In the construction industry, professionals need to have the right gear. Workers on a construction site put in difficult hours often under the hot sun and without the right wheelbarrow, a small job could take forever. The heavy lifting and hauling that gets done without a wheelbarrow can tire workers out quickly and even lead to injury.
With over $31 billion spent in the Australian DIY market, even homeowners working on their home and gardening projects need to have the right gear.
The difference between getting a job finished and having a project take forever can be how well equipped you are. When you’ve got the best wheelbarrow, work is much easier, you won’t cut corners, and you’ll get your building done quickly.
No matter what your project looks like, you need to have the best wheelbarrow. Look for these four characteristics in your next wheelbarrow.
1. Find The Right Material
When you’re out looking for new wheelbarrows, you’ll find mostly plastic and steel buckets. Depending on your budget or the kind of material you’re transporting, you’ll have to decide which works for you.
While plastic can be more durable than you think, it’s still best suited for light duty work. Plastic buckets are lighter and better for your back and your spine when doing long days of work. If you’re mostly moving large bags of sand or dirt, plastic should be no problem.
You’ll run into problems when you start dealing with heavy, jagged material. Moving construction waste that includes big concrete stones, rebar, glass, and other sharp materials can take a toll on a plastic bucket. You’ll tear through it sooner than you might a more sturdy bucket.
This is the reason you might want to go with a metal or a steel wheelbarrow. If you can’t predict the weight, you’ll be managing or the type of material, steel might be the answer. A steel wheelbarrow will handle any material you throw in and will be durable enough to last for years. You can even get a premium galvanised steel wheelbarrow bucket- it just gives you that extra strength and life.
Another option is the lightweight, foldable canvas wheelbarrows but these are more for light gardening work. If you’re doing any kind of serious construction, your money will be wasted on a canvas wheelbarrow.
2. Decide On Your Handles
If you know the importance of wearing gloves when you’re doing construction work, you shouldn’t overlook how important the handles of your wheelbarrow are. Having the right handles means that it’ll be easier to do hours and hours of repetitive work without as much hassle. The difference between good handles and bad handles will determine if one hard day of work puts you out of commission for a week or if you can bounce back.
Straight handles will allow you to manoeuvre the wheelbarrow and tilt it easily. Depending on the work you need to do, you could have a lot of flipping, tilting, and dumping to do. Straight handles can do all of this but might require a little more hand strength.
Wood handles are a bit more comfortable than steel handles. A benefit on a stinking Australian summers days is that wooden wheelbarrow handles don’t heat up. Often professional tradesmen prefer a wooden handle – they are more comfortable for repetitive use as the flex and ‘give’ reduces strain on the upper body
Steel Wheelbarrow handles offer higher levels of strength and durability. Wooden handles can break on impact if the wheelbarrow is dropped, but that less likely with a steel handle. To top it off, you can get galvanised steel handles, as they are more rust resistant than the powder coated type of wheelbarrow handle.
3. Wheels Matter
The most traditional design for a wheelbarrow gives it just one wheel at the furthest edge from the handles, centred with the rest of the body. This kind of wheelbarrow makes the process of manoeuvring and dumping your bucket a whole lot easier. You might find it requires a lot of strength to control the wheelbarrow.
With a sort of tripod design, a one-wheeled wheelbarrow is the most common type you’ll find in home and garden shops.
Wheelbarrows with two wheels located at the end can offer a lot more stability. But their biggest downfall is that you won’t get as much manoeuvring out of the two-wheeled models.
4. Choose The Right Tire
Your tires will determine how easy it is for you to carry a load from one place to the next. Choosing the correct tire will depend on the type of worksite, the distance to transport things, and how often you’re using your wheelbarrow.
If you choose a pneumatic wheelbarrow, the tire will have a tube on the inside that you’ll have to pump up like any other tire. Instead of springs, the air inside the tube will absorb any shocks and make navigating rougher terrain a lot easier. With a smoother ride and the ability to manage your load easier, you’ll find the work might not be so bad.
The downside is that with an innertube, a sharp object can pop the tire. If you’re going over rough or jagged terrain, that tube will end up popping. Be sure to also watch the air pressure on your tire to ensure that it’s always filled to its optimal level.
Non-pneumatic tires are much different. They can avoid popping because they’re solid rubber. The ride won’t be as smooth, but that might not be a concern for you.
The Best Wheelbarrow Will Match Your Style
If you’re a landscaper, you might have different requirements for the best wheelbarrow design than a mason or a bricklayer would have. With a wheelbarrow suited to the job, you’ll be able to move and adjust your worksite in a quick and agile way. A variety of wheelbarrows could be the way to serve all of your disparate purposes.
If you want to know whether or not you’re prepared for your next big job, call us to ask the pros.