These essential items are available in various application-specific forms. HW explains how to choose.

Gainsborough MKII: space-saving with optional automatic positive braking system. Image: Castlefield Products
Gainsborough MKII: space-saving with optional automatic positive braking system. Image: Castlefield Products

Trolleys, barrows and carts are everyday items. Shopping trolleys and carts, ready for customer use, are always lined up at the garden centre. Behind the scenes and on the production nursery, a variety of carts and link-trailers may also be used for handling plants and commodities.

Plants are transported around the country and across Europe on Danish trolleys. In parks and gardens, staff will use trolleys and barrows to carry mulch, leaves, planting stock and tools from one part of the site to another. Even in cemeteries, barrows and dumpers find work shifting soils and ferrying tools and materials.

To satisfy this massively varied demand, designers and manufacturers have come up with a huge variety of carts, trolleys and barrows to match the diverse range of tasks. Choosing the right trolley can make all the difference to the operation in hand - and also to the profits of your business.

The variety of trolleys and barrows available is simply vast. There are designs and styles to suit all situations and purposes. When new trolleys are purchased, you must ensure they are suitable for the loads to be carried in terms of weight and carrying capacity.

The construction needs to be strong and rugged, with steel parts well-protected for their life in the harsh outdoor environment. Types of wheels should be chosen to reflect the ground conditions - small swivel wheels may be fine for the interior sales areas of a garden centre, but larger-diameter wheels with pneumatic tyres should be considered where the ground is uneven or muddy and the loads are likely to be heavy.

In addition, check that the loading height is appropriate and that the trolley's handles are a convenient height for pushing/pulling the cart or barrow. Investigate the ease of steering and think about whether or not it would be useful to link units into "trains". Nesting becomes an important issue where a lot of trolleys need storing.

Here, we look at a range of options.

Barrett of Boston

Barrett of Boston offers a full assortment of equipment for nurseries and garden centres, including garden centre trolleys, flower trolleys and galvanised mesh-decked trucks in various sizes and wheel variance. Also available are turntable trucks that are caged or multi-shelved and offered in various sizes.

The company can help horticultural businesses to meet health and safety targets with storage vaults, cupboards, safety cages and product display items. Spare wheels are available from stock. If stock items do not suit your exact needs, Barrett offers a design and manufacture service for specific requirements.

Additionally, Barrett supplies rotary cleaning units, compost mixers, glasshouse maintenance frames, pack-house equipment, conveyors, bulk hoppers, re-potting systems and harvesting systems for flowers and lettuce.


A specialist manufacturer in handling and transportation solutions, Bowleys' catalogue includes cash and carry trolleys, warehouse trolleys and garden centre trolleys of fully welded steel construction with galvanised frames and baskets.

Specifically designed for horticultural use, Bowleys' trolleys and towing trailers are steered by an A-frame towing eye and have cushion-rubber or pneumatic tyres. The company offers a huge range of balanced trolleys.

Castlefield Products

For garden centres, Castlefield Products can supply a huge range of customer trolleys including market-leading models, classic trolleys and plant porters.

For the 2009 season, the company has added the space-saving nesting Gainsborough MKII trolley with a choice of wheels and optional automatic positive braking system for sloping sites.

Also recently introduced is the Melrose MKIII. It is available in two sizes - both with a large lower tray and a smaller upper basket.

Daily Shopper supermarket-type trolleys, wire baskets and a selection of two-wheel barrows and porters are also available for customer use.

Staff barrows from Castlefield include lightweight commercial barrows, Danish trolleys as well as balancing, plant and electrically driven trolleys.

Container Centralen

Container Centralen concentrates on returnable transport items, including CC Container and CC Eurocontainer units, for flowers, bedding and pot plants.


Fargro supplies a diverse range of nursery and garden-centre trolleys designed with economy and reliability in mind. The trolleys include a range of robust Italian-made heavy-duty trolleys for the movement of large tree containers.

Latest models to join the Fargro portfolio include the 80cm x 150cm balanced truck, one- and two-wheeled 75cm x 120cm nursery trucks and the 60cm x 154cm long truck. A sack truck, a turntable-trolley measuring 74cm x 160cm and a 96cm x 51cm steerable nursery-trolley with mesh sides are also intended for nursery use, while the latest design of mesh garden centre trolley is available in blue or silver.

Products are available nationally through Fargro's distributor network. In addition, the company supplies specialist products such as insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, growing media, compost teas and bio-controls.

GAL Systems

GAL Systems offers a full range of garden centre and nursery trolleys, trucks and trailers. Products are built from tough-duty cold-drawn steel and are hot-dip galvanised to prevent rusting. The range includes lightweight, fast-moving KB nursery trolleys in various lengths and the Flip garden centre trolley range with generous stowage area and large-diameter wheels for rougher terrain.

For linking into trains of up to four units, GAL supplies the all-wheel steering Towmore trailer in 3ft (0.9m) and 4ft (1.2m) widths, and with up to five shelves. A range of Danish trolley carriers is available and GAL Systems will custom-build trolleys to suit individual requirements.

Harper Products

A wide range of garden centre barrows, trucks, wheeled baskets and hand baskets are offered, along with Danish trolleys and display units.

Mechanical Botanical

The company supplies contra-steering trailers and Danish trolley transporters. The latter are formatted for single- or double-trolley movement. A four-way trolley transporter is also available.

Roll Containers

For those shopping in-store, customer convenience is catered for by a wide choice of shopping trolleys and baskets. For exterior use, Roll Containers supplies garden centre trolleys with mesh or polyethylene trays, a Load Lugger to cope with paving slabs or bags of compost and a two-tier trolley for customers purchasing a variety of materials and plants.

For use behind the scenes, the company can supply nursery barrows, wheeled bulk-boxes, roll cages, stillages and warehouse trolleys.


A simple and effective way of moving Danish trolleys, Rotomation's Danish Trolley Transporter has twin-central wheels with pneumatic tyres and can be fitted/unfitted to a trolley in five seconds.


Barrett of Boston Tel: 01205 362585
Bowleys Tel: 0800 975 1855
Castlefield Products Tel: 01885 410269
Container Centralen Tel: 01322 294267
Fargro Tel: 01903 721591
GAL Systems Tel: 01483 272958
Harper Products Tel: 01829 262543
Mechanical Botanical Tel: 01428 683505
Roll Containers Tel: 01536 483132
Rotomation Tel: 01772 431587

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next



Masses of colourful tubular flowers can give these plants a substantial presence in the border, says Miranda Kimberley.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Climbing roses

Climbing roses

Walls, trellises, pergolas and even trees can all be brightened up by these beautiful blooms, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Welcome to this bumper 72-page July edition of Horticulture Week magazine, packed with exclusive analysis, insight and expert advice on the biggest issues impacting all sectors of the UK horticulture industry right now.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles