How to Choose a Wheelbarrow to Best Fit Your Needs

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There are many different sizes and shapes of wheelbarrows. Some options include big, small, tough, or light wheelbarrows. So how do you pick the one that is right for you? Well, you’ll need to figure out what you need a wheelbarrow for and then decide which features are the most important to you. In this article we’ll go over many different features of wheelbarrows and when it might be useful to have them. Hopefully this guide will help you decide which wheelbarrow will best fit your needs. 

Tray Size

There are many different tray sizes available that you can choose from. Tray sizes include the width and the depth of the tray.


A 100L (liter) wheelbarrow is one of the largest wheelbarrows that you can still push with your hands. What’s great about a large tray wheelbarrow is that it’ll save you time. You’ll be able to haul more in each load which means you won’t have to go back and forth as many times. This also means that each load will be heavier than with a smaller wheelbarrow. If you’re up to the task and want to save time, get a 100L wheelbarrow. 


If time is not an issue and you don’t want to risk back injury, a smaller size will do just fine. A 72L wheelbarrow will get the job done no problem. 

Tray Width

Different trays are also wider or narrower. Some projects require wheelbarrows to go through small doorways or hallways. A narrow wheelbarrow would work better for a project like that. Wide tray wheelbarrows would work better for wider loads, because they’re harder to tip over.


Image Source: Pixabay


Pump Up Tires

Believe it or not, there are a bunch of different tires that go on wheelbarrows. Large pump up tires give a smoother ride on rough terrain, but they can also go flat. You’ll need to make sure the tire has plenty of air in it. 

Flat Free Tires

Flat free tires will not go flat and are resistant to being punctured. Projects that will have a lot of sharp objects lying around might want to consider getting a wheelbarrow with a flat free tire. However, a flat free tire does not provide as smooth of a ride as a large pump tire.

Wide Tires

Larger, wider tires give more stability when you have a heavy load. Too narrow of a tire will cause the entire load to tip over. Wider tires are better for projects with heavy loads so there is less of a chance that the wheelbarrow will tip over.


The handles of a wheelbarrow are extremely important. There are different materials for handles but there are typically two main categories of handles: steel and timber.


Steel handles work great for those who are going to be hauling very heavy loads. This is because when a load is heavy, people tend to drop the wheelbarrow just a little more. Steel handles are much less likely to break if the wheelbarrow is dropped. The last thing on someone’s mind is to put the wheelbarrow down gently when they’re hauling a really heavy load. Galvanized steel is also rust resistant so you won’t need to worry about rust if the wheelbarrow is left out in the rain.


Timber handles are actually a little easier on your body. Since there is a little more flex in timber handles, there is less strain on your upper body. For really long projects with a lot of hauling, timber handles might be a better choice.


Image Source: Pixabay

Tray Material

The actual tray of the wheelbarrow can be made of many things. Each different material will add certain things to certain projects. Do your research to figure out what your greatest needs are. 


Plastic trays are great because they are much lighter than other tray materials. People with risk of injury to their backs should consider a wheelbarrow made of plastic, or polypropylene as some call it. Plastic wheelbarrows won’t corrode with fertilizer or manure and won’t rust. Lots of metal wheelbarrows will rust and develop holes if they are left in the rain. A plastic wheelbarrow is good for hauling wet cement because it’s is easier to get the dried cement off of the sides. Simply hit the outside of the wheelbarrow with a rubber mallet and the dried cement will crumble off. Wheelbarrow trays made of plastic are very strong and have good impact resistance because they are a little more flexible than other materials.


Steel is extra strong and can haul extra heavy loads at a time. It will not be weakened by UV rays like some plastic wheelbarrows. Materials such as plastic can become bleached in the sun which weakens it over time. Steel is a little more heavy duty and will be heavier to lift than a plastic wheelbarrow. There are two types of steel: powder coated steel and galvanized steel. 

  1. Powder coated steel is good for a wide range of projects. Generally speaking a wheelbarrow made of powder coated steel will get the majority of projects done without a hitch. They’re UV resistant and very, very strong, They will be a little heavier than plastic, but they can haul heavier loads. However, powder coated steel still has a chance of rusting. 
  2. Galvanized steel is a little more rust resistant than powder coated steel. It’s also more resistant to damage from materials. Feel free to throw anything into a galvanized steel wheelbarrow, it’s tough enough to resistant any sort of damage. No matter how hard you throw something into it. Of course, this is a heavier wheelbarrow so only get this one if you’re sure you won’t hurt yourself trying to lift heavy loads. 


Image Source: Pixabay

A Note About Price

Obviously price will be another factor to consider when you’re trying to decide which wheelbarrow to buy. Usually, larger wheelbarrows are more expensive than smaller wheelbarrows. Generally, steel wheelbarrows are more expensive than plastic wheelbarrows. Decide if a steel wheelbarrow is worth the extra money for its extra strength, or if a plastic wheelbarrow will get the job done just fine.

Summing Up

Whether you’re simply hauling some wood for your fire pit, or hauling heavy cement for a new patio there is a wheelbarrow right for you. Think about all the different materials and factors that differ from wheelbarrow to wheelbarrow. What is your greatest need? Strength? Something lightweight? A flat free tire? There are hundreds of different options, and one of them is bound to be exactly what you need. You’ll be able to complete your project successfully because you took the time to find a wheelbarrow that made your job a whole lot easier. 

Image Source: Pixabay

Related Article: Best Wheelbarrow: Our Top 10 Picks for You to Choose

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