Our first summer here at the homestead found us in need of a good wheelbarrow. We found one at the local Menard's store in town. It is used mostly to move firewood from the wood shed to the garage where we keep a small pile for use in the house's wood stove. It is also used for gardening chores but not too often.
A couple of months ago, I went to get a load of firewood from the wood shed and discovered that one of the two tires was flat. I aired up the tire and moved the firewood to the garage. A couple of days later, same thing.....flat tire. Aired it up again and a couple of days later when I went to use it, flat again.
I stopped by the local fleet store and picked up a new tube. I carefully checked the inner surface of the tire and could find nothing that might cause the tube to leak. I placed the tube in the tire, aired it up, and things were fine for two more weeks. Yep, you guessed it....flat tire....but this time it was the other tire. This was getting ridiculous. At more than $10 a tube, there had to be a better solution.
While at the fleet store getting that first tube, I looked at some "no-flat" tires made by Marathon. They are a solid design, high-quality polyurethane foam tire that requires no tube and no air. The tire is rated for a 500 pound load so even really heavy loads, such as concrete mixing, won't overload this tire. Time to spend the dollars on these tires and stop wasting it on tubes.
The Marathon tires I bought replaced the 15" tires that were mounted on 4.80/4.00-8" rims. The rim was made for a 5/8" axle shaft with the appropriate bearings already installed. The tire also came with a pair of 3/4" bearings just in case your wheelbarrow has a larger axle shaft. Each tire also came with six spacers to help properly position the hub on the shaft. There were two 1" spacers and 4 1/2" spacers. Instructions came with the new tire that shows how to easily swap out the bearings for the larger size.
To properly position my tire on the axe shaft, I used both of the 1" spacers on the inside of the hub and two of the 1/2" spacers on the outside of the hub. With the spacers provided, it is hard to imagine one won't be able to find the right combination to fit the tire on your particular wheelbarrow.
The hub contains a grease fitting that allows you to fill the hub with grease for the bearings. It is nice to be able to grease the bearings so easily. My original tires didn't have this feature.
Here is my old wheelbarrow with its new no-flat tires. No more flat tires
at the most inopportune times. I would have gladly paid the extra cost up
front had the wheelbarrow been available with these tires. It's all about
price points and competitive pricing. At least now I will have a reliable
wheelbarrow for plenty of uneventful firewood trips.
4x4 Off-Road Homestead Firearms RC Flying