Wheelbarrow Handling Tips – Handle a Wheelbarrow in The Best Way

How long have you been using a wheelbarrow? Have you ever got hurt? Cause I did, pretty badly. I had to visit a doctor because of the back pain I got from using the wheelbarrow in a wrong posture.

But not only me, this macho man got hurt too! 

Jokes apart, I know a wheelbarrow is a workhorse in the garden, but if not used properly, your lovely horse may hurt you.

So, here’s some tips you can follow to stay safe from this workhorse that I learned after seeing the rude side of mine, lol!

Always Keep Things Tight

You won’t love wiggling, weak handles or a wobbly wheel in your wheelbarrow that may fall off…like mine did. So, make sure you check all the nuts and bolts before you load your wheelbarrow up!

Which tire is a go?

Now, this is a question you might want to ask while you are buying a wheelbarrow. See, the solid rubber tires might be free of maintenance but they are only good on hard smooth surfaces, something like asphalt or cement.

Whereas, Pneumatic or air-filled tires are good for both even or uneven terrain and they will travel over a bumpy yard with ease. That’s why they are my first choice. Oh, don’t forget to keep them aired up.

Now, if you already have bought a wheelbarrow with rubber tires, and wondering how you can deal with bumpy roads with that, my only suggestion is, be careful and always see your route closely. Try to avoid the bumps as skillfully as you can.

Maintain a Good Posture

Did I mention about getting a back injury due to using my wheelbarrow in a bad posture? Well, make sure you don’t. A right posture is very important to use a wheelbarrow properly, without any injury and utilize your energy better.

Wheelbarrow right posture

Right Posture to Use Wheelbarrow

The first thing you need to ensure is straight back (erect). When lifting, you should be standing between the handles, feet needs to be planted solidly with one slightly in front of the other and your back definitely should be straight.

Always remember one thing, use your legs to lift, not your back. Put most of the pressure on your legs, never on the back, unless you want to get a back pain like me. The posture should be the same from lifting to dumping.

The Size of Load

You don’t wanna overload your wheelbarrow which might fall off and hurt you. Even a good quality wheelbarrow might fall off if it is loaded with more than maximum capacity of the load. 

Overloaded wheelbarrow

Funny Overloaded WheelBarrow

Balance, Weight Distribution, and Leverage

Did you know that distributing the load better in a wheelbarrow can save you energy? Two wheel carts can tip forward while single wheel styles are most prone to tipping side to side.

Wheelbarrow Correct Weight Distribution

Wheelbarrow Correct Weight Distribution

To ensure a better weight distribution, you should place the heaviest part of the load over the wheel, or wheels in the center and a little bit forward. This makes the wheel(s) take the pain and bear the weight better and it’ll allow for leverage to help lift the load. So ultimately it saves you energy and possible strain as well.

Be Smart, No Macho-ing!

Did I say not to overload? Now, overload can be measured from two aspects. Wheelbarrow, and you! Always Keep Loads appropriate for your strength. Just because you have a big wheelbarrow doesn't mean you’ll jam-pack it even if you can’t handle that much weight by yourself! So, don’t try to pretend macho by showing off how much load you can handle, rather work smart, load according to your physical strength and stay injury free.

Proper and Complete PPE

If you are a normal gardener who only needs to deal with mud or that kind of materials, this might not be compulsory for you. But if you use a wheelbarrow to haul hard objects in bigger amount, you should wear proper and complete PPE.

Proper PPE for Wheelbarrow

Proper PPE for Wheelbarrow-ing!

The PPE may include hard hat, heavy-duty gloves, cover-all clothing, safety goggles/ glasses, and safety boots or shoes.

So, these are the things you should remind while using a wheelbarrow to not to get hurt by your useful tool. Do you think there can be any more tricks to follow to ensure more safety? Shoot your words in the comment section below. I’ll update the article with your tricks along with a credit to you.

Happy Wheelbarrow-ing!

Patricia J. Moore

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