Know Your Wheelbarrow

Know Your Wheelbarrow

A standard wheelbarrow consists of three parts. These are the frame, carrying receptacle and wheels. Each of these components plays an essential role in ensuring ease of operation and durability of the wheelbarrow.

The Frame

The frame is made of two main materials, hardwood and fast steel bar; these are fastened together using a bolt. The materials are used depending on their availability and ease of processing.  The mode of assembly of these materials contributes greatly to the durability and efficiency of the wheelbarrow.  The traditional wooden frame provides a higher load bearing power, meaning that it can carry greater loads than its steel counterpart. However, it needs more constituent parts to assemble than a steel frame.

A steel frame requires fewer resources to construct, although it features lower carrying capacities due to the restriction on the length of the tube. The die pressed tubular steel frame is considered the weakest due to its structure and frame shape. It is characterized by poor flex resistance that causes failure in case of intense usage. Internal rust also attacks the stressed areas of the frame, causing premature failure.

The Receptacle

The receptacle is made from plastic or metal that is tear resistant. The material used depends on the manufacturing technique and usage. It may be painted, galvanized or powder coated. It takes the shape of an open box that is used to carry certain types of materials. The box may or may not have sloping sides. There are flat receptacles too, and these can be used to carry more solid materials such as bricks and stones.

Polymer-based receptacles are often used with frames that can be folded for convenient storage. Pressed steel receptacles are the most common. However, these are being replaced by relatively cheaper polymeric models that feature thinner metal gauges and reduced wear and tear.  Another great advantage of polymeric receptacles is that they are resistant to harsh conditions such as rust and acid.

The Wheels

An important contributor to the efficiency is the type of wheel structure. A wheelbarrow can have one or two wheels, as showcased on The wheels comprise of different configurations in terms of diameter and molding. Each wheel is often around a section of polymeric material attached to steel rims and an axle system.

Some wheelbarrows also feature pneumatic tires that can be removed for repair in the event of a puncture. A narrow tyre makes it difficult to traverse over a sandy ground because the wheels will keep sinking in the sand. A small diameter always results in high rolling resistance. Always check out for the wheels bearings, as this will determine its durability.

The Bottom-line

The construction and design of these three components contribute to the effectiveness and durability of a wheelbarrow. Be sure to oil the movable parts of the barrow often to prevent rusting.