For All You Pros: How to Lift a Wheelbarrow Into Your Truck Even if You’re a Wimpy Girl Like Me (An Article in Pictures)

by Genevieve on June 17, 2009

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Since we’ve been discussing mulching, I thought this tip might be helpful for those of you who are mulching for other people, like me!

I don’t know about ya’ll, but for a long time there, I was risking life and limb getting my dratted wheelbarrow up into my truck to take to clients’ homes on days when we were mulching.  Wheelbarrows are heavy!

Maybe you are a pro like me, or maybe you just want to store your wheelbarrow on a table or shelf. Here’s how to lift your wheelbarrow safely, without using any real strength.

If you feel any strain at all in your back, put the barrow down gently and try again. You should be using your hips as a levering point, and just your arms to lift, not your back.


Ready to mulch: When I'm done, I'll need to lift the wheelbarrow into my truck


Grab the wheelbarrow by the handles


Tip it upwards


When you hold the wheelbarrow like this, you can spin it around on its wheel like so


Gently lower the wheelbarrow so it rests on the ground like this. Grasp the barrow as shown and set the edge of the barrow in the crease in your hip joint where your legs bend


Now you can easily use your hip joint as a levering position to lift the barrow using only minimal strength from your arms


I'm lifting my leg here only for added stability and balance - I'm using only my arms to lift


Now I can easily direct the barrow into my truck using the handles to guide it gently in


Cleaned up and ready to go

If you have a wheelbarrow,  go outside and try this! It’s amazing how setting the barrow in the crease where your hip joint is and using that spot to lever the wheelbarrow up with minimal muscle from your arms makes this a simple way of lifting a heavy object without strain.

I got this tip from a fellow at the green waste recycling place a couple years ago. Hope it can serve you as well as it’s served me!


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin June 18, 2009 at 5:05 am

And smile pretty the whole time! You are too cute! Great tip, and even though I don’t often find myself having to pick up my wheelbarrow, if I ever do, now I’ll know how.

Erin’s last blog post..Community gardening in your own back yard


rebecca sweet June 24, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Loved the photos – sometimes pictures speak a thousand words!


Mike Taylor June 26, 2009 at 6:47 am

Well, that way is pretty easy, but the way I prefer is to place the wheel barrow close to the truck, with the handles facing the tail gate. Lift the front of the barrow, rotating it on the legs til the handles touch the ground, then lift again and flip the barrow into the truck. I find this easier on my lower back…


Genevieve June 26, 2009 at 7:36 am

Love it, Mike! What a great tip! I’m going to try it your way and see which way’s easier on my back. Who knows, maybe there will be a new picture tutorial coming up!
Nice to see you here, by the way! Yay to a fellow Garden Coach!


mr back August 9, 2009 at 9:14 am

why not just flip it in? Point the handles to the truck, lift the wheel end up to balance the thing on its handles and tilt it into the truck? I dont lift a barrow much.


Genevieve August 9, 2009 at 9:22 am

Thanks for the comment mr back . The brilliant answer is that it didn’t occur to me until you and the lovely Mike pointed it out! Now we have two ways that work.

The one thing I don’t like about the flipping it in method, though, now that I have tried it, is that it scuffs the wooden handle tips and makes them splintery. I always wear gloves so it’s not a biggie, but I do hate getting snagged! The technique sure didn’t hurt my back, though, so it worked great in that respect.


jeff November 5, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Go to my site and see my wheelbarrow handles. They your the handles height adjustable and turn into a hanging device


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