(Watch the video at the bottom of this post. This might just be the fastest wheelbarrow in the world!)
Wheelbarrows! Why so many options? Why can’t it be simple?
Plastic tub? Metal tub?
Is a two wheeled garden cart better?
What about an electric wheelbarrow? (Read my review before going this route!)
You Can Get Paid for Growing and Selling Small Plants from Home.
Wheel Barrow Logic from Mike McGroarty.
Here’s my take on wheelbarrows, from a guy that has made his living for the better part of 40 years using wheelbarrows.
In my very opinionated, opinion there’s really only one brand of wheelbarrow on the market. Jackson. The Jackson wheelbarrow is by far the choice of contractors everywhere, and no, the Jackson Wheelbarrow company is not paying me for this endorsement. It’s just that I’ve used and or owned them all and they’ve all disappointed me, all except the Jackson.
Many of the others are look-a likes that are poorly designed.
I’ll never buy a two wheel wheelbarrow and this is why.
1. Can’t push it up a 2 by 12 ramp if I need to get into a bed, into the back of a truck, over a ditch etc. When I am working I often use a 2 by 12 as a ramp to get up into a raised planting bed, or if I have to dump debris into the back of a trailer. Being able to wheelbarrow up a ramp is a valuable attribute that only a single wheel wheelbarrow can do.
2. Two wheels is just more resistance on the ground. Pushing a wheelbarrow is difficult enough, I surely don’t want another ounce of resistance as I do so.
3. Pushing a wheelbarrow is like flying a plane. As soon as you add a second wheel you are no longer flying or gliding around the corners. When you have two wheels you literally have to circle the wheelbarrow to make a turn. Think about that. You have to walk in a wide circle to make a turn.
4. Over the years I’ve probably spread over 5,000 yards of mulch. With one wheel you can squeeze between two shrubs and not touch either one of them. You’ll never do that with a wheelbarrow that has two wheels.
Plastic wheelbarrows are great for mulch, but they really, really stink for soil or sand. When you pick up a heavy load in a plastic wheelbarrow the barrel will flex just a little bit and you will tweak your back as you try to catch the wheelbarrow from tipping. I promise you this happens with all plastic wheelbarrows. I’ve owned a few, hated them all.
Those really nice looking, rugged looking wheelbarrows with the big wide front tire? I bought two of them. Seriously a terrible mistake. I should have bought two Jackson and I should have known better!
1. They flex just as I described.
2. That big fat tire cannot be inflated to the point of being hard. Not matter what it’s still spongy which is like pushing a wheelbarrow uphill all day long. When using a wheelbarrow the tire must be inflated to the point of being really hard, if it’s not, the resistance is increased dramatically.
3. First time we used those fancy shmancy plastic wheelbarrows one of them broke! We loaded it with topsoil, tried to move it and the handle snapped right off! Brand new, $140 wheelbarrow. It’s still laying on it’s side with a broken handle. Unbelievable!
Update: The handles on both of these plastic wheelbarrows broke so I replaced with the really good hardwood handles like they should have had in the first place. Then the next time I used them the front lip of the plastic tub broke and snapped completely off. This happened to both of them. Needless to say I dislike these orange wheelbarrows more than ever.
Oh, and this video. You should watch this video.
Is this the fastest wheelbarrow in the world? I love blue-collar ingenuity!! Take a look…
Questions or comments? Post them below.
Like everything in life, the devil is in the detail. And times change as do prices (though they never go down). My advice, get an old contractors wheelbarrow, one from when they were designed by engineers, not accountants concerned with every half penny. Replace parts as needed, keep it mostly under a roof if possible.
I have an old $5 wheelbarrow from a farm auction, yea the big kind. Had a rotted front tire on a rusted out rim. Interestingly it had a 6ply tire! But being cheap and unable to reuse the existing rim, I found a $10 el cheapo China made tire+wheel. Fine. This tire is paper thin and it comes within six foot of thorn or piece of wire, it goes flat out of pure orneriness. Oh and both the tire and tube are so thin, you cant really repair them. Well you can but its a truly delicate operation and doesnt keep them going flat from seeing that next thorn.
Fine, I find a 6ply boat trailer tire (a blem tire at discount) and heavy duty tube (tube cost as much as the tire). The Chinese rim nothing to write home about, but it survived mounting the 6ply tire. Ok, not only did I not have constant flats and low air every time I went to use the thing, but it rolls whole lot easier since it can withstand lot greater air pressure. Not one flat since and its seen enough thorns and bits stray wire. The original owner of this wheelbarrow was no fool to use a 6ply tire. I only have to top off tire pressure once a year in spring, like all pneumatic tires, they do lose a wee bit air from heat/cold/time.
Now handle breaks, yea it was kinda rickety. Not impressed with expensive low density wood replacement handles at hardware store. Was considering just looking for a couple good treated 2×4 and leaving them as 2×4 for strength since its soft wood. At that time a ten foot piece of 2 in diameter EMT conduit was like $10. Got one of those and cut it in half. Noticed recently that same conduit is now $30. OUCH. But its heavily galvanized and most likely outlast me.
I have developed a rust hole along front seam of the tray, so going to have to remove tray and weld that I suppose. And replace the wood wedges. But every machine requires maintenance.
Honestly the price of new wheelbarrows anymore (the ones almost but not quite worth buying), I would just make one from scratch. Youtube of some guy in India (I think) did really nice job welding up a heavy duty tray. If he can do it, so can I. I would just make one out of treated plywood, but anymore you could make one out of solid gold just as cheap.
Oh a tip on the poly wheelbarrows. First if you dont own one, dont buy one. Second if you do own one, measure and cut piece 1/2 inch or greater thickness treated plywood and bolt that into the bottom of the tray. Also if possible reinforce the handles to be more of a rigid frame, a frame not reliant on the poly tub for support.
I personally dont want a two wheel wheelbarrow as I mostly use it on uneven rough rocky ground,, but I understand why some do and may only use it on concrete or smooth lawn. If you do, again buy the boat trailer tires and inflate them to max psi on sidewall. Also check your wheel bearings. Most wheelbarrows come with the unground ball bearings used on most low speed wheels. Unground bearing being one where outer race is just sheetmetal used also to seal it. They are standard size and can be upgraded to the metal sealed ground bearings for maybe double cost of new unground bearing.. Lot less slop, lot better bearing for not all that much more money.
Great info HJ, thank you!
Michael G says
Nice video and writeup. My 40+ year old wheelbarrow just gave up the dust so I ended up picking up a Jackson. Beautiful wheelbarrow. But, compared to my old wheelbarrow the front wheel guard on this Jackson is about 3″ lower. This does make the tub more level when on the stands and makes the handles higher so no bending to reach them. Don’t know if I like this yet. Almost spilled my first load trying to go over a landscaping brick when the wheelbarrow cam to an abrupt stop. My old one would have made it with ease. The handle wedges or tub must be at a steeper angle than my old one. Anyone else notice difference (did you get use to it)?
Thank you so very much for the article. I’ve been using a 10 dollar wheelbarrow from an estate sale and I can’t haul anything in it that’s heavier than dry soil. It is well made but small, has a few cracks in the pan and OLD. I thought about the Jacksons but with your article I have ultimately decided on a steel one from ace hardware with steel handles. It will be fine for my purposes.
Definitely agree when it comes to two wheel wheelbarrows. Never really understood the point of them. I’ve never had a problem with wheelbarrows tipping over or anything like that.
charles wilson says
Need 2 wheels if moving heavy rip rap over ice to islands for preventing erosion. Also, plastic tub will crack and break., steel is better. You get what you pay for!
I never thought about moving over ice. Great point!
Shelby Coleman says
Thanks! Very helpful video. I live in Los Angeles and McGroarty was a big name here early in the century. Any relation?
Shelby, not that I know of.
Colette Thomas says
I am looking to replace my Ace Hardware 2 wheel metal wheelbarrow with a Jackson Total Control flat free single wheel 6 cu. ft. steel with metal handles wheelbarrow. I am a homeowner who will be using it to move garden soil, mulch, etc. on my 2 acre lot.
Do yo think it is a good choice? I noticed that you like wood handles. Why?
I’m not sure that I really like wood handles. Actually I do, but right now my favorite wheelbarrow has a broken handle! I think your choice is sound and if I have to buy another I would consider such a wheelbarrow.
Alex lunt says
Y’all should check out the beast barrow attachment on kickstarter. It’s pretty cool. A secondary wheel swings down and supports the load after you lift it initially.
I recently got the patent and want to start maufacturing.
ross tailor says
Thanks mike to this unbiased review and tips on wheelbarrow.
Jackson wheelbarrow is very essential and effective not only on garden, but also in construction sector.
It has rust-proof poly tray and a sturdy structure.
You may spend 25 minutes at best to assemble this wheelbarrow. By watching youtube videos, you simply can understand how to assemble it.
From the manufacturer Jackson professional, the most renowned model is M6T22..
However, apart from Jackson wheelbarrow, WORX aerocart is also one the best wheelbarrow which has 08 multifunctional capacity.
I have a Jackson wheelbarrow that I bought the year I got married. That was 37 years ago. It still is working though I’ve had to do a few minor repairs. Try going across a sloped yard with a 2 wheeled barrow. I agree with your use of a 2X12, loading things into my truck would just take twice as long with 2 wheels. Also try mixing concrete in a plastic tub. I haven’t seen one yet that could carry half the weight as a metal one.
Only an experienced wheelbarrow pusher could make these observation. Thank you!
Louise Feddema says
I have a problem with my husband and sons leaving wheel barrows just empty sitting in the middle of the yard — just waiting for the next rain. I prop my barrow up or turn it over when I have to leave it outside. We live in the northwest so these things invariably fill up with water! Drives me nuts!
So, the one that I use the most has now been drilled. Two 1/4 inch holes in the area that is the lowest point. I scrubbed a little rust off the bottom and sprayed the whole area with rust paint. (although, moving gravel, rocks, and every thing else — with scratch it up and I will have to watch for rust again..
But I digress — the minute that I drilled the holes I had a bunch of plants that really needed to be submerged! I have used my barrow, filled with water and compost tea for this for ages. I used a large black contractor’s bag and lined the barrow with it. It worked perfectly and I could tip the borrow and pour the rest of the tea on my flower bed. (actually it was too heavy to begin with so I
Best to all— siphoned the first half and poured the rest.
Just thought I would share my latest wheel borrow idea!
” Dirty” Louise.
Thanks Louise, we appreciate the tips!
Mike, when I retired, at the age of 69, I splurged and purchased a DR Powerwagon with the wooden box and the molded polyethylene body. What a back and leg saver. I find I only use the plastic body and find no need to reinstall the pine bed box. It will haul 800 pounds (you will be hard pressed to put 800 lbs in it unless it stone). I would never buy another manual wheel barrel. I can haul loads with ease that I could not ever move with a wheel barrel.
Interesting, thanks Roger.
Leonard Maiani says
My Dad was a mason contractor in Cleveland and was 100% old country. We did everything manually. We moved brick, concrete block, sand and gravel all by wheelbarrow. The most difficult load was wet concrete. The load constantly shifted on you every time you hit a bump and we were constantly using 2X12s for ramps, after wheeling on top of a 12″ wide block wall with 2X12s diagonally at the corners. One time, I caught my heel in one of the holes in the block and dumped an entire wheelbarrow of concrete into the basement we were building and it splattered all the walls within 15′ of ground zero. The worst part was that it got my Dad also. After getting read the riot act, in Italian, by my Dad, I spent the next two hours scrubbing the porous block walls down and again the next day with muriatic acid. I was 16 at the time and have never forgotten how to navigate a wheelbarrow since.
I truly appreciate your story. Most think that nobody could push a wheelbarrow along a two by twelve, but we did it all the time, up into a truck or trailer. Having labored for a bricklayer your story really resonates with me. Once had a two by twelve snap under me while carrying a hod of mud on my shoulder. I too got chewed out for wasting mortar and breaking the board. Forget the big hole in my pants and the gash in my leg. All that mattered was the mud and the board. And that guy wasn’t even Italian. Your dad would probably say he had no business in the trade!
I’m 4″10″ height. Does Jackson 6cu. ft. steel wheelbarrow work for me?
I think you need to visit a store and try one out. Honestly I don’t know, but I’d have to say they are designed for construction workers, so that might be your answer.
I just wanted to add that Jackson makes a “homeowner’s” model that’s quite a bit cheaper than the professional. I got a 6 cu. ft. at Home Depot for 99 bucks. The only difference I can see between the two is the one I got doesn’t have the folds in the tray. The gauge of the metal may be a little lighter, too, but not by much. It has served me well for everything I’ve asked it to do around the yard.
I used Jackson’s all through my roofing/construction career, and I wouldn’t waste my money on anything else. ESPECIALLY something with two wheels. Kudos for your response to Mr. Plain Silly. I doubt I would have been as polite in my reply.
James I appreciate your comments especially since you truly have experience with Jackson’s. Even the less expensive model.
Get the Jackson with steel handles never buy another one ever it will last you a life time it’s the caddy of wheel barrows it’s awesome I’ve had look a likes but the quality isn’t the same it’s even fun to work with it.
Robert L says
Sorry, I forgot one of my questions. Some reviews on store sites dislike the “foam filled”. Is there a difference between a solid tire and a foam filled tire?
I’m probably going overboard on this. However, looking at some major backyard projects, it seems to me that I should do the same kind of research on wheelbarrows that I do on a TV or stereo.
Thank you, rlc.
I don’t see a problem with a foam filled tire, just get a wheelbarrow that has a standard size tire and wheel should you need to replace it. I’ve purchased cheap foam filled wheels and the foam held up but not the wheel. As always, you get what you pay for. Years ago I bought my dad a cheap wheelbarrow and it rusted away in just a few years.
Robert L says
I will be hauling gravel across my somewhat uphill grass yard. My Lowes carries both the Jackson and Kobalt 6 cu ft steel wheelbarrows. The Kobalt has a higher rating than the Jackson but the reviews don’t offer the detail you do. What are your thoughts on Jackson vs Kobalt? And steel handles vs wood?
Based on your column/reader comments, I had decided on an air tire. Both models at Lowes have flat free tires. Thoughts on flat free tires on an uphill, grass yard?
Thank you, rlc
Flat free tires are great as long as they are as wide as the air filled tire. You don’t want a skinny tire and wheel, it will sink into the grass too easily. Steel handles? I don’t see a problem as long as the wheelbarrow is constructed like the commercial Jackson so most of the weight is over the wheel. I notice that there is now a lower priced Jackson on the market. It can’t be the same as the contractor grade Jackson’s which are lose to $200 now if not more. It has to be lighter steel I guess. Haven’t looked at one close yet.
I’ll never use a single wheel wheelbarrow again. Don’t be cheap, use 2 boards to load off of a truck. If you are loading UPHILL into a truck bed with a single wheel my advice is DON’T. You can’t push a wheelbarrow up a 2 x 12 at 30 degrees and maintain balance on it without risking serious back injury.
The 2 wheel barrow is much more stable and I’ve never had a problem turning one in a tight radius.
Also, 2 wheels distribute weight better in the front and you have LESS weight per wheel, making it easier to push through mud and muck. You should be loading the barrow so the weight is on the wheels when lifted, not on your back.
I think your advise is plain silly at best.
Dear plain silly at best,
Have earned my living with a wheelbarrow most of my life I have a pretty good idea what I’m talking about. I’d like to see you push a two wheeled wheelbarrow between two shrubs in the landscape that are only planted 12″ apart. You can’t. But with a singled wheelbarrow you can. Mulching really requires that you be able to squeeze through tight passage ways.
And if you’ve ever worked construction, landscaping or a variety of other physical jobs you’d realize that wheeling on a 2 by 12 is pretty much standard practice and requires some skill and of course a good wheelbarrow that is loaded correctly. I appreciate your input.
i too earn my living using a wheel barrow and have used a plastic tub barrow for years ,the biggest issue to me is the wheel / bearing . it should not flex ,just like a car wheel should not flex but most if not all wheel barrows now have wheels with rubbish bearings that flex and this is what will do your back in as you try to push a heavy load. My plastic tub barrow lasted about 5 yrs before the metal frame broke and was too thin to re weld ,the tub its self is still in perfect condition and the handles are alloy so never need replacing like wooden ones . The price of wheel barrows is wide and you dont always get what you pay for . Look for one with alloy handles good quality steel frame with braces to stabilize it and a good bearing or a wheel that you can replace the bearing with a roller bearing and your back will thank you for it.
I tend to agree but I learned that some plastic tub wheelbarrows are made of good quality plastic, and others not so much. I have two plastic wheelbarrows that have been a huge disappointment and I paid a lot of money for them. $140.00 each. First the softwood handles literally snapped off. After replacing the handles both of the plastic tubs cracked and snapped of where the lip of the tub hits the ground. I had a plastic wheelbarrow for years that I wasn’t exactly in love with, but the handles never broke and the tub never cracked. I think it was made by Ames. Nothing more disappointing than paying good money for junk.
I have so much enjoyed your tweets over the years. I too, have been involved with too much wheel barrow moving over the years. Now that I am 60(+) and every day is a gift I try to be as good to myself as I can. Over my wheel barrow years I have used metal and plastic, single wheel and double wheel. Some are good (moving concrete in a single wheel is sometimes a challenge because of the balancing act) and some are not so good. I like a plastic, heavy duty double wheel barrow. I am not a landscaper per say. I do garden work and work around the house for myself. Homemade handles work better. I just use 2×4’s. What I have found is by extending the wheel length (about 6 additional inches) on the front and giving yourself about 2 additional feet where your hands belong, it is much easier to lift and navigate because the weight distribution is extended out from your body and lifting is easier. Now you will not have the advantage of jumping curbs (I have to go over curbs sideways one wheel at a time by using the back brace as a fulcrum) or navigating inbetween small areas but with a little practice you save on back strains and you can lift so much more of a load (helpful when you want to make fewer trips). Limitations – yes. But it sure works easier and less strain for those of us that are getting up in the years.
I agree nothing better than the Jackson plastic is garbage and the 2 wheel is a joke. Good for a home owner to balance weight. That’s all it’s good for. Nothing but the best is the Jackson.
Inexperienced landscape professional. Used both,single wheel is the only way,dual wheel barrel dudes are laughed at
This made me smile.
I’m a landscaper, been so for years, though I don’t live by the wheelbarrow. It’s a handy tool. I don’t mess around with tools and I bought a Jackson for my first wheelbarrow. It’s great for gravel, sand, dirt, mixing concrete. Stable and beefy. But it is heavy and overkill for lighter jobs and mulching. I found the strain of throwing it in and out of the truck to be a pain. I only discovered this after picking up a True Temper poly wheelbarrow at a garage sale. It’s light, dreamy, and I’ve put that thing threw hell for years now. It’s our go to wheelbarrow. It’s not as fun moving huge loads of dirt or chunks of concrete–but you can do it. Go Jackson if you like gnarly and heavy, go True Temper for most homeowner applications or the high pace landscaper.
And by the way, I just ordered the True Temper 10 cubic foot double wheel as it will cut certain long haul mulching job runs in almost half. Not for detail between tight bushes, but I bet it will pay itself off the first day of use. The reviews on it are great.
I am going to agree with everything you said. Years ago I had a plastic, probably True Temper wheelbarrow and we used it to death. Not great for heavy material because the tub would flex and tweak my back, but great for mulch. Couple of years ago I bought two bright orange wheelbarrows with plastic tubs. Pure junk! Handles snapped off so I replaced them, now both tubs have crack at the lip and snapped off. Brand name? I’ll just say they are orange.
JB Hasman says
I used my pokey cheap-o wheelbarrow all last year with little success. The tire had gone flat on me a couple times and with the wheel sticking out front, it was all on my back to lift and push this around when fully loaded.
Being new to BYG community, I read all the posts I could and came upon this post. It was a good read, and the video was great. No, I didn’t truly know how to load a wheel barrow, putting the weight on the front wheel.
I went to Lowes last week and picked up my own Jackson wheel barrow. I have been using it almost daily since then, hauling black dirt and mulch around. I was pleased to learn the tire is airless on the Jackson. The capacity of the wheel barrow was much larger than my old one and it was easier to pickup and push around (knowing the proper load techniques).
I never thought I would need a tutorial on how to use a wheel barrow, thank you Mike for posting your video. You have saved my back and pointed me in the right direction to get a new wheel barrow.
I am very pleased with my Jackson wheel barrow. In fact, a landscape buddy of mine came by and the first thing he commented on was the Jackson wheel barrow in my field, which he of course has one too.
I agree, buy a Jackson, it is more expensive, but your back is worth it! Oh, and watch this video!
Pokagon Creek Farms
The handle of my ancient Garden Mart wheelbarrow broke a few days ago. Twenty-five years of use for a $3 second-hand wheelbarrow was quite a deal After using it for tons and tons of cement, sand, dirt and all manner of hefty loads, I thought it was time to replace it. Sadly, I couldn’t find anything in stores that matched it’s rugged durability, including the Jackson model, which seemed flimsy by comparison. Even the rusted struts and parts on mine have thicker, sturdier steel than today’s made-in-China crap.
So, with replacement handles and some elbow grease, I brought it back to life. Maybe in another 50 years there’ll be something that matches it in quality. For now, I advise shopping on Craigslist for one of these older treasures.
Cliff Bloom says
Like Mike I’ve gone through many wheelbarrows. When I built my log home 25 years ago, the stonemason left a Jackson. I still have the original bucket although I’ve replaced both handles. “Flat free” tires might be OK for light duty, but they bog down & sink when loaded with concrete, and I’ve moved and mixed a lot of concrete in the Jackson
My favorite everyday “wheelbarrow” is a Gardenway 2 wheel cart. It holds about twice the volume of the Jackson, is best for moving tools and firewood. I rebuilt the Gardenway by fiberglassing the exterior plywood with epoxy. You could also use carbon fiber, but that might be akin to the motorized wheelbarrow? The epoxy is waterproof, but not UV-sun proof. The best thing is to put a good coat of enamel over the epoxy. You can by replacement parts, but I replaced most of the steel tube that rusted out with 1/2 inch galvanized pipe.
I’d love to see that weedwacker barrow cruze up a hill full of mulch… LOL. Although I do know they make the gas powered jobbies that will. Now that I really start to think about it … I need one of those as the knees and back dislike mulching! I need one that’s a hover craft that can gently pick up small trees and large shrubs and glide them over to the holes too.
Daryle in VT says
I have two wheelbarrows. One is a Jackson, 6 cubic foot. The other is an Ames 10 cubic foot, black plastic, two-wheel device that is 20 years old if it is a day. It is good for only one purpose – moving too much firewood at a time from outdoors to the indoor storage area. The Jackson does everything else. One other thing. When assembling a wheelbarrow, mix up a small batch of boiled linseed oil and turpentine. Daub every drilled hole in the handles and the area under the tray during assembly. The wheelbarrow will last longer.
Wheel barrows are just one of those things people take for granted when there’s a lot to know about. Those Jacksons look to be on the pricey side to me.. Take a look at the True Temper at HomeDepot:
It looks an awful lot like the Jackson for a lot less money and steel all the way. I’ve used mine hard for two years now and it really holds up. I’ve loaded it up with MANY 2″ caliber b&b’s coming in at 500 lbs and pushed it over various types of terrain (inaccessible any other way) for hundreds of feet, it doesn’t so much as squeak.
Now for the back issue: keep that back straight, don’t bend forward to grab the handles, keep the back vertical and sort of squat down by bending the legs, let the legs do the work, and you’ll never have a back problem.
I’m sure True Temper makes a fair, consumer wheelbarrow, but trust me, it’s not a Jackson, not even close to a Jackson and I’m certain the steel is not as thick and won’t last as long. If there’s one thing in the world I know a lot about, it’s wheelbarrows. I’ve pushed them for a few million miles. I know about wheelbarrows. Jackson are pricey because it costs more to make a superior product.
I think you’re right. The 6 cu ft True-Temper comes in at 45.87 lbs and the comparable 6 cu ft Jackson Professional weighs in at 58.83 lbs, a 13 lb difference, must be heavier gauge steel in the Jackson.
Ien in the Kootenays says
Timely advice! My wheelbarrow, similar to a Jackson, that has done heavy duty for 40 years, is showing some holey spots in the body. It may have to be replaced this year and I was wondering whether to get a two wheel one or a cheap plastic one. Thanks for saving me from a mistake. I love your work, and if I lived in the USA I would so be a member of your inner circle!
Not sure where in the world you are, but we have members from many different countries. The information exchanged in our private members area applies the world over. Thank you for your kind words.
Blair Glenn says
Mike, I;m so glad you did this report. I too think that the plastic wheelbarows are just plane GARBAGE. I haate them. I also agree with the double wheel units. I don’t own a Jackson but I’m going to look for one!
In all fairness I had a plastic, I think it was an Ames wheelbarrow that we used and eventually wore completely out. For mulch it was awesome. For soil it was a back breaker.
Bill Marrs says
Simplify! Wheelbarrow Selection: [ 1. ] Oversized Pneumatic Tire – Hard w/ pressure – [ 2. ] Heavy Oak Handles – Longer and Wider than Usually provided – [ 3. ] Steel Tub with Reinforced Edges. [ 4. ] Angle Braced Landing Gear . . . That’s it. You will like it – I Promise. P.S. I have 3. Bill
Never would have thunk I would find this so inlpdiensabse.
Dave Johnston says
Good advice on the Jackson wheelbarrow. I worked for a mason contractor (those boys could break an anvil) we used nothing but Jackson’s for their durability. They can also be purchased with a solid tire, which is very hard and never needs inflating. I would occasionally have to replace a handle or two but that was due to abuse (see anvil comment above) not through normal use. I treat the handles once a year with warm linseed oil applied liberally and allowed to soak in while sitting in the sun. Wipe off excess and this will keep your handles in fine shape through any weather.
Just wanted to say I ALWAYS ENJOY reading your emails. And don’t worry about the guy who criticized your typing, etc. He’s living in a glass house and a rock just hit it–HE MISSPELLED a word also!! Lesson taught–we all make mistakes. POSTING is not POSITING as he spelled it!! I have no problem reading anything you write. I believe we should not try to be something we are not. And obviously, this guy isn’t on face book where everyone leaves out words and abbreviates everything! 🙂 Just keep on keeping on! My son just got me a wheelbarrow. He called from the store because he was thinking I needed a 2 wheeler to avoid tips. I told him I wanted a 1 wheeler to get between my plants easily to mulch. He was wondering what kind I wanted also. I told him the 1 I had looked at on line and told him it would do me my lifetime, I was sure!! Used it today for 1st time. I was thinking about putting polyurethane .clear gloss on the wooden handles–what do you think about that idea? MANY THANKS FOR ALL YOUR VIDEOS N TIPS….GH
I appreciate your support and pay little attention to rude critics. Another professional just posted here that once a year he treats the wheelbarrow handles on his Jackson’s once a year with Linseed oil. Great idea!
Joe T says
Mike, I just wanted to reinforce what others have said about your typos or grammar that was cast up to you in a previous post by TW. It doesn’t matter my good man. And I sincerely believe you are a good man.
I come to your site, via the emails I get from you and I am always very interested in what you have to say. You are very kind to share all this knowledge. I have been a pretty good gardener for many of my 73 years and you either reinforce something that I do, give me good ideas to do something easier and enlighten me about quite a few things I never thought of.
So, in short, I am saying that I didn’t come here for a grammar lesson or to proofread your information. Your information is valuable for anyone who wants to keep a garden and I thank you, sir..
I appreciate that. Over the years a few people have beaten me up over grammer and spelling and honestly? I could care less what they say. I’ve written four books, sold thousands and thousands of those books and I’m sure they contain a ton of typos. Spell check, we have it on the site now, says that I spelled grammar wrong, I think I’ll leave it that way.
A year ago I took up gardening in Zone 5 and did the research – last frost average 14 May – locals start planting ( Corn, SoyBeans etc) about beginning of May. I note you are having plant sales at the end of May and I cannot believe your videos reflect just 2 weeks growth ! so
1. What is YOUR frost free date.
2. What am I missing – you don’t like greenhouses – but you and Duston built a metal hoop house ( does that really make all that much difference)?
3. Or what are you selling.
Is the real reason you like the Jackson Wheelbarrow it is “sitable” – I notice you started a video sat in one – Ha Ha.
You are going to have a really difficult time believing this but, I cover nothing. I don’t even use the mini hoop houses (https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2013/11/over-wintering-protecting-plants-for-the-winter/) that Duston and I built in this video. I highly recommend using them, but I don’t. If you look at this page, look at the plants in the beds, that’s exactly how they spent the winter, completely uncovered. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2011/07/mikes-new-nursery-from-the-beginning/, The only thing that I do that most can’t do is my container plants are in sunken beds, about 8″ to 10″ below grade. All winter my plants were in these beds, thankfully covered with snow, but it was down to -21. You should see them now! They look great.
I was going to have my first plant sale on the 5/1/15 this year but it got really cold so I’m putting our first sale off to 5/8/15. By then the plants will look awesome! By the end of May they’ll needed trimmed!
My little tiny rooted cuttings were completely uncovered all winter and they are actually in “raised” beds. They are all waking up and looking good. I’ll get some photos and do a blog post first chance I get. And yes, I’ve eaten many a lunches sitting in a Jackson wheelbarrow. At times I’ve designed landscapes sitting in a Jackson and on more than one occasion make our paychecks sitting in a wheelbarrow.
Thank you very much – you have set me really thinking hard.
Your technique undoubtedly accounts for your success in that your plants are really hardy and not forced.
Randi Wortham says
Mike–I sure do enjoy everything you send! Been saving you emails for years! Are you interested in cranes bill loose strife? I have lots of it that I can dig and send you.
Randi Wortham says
That was really dumb! I meant goose neck loose strife. The flowers are white and the tips bend over–yeah–like a goose’s neck.
Probably not, but I certainly appreciate the offer.
Have you seen the worx aero art 8 in 1 wheelbarrow at Home Depot?
I’ve read good reviews, has anyone tried it or had any experience?
I Hope it’s not too late to revisit the pedagogue’s comments re: your grammer, syntax or whatever was causing them distress. I have been a working journalist, as a magazine and book writer and editor for considerably more than a half-century, including 20+ years as a magazine editor and some 14 as a book publisher. As a dirt-digger for even longer, I’ve enjoyed and benefitted from your books and blog ever since I found them several years ago. I speak from experience when I note that the single most important attribute for being a good writer is, to have something to say. J-school grads with nothing to say and the ability to say it “acceptably” are a dime a dozen, but folks with something useful to say, only a fraction of that. You, Sir, know what you are talking about and have a rare talent for communicating your valuable information with accuracy and candor. Just keep on, keepin’ on and don’t look back. Do what few can do as well, and don’t be distracted by trolls, no matter how academic they aspire to be. Those of us with a shovel in one hand, whether or not we have a pen in the other, are richer for what you do.
totally agree…Mike gives me hope that I can make a little extra money doing something I love. His story is a wonderful inspiration.
Cathi Sutton says
This wheelbarrow is NOT green, since it runs on gas. And it screams LAZY! Frankly I’m appalled.
Please! It’s OK. I don’t want to start an argument but everything does not have to be green and since when is it a crime to have some fun with ones ingenuity.
Good form Henr, I applaud you.
The ‘green ‘ craze is insane.
Absolutely, Heny…sooooo tired of “green” and PC…lots of it is exaggerated, based on false info and just plain tiresome. I try to weigh the pluses/minuses of something like this and then make a decision based on what I can afford and what will work for me! Electric is “green” until you figure out that it takes coal, nuclear etc to generate the electricity for that “green” unit. Besides like you said…it would be fun. Life is way too short…
Gotta Agree….looks like a lot of fun to me!
SK in KC says
But I’ll bet it’s gluten free! So that’s a plus, right?
Malcolm Brown says
To push or to Pull? Mike, you and most of us, most of the time, fins it easier to “push” a wheelbarrow. However, if the ground is not hard, if it is soft, mucky, or sandy, pushing is hard because in pushing it forward you are also pushing it into the ground. If you “pull” it instead, then you will be pulling it out of the ground and it may be easier.
Regarding your grammar: I tutor students in SAT math and english, which includes grammar. While your messages do often have many “errors’, for some reason I do not mind. Maybe that is due to the interesting information you provide and sincerity of your writing.
Bert Dunn says
At 84 I find 1/2 wheelbarrow full is better’n a full barrow. Twice the distance but lot easier on the back. Cheers. , , Bert
Great advice from an experienced sage.
As we get smarter with age HA HURTING A BACK ETC IN EARLY SPRING EXUBERANCE MUD WRESTLING WITH MUTHA NATURE . ( the only social life I get ) oopsy to much info
no trips in chair is worse than many trips moving this and that – a guy thing from years of get er done stop piddling about !!!? ha ha
mike sounds like he should start a wheelbarrow museum just as they are !!
Can you please tell me the particular wheelbarrow by Jackson you’re recommending?
Contractor’s wheelbarrow, single wheel, not a double wheel. Should be around $140.
T W says
Mike, you seem like a nice guy who wants to help people. Unfortunately, your page is difficult to read due to the number of errors. Whether they’re typographical (a.k.a. typos) or grammatical I don’t know but there are whole words missing. You could say, “Well, they can tell what I’m saying if they’d just give a little effort.” Ah, but that’s not the point. The point is that you’re trying to show them your ‘stuff’ but not only is your ‘stuff’ looking less than stellar, people aren’t even reading what you’ve written after the first sentence or two due to the errors. You need a proofreader to review and correct your work prior to positing it on line. Anyone with a good knowledge of English grammar and spelling will do.
No one knows that you have a wealth of information nor how much you can help them if you’re not communicating your ideas due to errors.
Dear person who failed to post their name, not sure why.
I’ve been doing this along time, 15 years online, way too many years before that to count. I’ve written and published four books. No, they are not perfect but they sell well and people seem to like them. Apparently people are reading what I write, these comments tell me that they seem to like what I do pretty well. https://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2014/01/a-15th-anniversary-and-a-58th-birthday/ Perfect grammar isn’t a big deal to me. Being successful is, and I am very successful at what I do.
Perfect reply 🙂 Thanks for all the info as well!
please keep doing what you do. Your readers do not care about misspelled words or
grammer. We just like what you have to say. Keep being you.
Amen to that
A Hewitt says
Mike, I just wanted to let you know that I read a letter yesterday that someone posted written with only numbers and symbols to represent letters. They said that many people cannot read these types of letters but I was actually able to read it. I always read any correspondence you send out and have no trouble at all reading it. I really enjoy it. I can’t figure out why people making negative comments for no apparent reason other than hearing their own blustering wheeze don’t keep their pie hole shut.
Thanks Mike for your information…totally understand all that you share in your writings and most importantly it’s very clear that it comes from the depths of your heart! Continue to do great things!
rick of Oregon
my post got lost in cyber I think and I am not sure where the grammer perso came from but have had NO trouble understanding you articles what so ever but sure hate the alfabet soups out there . Is there an idiot book that gives the LOL! ha ha
Lots of people say things and some just love to hear themselves talk ! Not you for sure ! I have a design for wheel barrow as I go through gates etc and up onto pick up or top of load . rick
Ruth Alfred says
Hi Mike, This is one person and anybody grammar as long as you get the point is okay with me and I’m sure your audience could give hoot! He doesn’t need to talk to you like that 95% couldn’t careless. I don’t understand who he thinks he is talking for the rest of us. Really he needs to go sit down and work on his approach when commenting on a person skills, why does he think his glass house can’t be broken! I’ve never noticed your grammar cause I’m to busy reading what great things you share with us I don’t have the desire or the need to concern myself with now you explain, just let flow as you have been doing and we ALL LOVE AND ENJOY….THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR HELP AND SHARING WITH US ALL! Everything you share is very important and you can’t read with a book it has to be experienced.Take Care signed a Great Gardner and Grower and I’ve you to Thank for my for my knowledge and skills….
I’m with you Mike …. I read as much of your stuff as I can and find your information valuable and fun. Keep up the great work!
Looking for information or an experience of growing garden root crops over or near a septic leach system
Francis Moore says
Interesting typo? Positing. Strange that a person who complains of errors ends up making one themselves?
Who cares, its the lesson to be learned in growing that is the important point not the grammar!
Maybe buying vegetables in the supermarket is gramatically correct but they sure will not taste half as good as the ones you grow yourself.
Greetings from Ireland and keep up the good work and dont worry about the grammar!!!
Dear ‘English Major’
No one who reads Mike’s newsletters regularly cares so much for perfection in writing as they do for content. Take your ugly attitude elsewhere or just shut up and learn what a master gardener has to teach. The ability to use slightly obscure words such as posit may thrill you and your ilk but the rest of us couldn’t care less.
I am a lady, 70 yrs.. Use a wheelbarrow for mulch, moving plants, sometimes sand. I was given a 4 cu ft metal bed which has worked for me. My handle broke. I know you can replace handles but it’s about half the cost of the wheelbarrow I’ve decided on. I do have problems with my back. Have been shopping thinking I should stay with a 4 cu ft. Thinking the 6 cu ft bed would be lower making it harder on my back. The ones I’ve checked not so. It also seems to handle better/easier. The one I thought I would go with is the 6 cu ft at ACE. Now after seeing your video, I need to see how the bed sits on the frame in connection with the tire. Want to buy what will fit my needs, of course, as inexpensive as possible. Not sure how much longer I will using one. Any recommendations? Thank you so much.
Charline Jolly says
Dear Peggy. I am 82 and still enjoying gardening! Stay active!! Do some nice long stretches when you wake up in the morning. Do a couple more while waiting for the coffee to brew. You can do it girl!
I am lookin to buy a wheelbarrow. Does the handles rot when left in the rain
No. Buy a Jackson and never look back.
Sounds good to me!
Good wheelbarrows will last outdoors about 5 years ( Zone 5 Canada) – handles should be made of Ash – I found I could not buy a replacement handle but It only took about an hour to make a new one and fit it.
Our local hardware store does sell good quality wheelbarrow handles. I just replaced four over the winter. And you guessed it? Not on my Jackson, but on those orange wheelbarrows that I’ve barely used since two handles snapped off almost immediately when we started using them.
Disagree…I’m using one that my dad bought in the 1940’s (Looks a lot like the Jackson) replaced the handless just a couple of years ago. Metal is rusting but I’ll endorse what Mike says…buy a metal contractors wheelborrow, keep the tire pumped up, load it so the weight is over the wheel, take care of it and you’ll never have to buy another one. Never have forgotten what a hay customer said to me after I showed him a new set of pricy quality bale hooks that I bought…”Not bad if you only have to buy them once”.
Are jackson wheelbarrows weatherproof?
For the most part I would say they are. They have a metal tub, but it’s very durable and mine are always out in the weather. I’ve never had a problem with them rusting out like cheap metal wheelbarrows do.
We bought 2 8cu ft poly wheelbarrows from Lowes. Both have cracked so that material does not stay in them. Probably won’t buy this product again.
The only thing that I’ve found a poly wheelbarrow to be good for is light weight mulch.
Dave P. says
Excellent review — thanks! I will look for a Jackson.
plastic or steel wheelbarrow?
in my view, steel is great for hauling rocks or wet concrete. but for everyday use for any and every
thing else I much prefer the “fort” brand of plastic tub barrow. and my part time help who must use
them for hauling mulch,compost, or weeds that have been hand pulled and added to the compost piles, much prefer the lighter plastic barrows. we have 5 plastic and 2 steel. also 1 two wheel one that cured me from buying any more of the 2 wheelers.
thanks , carl goldscheider. Vancouver island
Walter Pearson says
I have property that is mostly clay and when it is even slightly wet, my spherical-wheeled Nubarro is a life-saver. It also has less tendency to tip sideways because the support point also moves sideways. I can’t seem to find a supplier, so I will take more precaution to keep that wheel from degrading or incurring damage.
I prefer the wheel barrow that attaches to my riding mower, lol! It even has a dumping mechanism!
walt peters says
have been pushing Jacksons since 1964 and agree that they are the best. One more trick an old timer taught me is how to load the wheelbarrow onto the truck without lifting it. Place the wheelbarrow at the back of the truck with the handles toward the tailgate. Grab the wheel guard and flip the wheel barrow onto the truck bed. Also it is most efficient to face the wheelbarrow in the direction you want to go before loading it. No turning in place with a heavy load. They also make suitable lounge chairs.
Hi, Mike thanks for all your tips.
Thank you Mike. I would have never known about the correct type of wheelbarrow or even the best way to use it. I intend
to good use of this information!
Charles Giltner says
Thanks for the wheelbarrow advice, most of it was learned like you from years of working with less than Jackson quality stuff. One question that seems to keep coming up for me is how to keep your handles from getting rotten and braking. Most wheelbarrows have wooden handles and being kept in the weather seems to do rapid deterioration on them. Do you have any tips on keeping them in good condition or if they do break, what about a cheap and effective repair alternative to buying replacement handles?
Keep up the great work Mike!
Paint the handles with an oil-based weather-proofing; cabot’s is a good brand. Don’t use the water-based kind because it won’t last. Paint it outside and don’t breath the fumes. Your wooden handles will lasted 3x as long. A small can should be available at your hardware store; HD doesn’t stock the oil-based kind.
Gordon Mackle says
Put wheels on the two rest arms this makes it real easy to push. I think it helps ALOT try it!!
They need to make a wheelbarrow for tall people. I’m 6′ 6″ and the nose is constantly digging in if the ground isn’t smooth.
You need to pick the right Jackson wheel barrow. They have cheaper models.
Thanks Chris, I wondered that when I read that you can get them at the Big Box Store. Go to a contractors supply house. You know where they buy wire mesh for concrete etc.
If you sell a contractor a junk wheelbarrow it won’t be pretty and you can trust me on that!
clyde w holmes says
mike i will agre with you i do not want a two wheel, wheel barrow i have a one wheel, wheel barrow had for years i appreciate your informatin always try to learn something out of it an usually do i want me some of those
azalea bushes if i can find some f the pods i will atempt
to raise some. keep up the good work an may god bless you.
Donna Schmid says
Sorry, Mike, but on this we’ll have to agree to disagree… I have a 2-wheeled wheelbarrow and will NEVER go back to a single-wheel again! I understand your reasons, and perhaps if I used it for business, I would agree! But for me (in my home garden), the over-riding feature is the stability of a 2-wheeler — no side-ways balancing needed! Why, sometimes, I even move my filled barrow using just one hand, while using my other hand to carry something else!
Have used single wheel for many years and they are the best. However, I got so sick of fighting flat tires that I bit the bullet and bought a solid (kind of spongy) solid rubber tire. It’s the best. No flats in spring or winter. Yea! Definitely worth the money
Where did you buy the solid rubber tire for single wheel barrow & what is cost? Thanks for info.
Was also wondering where you bought the tire as mine is always flat
Hi Mike, Thanks for the tip. I listened. I went on craig’s list and bought a used jackson wheel barrow for $25. I love it. The amount of sand and topsoil that I have moved in the past few months, the wheelbarroow has already paid for itself.
Good tips as usual! I have an old metal hand-me-down wheelbarrow and I need to change the tire but I’m miffed. There doesn’t seem to be any easy way to do it, any suggestions?
You’re right, no easy way to change a wheelbarrow tire. You have to remove the brackets on at least one side if not both.
I use the Jackson 2 wheel. It has slightly more resistance than a one wheel. I use 2 ramps to wheel onto my truck or whereever I need to ramp. Problem with the single wheels is that they tip over easily. There is nothing worse than having to clean up a spilled load. Have never tipped over my 2 wheeler. Can shovel soil or rock out of it without worry. Not so with a single wheeler. Jackson is the only brand to bother with though!
Deb Rebel says
Thanks, Mike. I was looking at those two wheel jobbers, and I bought a plastic one and the tire is forever flat on it. Hubby was enamored with that inflatable plastic and I wanted the hardwheel one. Next time I win. I am showing him your blurb to win the case. Thanks again.
Carmen Montag says
Two weeks ago I took clipping from a burning shrubput them in water in a jaj the leave came out after 2 weeks but I I don’t see any roots although the leaves are still blooming
What should I do
All you can do is wait, but chances are the cutting will fail when it figures out it has no roots. This method works. http://www.freeplants.com/homemade-plant-propagation.htm
tony ambrose says
Mike;Thanks for the tip. Tony
betty s. moore says
Hi Mike, my first time talking to you even tho. I have one of your first books. Love your web site and your great advice. Funny you are giving the Jackson favorite wheelbarrel info….been on line several time asking about the one to buy. Going to go out and check on this today! Thank you for your honest approach, downtoearch way, and best of all, great knowledge of gardening.
You’re welcome and thank you for sticking with me and buying one of my books. http://www.freeplants.com/easy-plant-propagation.htm
Jeff Ross says
Just want to thank you for the tips, and your site.
mike i enjoy all your newsletters & video,s keep them coming
Most excellent information. I will need to inform my garden minions immediately.
Thank you for sharing these trade secrets.
(I have found relating chores to my teenagers video games has made them more willing. This lesson will be known as the magic wheel barrow level up. Way more fun than nagging.)