Every landscaper knows that wheelbarrows are a necessity, but pushing a load of dirt, sand, gravel, mulch, rubble or building debris is an arduous process that can take a real toll on the arms, hands, shoulders and back. If you haven’t considered an electric wheelbarrow, it’s time to give them a closer look. Electric wheelbarrows, like Overland Carts, are a bit pricier than standard wheelbarrows, but they pay for themselves many times over in strength, efficiency and durability, not to mention they require very little maintenance.
So what should you be looking for in choosing this type of heavy-duty wheelbarrow? Here are some things to consider as you search for the perfect electric wheelbarrow to meet your landscaping needs:
Number of wheels: This should be the number one consideration when you’re looking at electric wheelbarrows. Two wheels might be fine for light jobs, but if you do serious work with your wheelbarrow, four heavy-duty wheels provide the best control, balance and stability, with traction that moves over rough terrain without tipping. Turf tires provide extra traction without tearing up the lawn.
Construction: Electric wheelbarrows may be either plastic or steel. Plastic is more lightweight, but if your landscape projects involve moving a lot of heavy material, you’ll find that a welded chassis is much more durable and holds up over the long haul. Look for a powder coated finish to prevent corrosion.
Load capacity: Depending on the model, electric wheelbarrows can tote up to 750 pounds. You’ll be hard pressed to find a standard wheelbarrow that can manage half that much without breaking down.
Battery life/charging time: Look for an electric wheelbarrow that allows you to keep working six to eight hours on a single charge, depending on load size, surface and incline. Most will let you know when it’s time to start thinking about recharging a removable battery pack.
Ease of dumping: Look for an electric wheelbarrow that allows you dump the load without stress and strain. Most have a hopper that swings on a hinge, thus making it easy to lift and dump.
Starting the wheelbarrow: Getting the wheelbarrow running shouldn’t be a challenge. A good electric wheelbarrow is easy to start by pressing or pulling a button on the handle.
Controls and safety features: When you’re shopping for a heavy-duty electric wheelbarrow, be sure it has all the extra features that you need to stay safe and productive. For example:
- A mechanism that allows the cart to travel at the speed set by the user instead of picking up speed or slowing down in relation to the incline or decline.
- Auto-lock brakes that prevent the wheelbarrow from rolling away when you aren’t applying the throttle. This automatic parking brake safety mechanism also makes it easy to unload the cart when you’re parked at a slant.
- A specially marked button will let you stop the cart on a dime in case of an emergency. If you need to slow down, just let up on the throttle.
Warranties: This is one of those things that most people forget about but also one that is an important consideration. Should any issues arise with your electric wheelbarrow, you want to feel at ease knowing the product has a good warranty. Overland Carts, for example, offer limited warranties of 1 year for powertrain, electronics and hopper and 3 years for chassis.