How much time do you spend working in your garden? If you spend most of the weekends digging, planting, weeding, or aerating the soil, you need to invest in gardening equipment.
A wheelbarrow is a must-have item for every gardening enthusiast, used for transporting mulch, weeds, and soil. It allows gardeners to transfer materials from one place to another without investing too much physical effort. These one-wheel or dual-wheel vehicles are made with different materials, tires, handles, and wheels.
There is a myriad of gardening websites, such as Gardening With Confidence, offering useful garden wheelbarrow reviews.
These tips are designed to help gardeners make the best choice of a wheelbarrow.
Choose between a wheelbarrow and a garden cart
The first important decision gardeners are suggested to make is choosing between a wheelbarrow and a garden cart. Although both are designed for performing the same function, there are certain differences buyers need to consider before making a choice. The former has slanted sides and a front wheel, easily controlled by walking behind it. Gardeners prefer wheelbarrows for dumping soil, weeds, and compost.
The latter is designed with straight sides and more than two wheels. Instead of being pushed, carts are pulled, which makes maneuvering more challenging on bumpy surfaces. Nevertheless, garden carts provide better stability because of the larger number of wheels. Therefore, gardeners generally use them for handling bulky loads like stones.
Consider the material
An essential consideration when shopping for a wheelbarrow is the tray material. While wooden models go down in history, steel and plastic models have become attractive to gardeners. Steel constructions are popular for their sturdiness and ability to handle loads of large weight. These are however susceptible to rust unless gardeners protect them from the harmful effect of weather elements by storing them in the garage. In order to prevent rust, users are advised to paint them annually.
Plastic wheelbarrows, on the other hand, are lighter, budget-friendly, and easier to maneuver. Anyhow, these are not capable of withstanding heavy loads or freezing temperatures. When looking for a plastic model, make sure the plastic is dense, thick, and resistant to UV rays. The plastic of low density will easily crack under bulky loads. Read here about the composition, types, and uses of plastic.
Wooden models are known for their ability to transport loads of large weight. However, these are not exactly long-lasting, as wood is liable to dampness. Keep in mind that the sturdiness of the tray material is directly related to the load weight the wheelbarrow can handle. Consequently, steel constructions haul much heavier loads than those made from plastic. Since sturdy materials are heavier, steel wheelbarrows are more challenging to operate.
In terms of foldability, gardeners who lack storage space are provided with an opportunity to purchase a collapsible model. Despite their convenience regarding storage, foldable wheelbarrows are not sturdy enough to withstand a heavy burden.
Pay close attention to the handles
The handles of wheelbarrows are worth considering when selecting the right model for your garden. These are responsible for the maneuverability of the vehicle, affecting the convenience of moving it across the garden. Gardeners can choose between traditional and ergonomic handles when looking at models.
Traditional designs feature two handles, whereas ergonomic designs feature a single handle. Wheelbarrows with traditional straight handles require more strength on the part of gardeners. In contrast, models with a single handle can be operated by anyone without investing too much strength.
The material of wheelbarrow handles has a tremendous effect on the comfort of individuals operating the vehicle. Wooden handles are lightweight and flexible to use, while steel handles are not exactly convenient for garden use.
In order to ensure good maneuverability, buyers are suggested to look for rubberized or plasticized handles. Wheelbarrows are loaded and unloaded much easier when the handles have a rubber or plastic layer over the base material.
Consider the wheels
The following factor to take into account when shopping for such a gardening tool is the wheel design. Traditional models are equipped with a single wheel placed in the front, central part of the vehicle. These variants require more hand strength to keep the wheelbarrow under control when maneuvering it around the garden.
Furthermore, models with two wheels in the frontal area are considered more stable due to providing better balance. Nevertheless, dual-wheel models aren’t the best choice for maneuvering on hills or tight spaces. As a result, these are more convenient for individuals with spacious gardens, offering plenty of space for moving the vehicle around.
Additionally, gardeners need to decide between pneumatic and non-pneumatic tires. Pneumatic tires work on the same principle as auto and bicycle tires. These are filled with air, which takes the role of a shock absorber. Consequently, models with pneumatic tires run more smoothly on rugged terrain. However, users are expected to check the air pressure of tires regularly to prevent them from flattening. For further guidance on checking tire pressure, make sure you see this link, https://www.familyhandyman.com/list/how-to-check-tire-pressure/.
In contrast, non-pneumatic tires are less likely to go flat or get damaged. However, these would never provide a smooth ride in the same manner as pneumatic tires do. Gardeners looking for the best of both worlds are recommended to look for models with a semi-pneumatic tire, which is made from rubber but stores air in the form of air pockets.
Consider the capacity
When checking capacity, make sure you look for the cubic footage feature of the product. Some manufacturers refer to the capacity feature as the weight of the wheelbarrow. Regardless of the term manufacturers use, buyers should inspect the weight limit and cargo volume of models. Sturdy models have a higher weight limit than those made from a lightweight material like plastic.
Cargo volume refers to the amount of available space of wheelbarrows, used for fitting materials. The largest number of such vehicles have a capacity of ten cubic feet but models capable of holding six cubic feet of material are more than enough for gardening tasks.
It’s paramount for buyers to pay more attention to the cargo volume of models instead of their weight limit. Even if a particular wheelbarrow is able to carry 500 pounds of weight, it’ll be useless if the volume of the tray isn’t large enough to hold 500 pounds.
Check out the extras
Even though wheelbarrows do not come with a lot of extras, high-end models are equipped with certain add-ons that make gardening easier. For example, individuals who need to use such vehicles on hilly terrain should consider purchasing a model with a break bar. Wheelbarrows with brakes are easier to control when pushing them downhill.
Additionally, buyers looking for greater convenience when loading materials should invest in a model with collapsible sides. Some variants come with racks, placed between the handles. These racks are used for the storage of garden tools.
Look for a warranty
Last but not least, garden wheelbarrows should come with a warranty period of at least two years. Never forget to check whether the manufacturer offers a guarantee before purchasing the product. Make a comparison between the warranties provided by different manufacturers, as not all warranties offer the same coverage.
Stay away from manufacturers offering no guarantee or a very short warranty period. Companies producing low-quality models do not provide good warranties due to the bad quality of their products. On the contrary, some manufacturers of high-end wheelbarrows offer lifetime warranties, which speak volumes about their remarkable quality. During the guarantee period, manufacturers are expected to replace any broken or damaged part, as well as replace the product if necessary.
Make sure you invest in such a gardening tool to spend less physical effort while working in the garden.
It is worth every single penny!