A wheelbarrow generally consists of one wheel and two handles that are used to push a barrel-type container with a small load from one location to another. Replacement parts include the wheel, inner tube for the wheel and wheelbarrow handles.
Wheelbarrows are designed to distribute the weight load between the center placed wheel and the operator. The one-wheeled version of the wheelbarrow is almost universal, but there are two-wheeled versions on the market, and conversion kits to turn any one-wheeled wheelbarrow into a two-wheeled wheelbarrow.
Two-wheeled wheelbarrows provide a higher level of stability, but the one-wheeled wheelbarrow provides better maneuverability in smaller places and allows the operator to unload the wheelbarrow much easier than a two-wheeled version. The available two-wheel conversion kits include a full size pneumatic wheel assembly, axle and axle brackets and the necessary hardware to complete the conversion.
In the 1970s, a British inventor, James Dyson, introduced a new version of the wheelbarrow onto the market. His invention, the Ballbarrow included a molded plastic wheelbarrow that had a spherical ball replace the wheel on the front end. The design provided a more stable environment for the vehicle when used on soft ground, and when hauling heavier loads on unstable grounds.
In 1998, Honda introduced an electric power assisted wheelbarrow. Since that time, several variations of the power assisted wheelbarrow have been introduced into the market. The power options created an easier way to carry heavy loads, while still remaining stable on different types of terrain.