Over the winter we found ourselves in the market for an additional wheelbarrow. An ill-advised concrete toss had put a crack in our old one, plus its tire had developed an annoying slow leak. Also we felt we could up our productivity if we doubled up on wheelbarrows. Why have people standing around doing nothing while one person went to empty a load when they could be simultaneously filling up another one. Being the cheap asses we are we spent a few days trolling Craigslist for deal before breaking down and heading to the local Home Depot. Our last wheelbarrow with a plastic tub and pneumatic tire had cracked and gotten a flat, so we thought we’d be smart and get something that addressed those weaknesses. Enter True Temper’s 6.0 Cubic Foot Steel Wheelbarrow. This thing had a steel tub, steel handles, and a flat-free tire to top it off. No-brainer right? Well read on friend!
$84.97 plus tax
So we get this thing to the trails and are eager to put it to use. We had a few people there that day so we could get right to running both wheelbarrows at the same time. We had a pretty good pit going, and to make things easier we had made a dirt ramp so that we could bring the wheelbarrows down into it and closer to where we were digging. Remember that flat-free tire we were all excited about? That excitement quickly turned into loathing as the first person went to take a load up the ramp. It actually took two people to push it up out of there! We had never had a problem pushing the old wheelbarrow up the ramp so we thought it may just be a bit soft from the previous nights rain. Just as the crew remaining in the pit set off to pack the ramp, profanity started coming from the direction that first load was headed. A little root that had been easily run over hundreds of times with the old wheelbarrow had stopped the new one dead in its tracks. Whereas a pneumatic tire can conform around and roll over small obstacles, the flat-free tire just stops. It’s like a skateboard wheel encountering a pebble. The pneumatic tire also allowed the old wheelbarrow to float over softer dirt, which is why it took two people to push the new one out of the pit. Unfortunately at this point we were stuck with the thing so we had to make the best of it. We continued to use it in conjunction with our other wheelbarrow, but believe me there was a lot of bitching and moaning when it was your turn to take a load and this orange pile was what you were pushing.
Nothing! Ok, I will say that the steel tub is stronger and less flexy than its plastic counterparts, and I doubt the steel handles will ever break.
The flat-free tire is this wheelbarrows Achilles Heel. If it had a normal pneumatic tire it would be pretty good. The handles and front brace also stick out a bit far beyond the wheel. This lead to the coining of a new term at our trails. Going O.T.W.B. is what happens when you’re pushing this thing at speed up an incline and the front brace digs into the dirt sending you flying Over The WheelBarrow. This wheelbarrow has literally caused me to do a scorpion as a result of it digging in like that. At least the load of dirt it dumped out acted as somewhat of a cushion.
SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
Hell no don’t buy this wheelbarrow! Have you read anything above? Do yourself a favor and get one with a pneumatic tire. Yes it may get a flat at some point, but throwing in a new tube or some Fix-A-Flat is way better than straining to push this thing or worst yet going O.T.W.B.