Facts About the Wheelbarrow

The wheelbarrow is a very old invention; some say it was invented over 2,000 years ago. Despite its old age the wheelbarrow remains in use today. People frequently use it in construction and in gardening. Wheelbarrows carry everything from dirt to mulch to heavy bricks. The wheelbarrow is simple and versatile and you can use it for virtually any task that involves manual labour or moving items.


There is some debate as to whether the wheelbarrow was first invented in China or in ancient Greece. Some say that it was first invented in China in 118 A.D.; others say it was invented in Greece around 407 B.C. Wherever it was invented the idea certainly took off. Wheelbarrows were used in medieval Europe and are still used throughout the world today.


The typical wheelbarrow design features a single wheel, two large handles and a large basket, or "tray," which is used to ferry contents from one place to the next. Variations on this simple design include two wheel designs, four wheel cart-like designs, and even variations which include a motor and are thus self-propelled.

Components of a Wheelbarrow

A typical wheelbarrow might be made out of such materials as polythene for the tray, steel for the axles, rubber for the tires and foam for the grips. There are several manufacturers of quality wheelbarrows and you can purchase them at local home improvement or gardening stores.


The average wheelbarrow in use today can hold at least 6 cubic feet of material. Of course this capacity is not set in stone. Manufactures can and do make wheelbarrows in many different shapes and sizes. It is important to find a wheelbarrow whose capacity matches up to the task at hand.

Motorised Wheelbarrows

The majority of wheelbarrows are propelled by human power. However, with the desire among humans to create innovations never ceasing, it is no surprise that people would constantly work to create variations on a classic idea. The motorised wheelbarrow is very useful for contractors who must work with heavy loads of materials. Such a wheelbarrow could also be very useful for an elderly person or someone who suffered from a physical disability.

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About the Author

Daniel Gruttadaro began writing professionally in 2009. His work appears on Web sites including eHow and Answerbag. Gruttadaro is a licensed attorney in New York. He holds a Juris Doctor from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.