Last updated on October 12th, 2023
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Powered wheelbarrows first appeared on the market in the 1990s and they were limited in terms of running time, not to mention they were only really attainable for professionals, not ideal for home use and a further downside was that they were mainly bulky petrol models.
Now I have discovered (and have been spoilt for choice) lithium-ion battery versions. On top of this, there are now powered wheelbarrows of different designs and sizes as well as some great entry-level models. They are perfect for carting large logs and other heavy objects, even uphill. Think paving slabs, topsoil, stone, pretty much anything that is extremely heavy that you need to move.
It is the kind of tool you wish you had invested in years ago. For the elderly and those of us who are perhaps not as strong as we once were, maybe you have arthritis, they are worth their weight in gold and some.
For most people, the Greenworks Tools Cordless Garden Cart (my best pick) is moderately sized and offers a decent load capacity for domestic jobs is probably the model to really consider. It really is an amazing machine with an impressive running time of around 90 minutes with a 4Ah battery.
Looking for something a little more heavy-duty? The Makita 18V DCU180Z Brushless Wheelbarrow is manufactured from durable steel and provides a larger load capacity that can be used for professional jobs as well as a great option for farms. It is a real workhorse with the bucket, this is sold separately so just be aware of that.
Below, you will find detailed reviews of what I think are some of the best-powered wheelbarrows currently available and the features they have to offer. Further below is a brief buying guide with good points to consider when choosing the right model for you.
Powered Wheelbarrow Reviews
1. Greenworks Tools 40v Cordless Wheelbarrow Garden Cart
The Greenworks Tools Cordless Powered Garden Cart is a sizeable model you can use to transport various materials whilst gardening. It is a great choice for carting firewood but it is obviously great for moving everything including, topsoil, sand, stone, the list goes on. If it is heavy, this will make light work of moving it.
The question I had in mind is how well it handles steep slopes? Turns out it handles it with no problems as it has plenty of torque, just be careful with the brake as it will stop quickly, maybe too quickly if you know what I mean but it does what its suppose to do.
Now it’s powered by a robust motor that has two forward speeds of up to 4.2 km/h and 2.4 km/h while reversing. The slower forward speed is ideal for going down slopes with heavy loads as it just makes it easier to use.
Build quality-wise, it has a steel frame so it’s robust and it includes a durable polymer tray. The reason I mention that it includes the tray is that the Makita model does not.
The entire barrow weighs around 39kgs so not too heavy and it supports a maximum load of 100kgs, which is pretty impressive considering the size and that it’s really a domestic model. You can move heavy loads through different terrains thanks to the three rubber wheels installed. The rubber wheels are durable; therefore, you will get good use out of them before requiring a replacement.
Offloading the materials once you get to the destination is easy thanks to the wheelbarrows’ tilt function and spring-loaded tipping device.
Watch the review by Tools in action
In terms of comfort, this low vibration model features ergonomic handles to keep you comfortable as you move heavy materials regardless of your height.
So in terms of running time, it is actually much better than I would have expected, with the 40v 2Ah battery you get around 70 minutes but if you opt for the larger 4Ah battery, this gives you an extra 20 minutes so maybe it’s worth considering to improve the overall running time from each charge. To recharge, you are looking at around 50 minutes before it is ready to start hauling heavy loads again.
- Ideal for domestic use for carry heavy loads with two forward speeds and reverse.
- Made from weatherproof steel for the frame and durable polymer.
- Offers an impressive load capacity of 100kgs, great for caryying stone, sand, topsoil, flags etc.
- 40v 2Ah battery gives around 70 minutes of running time while the larger 4Ah battery gives 90 minutes.
- Recharges in around 50 minutes so you can get back to hauling sooner.
- Comes with three durable rubber wheels for excellent grip and balance.
- Features a tilting function for easy offloading.
- Low vibration and low noise model.
- Covered by a 3-year warranty for full peace of mind.
- Not suitable across heavy mud as it can clog up the brake mechanism.
The Greenworks Tools Cordless Garden Cart offers adequate capacity for basic work around the garden and is probably the best choice for most people unless you’re looking for something a little more heavy-duty. For general use around the garden though, it’s perfect.
I like that it does have a decent load capacity to move large quantities of materials at once. The motorised wheelbarrow is simple to start, and it is affordable in comparison to other reputable models on the market. It would be a suitable addition for those who already own Greenworks tools and want to save some money because you would only need to purchase the bare tool. So on steep hills, it is great, as this was my main concern. The only issue it has is if you use it on very muddy areas, the mud clogs up the brake mechanism. This is just something to be aware of, if you have clean paths, turf lawns, even gravel, it will be fine. Just avoid very muddy areas if you can.
2. Makita 18V DCU180Z Brushless Powered Wheelbarrow
The Makita 18V DCU180Z Brushless Wheelbarrow is a heavy-duty model fitted with a motor that is powered by 18V lithium-ion batteries, obviously the higher the capacity, the better the running times.
The powered wheelbarrow offers a soft start so you don’t get those jolty starts when you first engage the power and two variable speeds to select from, which are 3.5 km/h and a slower 3.5 km/h, great for moving really heavy loads downhill.
It also features reverse gear to assist in manoeuvring your load in narrow areas. Whilst talking about manoeuvring, it is worth noting that you can also remove the two rear wheels and swap them out for legs to making turning in tight areas easier if needed.
This model is made entirely of quality steel that is further protected from the elements to prevent rust with powder-coated paint. The wheelbarrow provides a load capacity of 130kgs, only the Sherpa model I review next can carry a heavier weight.
It is worth noting that this Makita model also has a large off-road style front tyre which is much better suited to mud than the Greenworks model. A feature I do like, that only the Makita model has, is that the width of the rear wheels can be adjusted to suit your surroundings, making it more versatile, especially when combined with swapping the back wheels out for legs which is also an option.
As you would expect, it also has a brake that works well, great for better control on slopes and when coming to a stop. This wheelbarrow is easy to assemble and store because it has a folding handle. You also have the choice to adjust the handle position to suit your height, again is these little features often overlooked that makes all the difference. Finally, the steel wheelbarrow comes with a 1-year warranty; however, the warranty can be extended if you register the product within 30-days to 3 years so don’t forget to do that if you order one.
- Powered wheelbarrow designed with professionals in mind.
- Durable light weight steel frame.
- Offers a 130kg loading capacity for carrying heavy loads.
- Features two variable speeds from 1.5 km/h great for going down steep slopes to 3.5km/h plus reverse.
- Features a folding handle for easy storage and adjustable handle height for getting the right posture.
- Features adjustable rear wheels that can be changed to legs.
- Comes with a brake feature.
- Offers an adjustable handle position.
- Accompanied by a 3-year extendible warranty when you register online.
- Bucket, pipe frame, and batteries are sold separately.
Whether it is the construction site, farm or you just need a heavy-duty model for your own personal use, the Makita 18V DCU180Z Brushless Wheelbarrow is probably the best model overall and you pay the price for it, but at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. So with this model, you buy a reliable, quality and robust powered wheelbarrow that’s also incredibly versatile.
Although for most, this model is a bit pricey, it is durable and will last you for many years, I have no doubt about that. The wheelbarrow offers adjustable features such as tweaking the width of the rear wheels and handle adjustments for ease of use which I like. It also provides a higher weight capacity than my best pick, making it suitable for hauling heavier things. I think more importantly this model is designed with professional daily use in mind, if you’re looking for a real workhorse, this is a model worth considering.
3. Sherpa Power Barrow
Next, is the high-quality Sherpa Power Barrow, made from robust galvanised tubular steel, and propelled by a 24V/10Ah battery-supported motor. The first thing worth pointing out is that it uses the older lead-acid battery and not lithium-ion ones. It would be better if they upgraded the battery system but it still does the job. I would just make sure you recharge after every use as you are not supposed to let them run flat.
This model can handle tough jobs whether it is transporting liquid or larger materials like stone, fertiliser, horse manure, bags of feed, compost. The motorised wheelbarrow has a liquid capacity of about 170 litres and a 6 cubic feet capacity for solid materials.
The weight of the material is balanced on three durable rubber tyres, designed to traverse outdoor surfaces with ease. You will discover the wheelbarrow is easy to navigate due to its comfortable handles and variable speed control within reach. The wheelbarrow also has a disc brake that is lockable to give you more control as you go down any slopes.
So what do all the weight limits and capacity in the real world mean? Well, it can be top-heavy so you need to get used to how to balance the load. In general, it should be easy to balance with loose loads but with heavy materials just be careful not to load it too high, especially on slopes at it should only really be used on slopes up to 12 degrees and you do need to push down on the handles slightly to stop it tipping over on slopes.
The issue comes with moving, for example, three 50kg bags of feed. You need to load it carefully so it does not tip, again for loose loads this is not an issue as it spreads the weight out easier in the barrow.
This robust wheelbarrow also features 360-degree rear castor wheels to aid in navigation and, an easy-to-use tilting system that permits direct offloading. You are sure to get value for money as the wheelbarrow comes with a 2-year warranty.
Something this can be an issue is that in muddy fields the back wheels can get full of mud and be hard to clean, perhaps a portable pressure washer is what you might need for this.
The other downside is that it takes 8 hours to recharge, so you need to make sure you charge after every use, perhaps overnight.
- Possesses a sizeable capacity of 150kg, the heavest load of any powered wheelbarrow in this review.
- Varable speed control.
- Made from galvanised tubular steel to enforce durability.
- Features a Chevron tread front tyre and two rear castor wheels.
- Comes with a comfortable ergonomic handle.
- Offers a lockable disc brake.
- Easy to use tilting system.
- Features variable speed control with max speeds at 4km/h.
- Backed by a 2-year warranty.
- Can be a tad top-heavy so care much be taken to balance load correcty, especially bagged heavy loads.
The Sherpa Power Barrow is a considerably well-priced item that provides lasting durability and for the price, it includes everything, even including the battery and charger.
It has a sizeable capacity to haul a large number of items, may it be soil, logs but I actually think it’s a great choice for shifting horse manure. The battery provides a decent running time regardless of its 8-hour charging time, but if you just charge after every use, this should not be a problem.
I would recommend this high-capacity model for those who need to move large masses of material at once, again it’s a great choice for farms for moving loose loads be it feed or manure.
4. Draper 92453 24V Battery Power Wheelbarrow
Another great product is the Draper 92453 24V Battery Power Wheelbarrow powered by two 12V batteries. This is very similar to the Sherpa model but it is a little smaller. The wheelbarrow has a capacity of 120kgs, and it can hold liquid up to 90 litres, compare this to 170 Lites of the Sherpa model and you can see straight away it’s much smaller, perhaps making it a better choice for more domestic use or even farms that need a smaller powered barrow.
Its durable metal construction will not rust as the model is weatherproof; therefore, guaranteeing durability.
Most people should find this model is quite easy to work with thanks to its three wheels. Depending on your preference, you can adjust the rear wheels’ width and the handle position for easier navigation and comfort which is a nice feature. Furthermore, the wheelbarrow attains top speeds of 4.5km/h, and it comes with a disc brake.
It offers an easily accessible tipping plate that is well designed to avoid injury and the wheelbarrow’s surface is easy to keep clean after use. This model offers up to 6-hours of running time, which is adequate especially in a professional setting, and it comes with a 1-year warranty for peace of mind.
- Ideal alternative to Sherpa model for those looking for a smaller model.
- Heavy-duty powered wheelbarrow.
- Easy to offload due to seamless tilting system.
- Offers a long running time of around 6 hours.
- Comes with an adjustable handle for comfort.
- The rear wheels’ width is adjustable.
- Offers a disc brake for safety.
- Provides a sizeable 120kg load capacity.
- It comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Limited load capacity compared to some alturnative models.
The Draper 92453 24V Battery Power Wheelbarrow is a durable product that will last for many years if well maintained. A feature I do like is that it has a battery level indicator on the handles too. Finally, I do like that it provides a considerable running time that is convenient when working for long periods or in professional settings.
How to Buy the Best Powered Wheelbarrow
A regular wheelbarrow is efficient but not as much as a powered wheelbarrow. The extra power provided by the motor elevates the stress of moving large amounts of material at once.
For those who are not as young as they once were or who suffer from arthritis, these wheelbarrows are worth every penny. They really can be life-changing.
To save you some muscle power, here are a few things to consider while purchasing the best-powered wheelbarrow.
What are they manufactured from?
Because wheelbarrows are intended for outdoor use, they have to withstand the elements to remain functional. If the motorised wheelbarrow features any plastic parts, the plastic should be durable and UV protected to prevent damage from the sun. The metal bits of the wheelbarrow is usually powder coated to prevent rust from occurring, thus enforcing durability. This is where cheap unknown brands often skimp, using low-quality steel and often cheap plastics. Don’t get caught out by the cheap price, if it seems cheap, there is usually a reason.
What is the maximum load capacity?
Unlike their regular counterparts, powered wheelbarrows typically have a higher load capacity. If you have many items to move, then consider if the load capacity stipulated will be adequate. It is crucial to stick to the specified load capacity to avoid overworking the motor. Overloading the wheelbarrow, especially when moving on rough terrain will require more energy; therefore, straining your body even more and damage the wheelbarrows motors. Generally, they can carry between 100kg and 150kg.
How easy is it to unload the wheelbarrow? The tilting system in place must work seamlessly to make unloading easier. Many models come with a lever you can use to elevate the tray without lifting the entire structure. The tilt function should remain in place while traversing slopes to avoid dropping the material unnecessarily.
Powered wheelbarrows rely on batteries to function; hence, you should pay attention to the running time a model offers. You want a model that doesn’t take 24 hours to charge but will provide a running time of several hours. This is especially true for those who need a powered wheelbarrow for professional use.
The best batteries are lithium-ion batteries as they charge quickly, don’t lose their charge when not used and often offer longer run times.
I usually avoid acid lead batteries but there are still some excellent powered wheelbarrows that use them, Sherpa is one of them. In this case, I would still consider these models. Just be aware that they take longer to charge and really need charging after every use as you shouldn’t run the battery until it’s flat.
Assembling powered wheelbarrows is a simple job as long as the instructions provided are adequate. Some models come already assembled, while others come with different parts that need to be fitted correctly. Most are very easy to assemble and it’s very minimal.
How easy are they to use and balance when in use?
Some features such as adjustable handles make it easier for the user to find a comfortable position to work. These handles can be folded to make storage easier, which is essential for those with little space to spare.
Another thing would be the presence of a brake to facilitate navigation on slopes. Without the brake, you end up using a lot of energy to ensure the load does not tip over while moving. The brake should be easily accessible to the user to enable them to reach it in time if need be.
Adjustable rear wheels are convenient when navigating wide or narrow spaces. Some models do not have this feature, but those that do make it easier for the user to balance the load while navigating over different terrain.
Why is a powered wheelbarrow essential?
Powered wheelbarrows take off the physical stress involved in moving heavy loads from one point to the next. The motorised machines are suitable for older people with limited mobility, people with several heavy loads to move, and professional environments.
What are the disadvantages of powered wheelbarrows?
Like everything in life, there are positives and negatives attached to everything and powered wheelbarrows are not an exception. While they are primarily advantageous, powered wheelbarrows are costly and tend to weigh more than regular wheelbarrows. If your budget is limited, then powered wheelbarrows will be a considerable investment.
Is speed important in a motorised wheelbarrow?
The speed of a motorised wheelbarrow is crucial in professional environments where time is money. The faster you move between two points the faster you get the work done. Domestic work does not put much emphasis on the speed of the wheelbarrow. I would still look for wheelbarrows with two forward speeds as a slow speed for going down steep slopes is almost always essential, especially for heavier loads.
Powered wheelbarrows are beneficial to have around especially if you tackle large projects regularly whether in the garden or a construction site. You can find them in different sizes and budgets to suit your needs; therefore, they are very accessible products. Once you make the initial investment, the best-powered wheelbarrow will serve you for years to come; thus, providing good value for your money.
Out of the models I reviewed above, which of the powered wheelbarrows did you like? Was it my best pick, the affordable medium-sized Greenworks Tools 7400007 Cart with a load capacity of 100kgs? For most people, this would be my top recommendation.
Or the real workhorse that is the Makita DCU180Z Powered Wheelbarrow with its durable brushless motor with a higher capacity of 130kgs and made with professional work in mind?
Last update on 2023-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API