Friday, 25 December 2020

Top Tips: Wheelbarrows. Yes, again!

Top Tips: a series of short, very short, articles featuring Things Which You Might Not Already Know.

 Wheelbarrows: well, who knew that there was so much to say about them? This is my third Top Tip regarding the things!

Storage of wheelbarrows: when you are not using them, don't leave them just lying around the place, stand them up on end.

All wheelbarrows worthy of the name have what's called a Tipping Bar around the front wheel. This makes it possible to tip out the contents, without the barrow continuing to roll away from you. As per my post on terrible wheelbarrows, if yours doesn't have a tipping bar, throw it away and get a proper one.

These tipping bars also mean that a barrow will stand up on its own: it doesn't need to lean against a wall: it rests securely on the tipping bar, and on the front edge of the body.

Why store them standing on end?

Simply because if you leave them standing around in the "use me" position, the body will fill with water - rain, dew, dripping gutters, careless hose pipes, etc. And they will rust. Even the lovely Fort barrows, with their sturdy plastic bodies, have metal bolts holding the body to the frame, so rust is best avoided.

Standing the barrow upright keeps the rain out, protects the body from UV degradation, and takes up less floor space.

Here are two mis-matched barrows at my training garden:

As you can see, neatly stored, out of the way of the door.

(Number Three is away having a puncture fixed.)

Another advantage of doing this, is that it forces the user (ie my Trainees!) to ensure that the barrow is empty of mud, debris etc before they "park" them at the end of the morning, otherwise there's an avalanche of bits onto the shingle, and they would lose points for that.

(No, I don't actually dish out points to my Trainees: well, I do, but only informally, we don't keep score.)

And keeping our tools reasonably clean is all part of being a Professional Gardener.

The final point to note is that the barrows are NOT leaning against the wall - they are free standing.

So they are not damaging the wall.

And to prove it, here's a photo taken from the side, to show how the handles are clear of the wall.

If they didn't stand up by themselves, I wouldn't allow them to be stored in such a way that they rub against the painted wooden cladding of the wall, by the way: I'd find somewhere else for them to lean.

So there you have it, how to "park" your wheelbarrows!


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