The Cottage Smallholder


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Barrow love

 

Photo: Barrow on leaf clearing duties in October

Photo: Barrow on leaf clearing duties in October

“Danny, I’ve fallen in love.”
Resigned. He’d heard it all before.
“Last time it was a mini roller. What is it this time?”
I asked him to close his eyes and led him into the garden.
“Wow – I can see where you’re coming from. He’s a very handsome beast”
Danny picked up Barrow’s yellow handles and tested his turning circle.
“Can I share him to shift my boxes?”

I bought my first wheelbarrow from a garden centre. As far as I can remember it was quite expensive. I assumed that it had been designed for horticultural use. Gangly and awkward to manoeuvre it often flipped over in response to a heavy load shifting. I wasn’t sad when one of its handles corroded and snapped off. The question was what sort of barrow would be a good replacement? In the garden centre I dithered. Most of the barrows didn’t feel well balanced and were replicas of the one-handled one tossed beside the compost heap.

I hadn’t considered buying a builder’s barrow until I spotted one at my local builder’s merchants. I gave it a twirl in the car park. Designed to manoeuvre in tight spaces it turned like a dream. The pneumatic tyre gave it a bit of bounce to absorb uneven ground when shifting heavy weights. Rugged – this barrow could transport a baby elephant at a pinch. And it was far cheaper than the sturdy models in the garden centre. Of course the barrow on a building site is a tool. It needs to do the job swiftly and efficiently. Any builder worth their salt just wouldn’t buy a badly designed tool.

I squeezed Barrow into Jalopy and drove home. I gave him a test run in the garden with a bag of compost and a curious Min Pin. It was a joy. Like switching from pedal car to the sleekest sports coupé.

We use Barrow a lot for shifting stuff in the garden. Sometimes, like a bicycle, his sturdy tyre needs to be pumped up (he didn’t come with a pump so we bought one especially for him). He is an essential workhorse that we both rely on. If you need to replace a wheelbarrow it’s definitely worth considering one of these.


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13 Comments

  1. allotment blogger

    Finding the right barrow is like finding the right bra (sorry boys!), suddenly life becomes more comfortable all round.

    We have an issue: I’m only five foot six and Himself is six foot three, so we have two barrows – mine’s called Short-arse and his is called Lanky! His has much longer handles than mine.

  2. Tamar@StarvingofftheLand

    I’ve always struggled with our wheelbarrow, and I always thought I was the problem. It’s comforting to know it was the wheelbarrow all along! I need one like yours.

    But my biggest beef with barrows is the tire. Why can’t they all just be solid rubber so they don’t go flat and they don’t puncture?

  3. Having had to buy a new one possibly due to theft (can’t think where else we could have left it) then painting it bright pink might just be the thing to do – at least we wouldn’t lose it then, thanks for the tip Veronica

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