A flat wheelbarrow tire, or a tire with a slow leak can be frustrating. Rather than taking the time to assess the damage and root cause of the problem, we sometimes just opt for the costly solution of replacing the tire, replacing the entire tire and wheel assembly, or even tossing out the wheelbarrow. It is not uncommon to see discarded wheelbarrows at dumps and waste yards that could have been easily returned to service with a minor wheelbarrow tire repair or tube replacement. Flat wheelbarrow tire repair or buying and installing a new tire, is an easy, money saving DIY project that anyone can do at home.
Tools Needed for Wheelbarrow Tire Repair
All that is needed to remove and replace the tire from the wheel is a large flathead screw-driver and a hand tire pump. You will also need a wrench to remove the wheel and tire assemble from the wheelbarrow. This is easily done by loosening one or both of the brackets holding the axle to the wheel. If you have a tubeless tire which a puncture in the tread area of the tire, you will need a plug repair tool instead of the flathead screwdriver.
Wheelbarrow Tire Repair or Replacement
1. Once the flat wheelbarrow tire is off the wheelbarrow, you can conduct a thorough visual inspection. First, inspect the wheel for damage and the tire for obvious sources of the leak. You also want to check the amount of wear on the tread rubber and the amount of cracks in the tire due to dry rot. If the tire is badly rotted with deep cracks in the side of the tire, or the tread is worn and not providing sufficient traction, you should consider buying a replacement tire. A wheelbarrow tire could cost between 15 and 40 dollars delivered right to your door, compared to the $150 or more for a new wheelbarrow. If the wheelbarrow itself is in good condition, a new tire can make it work like new.
2. If the source of the leak is not easily identifiable on a tubeless tire (like a hole or object stuck in the tread), you need to inflate the tire to find the source of the leak. If the tire is entirely flat and won’t easily seat against the wheel flange, you can tighten a rope around the outside of the tire to push the tubeless tire against the wheel and get a good seal. If the wheel itself is severely bent, then you may need a new wheel, however small dents in the wheel flange usually don’t cause any problem, particularly for tube type tires. Adding a tube to a tubeless tire and wheel assemble is a cheaper alternative to buying a new wheel even if it is damaged and leaking air between the wheel and tire itself.
3. For a tube type tire, the tire must be removed from the rim. Use the flathead screwdriver to pry the tire off the rim as shown in this video. Once one part of the tire is over the wheel frange, one side of the tire will easily twist off the wheel. Turn the wheel over, and repeat for the other side of the tire. Be careful not to pinch the tube between the screwdriver and the wheel flange. A tubeless tire can often be repaired by leaving the tire on the wheel and using a plug. It is much easier to repair a hole in a tubeless tire but it does take some specialized equipment. Here is a video on how to plug a tubeless tire. Once the tire is plugged and the plug is trimmed, the tire and wheel is ready to be installed back onto the wheelbarrow.
4. Once the tube is removed, it can be inflated and submerged in a bucket of water to find the source of the leak. The bubbles will identify even pin pricks from thorns or otherwise hard to see damage. The area around the hole should be roughened up using fine grit sandpaper or a wood file. Coat the area to be repaired with rubber cement and apply the patch. If the tube cannot be repaired, and the tire is still in good condition, consider buying a replacement tube. A wheelbarrow tube will cost under $10, so a fraction of the cost of a new wheelbarrow or even a new tire and wheel.
5. Once the tube repair has fully cured, it is time to install the tire and tube back on the wheel. First, insert the deflated tube in the tire, and reposition one side of the tire back in the wheel. At this point, for a tube type tire, you will need to position the tube valve in the wheel hole. Once aligned, the other half of the tire can be pried on to the tire.
6. The tire or tube is now ready to be inflated to the psi suggested on the side of the tire. Replace the axle and fasten the entire wheel and tire assemble to the wheelbarrow.
Buying Replacement Tires if Wheelbarrow Tire is Beyond Repair
If your flat wheelbarrow tire or tube is too damaged or worn to be repaired, then tires-easy.com is your best option for inexpensive wheelbarrow tires. They have a large variety of wheelbarrow tires at low prices. Armed with the tire size you need, you can easily find your replacement tire, with fast and convenient ordering and shipping direct to your home.