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A Tale of Two Barrows


Every serious gardener knows you need a good-quality wheelbarrow to work the soil easily. I own two barrows, as you can see above. And therein lies a tale…

I have owned a True Temper 10 cubic foot, dual-wheel speedster for a good, long while. So long, in fact, that the wooden rails of the support truck have begun to fail from age and weathering. And the tires are, well, tired (to say the least). So I decided to retire the big bucket and get another carrier. Because I have used and enjoyed the first barrow, I bought a 6 cubic foot capacity version, another True Temper. A bright yellow dual-wheel edition called a Sport Barrow 6.

That was last year.

This year I bought a few bags of compost to use around the garden space, and a bag of fertilizer. Each of which weighed 40 pounds. So I put a couple of the bags up in the Sport Barrow and headed to the back yard.

When I dumped the load, the wheelbarrow exploded. Yep, blew right up. Dangedest thing I ever did see from a farm implement.

The bucket popped clean off the four bolts that attached it to the truck. Brittle failure of the yellow plastic at all four attachments. And the load wasn’t very much, for a wheelbarrow. I don’t quite know what’s happened to True Temper’s quality controls on their plastic, but this indicates it’s to me that it’s gone badly astray. (Their marketing claims “years of service” as a feature, which is true; if you count a fraction of a year as “years,” that is.)

After I got over being mad about having lost most of $100, I got to thinking about what I could do with my two dead barrows. For Sure I wasn’t going to go buy another one! Then Paula Jo said she wanted a culinary herb garden this year, and it clicked: The yellow bucket would make a great herb garden space! And maybe, just maybe, I could build one good wheelbarrow from the remaining parts.

To make a short story long, it all worked. I took the nice, metal truck from the exploded unit and mounted the bucket from the old one onto that. The holes all lined up, and I only needed to find some kloodgey bits for the hardware. The old poly bucket (the orange one in the pic above) seems to be in good condition, and I used very large, flat cut washers at the attachment points, above and below, to distribute any point forces that might be generated at the attachments. I think it’ll last as long as the plastic remains vital, which looks to be a long while.

Here’s what the new barrow’s up to now:

Herb Garden

A few cinder blocks, some bright paint, and a bit of soil can do wonders for a busted wheelbarrow…

Enjoy the (Coming Spring) Heat!


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