If you are planning to undertake any home improvement work, a wheelbarrow is a must-have tool. You will be using it to carry an assortment of other tools, supplies, and concrete. Have you ever tried to carry any of these without a wheelbarrow? Your work will be much easier if you know how much concrete your wheelbarrow can carry. This allows you to plan your trips in an efficient way that leaves you less tired than you would have otherwise been.
There are two primary types of wheelbarrows. A contractor’s wheelbarrow can carry around 6 cubic feet of concrete. Consumer wheelbarrows come in two sizes, 2 cubic feet, and 3 cubic feet. The latter is more common, as most wheelbarrow users are everyday consumers. So, you can expect to carry 2 to 3 cubic feet of concrete.
Which Wheelbarrow Should You Get?
Congrats on starting on your home improvement. If you are having a challenge deciding which wheelbarrow to go for to carry your concrete, don’t worry; it’s a dilemma that many people face. Among the things that you should consider when making your decision are:
- The amount of work to be done
- Future implications
The Amount of Work to Be Done
How much concrete do you need to transport to conclude your home improvement project? If you need to transport 10 cubic feet of concrete, you will need a different size wheelbarrow compared to transporting 60 cubic feet of concrete. In the case of the former, a 2 or 3 cubic foot wheelbarrow would suffice. For the small wheelbarrow, you will be doing 5 trips and 3.5 trips for the medium one.
If you decide to go with the more giant 6 cubic feet wheelbarrow for the 10 cubic feet concrete, you will only make 2 trips. This larger wheelbarrow is more suited for 60 cubic feet of concrete transportation. You will be making 10 trips to complete the job, while the small wheelbarrow will take you 30 trips and 20 trips for the medium wheelbarrow. Therefore, the larger the wheelbarrow, the more concrete you can carry and the faster you will be able to complete the job.
Purchasing a wheelbarrow can be likened to buying a car. Once you make the purchase, you are likely to keep it for a couple of years. If you are purchasing a vehicle when you are single, you need to factor in that you will have a family in two or three years. You need the car you pick now to serve you, then when you have more people to carry around.
As with the wheelbarrow, you might have a small home improvement project that requires you to transport a small amount of concrete now. Maybe, in a year, you will have a bigger home improvement project involving vast amounts of concrete. If you had settled for a 2 cubic feet wheelbarrow, you might be forced to buy a larger one. If you don’t purchase an additional wheelbarrow, then you can expect the work to take longer. If you do purchase it, it will be more expensive, and you will need to find space to store two wheelbarrows compared to one larger one.
It’s much cheaper to purchase one larger wheelbarrow than two smaller ones. Keep in mind that if you are the one who will be pushing the contractor’s wheelbarrow full of concrete, you might need to do some arm strengthening exercises. The cost of storing two wheelbarrows is also more than that of one.
Moreover, contractor’s wheelbarrows are built to be more robust than consumer wheelbarrows as it’s expected they will be subjected to harsher conditions. Thus, you can expect the former to last much longer under normal use. This will save you from the cost of frequent maintenance or having to replace the wheelbarrow much sooner.
How Much Does a Cubic Foot of Concrete Weigh?
There is no standard weight for a cubic foot of concrete as this will depend on the individual weights of the sand, water, cement, and gravel mixed. A concrete mix with more gravel and sand will be much heavier than one with more cement and sand. Moreover, a less viscous concrete mix will be heavier than a more viscous concrete mix. Despite this, the concrete blend appropriate for most applications weighs about 150 pounds per cubic foot.
Are You Risking Wheelbarrow Injuries?
Firstly, it’s crucial that you only load your wheelbarrow with a weight that you are comfortable with. Pushing an overloaded wheelbarrow is one of the most common causes of wheelbarrow injury. Though a wheelbarrow seems harmless, when it’s overloaded, it can lead to joint, muscle, and ligament injuries that can bring your home improvement project to a halt for some time.
The repeated strain placed on your back, shoulders, and elbows while pushing a wheelbarrow can lead to lifelong joint problems. If you have a contractor’s wheelbarrow that you feel is overburdening, it’s okay to carry the concrete half-full. You can also hire someone more muscular to do the heavy lifting for your home improvement.
Tips to Avoid Injuries While Carrying Concrete
- Maintain proper posture at all times, even when carrying light loads. Avoid hunching over and distribute the pressure evenly across your body. Let your knees, hips, and shoulders sit straight on top of each other.
- Distribute concrete through several trips. It’s okay to make more than a couple of trips to transport the concrete. Make sure that the weight you have on the wheelbarrow is what you are comfortable with.
- Use a clear path to transport the concrete. Hitting obstacles while carrying a heavy load can cause serious injury. Additionally, check to make sure you have the right tires for the surface you are operating on.
Considering the factors highlighted above, we can conclude that the wheelbarrow to get is the one that’s right for you. Finishing a job early isn’t as important as staying safe. If you are comfortable with a small, medium, or large wheelbarrow, all that matters is that the job gets done. For most people, the 3 cubic feet wheelbarrow strikes the right balance.