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Twin wheel wheelbarrows

I'm considering a twin wheel wheelbarrow as I have a large amount of soil to move from the front to the back of a house. Thankfully it's down a slope but I still don't wish to put my back out!

I know some think they can be unstable and it seems a bit strange most seem to have the axle under the barrow rather than towards the front but that would mean less of the weight needs to be lifted?

I'm currently looking at this one:

It's a well known make, not too big, and the wheels look a good size. Any comments? It would be good if it lasted many years but, realistically, one or two would be fine as it'll do a lot of work.

Every wheelbarrow I've ever had has suffered punctures. All I can add is that B&Q sell puncture proof wheels, and when a blackthorn ruins your day, they are the thing to invest in.

I do have blackthorn and a normal barrow with said puncture proof tyre. Ideally I'd get the same wheels but I don't think that's possible so I'll have to ensure the path is clear or replace them.

i have probably done thousands of miles and shifted thousands of tons behind a wheel barrow

single wheel is ideal:

in confined spaces,
up or down a plank,
on a rough surface,over curbs etc ,

so long as the wheel has a fat tyre (not the narrow hard sort) pumped to the right hardness it will work over everything from deepish soft mud to demolition rubble

the flat tyre thing is easily sorted with "slime" sold for bicycle tyres as a preventative or in an emergency the foamy stuff in a can for getting a car to a tyreshop.

i can see no advantages to a two wheeler and plenty of disadvantages on anything but a smooth ,wide, flat job .

my most recent one came from travis perkins (builders barrow) and has so far done two houses worth of skip filling, fetching bulk sand etc and after a few years stood outside is like new apart from a few dents and scratches .

avoid diy shops etc as builders merchant barrows are usually far stronger,better proportioned and much better coated for rust resistance and they are usually cheaper.

ps a well filled barrow is quite easy to lift off the legs and most energy goes into moving the thing rather than lifting the load.

a one wheel also allows the option of taking a slope at an angle as the load remains level above the wheel whereas a two wheel can only go strait up or down without tipping over as the load stays at the angle the wheels make with the floor.

hope this helps
Ty Gwyn

Not used a twin wheel barrow myself,seen them used around stables and piggeries on flat concrete surfaces,
My though was ,how the hell do you push that through muck or over rough ground,
My latest barrow is an all galv Scandinavian job,good solid ,balanced barrow 70.

One of our four barrows is a two-wheeler, probably the same one you've linked. Its our least favourite (for garden and orchard purposes); cumbersome as it only travels in straight lines, tends to be loaded more so it heavier and it's a nuisance to tip as it has to be lifted a long way. Going rusty, too.
I'd sooner do two trips in a nippier barrow to one with this, my first choice is quite small and narrow but manoeuvres well up overgrown paths and between bulging trees and bushes.

I've deliberately avoided going for a bigger barrow to prevent the temptation of overloading. With the same load as a single wheeled barrow the wheels will dig in less as they will have less weight on them and I will also need to lift less.

I also currently have problems with the singled wheeled barrow tipping over when loading if it's parked sideways on a slope, even with just loading grass cuttings. A twin will be more stable.

The maneuverability is a concern, I'd like to try one before buying but nowhere local seems to stock them. Most of the planned work will not require weaving in and out of places though.

Surely, with the same load you'll have to lift the same, regardless of the number of wheels.

Depends on the axle. Single wheeled barrows have it at the front, so 2/3 of the load goes down the front and 1/3 on your arms. The twin I linked to has the axle under the load so I would expect less weight on your arms.

My Pa invested in one as he got more unsteady on his feet (in to his eighties when his knees went). It's good on even ground in straightish lines, not so nippy, as other people have said. I like it, but I think it entirely depends on the user and the job.
wellington womble

And easier to heft, I expect.

I am pondering the practicality of wheelbarrows at all (not necessarily for any one else, but I'm not finding them great). I'm thinking of a four wheeler pull/push truck. I find all the lifting up and down a bit tedious, and they run away with me and then give me a jolt where they get stuck in uneven ground. Worst of all, you can only manoeuvre the thing from behind it. So having driven up to, say, shed door with a bale of straw, I have to squeeze past the thing and can't pull it in tight after me very easily. Then it is almost impossible to push the thing out of the doorway from the the front, so I'm stuck in the shed. I find this happens between my veg beds as well.

I can see the advantages of a barrow where you need to tip, but I mostly don't. I also suspect they are more manoeuvrable around tight corners, but for 95 percent of what I do the advantages of being able to shove it from both directions, and not having to support any weight on my arms in transit would massively outweigh being able to tip and corner on one wheel. Everything has be shovelled in either way and my beds are all raised and my compost is in bins, so I can't tip out anyway.

Sorry, TD, I'm not suggesting they are remotely suitable for your job!

I'm thinking a sack barrow with a smallish bin and some bungy cords. Multiple bins would enable a three person fill/transport/empty relay too.

a good sack barrow with pneumatic tyres is useful on flat things .ideal for lifts ,pavements etc.

rubbish at lumpy or soft stuff as they have little ground clearance and they are too wide for a scaff plank

the triple wheels each side are good for curbs and steps

one can overload them and bend the axle which makes them very wonky (oops three times)

re too much to lift in a standard barrow if you dont fill fully at the rear of the barrow (or add extra at the front) they are almost balanced on the axle ,in mixed loads put the heavy stuff at the front , with long stuff let it poke out at the front .

properly filled a good barrow should have only a few kilos of lift on the handles and the wheel takes nearly all the load.a badly filled one feels heavy or falls over sideways

I've seen a barrow for sale that has twin wheels in the normal place (at the front) - worth a consideration?
Mistress Rose

WW, I sometimes pull a builders wheelbarrow when I am shifting logs around the yard and it is muddy. Find it much easier.

properly filled a good barrow should have only a few kilos of lift on the handles and the wheel takes nearly all the load.a badly filled one feels heavy or falls over sideways

That doesn't work when you're lifting soil, sand, wet concrete etc. Even you cannot override the laws of physics, you'll still have to life a load of 20-30kg if the barrow is moving 90kg of cement.

I've also used barrows for years and do put heavy items in mixed loads at the front if possible but that does make the nose more unbalanced which can't be done on a slope.

NMK, I have also found a twin wheel barrow with the axle at the front, but I'm not sure if that would be better, hence the question.

As Chez says, I think they will be better for some people in some situations so I'll get one and have a play.

WW, I've also looked at the 4 wheel carts, for different reasons. I couldn't really find a robust one that would be suitable for me. I kept thinking for 400 or so for a decent one I could make something. Then there's something like a logging arch for moving long logs...

I've now come to the conclusion it's a shame you can't but some form of adult Meccano, so you could buy a kit to make various barrows or carts to see which one is best.

if you have a huge amount to move up or down a slope it is possible to hire conveyor belt kit

another option is to hire a labourer for the mass transport jobs which is easy on the back and probably cheaper than a selection of experimental barrows.

i try to load a barrow so there is very little to lift and do not find that unstable ,

decent barrows are designed with a nose deep container so when in use a level load has more weight at the front and the centre of gravity is only just behind the wheel . they also have long handles so leverage is on your side.

anything over about 30 degrees either needs approaching at an angle across the slope or a ramp to extend the distance and reduce the angle.

as a slight aside i have considered experimenting with a lithium battery/motor and control gear /auto retardation for slope work. i suspect owt robust enough would be a daft price.

I've always liked the idea of these things:

They seem to combine the steerability of the traditional wheelbarrow with a more sensibly placed axle. Never seen one for sale on this side of the world, though.

We had a twin wheel one once.

Never again.

I dont like filling the things once never mind refilling it when it self empties as its wheel are so close to the balance point that one spade full to much to the front has it tipping forward.
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