The two main materials wheelbarrows are made of are steel and plastic.  There are other options such as fiberglass and wood, but these two are the most common.  Although steel weighs more, it bears more weight than plastic can. apr4a1However, steel is also prone to rusting, so you must be careful about how you store it.  Never put it away wet.

Plastic is ideal if you do light gardening. It’s weighs less and is easier to store. There are also collapsible canvas barrows available, which is great if you have restricted storage space, but these don’t stand up to as much abuse as the other options.

You may want to think about different types of handles, depending on your build. Although two-handled options are easier to steer and dump, they can be a challenge for smaller-bodied individuals to use. There are one handled varieties available in this case.

Also think about if you’d like ergonomic handles, which make pulling the barrow easier but dumping harder.

One or Two Wheels
Although the traditional barrow is easy to maneuver and dump, it takes more physical power to use, but the two wheeled variety doesn’t take as much force to move. You will sacrifice some maneuverability and effectiveness on hilly terrain with this option.  Note:  the two-wheeled models are often called ‘garden carts.’

The terrain of your unique landscaping will dictate what kind of material the wheel should be made from.

Pneumatic wheels, the type you find on your car, offer a smoother ride and better shock absorption, but they need some maintenance. Like your car tires, they will deflate if not cared for and can be punctured.

Solid rubber wheels require less maintenance, but they provide neither the smooth ride nor efficient shock absorption. If you’d like a compromise between the two, take a look at semi-pneumatic wheels instead.

Wheelbarrows are a great help to any gardener, but as with any tool, when you purchase the right kind, you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration.