Are you looking for the best electric wheelbarrow? Today I will explain to you what the wheelbarrow is and how it works, and which are the most interesting models.
Why work hard like pack mules, in the garden or in the countryside, when you have the possibility of relieving not just the weight of the material we transport? All this is possible thanks to the electric wheelbarrows, technological discoveries specifically designed to facilitate the handling of the heaviest loads. From the earth to the stones, passing through the thickest logs, your back will be (almost) like drinking a glass of fresh water. Thanks to its wheel equipped with a motor, the battery-powered wheelbarrow can work wonders.
Electric or motorized wheelbarrow?
First of all, know that not all wheelbarrows with traction are the same, and that the movement of the wheel can take place thanks to the action of a battery or a petrol engine. Today I will only talk to you about the first type, because they are basically two different tools. The motorized wheelbarrowsin fact, they are more complex, more powerful and more expensive devices, designed for professional use.
How do electric wheelbarrows work?
The wheelbarrow in question has an electric motor located directly in the wheel, and a high-range battery installed under the body. On the handles there are then the commands, which are therefore very simple to use and immediate to reach.
How does this tool work? In practice, the motor integrated into the wheel generates traction that allows the wheelbarrow to move much more easily, accelerating, but only when you press the appropriate button. As mentioned, the control is integrated into one of the two handles, and works as follows:
- Acceleration: by pressing the button and turning the knob down (clockwise), the wheel jumps forward. By holding down the button, the wheel will walk on its own, and you will only have to accompany the movement of the wheelbarrow.
- Braking: if the wheelbarrow is equipped with a braking system, the traction becomes contrary, so the wheel resists and moves much slower. To activate it, this time you will have to turn the knob upwards, then counterclockwise. What is it for? To brake the wheel when going downhill, to avoid flying down like a missile.
At first you will have to work with it a bit, but I assure you that anyone can use it, as it is really very easy to maneuver. Of course, the control system may vary from model to model, but generally the above applies to all modern battery wheelbarrow brands.
Thanks to this automation of the wheel, it will become much easier to transport even important weights, as in the case of stones, bags of earth or fertilizer, wood logs and much more. Know that, thanks to this tool, you can effortlessly carry almost anything.
The real power of the electric wheelbarrow is the ability to lighten the efforts when dealing with gradients, whether uphill or downhill, as in the case of hills. The traction of the wheel, then, allows it to make that fundamental click to make the trolley go up the step of a sidewalk, just to give you another practical example.
Finally, know that you can bypass the motor by turning a special bypass handle, which will allow you to use your wheelbarrow as … a simple wheelbarrow. So without assisted traction.
Best battery wheelbarrows
1. Powerpac ED120 Professional 3 Wheeled Battery Wheelbarrow
I had the opportunity to try it personally, and I must say that it is the best middle ground between a professional wheelbarrow and one for hobby use. The manufacturer is German and is well known in the gardening sector, while the wheelbarrow is a 3-wheeler (2 small rear and 1 large with motor in the front).
- Battery life: 3 to 5 hours
- Maximum gradient: 35%
- Body capacity: 115 liters
- Wheel with propeller
- Integrated charger
- Possibility to buy extra accessories
Just take a look at it to understand that it is a high quality machine, with a wheel with Traktor tread, capable of tackling incredible slopes, up to 35%. The battery has a standard life, since if you use it continuously, it will be able to last from 3 to 5 hours. The capacity of the box is also excellent, from 115 liters, and the engine integrated into the wheel is very powerful and performing.
The box includes a charger, but you can still order some extra accessories to enrich your wheelbarrow. I’m talking to you, for example, about snow chains, the platform for loading logs, the snow shovel and a container with a capacity of 180 liters. When I tested it on hills, I was amazed by its ability to tackle slopes, both uphill and downhill, with reverse brake pull.
The engine even integrates reverse gear, quite rare in this sector, as well as the command for continuous speed control. But know that it is a more complex machine than non-professional ones, so it takes some time to get carried away, due to its power. Finally, it features an excellent braking system (Bowden disc brake), but it obviously costs more than the average ones.
- High engine power
- Can tackle slopes up to 35%
- Braking and reverse gear
- Large capacity of the caisson
- Wheel equipped with propeller
- You can expand it with other accessories
- The price is not for hobbyists
2. Smartwiel Deluxe Self-propelled Electric Wheelbarrow 185 LT
If you are looking for a battery-powered wheelbarrow with a lower cost than the professional ones, but with the possibility of climbing slopes up to 30%, then I recommend this model from Smartwiel. It has a body with a huge capacity (185 liters), a rather powerful engine, and a battery life capable of up to 8 hours of continuous use.
- Capacity of the body: 185 liters
- Motor power: 500 watts
- Slopes up to 30%
- Lightweight HDPE plastic tub
- 3-wheel model
- Lithium-ion battery included in the package
In spite of its power, this wheelbarrow is quite light (31 kilos) and easy to maneuver, considering that it has a really large body. Despite being powerful and with a 185-liter body, I advise you not to exceed 60 liters of capacity if you face challenging climbs or slopes (around 30%). Otherwise, you could in fact struggle, but this applies to all wheelbarrows under 1,000 euros.
As for the technical characteristics, the model integrates a braking system and reverse gear, together with handles with ergonomic grip. The motor is very quiet and reliable, as it employs Brushless technology, and the wheels are quite large. The quality of the materials is amazing: the high-density plastic body is extremely resistant to impacts, and the stainless steel frame lasts a lifetime.
Also consider that the lithium-ion battery is included in the package, and that the wheelbarrow can be completely disassembled, to facilitate storage when not in use. Finally, you have the option of activating a command that “pumps” the engine, giving you extra energy: it’s a great option when you have to tackle challenging climbs.
- Light, despite the large body
- Excellent tank capacity in liters
- High and extra power for the climbs
- Tackle slopes up to 30%
- Drum brake and reverse
- Removable and easy to store
- Price slightly higher than the averages
- The battery cannot be removed from the compartment
3. Greenworks Tools 7400007 Wheelbarrow with 40 V tilting bowl
It is a good basic product, with a cost equal to about half of those of a professional type, therefore very suitable for home use. I announce immediately that the package does not include the 40 volt battery or the charger, which you will therefore have to buy separately (if you do not already have one from Greenworks Tools).
- Compatible with 40v batteries
- Maximum load capacity 100 kilos (106 liters)
- Maximum gradient: around 17%
- Reverse is present
- You can vary the speed of the wheel
- Tipper body
- 3-wheel model (2 front, 1 rear)
The model in question is fitted with two medium-sized wheels under the body, and a small wheel behind, which acts as a support. Among the good news we find the possibility of overturning the body, to greatly facilitate the operations of unloading the material. The presence of reverse gear and variable speed are also excellent, together with an interesting load capacity, around 100 kilos (or 106 liters).
Unfortunately, battery and charger must be purchased separately, but below I leave you the link of both:
If you want a good quality but not too expensive battery powered wheelbarrow, then chances are you won’t find any better on the hobby market. I consider it an excellent machine for work in the countryside, but with the need to tackle slopes that are still limited to 15-17%. For the most important slopes, in fact, you will have to allow for a little extra effort on your part.
- Excellent value for money
- Good capacity of the box
- The box can be folded over
- It has reverse gear
- It has speed regulation
- Batteries and charger not included
- Not suitable for slopes over 17%
4. Zipper Wheelbarrow Electric Motor 24V 12Ah 500W ZI-EWB500
I decided to close with the review of this electric wheelbarrow from Zipper, with a 75 liter body, and with a very high grip, thanks to the Traktor tread. It is a rather advanced model, but with an average cost, and designed for large gardens and fairly demanding plots of land.
- Body capacity: 75 liters (150 kilos)
- Battery life: 8 hours
- 1 wheel model
- Traktor tread with high grip
- Weight: about 37 kilos
- Maximum speed: 7 km per hour
The design is very pleasant, and the solidity of the machine is immediately evident. It is a single wheel model, so the latter is quite large and with a “tractor” tread, which is necessary to tackle steep slopes with an attitude. The battery lasts up to 8 hours, and the body has a very large capacity, while the weight is slightly higher than average (about 37 kilos).
There is also a lighter and less expensive model, with the same technical characteristics but with a weight that does not exceed 33 kilos. Both versions are very resistant and made of excellent materials, as well as performing. Here you can find the link to the “light” version of the ZI-EWB500:
- Excellent capacity of the box
- Wheel with Traktor tread
- Long battery life
- Very high ground grip
- There is a lighter version
- The main model weighs a little
How to choose the electric wheelbarrow
I assure you that there are many things to say, and that on the web you will find only approximate guides, written by those who have not tried it on their own skin. Not my case, because I work with battery wheelbarrows on a daily basis, so I know this tool quite thoroughly. But I still want to avoid the “meatballs” and summarize below the most relevant characteristics.
1. Power of the electric motor
In reality it would be correct to speak of wheel power, because it is one with the electric motor. Generally the less powerful models have a 250 watt motor, while the more professional ones can even exceed 500 watts, and have a larger wheel. What does it mean? Which will have more grip on the ground, and obviously greater power in terms of traction, and therefore thrust or braking. Finally, some models are even equipped with gears.
2. Battery autonomy
It is very difficult to correctly determine the battery life of electric wheelbarrows, because it depends on the use you will make of it. If you only use it for short bursts, then it could last up to 2 weeks. If, on the other hand, you use it continuously, it will hardly go beyond a duration of 6, 7 or at most 8 hours. Not bad, because that’s enough to complete a hard (but less hard than usual) day of work. Finally, if the battery is lithium-ion, you can recharge it even if it is not completely discharged, because it does not suffer from the memory effect.
3. Maximum tolerable load
Each body has a maximum tolerable load, which is expressed in kilos, and a similar argument should be made for the volume, which is instead indicated in liters. To give you a concrete example, a standard skip typically has a capacity of 106 liters and a maximum capacity of 100 kilograms. It can even reach 180 kilos, but in that case we are talking about professional models with a sturdy welded steel frame.
4. Maximum slope
Depending on the power of the motor and the type of wheel, a certain battery-powered wheelbarrow may be able to climb a more or less steep incline. Usually this value is around 12% uphill, but if we talk about models with track wheels, then it can even reach a gradient of 35%.
5. Types of wheels and terrains
If you need to move the wheelbarrow on rough and uneven terrain, I recommend that you choose a model with a high grip wheel. You can notice this due to the presence of the notches on the tire known as “tractor”, in the shape of an arrow and deeper than those of a normal wheel. So you can move with greater agility both uphill and downhill, accelerating or braking. Finally, know that some models have different types of wheels.
- Single wheel barrow
- Wheelbarrow with 2 front wheels
- With 2 front and 1 rear wheels
- With 1 front and 2 rear wheels
- With 2 front and 2 rear wheels
- Electric tracked wheelbarrow
The size of the wheel also counts, and specifically the overall diameter and width of the tread. The best models with greater grip on the ground have a diameter of about 400 millimeters and a tread width of 80 millimeters.
6. Types of body or platform
The high-end electric wheelbarrow models give you the possibility to disassemble the body and replace it (for example) with a larger and more resistant one, and to do this you will only have to unscrew the appropriate screws. What options are available to you?
- 80 liter box: usually made of polyethylene.
- Box from 100 to 120 liters: galvanized steel.
- Box from 130 to 180 liters: reinforced stainless steel.
Then there is a second type of body, very particular, that you could buy and mount on your battery-powered wheelbarrow model (always if compatible). In this case I’m talking about the platform made specifically for the transport of logs, which sometimes also integrates a convenient crate holder on the mezzanine floor.
7. Overturning tank and drain system
When you buy an electric wheelbarrow, you may feel the need to buy a model with an exhaust system, therefore equipped with a tub or tipping body. In that case, all you have to do is push it, to overturn it and to download its contents.
8. Modularity and accessories of the wheelbarrow
I’ll tell you just for completeness of information, because models with accessories are quite expensive. Nothing, however, prevents you from buying them later, as long as the product you have chosen has its own line of extra components. Here is a small list.
- Braking system
- Adjustable snow shovel
- Snow chains
- Frontal log raiser
- Front furrower
- Steering rear wheels
- Roller with winch
- Flashlight or side flashlights
Advantages of electric wheelbarrows
The electric wheelbarrow can be useful in many different circumstances. If you are a gardening enthusiast, if you have a plot of land put to fruit or a greenhouse, you will find in this tool a fabulous ally. You can use it to move logs, pieces of wood, bags of manure and earth, sand and anything else you want. I use it for the orchard and for the vineyard, and I can no longer do without it.
Naturally, by its nature, this wheelbarrow is also suitable for use in the construction sector, because it is excellent for moving blocks and bags of cement. It is clear, however, that in this case (as the weight of the material increases) you will have to opt for a more robust model with a higher capacity. There are those who also use it in the forestry field, because the log deck is really effective.
The other advantages of battery-powered wheelbarrows? They are super versatile, thanks to the many accessories you can install, and are ideal for both relieving fatigue on the climb, and for slowing down on the descent. In conclusion, one a tool of this type greatly simplifies life in the garden or in the countryside.