He said, “I’m using my Dad’s wheelbarrow. It’s well over 55 years old. That’s no exaggeration. It’s solid metal throughout and has a solid rubber tire. The very thing that makes it so durable also makes my job harder when using it. My arms practically drag the ground after a day using it.”
My neighbor is a senior citizen, and he agrees it’s time to get a new, lighter one. But which one? We talk wheelbarrows across the fence for an hour or so and came up with a few ideas that I will share with you today.
For ease of use, we agreed that those two-front wheeled plastic wheelbarrows might be best. But how long do they last? We bet it wouldn’t be 50 years like his dad’s wheelbarrow. For general gardening use or for building an expanding rock garden, we would categorize the two-wheelers for that type of moderate use only. The two-wheeled Rubbermaid wheelbarrow is a good option, we figured. Two wheels are better than one, and a plastic- or plastic-composite tub is better and lighter than metal.
A garden cart with bicycle wheels is another option. The wheels make it easy to handle loads of several bags of topsoil, manure, mulch, whatever, and still push it around and not just on a level piece of ground but uphill, too.
For even more control and utility for heavy-duty work, a crate wagon wheelbarrow is a possibility. It’ll stand up to punishing abuse. Unlike metal, it doesn’t dent or rust. Even with a load of heavy stone tossed in, the wheelbarrow body will barely show any scratches. Because it’s an open framework you can’t haul loose dirt, but the “milk crate” design lets water through, which makes it perfect for hosing off filters and screens. Plus, it has four wheels for added stability.
Ultimately, a poly-tub, four-wheel wheelbarrow is what my neighbor decided would be best. The wheelbarrow’s poly basin and four wheels makes for a lighter and steadier load.
I asked him what he’ll do with his Dad’s solid steel wheelbarrow once the new one arrives. “Give it to my son,” he said. “The kid has a strong back and a weak mind. It’ll be perfect for him until he’s my age.”