Hauling Dirt, Rocks, Barkdust? Use A Wheelbarrow or Garden Cart

As you work on beautifying your lawn and garden, there will probably come a time when you need to move something heavy, such as dirt, topsoil, manure, or beauty bark/barkdust from one area of your yard to where you are working. Now you could move it shovelful by shovelful from where it rests to where you are working, but that is counter-productive and not an efficient use of your time. Fortunately for today's gardeners, there are tools to make this job a snap: wheelbarrows and garden carts. Wheelbarrows have been around a little longer than garden carts, but you'll find a use for one or both of these items as you take care of your lawn and garden. Who wants to move it by shovelful from one area of your yard or driveway to the other end of your property, or put it in a child's wagon and try to move it this way, when you can use a tool for the job? This article will serve as your guide to choosing and using one or the other, or both items, to assist you in having a great-looking yard and garden. Here's information on each type, includng prices and brands.


Wheelbarrows have sloping sides and usually one wheel in the front, with metal "legs" that allow the wheelbarrow to be set down when not being pushed. There are two handles in the back which the user picks up and pushes with. There are some models with two front tires, which helps with balance. If you are hauling things like topsoil or barkdust and want to dump the load in a convenient place to work from, wheelbarrows are good at that. The capacity of a wheelbarrow is usually listed both in cubic feet as well as pounds. The most common size is 6 cu. ft. capacity, which is fairly easy for most people to handle and still gives you a large enough area to fill with whatever you are hauling. It doesn't do much good to get a larger capacity wheelbarrow if you aren't strong enough to lift and push it. Wheelbarrows are more maneuverable than a garden cart, since you're pushing it, and because of the single wheel. You'll also have better control of the vehicle. Metal or plastic are the most common materials which compose a wheelbarrow. The tire(s) are air-filled or solid.

Garden Carts

Garden carts have flat bottoms and straight sides, two or more wheels, and come in a variety of sizes. They are more stable than wheelbarrows, but not as maneuverable. They are usually pulled like a wagon, although some are pushed. The larger sizes can handle heavy loads such as firewood, stones or cement garden ornaments. Smaller sizes are ideal for hauling your tools around, and for hauling your plants, too. Many come with removable sides for ease in dumping your load, should you be hauling something like barkdust in it. If you have trouble walking or lifting, a garden cart will probably work better than the wheelbarrow for you. There are even powered garden carts available.

Top Wheelbarrow Brands and Price Ranges

  • Ames 6 cu. ft. Contractor Wheelbarrow
    This is a heavy guage seamless steel wheelbarrow with a single pneumatic (air-filled) front tire and heavy-duty steel braces for stability. Prices range from $70 to $85.
  • Brentwood Industries 6 cu. ft. Double Wheel Wheelbarrow
    The two wheels provide more stability but less maneuverability. Has cold rolled steel undercarriage, two 60" hardwood handles, two pneumatic tires and a limited 5 year warranty.
  • Brentwood Industries 8 cu. ft. Single Wheel Wheelbarrow
    Brentwood also makes a single wheel model with a larger capacity. Also cold rolled steel undercarriage, also has a limited 5 year warranty.
  • Nubarro XL Wheelbarrow
    Is a heavy duty, up to 750 pound capacity. Has an oversized polypropolyne "kickball sized" roller wheel which is practically puncture-proof and never needs inflating. The body is galvanized zinc, comes in 3 or 4 cu. ft capacities. Comes with a lifetime warranty, and prices range from $135 to $165 on their web site.

Garden Cart Brands and Price Ranges

  • EZ Haul Carts
    While they make many sizes and styles of carts, we're dealing with garden carts in this article, So we'll just talk about the ones sized specifically for yard and garden use. If you are interested in other types, visit their web site. The Garden Cart has a 5.5 cu. ft. capacity and carries up to 250 pounds. This one is perfect for yard and garden use, looks like a wheelbarrow only has a larger capacity and is more stable. has two wheels. Prices start at %189 on their web site. If you need something a little bigger, try the Utility Cart. It has an 8.0 cu. ft. capacity with weight capacity of 400 pounds, starting price is $239 on their web site.
  • Garden Cart Agri-Fab 7 cu ft
    A traditional garden cart with flat painted wood bed and a carrying capacity of up to 300 pounds. Has 20" pneumatic tires, steel legs for extra support, and a removeable front panel for easy loading and unloading. At Amazon.com it's normally available for about $120.
  • Gorilla Carts 600-Pound Capacity Plastic Dump Cart #GOR200B-T
    Available from Amazon.com for around $70, this 600 pound capacity garden cart features a heavy-duty molded plastic body and all-terrain pneumatic tires. Shaped more like your traditional wagon but with a slightly sloping body, the framework is made from more solid materials and has an easy dumping feature. The pull handle can be easily converted to a trailer hitch. Good garden cart for the money.
  • Ames True Temper Lawn Buddy
    Just when we thought we were done with this article, we noticed this little garden cart which may be just what you're looking for, so we had to do a brief review on it. Normal Amazon.com price was just under $60 when we researched this article, but was on sale for $33. This doesn't have the payload capacity as previous carts in this article, but if you just need something to haul your gardening tools or bedding plants or other small items, plus want a handy seat complete with drink holder to make gardening easier for you, give this one a try. Features poly construction, removable seat and removable trays, and a large internal storage area.

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