It bought this wheelbarrow a few years ago to replace the one my wife had when we got married. It was probably the same brand, but had cheap jungle-wood two-piece handles that didn’t hold up well to serious use. (Remember when handles for such tools were hickory or oak?) It also had a low-sided tub that let everything dump out the front if you forgot to walk hunch-backed.
This one had one-piece handles, but they may still be jungle-wood. If they’re an American species, they certainly aren’t hickory or oak. Though the tub had higher sides, it didn’t have enough back-slope, so you still had to walk hunch-backed if you didn’t want things spilling out the front. The worst problem, though, was that the tire was too small in proportion to the height of the front end of the handles. SO, when you were tooling along walking hunch-backed to begin with, if there was a bump on the ground, or if you started easing more upright in stature, the front of the handles jammed into the ground, slowing you, stopping you, or sometimes, spilling your load. Part of the problem is that the handles are too short. Longer ones would lower the angle of the frame, making it less likely to jam, while also making it less likely that you’d try running over yourself (catch your heels) when pulling the barrow behind you after emptying.
After several years of cussing and discussing the newer wheelbarrow’s short-comings, I decided to do something about it. The easiest fix seemed to be putting blocks between the axle and handles, so the front end of the handles would be farther from the ground and less likely to jam. Having raised the wheelbarrow 1-1/2 inches with my own version of a wooden lift kit, I must say that it works much better. It not only doesn’t jam into the ground during normal work, it raises the front of the tub a bit, making it less likely to spill things out the front. Of course the handles are still too short, but there’s no easy fix on them, only replacement, so I’ll wait a while before getting that industrious. After all, I’d have to make my own because you sure can’t buy anything worth taking home.
I suppose some folks might feel that my alteration would make it harder to dump the wheelbarrow, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem. You either have enough muscle to do the job or you don’t. Also, just for the record, I’m not overly tall at 5-10, so it’s not like I dwarf the thing.
The bottom line is that that like most things these days, it was probably designed by people who’d never done an honest day’s work in their lives. Therefore, it was simply designed to be produced cheaply, not to work well. Oh well, It only cost me a couple dollars in longer bolts to make it a lot better. © 2014