The 8 Best Power Wheelbarrows
This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in June of 2018. If you have heavy loads of firewood, dirt, gravel or green waste to haul, and a standard wheelbarrow proves too slow, tiring and cumbersome, then getting your hands on one of these power models will be a good idea. They employ dumping mechanisms to take the strain of difficult yard work off your back, and run on common rechargeable batteries or beefy gas-powered engines. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
October 12, 2020:
Our list for this category remained fairly stable through this round of updates, although we did end up deciding to remove the PawAssist Model 44015, due to availability issues. Our new additions this time around were the SuperHandy Debris Hauler — which can only move a maximum load of 220 pounds, but is significantly more affordable than some other options; the Landworks Utility Cart — which can conveniently be converted to a flatbed, if that configuration better suits your needs; and the Yardmax YD8105 — which features hydraulic-assisted dumping and can accommodate up to 1,100 pounds.
A few things to think about for this category:
Weight Capacity: How much are you moving? While the average homeowner may be content with a light-duty model – like the Makita XUC01X1 Power-Assisted, which can accommodate 275 pounds, or the Snapper XD 82V Cordless Utility, which can handle up to 220 pounds – landscaping professionals and general contractors are likely to be more interested in an option with a robust construction — like the Overland Electric Powered Cart, which can accommodate up to 750 pounds. The Yardmax YD8105 is the most capable model we ranked, with a maximum weight capacity of 1,100 pounds.
Ruggedness: Now that we’ve established how much you need to be moving, the next relevant question may be: over what kind of terrain? While models like the SuperHandy Debris Hauler and Landworks Utility Cart can purportedly not travel up any incline in excess of 12 degrees or 15 degrees, respectively, suggesting that they’re primarily designed for basic use over level backyards, other models like the Yardmax YD8103 and Yardmax YD8105 are equipped with tank-style tracks that not only may be easier on your grass, but also better equip these units for work over rugged terrain, like uneven job sites. Be sure to take into account the nature of the work you plan on doing with this machine, before you make your final purchase decision.
Power Source: While gas-powered models, like some of the offerings from Yardmax, tend to be more powerful, they also tend to be louder and stinkier than battery-powered options like the Snapper XD 82V Cordless Utility. In terms of convenience, always keeping a gas can on hand to fill up your machine can be a pain, but so can waiting hours for its batteries to charge. So, in that respect, which option works best for you will likely depend on how long you plan on using it for at a time. One exception to this might be the Makita XUC01X1 Power-Assisted, which runs on the same 18-volt, lithium-ion cells as the company’s power tools, making it easy to keep a spare set of batteries on hand and charging at all times.
May 18, 2019:
They save so much effort (and maybe pain) that, once you've tried a power-assisted wheelbarrow, you might never want to go back to a manual one. In this update, we removed an item due to concerns about its availability and were pleased to add the Overland Electric Powered Cart. It features extra-long battery life that will keep you working longer than some other battery-powered models. We also gave top spots to our two gas-powered selections, the Yardmax YD4103 and the Yardmax YD8103 because of their powerful engines and large hauling capacities, which help you do more work in less time.
PowerPusher E-750 Made in the USA, this heavy-duty unit can move up to 1,000 pounds at a time, dwarfing the maximum weight capacity of many of its competitors. It features a multi-voltage, on-board battery charger with an IP68 dust and water resistance, and convenient, push-button, power dumping. powerpusher.com
Hauling The Dirt With Ease
Thirdly, they're easier to steer and capable of delivering a zero turn radius for maneuvering around tight corners.
Gardening can be very beneficial for both mental and physical well-being. But if you spend a lot of time outdoors tending to a garden on your own, you'll need a convenient way to transport heavy loads of soil, mulch, and weeds from one place to another without breaking your back. The larger your property is, the more time you'll need to spend maintaining the land and ensuring your vegetation is getting everything it needs to thrive. When performing specific landscaping tasks that require more than just a typical lawn mower to get the job done, consider adding a power wheelbarrow to your arsenal of gardening tools.
Capable of running on either electricity or gas, the power wheelbarrow builds on the functionality of its classically-engineered predecessor by efficiently balancing and transporting heavy loads of dirt, logs, wood chips, and mulch across your property without complete dependence on manual propulsion. Power wheelbarrows are often constructed with sturdy steel frames and large storage hoppers that hold hundreds of pounds of materials at a time. They are usually equipped with two driving wheels and at least one or two swiveling wheels, allowing for tight turns in confined spaces and stability on a variety of terrains. Some power wheelbarrows even use tracks instead of wheels to cart heavy loads across rocky and uneven soil. Regardless of whether they're powered by electric motors or internal combustion engines, many use built-in throttles for variable speed control, which comes in handy when the devices are rolled uphill or along flat surfaces. Many gas-powered wheelbarrows are coupled with transmissions that give you the convenience of switching between forward and reverse directions.
Aside from minimizing user fatigue and the chance of on-the-job injury, power wheelbarrows offer several benefits over their manually-propelled counterparts. Firstly, they can haul significantly heavier loads, thanks to a combination of larger hoppers and use of either gas engines or electric motors, so they won't depend completely on physical manpower to operate. Secondly, their multiple tires allow them to provide extra balance and stability on inclines and uneven surfaces. Thirdly, they're easier to steer and capable of delivering a zero turn radius for maneuvering around tight corners. Finally, their dumping mechanisms will typically allow their hoppers to tip independently, resulting in less back, neck, and shoulder strain when depositing all those heavy loads.
Choosing The Best Option For Your Needs
Depending on the types of tasks you'll need to complete in the garden, one important consideration is the number of wheels with which your vehicle of choice is equipped. We established earlier that a power wheelbarrow can employ anywhere from two to four wheels so it can operate efficiently. If you find yourself hauling extremely loads, having extra driving and swiveling wheels will ensure plenty of stability and traction on a variety of terrain, while also making the machine relatively easy to tip. However, if the soil on your property is very rocky and your land sits on a hill, you should consider a motorized trackbarrow for all-terrain use.
We established earlier that a power wheelbarrow can employ anywhere from two to four wheels so it can operate efficiently.
When it comes to a vehicle's power source, more isn't always better, so think practically about the size of your property and how much power you'll really need to get the job done before making your investment. If you have a very large yard (or perhaps you even own a farm), then a gas-powered wheelbarrow will be an excellent choice. But you may not need something quite so robust when transporting materials across a small yard in a residential setting. For this situation, a low-maintenance electric wheelbarrow should be perfect for your needs. Not only will it deliver several hours of continuous operation on a single battery charge, but it can do so without all the noise and fumes.
Don't forget about the ergonomics of your wheelbarrow's handle. Try to find a power wheelbarrow with rubberized grips, as its handle will have a direct affect on your ability to maneuver the vehicle. An adjustable and easy-to-grab handle provides you with additional leverage when tipping the machine and dumping the hopper's contents.
Finally, it's important to consider both the construction and hauling capacity of the hopper. Many of our options have hoppers made from either plastic or steel with an ability to support between three and five cubic feet of wood chips, dirt, or mulch at one time.
A Brief History Of The Power Wheelbarrow
The first archaeological evidence of the wheelbarrow dates back to the 2nd century Han Dynasty in China. Emperor Hui's tomb murals and painted reliefs depict images of a man pushing a rudimentary hauling device. The earliest Chinese wheelbarrows were available in two types, the first having a universal front wheel, while the latter design featured a centrally-mounted wheel and hopper capable of supporting up to six human passengers and distributing weight more evenly between itself and its operator.
Emperor Hui's tomb murals and painted reliefs depict images of a man pushing a rudimentary hauling device.
The innovation of the wheelbarrow gradually made its way into Europe centuries later, the first depiction of which can be seen on a 13th-century stained glass window at France’s Chartres Cathedral. Building on the design of its Chinese predecessor, the wheel on this European rendition was built closer to the front of the device, giving its operator more leverage to handle a heavier load by himself.
Wheelbarrows appeared in the United States with the arrival of the first settlers, later playing a role in the California Gold Rush. This was thanks to J.M. Studebaker who originally made his livelihood in the production and sale of wheelbarrows before developing some of the country's first automobiles.
Late 20th-century versions of the wheelbarrow included the Dyson Ballbarrow in 1974, followed by the Honda HPE60, one of the first electric wheelbarrows, by 1998. Modern power wheelbarrows are now widely available from several different manufacturers and designed for a variety of applications, including gardening, farming, and construction work, while being able to carry much heavier loads than a human alone would be capable without assistance.