I am looking for a set of narrow, but very deep, lightweight wheelbarrows to carry waste from a propagation area to a compost heap 20m away. Can you help?

The waste is stems and leaves, so is not very heavy. We inherited two barrows, but they are about 15 years old and need replacing. They are 62cm wide and ideal for use by people who have less physical strength. I have looked for similar moulded wheelbarrows but cannot find anything suitable. If we had to use a wider barrow, we would have to delegate the emptying of it to someone with muscle, but in any case the barrow cannot be wider than 80cm because of the width of the doors.

A: It sounds like you need the Haemmerlin 5200. It is a narrow barrow - just 61cm - yet can hold up to 120 litres. It has a broad wheel and a smooth polypropylene tray, making it easy to empty. There are no holes or nuts and bolts in the bottom, so material can be swept out. Total weight is around 12kg. Suggested retail price is around £106 including VAT.

Haemmerlin also offers the same sized wheelbarrow with a galvanised tray. That puts the weight up to around 14kg, but the price is lower - suggested retail price is £97. You can find Haemmerlin wheelbarrows on several sites on the internet. Alternatively, pop down to your local Travis Perkins. Contact Haemmerlin direct if you require 15 or more.

You might also look at the Busy Barrow (www.busybarrow.com). I have yet to test one, but I have heard good reports. It is built in Wednesbury in the Black Country and is designed to reduce stress and strain on the body. Testing by the University of Worcester concluded that the Busy Barrow lessens the overall impact by as much as 45 per cent compared with a conventional wheelbarrow.

The Busy Barrow has a swinging tray, like that on a skip lorry, so it remains level even when moving the barrow up or down a hill. In transit, the tray moves forward over the front wheel to reduce the load on the handles and the weight on the arms. Furthermore, by raising the handles to the vertical position, the tray can be rested on the ground for easy loading/unloading. Locking the tray in position allows conventional emptying, but the operator does not need to lift the handles high.

Busy Barrow is available either as a bolt-together flat-pack for self-assembly or as a fully-welded frame version. Watch the video on the website - all will become clear.

See reviews and listings of powered barrows and carriers on WhatKit.co.uk.

- Sally Drury has reported for HW and its forerunner GC&HTJ for 28 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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