A wheelbarrow comes in handy for moving soil, compost, bricks, potted plants, etc. The humble cart from yesteryears has got a makeover, and today, you can enjoy the luxury of using powered wheelbarrows that take away the drudgery associated with outdoor chores.
However, it is essential to check the specs before you buy a powered wheelbarrow as there are so many options in the market that you can quickly get confused. While a well-balanced wheelbarrow can make light work of moving small to medium loads across short distances, it takes a powered one for lugging comparatively heavier stuff across longer distances.
What you need is a perfectly balanced wheelbarrow that effortlessly glides across uneven terrain. Choosing the wrong one can leave you panting, puffing, and exerting yourself unnecessarily.
Why Should a Wheelbarrow Be Powered?
More often than not, it is an ordeal transporting garden or construction material over a steep gradient. Things may get a lot easier when you use powered wheelbarrows. There are several types of wheelbarrows to choose from; While the smallest base models are powered to lug loads up to 100-kg above its kerb weight, the varieties are overwhelmingly high.
Such simple machines are easy to operate as you can control them with a throttle and a brake. You can opt for a petrol-driven wheelbarrow or an eco-friendly model that runs on a rechargeable battery (around 12v). While the former needs regular maintenance, the latter is virtually maintenance-free.
Larger Models of Wheelbarrows (3 or 4-Wheeled)
3-Wheeled Models (two-steering and one-trailing) are best for flat terrain. These compact machines are good for transporting any material as they come with a set of switchable tanks and trays. You can dedicate one each for manure, concrete, or wood and save yourself regular cleaning chores. The battery-powered models run for 3 to 5 hours on a single charge and come with a handy charger for recharging.
4-Wheeled Models are a lot more stable and available as a push or pull model (you can operate from the front or back) with a greater carrying capacity. Some models feature a built-in gear system that lets you increase or decrease the speed according to the terrain. They also have a convenient, electrically operated tipper on the tank that makes unloading an easy job. These models feature a powerful braking system that lets you stop instantly, even while going down the steep slopes.
The petrol models have a higher carrying capacity as they are more powerful than their electric cousins. Petrol models have mechanical tipping systems for unloading material. Some petrol models feature 4-wheel drive, which is excellent for the steepest terrain, though they may be priced higher. They are suitable for attaching trailers to haul extra loads. Petrol-driven wheelbarrows require regular maintenance like oil change, spark plug cleaning, and general overhaul, from time to time.
Here are some critical technical specs to look out for when buying a powered wheelbarrow:
Base your Choice on Specific Factors
The choice of a powered wheelbarrow should be based on the type of work you need it for. A three-wheeled electric barrow is best for carrying materials like wood across flat terrain. If you need to lug the same stuff over sloping terrain, you’ll need a four-wheeled electric barrow that offers better stability.
Similarly, suppose you need a powered barrow for construction-related work where you need to move heavier stuff across uneven terrain. Look for a tracked model, which can be manoeuvred across sloping terrain easily. While shopping for such powered wheelbarrows, look out for:
- The Power Rating
- Various Speeds (Gears)
- The Capacity of the Tank (length x width x depth)
- The Tipping Mechanism (hydraulic or mechanical)
- Accessories Thrown In
- Loaded and Unloaded Gradient
- Key or pull-start
How do Tracked Wheelbarrows Work?
If you have to negotiate sloping terrain daily, go for a tracked wheelbarrow, specifically designed for such purposes. It can easily breeze through a 45° gradient effortlessly with a 500kg load. Tracked barrows are more potent than their conventional cousins, though a lot noisier.
Powered by a four-stroke engine (6 to 9hp), tracked wheelbarrows are equal to a mini-dump-truck, capacity-wise. The startup can either be using a launcher or a more comfortable push-button system (self-start). The steering and tipping mechanisms are controlled by a hydraulic system, making these barrows a lot more efficient.
Summing it Up
Before buying powered wheelbarrows, check the capacity to decide if it is suitable for the kind of work you have in mind. Also, check the dimensions to make sure it fits into your shed comfortably. Unwieldy sizes may not go through narrow shed doorways. The wheelbarrow should have adequate ground clearance. Check reviews before making your purchase.