When working in an outdoor environment, there will come a time when heavy loads of garden waste need to be transported from site to site. Buckets, baskets and trugs are fine for hauling small quantities of detritus, but top of the tipping tree sits the wheelbarrow. Steeds with one to four wheels are available with a choice of capacities to suit all requirements, but where to cast your money?
When choosing a barrow, consider what will be its main task. For garden work, you’ll most probably be using it to lug around green organic waste, so you’ll want something with a large capacity pan. Something in the region of 75l-120l should see you right. For heavier work, such as shifting building materials and stone, a barrow of strong construction is more of a concern. Look for barrows with front wheel supports and steel chassis for extra rigidity.
Both users will benefit from pneumatic tyres that reduce vibration when wheeling over uneven surfaces, but gardeners working around and among thorny plants may wish to gravitate towards wheels that promise protection from punctures.
Haemmerlin Polypropylene ‘Pick Up’ Wheelbarrow
And, finally, a note on capacities: manufacturers tend to list the load capacities in kilograms when it’s a heavy-duty wheelbarrow. For the average gardener, litre capacity is more relevant as the their barrow will tend to be used for transporting large amounts of lighter materials, such as weeds, grass clippings and so on.
This racy, large-capacity barrow cuts a dash through the cabbage patch with its vibrantly coloured, jumbo-sized (110l) polypropylene pan. We were especially fond of the top tool notch that prevents rakes and whatnot from sliding around when the barrow is going full pelt around the garden. The handy tipper bar made it easy to hoist the pan and fling the barrow’s contents onto a willing compost heap or dung pile. Available in bright yellow or green with a choice of either puncture free or pneumatic tyres.
Walsall Easiload Barrow in a Box
The Walsall Wheelbarrow company (not to be mistaken for a gang from Peaky Blinders ) has been supplying the nation with wheelie wonders for over 60 years. This Easiload wheelbarrow comes in a box (a large, barrow-shaped box) for easy shipping and storage. A spot of assembly is required to attach the frame and wheel to the pan but, once fully assembled and set to task, it feels strong and light, with plenty of space for waste in its 85l/125kg pan. Pneumatic wheels and puncture-proof wheels are both available. We’d advise to plump for the latter if you plan to push your barrow over thorny ground.
Briers Kids Wheelbarrow
Load up this child-sized barrow with grass clippings from the lawn and kick back while junior busies up with manual labour disguised as playtime fun. The solid wheel means there will be no tears resulting from a sudden flat tyre, the handles are soft and grippy and it’s simple to manoeuvre. The pan capacity is minimum (8L), mind, so you won’t be able to put your feet up for long before having to load it up again for more merriment.
Garden Gear two-wheeler
espite initial manoeuvrability concerns over this two-wheeled beast, it proved to be a nimble barrow to handle on test. The durable polypropylene 75l tub and tubular steel chassis makes it a light barrow to push – the puncture-proof tyres were big and bouncy when skipping over uneven ground and felt reassuringly grippy when hurtling at speed over wet grass.
This barrow cuts an unusual figure, but its long singular handlebar makes for a surprisingly stable, easy push. The low-slung 85l pan makes it easy to load and unload, and should you accidentally tip up during a fast, mistimed cornering manoeuvre, the contents of your barrow won’t have to fall very far. It has two pneumatic wheels and solid galvanised frame. Seven colours are available, including racing green and hot rod red.