Wheelbarrow, carts, and wagons

I’m in the market for a new garden cart/wheelbarrow, curious to hear what y’all like. My wheelbarrow is a small hand-me-down piece of junk that I have replaced everything but the “barrow” part.

So much stuff is plastic or cheap metal, it’s hard to know what is good!

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I’d say search for “contractor’s wheelbarrows” and consider those. They’re built for heavy (ab)use wheeling concrete or gravel or whatever, and they won’t loosen up and twist the way cheap ones do. They’re heavy enough to stand up to mixing concrete in them or to throwing heavy stones into them. Single wheel are standard (you can’t push a double wheel barrow up a plank ramp). Easy to spend $150-200 new.


I currently have a Kobalt one from Lowes with a solid front tire. I use it year round and the paint has come off from the inside… but other than that its been a good one. I predict in the next so many years that the wood under the metal pan will eventually rot… it has served me well. I have overloaded it way too many times and when you do that the keepers of the shaft on the front wheel pop out… which is a PITA but i tap them back in with a screwdriver and go on.

My next one i think will be this one. It seems to be made very well.


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I really like my old garden cart from Gardeners Supply, but I about choked when I checked and saw they now go for $500. I like the removeable tailgate, it stands upright, and it easily flips over to dump out its contents. The flat bottom is large enough to hold seedling trays for moving them around, it’s sturdy enough to haul 40 bags of fertilizer. I’m not sure I can justify $500 though.

I’ve looked at that Gorilla wagon. I just wonder if the plastic is tough! Too much gets brittle being out in the sun for the summer.

@AndySmith Did you have a Vermont Garden Cart? You can find plans online to make your own if you have the inclination. That’s something I have been thinking of.

I got this comically large wagon at Tractor Supply last year. Claimed load limit of 1,400 pounds. I wouldnt try to put that in it but certainly good for a few 400lbs or so. Has a great turn radius for such a giant wagon! Its worked well for moving plants and soil around. Not sure what they cost… I got it cheap because of a damaged box


Yes, that style, and I really like it. Does anyone sell the hardware as a kit? You’d only have to purchase and breakdown the plywood. Mine is in great condition after 15 years, but I should state mine is stored in a garden shed, so not getting wet often.

That would be pretty nifty! Making one out of wood wouldn’t be too hard, but I assume the metal reinforcement really gives it strength. Bending the metal for the handles would be tricky to get it precise.

My gorilla cart has lasted for 5 or 6, or more years now. That plastic is robust. I’ve had to replace the wheels though.


Not a very user friendly website, but I think they sell kits?

Looks like they give you everything, you just have to assemble, that’s the way mine came from Garden Supply. Mine is similar to the “classic” one on that site, except mine doesn’t have a front gate by the handle, it’s open there. Pricey, I don’t recall what I would have paid 15 years ago.

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I’ve used several different styles of garden carts and wheelbarrows over several decades. The brown plywood Vermont Garden Cart style (the wood finally rotted) was superseded by a brown poly 7.5 cubic foot Rubbermaid, fine except when my father or his day-laborer overloaded it and broke the flimsy 20" wheels (time after time) or the tub itself. Amazon has good replacement wheels that come with 2 different inner diameter bearings but would benefit from additional grease (keep reading). Go ahead and replace both stock wheels at the same time.

We then augmented with an aluminum folding garden cart (think of the Vermont, but from lightweight metal). A local garden guru had written about how great this style was, but the tailgate is not so easy to use and this one just sits around for light duty weed collection.

Shortly after that the local Aldi had their black plastic garden cart in-stock, and my mother purchased one for herself and one for us (I’ll post pictures of all of these later). This was reasonably good. Lightweight enough that I could hoist it easily to dump, but not too flimsy. The wheels were smaller diameter, so it is better on ground that isn’t too bumpy.

I wanted something that would be top-notch, so I did a lot of research. 10 years ago there was a product that was great, but quality went downhill. If you have one, never let it go (I’ll post the name when I recall it). After a bunch of research I settled on a Gorilla brand 10 cubic foot cart. Tractor Supply had them, so I bought one, immediately found that they had dropped the box and bent the frame and how little force it took to open it back up to accommodate the tub. It mostly sat over the last year, but I recently pulled it out and discovered that the bearings in the wheels had completely rusted. I removed them, took some (larger ID) extra bearings from the Marathon replacement wheels for the Rubbermaid, pried out the seals on both sides, packed them full of Cotton Picker #00 Spindle Grease flowable grease (TSC for the win) and pressed them into the stock wheels. Apart from that and the tub seemingly scratching really easily it seems fine, but again, I have barely used it.

I’ve gotten 2 of the black poly Rubbermaid carts for free. Keep an eye on the Jersey Barrier median of the highway, you’ll find them there when they blow out of trailers or truck beds. Their stock wheels are equally weak, replacement is easy but they do benefit from an extra washer or two to take up some slop in the axle length. If the tub has any crack in it, drill a hole where it terminates to keep it from propagating and screw pressure treated plywood or 2x dimensional lumber to it to strengthen the area.

Wheelbarrows: all are junk, simply to varying degrees. Wooden handles rot or break, plastic grips come off of metal handles, plastic tubs crack, pneumatic tires bounce well to help you hop over obstacles but the never-flat wheels won’t leave you stranded with a flat tire, double wheel models are easier to balance but you can’t cross slopes sideways with any load, and every single one has to be loaded (except when dealing with ginormous pumpkins) with them standing upright, requiring more lifting labor during the loading process.

My favorite of ones on the market which I have already used would be the Rubbermaid.

Pics to follow.


In 2016 I helped several local churches with pumpkin patch cleanup following Halloween. One of them had an older what I believe to have been Agri-Fab brand poly dump cart. It was a convertible model, switching between pushed by hand or pulled by a lawn tractor. It was likely a 1000 pound or 700 pound capacity model, with wide but smaller diameter wheels. It worked so very well on the flat and level ground when I was pushing it manually, and the lip on it’s bed was just the right height to slip over the rail on my little pickup truck.

This picture gives you an idea of what it was that I was using:


When I researched the product a couple of years ago the reviews seemed to indicate that quality had slipped, but it might have recovered since then.

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In the wake of the reviews indicating declining quality on the Agri-Fab, I found a similar style Brinly-Hardy tow-behind-only model with excellent reviews and considered buying it and fabricating a handle for me to be able to push it around, but ended up just buying the Gorilla instead.


10 cu. ft. 650 lb. Tow-Behind Poly Utility Dump Cart with Durable Compression Molded Bed

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I bought a good heavy duty wheelbarrow from our local walmart 7 or 8 years ago. But as usual in just a few years had flat tire.

That is the weak point of most wheelbarrows…

I found on amazon flat free wheelbarrow tires… and bought one… it works great and i dont have to worry about my tire going flat ever again.


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Replacing pneumatic tires/wheels with the never-flat style is a tremendous improvement.


First up we have a picture of the 4 styles of garden carts presently at the house. Left to right we have the original Rubbermaid poly, the aluminum folder of the Vermont style, the Aldi poly, and the 10 cubic foot poly Gorilla.

Next we have an image of them in dump position, or in my case, the loading position. The 2x black poly Rubbermaid that I have at my farm property are used almost exclusively for moving wood chips from where the trucks can dump them to where I actually need them. After moving hundreds of cubic yards of chips by hand I’ve found that my preferred method is to use a lightweight 4 tine long-handled cultivator to pull the chips into the cart and haul it away at less than full capacity. The Rubbermaid excels at this.

Lastly I’ve included a picture of the type of repair that I described in my first post. This particular garden cart was crushed when a customer’s pine tree fell and landed on it. The tub cracked, as well as both wheels, but by screwing pieces of pressure treated plywood to the inside and the outside of the tub and using the better wheels I source through Amazon it is almost as good as new.


Thanks for sharing!

In regards to tires/wheels, harbor freight sells all sorts for pretty cheap.

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Yes, Harbor Freight, Home Depot, Northern Tool, Tractor Supply Company, Lowes Home Improvement and many others carry many different sizes and styles of replacement wheels, and several of them are also offered in flat-free versions, which are generally preferable.

Yes Harbor Freight sells a 10 inch tire for $8.99 and 13 inch for $15.99.