A Tractor Cart That Converts to a Wheelbarrow
The EZ-Stow Hauler™ is a hit at our house. The Undergardener says: “This is really well-made and sturdy.” The combined wheelbarrow/cart went together fast – 35 minutes for towing behind the tractor, 25 additional minutes to assemble for hand use and break down for storage.
Whether you’re using it as a wheelbarrow or pulling it behind a tractor, the EZ-Stow Hauler™ is easy to maneuver and the low center of gravity keeps it well-balanced. The Undergardener was concerned about the cart tipping over when fully loaded with firewood, so he put it through its paces, driving it up and down a steep pathway without a glitch (see cautions). It also managed the tight turnaround without a problem.
HOW TO USE IT
I use the EZ-Stow Hauler™ to move leaves around the yard, to mulch my roses and perennials, to haul away pruned branches and trimmings from perennials and shrubs, and to move tools and containers around our property. We’re still cleaning up tree-length and fire-sized logs from Hurricane Sandy and the EZ-Stow, made of high-impact polymer, works like a champ for that. Rated at a load capacity of 800 lbs., it also does a great job of hauling wood chips or other mulch, topsoil, sand, gravel, paving stones, concrete blocks, and lawn furniture.
Ease Of Use
Once you’ve decided whether you want to use the EZ-Stow Hauler™ as a wheelbarrow or tractor cart, there isn’t much to do. Just assemble it, and off you go.
HOW IT WORKS
The EZ-Stow Hauler™ works the way you do. While the wagon itself is the main event, you’ll like the fact that you can attach long tools, such as rakes, shovels, hoes, etc. to the outside of the cart with a custom O-ring and clip device. On our larger property, this saves many trips back to the tool shed to retrieve a tool we weren’t sure we’d need and didn’t want to drag along (like the 6-ft. iron crow bar). It also saves a lot of bending over to retrieve tools that are constantly flung out of wagons as they bump along our hummocky landscape.
Anyone who needs to move tree-length logs or long pieces of lumber will appreciate how the EZ-Stow’s sides fold down to form a flat bed. The tailgate latches pull up easily, as do levers at the front, allowing those two panels to fold into the bed. The side panels fold down on top of them and snap into place. You’ll want to use bungie cords or nylon tie-down straps to stabilize your load. These are easily attached to slots molded into the bed for this purpose.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
The EZ-Stow Hauler™ arrives flat in a cardboard (recyclable) box that is illustrated with all of the different ways it can be used. The box has sturdy hand-holds, but the shipping weight is 106lbs., so you may want to use a hand truck or get a bit of help. Some assembly is required.
While we didn’t need any tools to put the cart together, we did need some to remove the heavy-duty copper staples that hold the box closed.
The wheelbarrow handle unit and tool holders are available at an additional cost and come packaged separately, also in a recyclable cardboard box.
The easy-to-follow instructions are straightforward, well-illustrated, and numbered step-by-step. All of the parts are clearly marked and labeled. Open each hardware bag only when you’re ready to use it. You’ll also need some paper towels for cleanup, and possibly some latex gloves for applying the white lithium grease used to lubricate the axle.
Caveat: Illustration 3.3 in the instruction manual is not correct. The valve stem and grease fitting are on the same side of the wheel and should face outward.
While you won’t need tools to assemble the cart itself, if you decide to order the handle assembly, you’ll need pliers and a socket wrench to get a tight fit. No tools are needed to attach the long-tool carrier.
Hauling Heavy Loads: The EZ-Stow Hauler™ holds about 800lbs. of whatever you want to carry. That’s the equivalent of 20 bags of top soil at 40 pounds apiece, but only 8 bags of Portland cement (at 94lbs.). Concrete blocks vary in weight according to their size, so check whether those you plan to use weigh 28lbs. (8-inch) each, or 52 lbs. (12-inch) each.
Mulch, gravel, and other types of loose landscaping materials are usually sold by volume (cu. ft., or cu. yd.) making it difficult to estimate the weight, so err on the conservative side. A measly one cubic foot of pea gravel, for example weighs 112lbs.
Hauling Light Loads: Because of its large air-filled tires and good balance, pushing the EZ-Stow like a wheelbarrow is a lot easier for me than trying to pull my 4-wheeled wagon. On our large, wooded property, we need a much larger cart for leaves, but the EZ-Stow Hauler™ would be fine for the average suburban lot, or acreage that is more meadow than woodlot.
Nice Touch: A molded-in groove lets you insert a board inside the cart, between the two side walls. That creates a partition to keep loose material, such as gravel, from shifting around, or to separate contents.
Grease should be re-applied to the wheels via their fittings at least once a year, or as needed, and the air pressure in the tires checked periodically. You may want to sweep off any debris or hose the cart down before storing it for the season. My EZ-Stow Hauler™ is set on end, flat, with the handles attached, in an outdoor semi-sheltered space.
Watch the video: http://ezstowhauler.com/
Read the safety precautions in the manual. While many of them are common sense, they serve as good reminders and will help you avoid injuries that could occur if the cart is overloaded, the dump mechanism operated improperly, or appropriate care isn’t used when towing a heavy load on a slope.
The Undergardener did test the EZ-Stow on a steep slope because that’s pretty much all we have here, but he’s used to how machinery should be operated on that kind of terrain.
Children should not be allowed to play in or on the EZ-Stow Hauler™. Keep everyone’s fingers away from the dump mechanism.
Customer Service: I needed to do some fact-checking, so I called customer service. After a few moments on “hold,” and a bit of cross-checking, I got the answers I needed from Phil, who was very pleasant indeed.
Specifications and Features
Dimensions: 52”L x 34”W x 14.2” D
Capacity by weight: 800lbs.
Capacity by volume: 10 cu. ft.
Material: Made from high-impact, low density polymer plastic, with steel axel, dump, handles, etc., and brass washers and pins.
Tires: 15” x 6” pneumatic
I gave the EZ-Stow Hauler™ a 5-Shovel rating and I highly recommend it. It’s well-engineered, functions smoothly, and is unobtrusive when not in use. The suggested list price of $299 is more expensive than some other plastic or steel garden carts, but the added features, such as the folding sides and the ability to convert to a wheelbarrow are worth it. The EZ-Stow Hauler™ is rugged, sturdy, won’t tip over, and holds up well. For normal residential use, it should be a one-time purchase.
Where to Buy
EZ-Stow Hauler™ prices range from about $249 to $299, but be sure to check whether shipping charges are included when buying online.
You can buy it online from the manufacturer, MTD or at Amazon, Ace, and similar sites. The EZ-Stow Hauler™ is also available under the Cub Cadet brand at Home Depot and Tractor Supply.
Accessories: The long-tool holder runs about $35 (buy it here) and the wheelbarrow handle attachment, $80 – $100 (also available online here).
Now over to you – Have you tried a garden cart before? What did you use and how did it work? Let us know in the comments below!
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Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank MTD Products for giving us a free EZ-Stow Hauler™ to review. There was no expectation that it would be a positive review and we received no compensation for writing it. All opinions expressed here are those of the author based on personal experience using the product.
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