How to choose a heavy-duty garden cart you won’t regret
Many times, having the right tool is the difference between a simple task and a painful one. Imagine trying to remove a wood screw with a ball peen hammer, drive a nail with a screwdriver, or paint a room with a putty knife!
The right tool for hauling any heavy or bulky load around the yard is the tow-behind poly cart, hands down. They’re easier on your body than a wheelbarrow because they make your tractor do the heavy lifting. Heavy-duty poly bed material makes them more durable than most steel carts, which can bend, rust, and scratch more easily as they age. When choosing a heavy-duty garden cart, here are a few factors to consider:
1. Dumping: Arguably the most important feature of any garden cart is the ability to dump the load. Factors to consider about the dumping are the release mechanism (how you physically disengage the bed latch), how the load is balanced within the bed in relation to the pivot point (this will determine how much force will be required to lift it), and the steepness of the dump angle (the best quick measurement of how completely the cart will empty without shoveling).
2. Capacity: This is not a simple bigger-is-better decision. Capacity can be measured in both weight and volume, so check both before you make a purchase. (Word of Caution: Some manufacturers are more “liberal” than others with their stated volume and weight capacity measurements, so it might be beneficial to check reviews as well as the marketing copy). Also, consider the size of your lawn and the density of the material you’ll be hauling most often to determine the proper volume (usually measured in cubic feet, heaped) and maximum weight requirements of your ideal cart.
3. Tires: Everything is riding on these (pun intended). The entire weight of the load is transferred through 3 points, the drawbar and the two tires. Tractor manufacturers generally state how much weight can rest on the drawbar, so the difference is all in the tires. Look at the tread pattern of the tire and the surface area that actually comes into contact with the ground. The greater the surface area, the more evenly the weight of the load will be distributed (and less ruts in the yard!).
4. The Poly-flex Technique: The last thing you want to do when comparing utility carts is to check the rigidity and thickness of the bed. Find an area of the poly that you can get your hand around. Gauge the thickness of the material, then try to bend it. Compare both carts side by side if possible so you have a direct frame of reference. The less flex in the material, the better.
Use these criteria to help you determine the right heavy-duty garden cart for you. Factor in any product-specific features listed on the box that may be of use to you, then weigh the benefits against the price. A well-designed poly cart should last you a while, so make sure you’re getting the one you really want!
Author: Brad Turner