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Wheelbarrow Buying Guide

Wheelbarrow in garden

If you’ve got any yard work planned this year, chances are you’re going to need the right wheelbarrow or garden cart to make it happen. After all, it’s not much fun carrying sod out by hand or hauling mulch around in a scoop shovel. Wheelbarrows and garden carts allow you to carry more and move it easier, increasing efficiency and reducing the amount of physical labor.

With all of the wheelbarrow and garden cart options out there, how are you supposed to know which one will meet your needs? Our handy guide will touch on all the pros, cons, shapes, and sizes so you can decide what works best.

Decide if you need a wheelbarrow or garden cart

Wheelbarrow full of grass

Your first decision is likely going to be whether you want to go with a wheelbarrow or a garden cart. Garden carts often give you the added benefit of four wheels for enhanced stability and heavier load capacity. 

Because garden carts can get heavy with all the material in them, they’ll need to be pulled by hand or hooked up to a small lawn tractor or ATV if they have that capability. With their size, weight, and carrying capacity, many garden carts are best suited for larger lawns and farms.

If you’re going to be hauling heavy loads of rock, soil, or other materials on a regular basis, a heavy-duty garden cart is likely the best option.

For most homeowners, though, a wheelbarrow will do the job.

Pick the right tray material & size

Wheelbarrow full of mud

Wheelbarrows typically come in with either a plastic/poly tray or steel tray. Steel tray wheelbarrows can often carry more weight, but can be heavier and harder to maneuver. Plastic is lighter, but you’ll want to be careful not to overload it.

Most wheelbarrows offer 4 to 8 cu. ft. capacity, but the majority fall in the 6 cu. ft. size. For general gardening and yard work, 6 cu. ft. is plenty of space – any more than that and the load can get pretty heavy depending on what you’re hauling.

Select your handle type

Truper wheelbarrow

The wheelbarrow handles can make a difference in how easy and how comfortable it is to move material. They’ll be made of either wood or steel; wood is lighter and more flexible, which can make it more comfortable for many users. Steel handles are stronger, and often found on higher capacity or contractor-grade models.

Truper’s TruGrip wheelbarrows even feature ergonomic loop grips on the end of steel handles to ease the strain on the user.

Choose from one wheel or two

Wheel of a wheelbarrow

Your choices here are single wheel or dual wheel designs. Most wheelbarrows have one wheel under the tray with the two legs for stability in the back. This makes them easy to maneuver on hills or varied terrain, and makes it easy to dump and unload material. At the same time, single-wheel designs can be unstable and harder to control with heavy loads.

Dual-wheel designs are a little less common, but are extremely stable and well balanced. They’re harder to turn and move in tight spaces, so if you’re using a dual-wheel setup you need to have additional space to move it around.

Whether you need a wheelbarrow or garden cart, we've got you covered. Check out all of our options online, or pick one up in stores today!


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