A wheelbarrow’s tire carries most of the weight of the load and is crucial to the machine’s efficiency. The wheel helps you easily move the load from one place to another, so it’s normal for a wheelbarrow tire to go flat after some time. However, it can be troublesome, especially when it keeps going flat despite fixing it several times.
To fix a wheelbarrow tire that keeps going flat, follow these steps:
- Check if your tire has a tube or not.
- Repair or replace the damaged tube.
- Check the rubber for punctures.
- Plug the rubber puncture.
- Replace the tire.
If you’re having trouble with your wheelbarrow tire that keeps going flat, you can find some tips below to help fix the problem. Read on!
1. Check if Your Tire Has a Tube or Not
Wheelbarrow tires can be with or without a tube. Recognizing which type of tire you have is the first step to figuring out how to deal with why it keeps going flat. You can usually find the embossed label on the surface of the tire.
Otherwise, you can check if the valve stays in place when the tire is deflated. If it does, you have a tubeless tire. The valve of a tubeless tire is typically sealed to the rim, so it doesn’t fall inwards even if there isn’t enough air.
2. Repair or Replace the Damaged Tube
If you have a tubed tire, you can check the tube for any damage. The tubes store the air to keep the tires inflated. If there is a hole causing the air to seep out and flatten your tire, you need to seal it with a patch or rubber glue. Otherwise, your tire will keep going flat even if you refill it with air.
Sealing the Hole
Repairing a wheelbarrow tire tube is pretty much the same as fixing the inner tube of a bike tire.
You can use a rubber tube patch kit and follow the steps below:
Remove the Inner Tube & Clean the Tire’s Interior
To remove the inner tube, you’ll need to first loosen the outer rubber tire.
Once removed, clean the inside of the tire to ensure that you eliminate whatever punctured the softer inner tube. You can use a clean, moist, lint-free towel.
Locate the Holes
Next, inflate the inner tube to find the holes. You don’t have to fully inflate the tube, but you need to fill it with enough air to hear the sound of air escaping from the hole.
Locate all the holes so you can patch them up. Leaving some holes unpatched will result in your tire going flat again soon.
Scratch Around the Hole
You’ll then need to roughen up the area around the hole. You can use sandpaper or a metal scuffer to scratch the rubber surface around the hole. It will help the patch stick evenly on the rubber.
Apply Rubber Glue or Cement Around It
The circumference or area covered by the glue should be wider than the size of the patch. You must apply the adhesive evenly to avoid air spaces and ensure that the patch lays flat on the surface of the tube.
Let it dry for a few minutes, depending on the package instructions.
Stick the Patch on the Adhesive
Spread the patch evenly and smoothen it with your fingers. You can also clamp it on the tube to apply pressure and wait a few hours to ensure it doesn’t fall off.
Reattach the Inner Tube to the Wheel
After fixing the outer rubber around the inner tube, you can fully inflate the tire and reattach it to your wheelbarrow.
You can also see a video on sealing the hole in your tire’s damaged tube below:
If you’re looking for a good repair kit, you can try the Slime Tube Patch Kit (available on Amazon.com). It contains five patches, one metal scuffer, and cement glue. It is pretty easy to use and reasonably priced. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product for the best results.
Replacing the Tube
It’s relatively easy and cheap to repair a punctured inner tube. However, if it has multiple holes and looks worn out after extended use, you might as well buy a replacement.
The inner tubes of wheelbarrow tires are not that expensive, but it may be challenging to find the right size unless you visit the same wheelbarrow manufacturer.
If you find it more practical to replace the tube, you can follow the steps below:
- Loosen the outer rubber to pull out the inner tube.
- Clean the inner surface of the outer rubber with a clean cloth to remove debris that can puncture the new tube.
- Partially inflate the new tube and place it underneath the outer rubber around the wheel.
- Tighten the rubber around the tube.
- Fully inflate the tire and reattach it to your wheelbarrow.
3. Check the Rubber for Punctures
Tubeless tires contain the air inside the rubber tires directly. A puncture will cause your tire to go flat frequently.
Inspect the tire for any sharp material that could have pierced through the rubber, such as a nail or sharp stone. You can pull out the object using a pair of pliers. If you can’t find any, it can be challenging to locate the hole just by looking at the rubber because the material is too thick.
Fully inflate the rubber tire and listen closely until you hear a whistling sound produced by the air coming out of the holes. Cover the hole with your finger and look for more holes by listening again. If there aren’t any more holes, you can start plugging the punctures.
4. Plug the Rubber Puncture
Tubeless tires are sturdier than tubed tires. However, they are more prone to going flat because there is no second layer that protects the air inside the tire. Luckily, they are easy to repair; you only need to plug the puncture hole using a tire repair kit.
If you need more visual instruction, here’s a video of how you can plug a wheelbarrow tire:
5. Replace the Tire
When properly cared for, a wheelbarrow can last generations. However, some parts are more prone to damage from overuse, such as the wheels and handles, thus requiring repair or replacements.
Given that the wheel carries most of the load in a wheelbarrow, it is inevitable for the tires to become thinner and more prone to punctures, especially after several years of use.
A wheelbarrow tire that keeps going flat can make your task more difficult. That’s why it’s best to fix the problem immediately. However, worn-out tires are better off replaced than repaired. Having too many patches can also make it more vulnerable.
Moreover, plugs are usually meant to be a temporary fix instead of a permanent solution to puncture tires.
An excellent alternative to pneumatic wheelbarrow tires that keep going flat is an airless or solid tire. As the name implies, it is a solid mass of rubber or synthetic rubber that doesn’t depend on air for inflation.
A solid tire is ideal for small wheeled machines like a cart or wheelbarrow because they can withstand rocky or bumpy roads, such as the condition in your garden. They also last a pretty long time, and you wouldn’t have to worry about pumping air into the tires ever again.
However, one downside is that solid wheelbarrow tires can be pricier than pneumatic tires. On the bright side, they can last much longer. You also wouldn’t have to spend extra on patches or repair kits, so you can save more money in the long run.
Evaluate your options carefully to decide which one works best for you. If you choose to use a solid tire, you can visit a hardware or gardening store and look for a product that is similar in size to your original wheelbarrow tire.
There are several ways to fix a wheelbarrow tire to prevent it from going flat several times. However, replacing the tire seems more practical and economical if the problem keeps recurring.
You can also invest in non-inflatable tires for wheelbarrows. They are efficient and can last indefinitely, making them suitable for your hardworking and heavy-duty wheelbarrows.