What to consider when buying a wheelbarrow
Your first consideration when buying a wheelbarrow should be the design and number of wheels. A single-wheeled barrow is easier to manoeuvre than a two-wheeled barrow – especially in small spaces, on planks, in water and on tilted ground – while a two-wheeled wheelbarrow is more stable on level ground and can be easier to tip than a one-wheeled barrow. Bear in mind that flat-nosed wheelbarrows can only be tipped forwards, while those with a rounded nose can be tipped at various angles.
The volume of the wheelbarrow is another important factor. A standard wheelbarrow typically has a capacity of 2 to 3 cubic feet and is suitable for general domestic use. However, if you need a wheelbarrow with a larger tray, look for a professional builder’s wheelbarrow, which can hold up to 6 cubic feet of material.
Your choice of either a plastic or metal wheelbarrow tray should ultimately be based on the types of material that you wish to transport in the wheelbarrow. One advantage of a plastic wheelbarrow is that it is lighter than a metal wheelbarrow with the same capacity. A plastic wheelbarrow is also more weatherproof and less likely to be affected by toxic substances than a metal one. However, a metal wheelbarrow is more durable than a plastic barrow overall, and is the best choice for carrying heavy loads. If you are going to be moving heavy materials, choose a metal wheelbarrow with a reinforced metal plate and a welded leg frame for extra support. If you decide to buy a metal wheelbarrow, always make sure that the metal is galvanised to protect it against the formation of rust.
Wheelbarrows are available with either pneumatic or non-pneumatic tyres, both of which have advantages and disadvantages. Non-pneumatic tyres are solid and puncture-proof, but do not ride as smoothly as pneumatic tyres on rough ground. The air contained inside a pneumatic tyre acts as a shock absorber on rough terrain, making for a smoother ride, but pneumatic tyres can puncture easily and will need to be pumped up from time to time. If you want the best of both, look a wheelbarrow with a semi-pneumatic tyre/s. These tyres have built-in air pockets to absorb shock, but don't need to be re-inflated like standard pneumatic tyres.