Last Updated on March 20, 2023 by Cristina
In this article, we look at how to fix a wheelbarrow tire. This may sound rather silly, but it is actually quite a common problem. Let me explain.
There was a time, long ago when people took pride in their jobs and built high-quality things that lasted for generations. My parents have a wheelbarrow that is close to 100 years old. It works perfectly and has a solid metal front wheel. This wheelbarrow can go to places modern wheelbarrows cannot. It can probably take a direct hit from an A-10 Warthog and survive. It was built properly.
Fast forward into the future and you get these cheap lightweight wheelbarrows of today that have a tire -WITH A TUBE- in the. Gardens are places filled with broken sticks, sharp pieces of bark, thorns, and many other things that can destroy a tire with a tube. Whoever the idiot was who came up with this idea of a tubed tire on a wheelbarrow should be found immediately and shot at dawn to remove their genes from the gene pool permanently.
If you have had the misfortune of purchasing such a wheelbarrow – and now have a flat tire, follow my tips, based on my personal experience and frustration with repairing my own wheelbarrows. I, unfortunately, do not have an indestructible wheelbarrow like the one my parents have and have had to learn how to fix a wheelbarrow tire.
What Is A Wheelbarrow Tire?
These can be a number of different sizes, but typically they are about 16 inches in diameter for most normal garden wheelbarrows. The size of wheelbarrow tires is actually such a confusing field that people have marketed “universal” tires to replace the existing mess that exists. These are typically 14 to 16 inches in size, but with variable-size adapters for the axle.
The tires can be either Pneumatic – meaning they have a tube and air in them, or “solid” meaning they have rubber, foam, or some other indestructible material in them. The second option is the only option you should consider for a garden wheelbarrow.
How To Fix A Wheelbarrow Tire
More often than not, if you need to fix a wheelbarrow tire it is because it has gone flat. This means it was fitted with a pneumatic tire. Getting the tube out, fixing it, putting the tube back in, pumping up the tire, and so on will take nearly as much time as just replacing the entire tire with something that will never go flat. Trust me – I have replaced pneumatic tires on my wheelbarrow (and wood chipper) and both were an entire waste of time because two or three days later both were flat again.
So, what I would suggest is that you measure the diameter of your tire. If it is approximately in the 16-inch size range, then order a suitable solid tire replacement. If you are working on relatively hard surfaces (lawn, compacted ground, and most garden surfaces) a tire such as this should suffice. There are many similar options that are available. You will sometimes find that the axle in your existing tire may be slightly smaller than the hole in the new tire – using bushes – normally supplied in the universal kit will allow you to close such a hole.
How Do You Reseat A Wheelbarrow Tire?
My personal advice – do not bother – rather just replace the entire tire and hub with a tire that is cast onto the hub that is solid. Pneumatic tires will always find a reason to go flat in your garden, and this just ruins the day as instead of finishing the job, you will be playing around with a tire the whole day, cutting your finger, cursing and just generally reducing your life expectancy. Replace the tire with a solid no-flat unit such as this and you will never have that stress in your life again.
Can I Fix A Flat On A Wheelbarrow Tire?
Yes. You can – it is a fiddly job. You have to unscrew the bolts holding the axle onto the wheelbarrow frame. Remove the axle. Then you open the tire from the rim, so that you can remove the tire tube. You find the puncture, repair this, check the tire for anything that is still there that can poke a new hole, then you return the tube. After returning the tube, you get the tyre back onto the rim (irritating job) and then pump the tire up. Then you put the whole setup back onto the wheelbarrow – this will take around 2 to 3 hours of your life on average, including time spent buying patches, etc.
My advice – if a tire goes flat – replace it with a solid one – it takes the same amount, or less time, and you solve the problem forever.
Can You Fill A Wheelbarrow Tire With Foam?
There are many temporary tire foam fills out there. The idea is that you spray foam in the tire and it allows you to limp home in a vehicle – or get the job done with your wheelbarrow. The foam is not a permanent fix, and be warned, after the foam stops being foam it leaves sticky gunk all over the inside of your tube and tire.
I am sure that you could probably fashion a way of spraying polyurethane foam into a tire as well, but, given the cost of time, it is cheaper just to replace the tire with a solid tire that will not go flat. If you are living in the bush somewhere far away from the rest of the world, yes, maybe you can save time by finding a creative solution, but in the modern world, it is so easy just to browse click and pay on Amazon and find an instant solution. Spend your time and creativity on solving a problem for which a solution does not already exist.
Conclusions – How To Fix A Wheelbarrow Tire
I hope I have helped you understand that when fixing a wheelbarrow tire that has gone flat, the only really logical solution is to replace it with a new one that will not be able to go flat! I have replaced all my wheelbarrow, wood chipper, and various other implements that had pneumatic tires with solid “no-flat” tires. They may be a bit bumpier and not quite as smooth as a pneumatic tire, but hey, this is gardening, not motorsport.
Dr. Garth A. Cambray is a Canadian/South African entrepreneur and beekeeper with 28 years of experience in apiculture and specializes in adding value to honey. His Ph.D. research developed a new advanced continuous fermentation method for making mead that has resulted in a number of companies globally being able to access markets for mead. His company, Makana Meadery, exports honey mead to the USA where it is available to discerning connoisseurs. He has also developed technologies to commercially manufacture organic honey vinegar in Zambia for export globally. He holds a few patents globally in the ethanol industry and believes in technology and knowledge transfer for human development and environmental sustainability. One of his proudest achievements is the fact that the wind farm he started at one of his old apiary sites has essentially made his hometown carbon neutral.