Updated: July 25, 2016
- What is a wheelbarrow?
- Benefits of using a wheelbarrow
- How much do wheelbarrows cost? Which should I buy?
If you need to move dirt, rocks, plants or other material around your yard or a construction site, a wheelbarrow is an excellent device to have. Using physics to your advantage, a wheelbarrow will allow you to move much more weight than you could possible lift with your 2 bare arms.
The simple design of a wheelbarrow - 2 handles in the back for your hands to hold and a carrying area with a single tire in front - lets users transport large amounts of backyard items without putting a lot of stress on your back. A wheelbarrow will definitely help save time when loading and unloading large amounts of bark mulch, rocks, or dirt.
If you go to a home improvement or hardware store you will find a broad choice when it comes to backyard wheelbarrows, garden carts, or heavy duty wagons. Many offer the ability to move heavy items with minimal effort although we still prefer a sturdy wheelbarrow for the majority of backyard projects because they are easy to maneuver and they dump their contents really easily.
The video below shows the basic functions of a wheelbarrow and how to use one:
What to look for in a wheelbarrow?
The question that comes up a lot is which type of transport device is best for yardwork? Should you go with a heavy-duty contractors wheelbarrow, a multipurpose wagon, a plastic lawn cart, a garden cart, dumping wheelbarrow, or industrial-strength wheelbarrow. In many cases owning a few of the above mentioned products is probably best since they come in handy for different types of outdoor work.
There are even new folding wheelbarrows that have quality nylon basins that can hold up to 150 pounds of materials. When done, they are compact and break down in seconds to store in garages or tool sheds taking up very little space. Consider specialty dumping wheelbarrows if you will be pouring out the contents like with cement or rocks.
If the loads you will be hauling are quite heavy, think about buying an industrial strength wheelbarrow with 2 wheels and a reinforced frame for durability. Many homeowners who take on DIY (do it yourself) projects are now turning to garden carts and heavy duty wagons to move stones, debris, or other materials around their yards.
Carts and wagons can be less physically straining on your back when doing a hard days work of constant lifting or pulling. We tried to locate the best wheelbarrows in each category by reading reviews online and researching the various products available at our local home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot. You can get a quality wheelbarrow for $75 or so and some of the garden carts are even cheaper depending on what they are made of.
Look for something that is sturdy and durable since it will be lifting or pulling potentially 1000's of lbs of weight over the products lifetime. See our results below on the best selling and most popular wheelbarrows on the market. You can browse the most popular backyard and contractor wheelbarrows online here.
Best Contractors Wheelbarrow:
The Union Tools 77305/C6 6 Cubic Feet Contractor Wheelbarrow ($75) is one of the toughest we found on the market with a heavy duty undercarriage and a solid back leg brace. The 2 ply radial tire and tube has a ball bearing wheel for improved stability and maneuverability. The 1.0 mm deep steel tray has wooden wedges and cross braces which make it ideal for moving medium to heavy weight objects.
The 60" handles are easy to grip which make dumping the contents a safe job. The True Temper EZ 2 Handle Contractor Wheelbarrow ($64) is another excellent choice in this category with a stable-pour rollbar feature which makes dumping heavy loads simple. The rubber handgrips and plastic leg support grips give you better control of the wheelbarrow when lifting and dumping.
Either of these wheelbarrows will be a workhorse on the jobsite and do wonders in your backyard. There are industrial stength wheelbarrows that offer 2 wheels for added support and adjustable leg height for easier dumping, these can cost upwards of $250. Check with Home Depot or Lowes in their gardening or construction tool sections.
RECOMMENDED - We think the Ames True Temper 8 Cubic Foot Poly Tray Dual Wheel Contractor Wheelbarrow #BP8 is one to consider for heavy duty construction jobs. It's rated very high by contractors who rely on their equipment day in and day out.
To check out how to use a wheelbarrow as part of your regular yard care - click the image below to go to video.
The Allsop 28162 WheelEasy LE Folding Wheelbarrow ($36) came out on top with consumer reviews and user ratings in all the articles we found. The WheelEasy is a great folding wheelbarrow with 3 cubic feet of storage, heavy-duty steel handles, 1000-point denier-nylon construction, and it holds up to 150 lbs. Owners say the ability to load materials flush with the ground saves your back and it's more maneuverable and compact than any garden cart.
The collapsible and lightweight (15 lbs) design make for easy storage. Consumers like the fact that it's not bulky and can get into hard to reach areas of their gardens. It's sturdy enough to haul gravel, rocks, and dirt without ruining your back. Although not recommended for heavy duty yard cleanup and debris removal, the WheelEasy LE works great for amateur gardeners and weekend cleanup projects. See all the folding wheelbarrows and garden carts here.
Garden Cart/Plastic Lawn Cart:
Sometimes people lose the ability to lift up wheelbarrows as they get older and their backs can't take the lifting motion. Garden carts and plastic lawn carts work great for those who don't want to risk losing a load of rocks while walking behind a wheelbarrow (it's probably happened to all of us) and having the load come crashing over.
Carts are much more stable and can often be pulled instead of lifted which alleviates strain on back muscles. We even consider heavy-duty wagons in this category since they are just as handy to have in your backyard for cleanup and removal purposes. The Roughneck Lawn Cart 3707 ($30) is considered an excellent alternative to any wheelbarrow with a load capacity of 200 lbs and a 3 1/4 cu. ft. container.
The Great Plains Jumbo Industrial Wagon ($140) is something you might expect to find at a nursery but works well for landscapers and backyard enthusiasts who move lots of materials. The 1400 lbs capacity should be more than enough and the smooth-riding pneumatic tires make pulling it a breeze. The removable side panels make this unit versatile and owners say it great for carrying firewood, boulders, and plants.
The one comment we read in several reviews is that the rubber tires are extremely smelly and the wagon should be stored outside or in a well ventilated garage or storage shed. RECOMMENDED - We suggest browsing their top rated garden carts here.
More videos and resources are here on our Wheelbarrow Resource Page.
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