A necessity found in the gardener’s backyard, or the construction site, is the wheelbarrow, a transporter carrying loads. A wheelbarrow is a simple tool having two handles, a body, and a single or two-wheeled.
What is a wheelbarrow?
A wheelbarrow is a small vehicle, usually having a single wheel or sometimes two. An only person guides this tool with the help of two handles present on the rear side. As the name suggests, the wheelbarrow is the combination of two words, wheel, and barrow. Here, the barrow is the device used for carrying loads. This essential tool involves the transportation of loads and materials from one place to another; naturally, it is the means of transport.
The wheelbarrow is designed in such a way that it helps to balance the load weight between the wheel and the operator.
Types of wheelbarrow
In the market, we can find a lot of variation in the wheelbarrow. The wheelbarrow is categorized based on its design, material, and unique features. Here, a material means the wheelbarrow, which is made up of steel, wood, and plastic. Some of the different categories of the wheelbarrow are described as below:-
Stainless steel wheelbarrow
Most of the wheelbarrows are made up of metals like iron, but steel is also used. There is no problem with having rust if the stainless steel is used as a type of material. But using iron as a metal material, then you need to repaint it frequently and avoid it exposing from water and moisture. Since steel wheelbarrows are versatile, durable, rust-free, and resistant to damage, they can perform unlimited transportation tasks. They have a substantial weight, and they get hot if placed in the sun for a long time.
The plastic wheelbarrow is lighter than the metal and wooden wheelbarrows. It is the second most common type used by people, as it is more portable and more comfortable than others. They are cheaper than most of the wheelbarrows. There is no chance of rust if kept outside in the rain or during nights. But there are chances of losing their quality and strength when left in the sun for a long time. Cracking is also possible if loaded with huge items. Simply, plastic wheelbarrows are best used for transporting items in less defined passageways.
Wooded wheelbarrows were popular in the past, rare, and not used by everyone nowadays. They are mostly used by planter for storing things. Because of its biodegradable property, these wheelbarrows are eco-friendly. They are not prone to cracking like plastic ones or rusting like metal ones, but they are likely to damage caused by moisture and rain. They rot and mould easily when exposed to rain and moisture. Wooded wheelbarrows are friendly to the environment and are quite heavy.
It is such a type of wheelbarrows whose body or load tube is made up of durable canvas material. This is incredibly used in the home for carrying large and stable loads. Because of its flexible nature, you may not be able to take some specific loads such as sand, or any heavy loads. They are not entirely made up of canvas; they have a metallic frame for stability. Canvas wheelbarrow is commonly used by people who do not need to move heavy loads from one place to another and also who are conscious about storage space as it is flexible and foldable. It is lighter and more affordable as compared to other types of wheelbarrow.
Single wheeled barrow
The single-wheeled barrow is composed of one wheel, which is positioned in the front of the wheelbarrow, right at the centre. Compared to a multi-wheeled barrow, it is quite easier to move, and it requires the user to have more body strength.
They are the most commonly used type. The multi-wheeled barrow provides more stability, which makes it easier to transport heavy and unbalanced weights. It offers less manoeuvrability as compared to the single-wheeled one.
This kind of wheelbarrow provides an excellent transportation experience because of the tires, inflated like the bicycle wheels. The wheels need to be inflated from time to time to have a constant amount of pressure.
This type of wheelbarrow consists of a reliable rubber tire, which will never go flat under any circumstances. They do not have an inflatable internal air tube, so they can e used in rough conditions as well. Since the wheels do not need to be inflated from time to time, these wheelbarrows are low-maintenance, which is great for any owner.
It is the combination of both pneumatic and non-pneumatic wheelbarrow. They are built up with internal air pockets which do not require pumping of air into them. This type of wheelbarrow is reliable and is great to use in rough conditions.
Categories of wheelbarrow based on how it is propelled
This type of wheelbarrow is powered manually. You need to push the wheelbarrow forward to move it. Therefore, it requires more physical energy. It is the most commonly used wheelbarrow found in the market and is affordable as compared to the motorized one.
This type of wheelbarrow is propelled using electric powers. Electric powers are needed to move the wheels, and the user is left with the task of manoeuvring the wheelbarrow. It is mostly suitable for heavy loads. Motorized wheelbarrows are standard among industrial and manufacturing environment, but not found among gardeners.
Categories of wheelbarrow based on their strength
As the name suggests, heavy-duty, i.e., they are designed for harsh and heavy transportation tasks. Heavy-duty wheelbarrows are stronger and more durable, with substantial load capacity limit. They are more significant and challenging to manoeuvre.
Light duty wheelbarrow
Light duty wheelbarrows are the smaller, most commonly used type of wheelbarrows that you will find in many houses. They are light, and they have a low weight, and less load capacity limit than a different kind of wheelbarrow. They are designed for light transportation tasks.
How to use a wheelbarrow safely?
Whether it is transporting sand, bricks, gravel, tiles, concrete, or any other loads, wheelbarrows are very useful in carrying a small amount of heavy or light objects and materials and moving them from one place to another. Workers must be trained to know the proper ways to use wheelbarrows.
- Workers must wear the right kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) while using this indispensable tool.
- If the wheelbarrow has a pneumatic tire, inflate it to 30 pounds per square inch.
- Attach a grease gun to the grease fitting on the wheel and then apply lubricating grease to the axle bearing.
- If there is no fitting, lubricate the axle with 3-in-1 oil.
- Point the empty wheelbarrow in the travel direction before loading it.
- Put the loads closer to the wheel, not the handle
- Doing this makes it easier to lift.
- While lifting a loaded wheelbarrow, keep your arms and back straight, and lift with your legs.
- General wheelbarrow safety guidelines
The safety of wheelbarrows starts with conducting a proper inspection before using them. You must examine every part of the wheelbarrow to make sure that it is in perfect condition.
- Take out a defected wheelbarrow, and have it repaired or replaced.
- Never overload your wheelbarrow.
- Do not use the wheelbarrow that is missing any bolts or has bent legs, handles, or stays.
- Lift the wheelbarrow using your legs, not your back
- Don’t drag it backwards.
- Ensure that the area you are wheeling through is clear of the obstructions.
- Empty the load slowly.