We are expanding our hard landscaping business and would like an efficient means of moving slabs and heavy materials. Can you suggest a tracked barrow?

Sally Drury suggests tracked barrows suitable for moving slabs and other heavy hard-landscaping materials.

There are several to choose from. Honda offers the Power Carrier. We tested this one and found it to be reassuringly safe and easy to operate. It comes in two versions - the HP500HBXE with a load bed and the HP500HNXE without load bed.

Both have a 5.5hp Honda engine and will carry 500kg on level ground or 350kg on sloping ground. Hydrostatic transmission gives a forward speed up to 4.3km/h and reverse up to 3.6km/h. Dimensions are 214cm x 65cm x 110cm and the weight is 197kg.

In our test we found it to be sure-footed and have considerable hill-climbing ability up to 25 degs. Compared to wheeled motorised barrows like the MuckTruck, we thought it slow in reverse. But it depends on what you want to carry. The Honda takes twice as much weight - so it's disappointing that it is manual tipping, but that is reflected in the price. We like the adjustable bed width, allowing many items to be carried safely yet still fitting through narrow access points.

We also found the controls to be responsive. Release the handles and the machine stops but the engine keeps running. The fuel tank carries 3.6 litres. We ran the machine for a couple of hours and still had petrol in the tank. It costs about £3,000 ex VAT for the unit with load bed, or £2,600 without load bed.

It is also worth looking at the tracked transporters from Emak. These are Efco-branded machines and offer load capacities of 270kg, 450kg and 550kg. Entry model TN2700 has a 2x2 gear box and manual lift for a price of £2,055 ex VAT. The top of the range has a 4x2 gear box and hydraulic tip but costs £3,892.

Construction kit supplier Cautrac has at least three walk-behind dumpers. With carrying capacities of 500kg, the Yamaguchi WB05 is offered with a choice of standard hydraulic tip or high tip. Both have mechanical transmission, with two forward speeds (2.5km/h and 4.5km/h) and two reverse (2.2km/h and 4km/h). Hill-climbing ability is similar to the Honda Power Carrier. Dimensions are 180cm x 72cm x 105cm.

If you would prefer a diesel, Cautrac supplies the Yamaguchi WB06DHL walk-behind high-lift dumper fitted with Kubota engine. It has three forward gears to a top speed of 5.7km/h.

Another tracked machine is the Boxer dumper. It costs £8,500 ex VAT and is compact at 190cm x 75cm x 94cm. But it's also strong. This one has a carrying capacity of 1,000kg.

JCB offers four Dumpsters - one diesel and three petrol - with carrying capacities from 500kg to 800kg. Prices start around £5,500 ex VAT.

The Grillo tracked carrier is priced at just under £2,500 ex VAT and is available from Trenchex. It's a Subaru 6hp petrol-engined, tracked machine with a carrying capacity of 300kg. There is also a diesel option, with 7hp Lombardini engine and a boosted capacity of 500kg, which will set you back nearly £5,000.

Lely UK imports Yanmar tracked carriers and offers three petrol models. The MCG91 has a carrying capacity of 300kg and a starting price of only £1,695 ex VAT, while the other two models can shift loads up to 350kg and are offered with manual or hydraulic tip. Prices are £2,550 and £2,850 ex VAT. Yanmars are also noted for their slim dimensions - 62cm up to 72cm depending on model. Sally Drury has reported for HW and its forerunner GC&HTJ for 25 years, and has spent more than five years testing machinery for HW and What Kit? The advice in this helpline is independent.


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