June 3, 2011

True Temper Total Control Wheelbarrow - Review


Late last year, True Temper sent us their new Total Control Wheelbarrow to check out. Winter hit, so we didn't get to dig into it too much, but now that spring is here, the wheelbarrow with the funky handles is getting a workout.


And that's really all it boils down to: a wheelbarrow with funky handles. The deal is that it has D-handles, sort of like a recip saw, in order for the operator to have more holding options and thus more control.

So we've got to be honest, we took one look at this wheelbarrow and thought, "there is absolutely no way we're going to let the neighbors see us using this thing." The handles give off this severe 'training wheels' vibe that's hard to get over. It's like you couldn't master using regular handles, so you had to get a wheelbarrow with 'helper handles.'


So anyway, we got over ourselves and gave the wheelbarrow a try and we're glad we did. The handles, while goofy looking, do add a considerable amount of control, particularly on inclines, whether going up or down. Because of the D handle, you can grip it anywhere. They're also great when you're dumping the load too because you can keep your hands on the handles at all times, rather than do that quick little shift that you have to do with regular handles.

The total control is available with a steel bucket or a poly bucket. We happen to think that poly buckets are totally useless, so we'll recommend the steel one. It's about $120 (the poly is $100), which is about right for a nice, high-quality wheelbarrow that, if taken care of properly, should last a lifetime.

At Amazon.com

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at June 3, 2011 6:47 AM
Recent Comments

I bought this wheelbarrow spring of 2012. It didn't take long for every nut and bolt to come loose. Some fell out and were lost forcing me to buy replacements, I bought nylon locking nuts though. Total control? stinks when half the bolts are loose!

I wouldnt buy it again.

Posted by: Charlie at October 14, 2012 7:13 PM

nice review Doug, I agree with sticking with the metal ones, some folks put a quart of herculiner in the bed to prevent rust. Mine is a couple years old and still hanging tough, but I may have to give it a treatment in 2 yrs.

Overall these are pretty well built, but I agree with John the brace at the wheelbase seems to catch the ground alot, if I used the wheel barrel all the time I would probably have to remedy that, but I just happen to use it infrequently enough that it doesnt drive me nuts.

Posted by: Kevin at June 6, 2011 2:14 PM

I saw the poly one of these for sale at Home Depot for $70 (in Connecticut)

Posted by: John at June 4, 2011 3:52 PM

I own a true temper wheel barrow, but last years version with the traditional handles. Look at the handles and then follow the sticks down with your eyes to where the wheel is. Imagine you pick up the wheel barrow and then imagine how close that cross piece that holds the two sticks together comes to the ground. When I pick mine up to use it it constantly catches on the ground if the ground is uneven, which is where I use a wheel barrow. It's an annoying design. I need another wheel barrow. One I can use when the ground is not perfectly flat. Plus the handles have rusted out/bubbled up under the paint in record time. Really crappy in just about every way. Solid tire though, at least it won't go flat.

Posted by: mike tayse at June 3, 2011 9:06 PM

Hey Chris,

I've always found them much more difficult to handle, due to the flexibility of the 'bucket.' I was on a job and we needed two wheelbarrows so we got one of each. The poly one ended up sitting off to the side for the year long project.

Posted by: Tool Snob at June 3, 2011 8:50 PM

Why do you think poly buckets are 'useless'? My steel Jackson wheelbarrow is getting rusty, and I was thinking about getting a poly one if/when I replace it. Should I?

Posted by: Chris at June 3, 2011 8:37 AM
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