Wheelbarrows - Opinions on quality models?

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Old 03-05-11, 08:42 PM
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Wheelbarrows - Opinions on quality models?

My $30 budget earth-mover is now in the trash and it's time for a long-term one-wheeled relationship. Now, along with the serious amount of soil I'll be moving later this month and impending mortar/concrete mixing my thoughts are of a contractor grade wheelbarrow. I'm assuming large inflatable tire, steel tub and 6 cubic/ft would be on target?

Soliciting recommendations based on what you may be using (or are familiar with).

Cheers!
 
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Old 03-06-11, 04:30 AM
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I like the plastic tub on mine. It's almost 20 years old and still going strong.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 04:34 AM
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Plastic tubs are great - they never rust
but they can crack if they're used in cold weather
 
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Old 03-06-11, 05:38 AM
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I have a plastic tub that hangs on the outside of the garage all winter. It's also 20+ years old and has seen lots of use.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 06:02 AM
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I probably should have said that the plastic tubs can crack when used in cold weather. It all depends on how it's used. Tossing rocks or firewood in a plastic wheelbarrow in cold weather often results in the plastic breaking

I think I paid about $30 for my metal wheel barrow 35 or so yrs ago. It's still in good shape and all I've done to it is coat the handles every few yrs and replaced the tube and tire once...... but these days I'm more apt to use the bucket on the front of my tractor
 
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Old 03-06-11, 06:17 AM
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Though I've never had either one (too cheap), you might check out the double wheel types if it will be used for a lot of heavy unstable loads. Also, I think some come with solid tires don't they? Anyone ever have one?

Had to help the neighbor replace his washer this week...dolly tires flat. Get the compressor out..inflate tires. Wife wanted some stuff done around the yard yesterday, yep...barrow tire flat. Get compressor out...inflate tire.

Oh...I support the heavy gauge plastic tub as well...not the cheap flimsy homeowner models.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 07:32 AM
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My wheelbarrow is one of the heavy duty commercial models. I'm often loading it with rip rap and other rocks by dumping a load onto it with a front end loader and there are still no cracks though I've only used it in VA and NC and it gets very little use when it's below freezing. I have another steel tub wheelbarrow that gets little use. It's dented and rusted but still works. For some odd reason I can't explain why I always go for the plastic one. I just like it better. Maybe it's a little quieter when tossing rocks or gravel into it.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 08:34 AM
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Thanks for the replies!

The comments have turned my assumptions inside-out. I really liked the thought of a plastic tub and not having to deal with rusting over time but had reservations about cracking while loading with block or logs, also was unsure how it would wear when hoeing a mix. I've read some reviews noting support bolts being pulled through the tub and simply general structural flimsiness when loaded, now guessing most likely associated with the budget plastic tub versions. Beginning to think my wariness may have been based on those. Will have to give a closer look to the thicker more robust versions.

I've also put some thought into dually wheels and never-flats. Having to cross-slope at the sides of the home might make the dual wheel versions a bit of a challenge. As for the tubeless tires, I know they're no longer the same solid design of years ago and supposedly act much more like a standard tubed version but I do have yet to read of a comparison based on actual experience.

For those using the plastic tub versions I'd be interested in hearing what brand it is you find inspires confidence.

Cheers!
 
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Old 03-06-11, 08:51 AM
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Steel tubs rust but they take a LONG time to rust through. If it does get rusty and little concrete mixing cleans it right off.
I do not suggest the duel wheel versions. While they do handle loads better and are more stable they are not as maneuverable as a single wheel version. I can say that the never flat tire that I have on mine is the best upgrade I have done! Rolls easy and always ready. These are the ones I use: Marathon Tires Flat-Free Wheelbarrow and Cart Tire, 15.5in. x 4.80 / 4.00-8 | Wheelbarrow Style | Northern Tool + Equipment
Another option is to put a "slime" filled tube in the tire. I put a couple on my two wheel cart behind my four wheeler and my lawn tractor tires and have yet to have a flat.
 
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Old 03-06-11, 09:30 AM
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Thanks for the reply Tolyn!

Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
Steel tubs rust but they take a LONG time to rust through. If it does get rusty and little concrete mixing cleans it right off.
I hear ya! That $30 barrow of mine was probably only 18ga and lasted 20 years with absolutely no TLC ever having been shown it.

Originally Posted by Tolyn Ironhand View Post
I do not suggest the duel wheel versions. While they do handle loads better and are more stable they are not as maneuverable as a single wheel version.
In addition to your insight I had also considered when the need comes to place a ramp or runner for access. Not nearly as convenient or practical as laying a single 2x10. Also appreciate the tire info and link. "Slime" is a very good option.

Cheers!
 
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Old 03-07-11, 03:52 AM
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I agree with the slime and/or the never flats. The tire thickness on a wheelbarrow is so thin a briar will penetrate it.
Now, don't do this, but there was a guy who worked at a jobsite, and every afternoon he would take a wheelbarrow of dirt out past the security guards (he had permission for the dirt removal). They would inspect it and send him on his way. After about 30 days of this, it was determined what he was doing was stealing wheelbarrows
 
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Old 03-07-11, 08:53 PM
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Jackson, Jackson, Jackson! It's all my Dad and I have ever used! He actually just gave me one that he's had for MORE than 20 years! Definitely go with the metal tub and be sure the wheel does NOT stick out past the end of the tub. This takes helps distribute the weight over the wheel and takes more stress off of you!

Oh... not sure if you were considering two-wheeled or not... if so, don't. Single wheel is much easier to maneuver and actually easier to push with a heavy load.
 
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Old 03-10-11, 09:46 AM
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Appreciate the replies!

The last couple of days I've been looking at barrows locally and have to say these plastic tubs leave me a wee bit leery. I'm assuming those I've seen are probably not contractor grade as the plastic is quite thin and relatively flexible (bordering on flimsy). There are "carts" made with what looks to be nice sturdy 1/4" ABS plastic (possibly even fiber reinforced) but the barrows feel more like plastic flower pots on wheels.

Looks like Duston has pretty much highlighted my only real option (locally). The 6 cube steel tub Jackson proves to be the one that fits my comfort zone. Seems solid in just about every aspect.

LOL! Good one chandler! Now, if I could just quickly befriend someone possible of taking on that task...

Cheers!
 
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Old 03-10-11, 10:01 AM
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Well...I have an Ames that I bought 3 yrs ago (not much choices in my small town), not sure of the size, but it handled 40 ft of busted up 5' block wall and mortar for about 20' of retaining wall, as well as the typical dirt and mulch hauling. Sits outside in the sun and cold the rest of the time and still is in fine condition. Don't remember the cost, but I think it was around $60 or so from a local hardware store.

btw...though it sound good...chandlers story is a couple of hundred years old according to snopes.
 
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Old 03-10-11, 10:26 AM
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I don't have a lot of options for quality tools in my town. Often, even the best available around here is just not good enough with the highest quality level being good homeowner level. Luckily I go to a couple national trade shows each year and I can buy or order what I want/need.
 
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