How to Move Dirt Without a Wheelbarrow – Simple Wheelbarrow Alternatives

Without doubt, a wheelbarrow is one of the most essential gardening tools that every gardener needs to invest in. However, there are certain situations that may occur where you are required to move dirt and you don’t have a one at home.

Did you know that a wheel barrow can only carry up to a certain weight of dirt? Yes that’s right! They usually come with a weight limit of 700lbs.

Therefore you might not be able to efficiently transport dirt from one point to another if you carry dirt that exceeds this limit.

This is now the point where you have to sit down and think of wheelbarrow alternatives. Another scenario that may occur is when you are required to transport very small quantities of dirt that don’t necessarily need you to use a wheelbarrow.

There are 4 tools that you can use as an alternative for a wheelbarrow. Firstly, you can use a duffel (sack), heavy duty sled and a yoke and pair of buckets to transport small amounts of dirt. These tools are best suited to transport small amounts of dirt from one point to another on your garden because, they are DIY tools that don’t have wheels. However, you should consider using a hand truck if you intend to move large amounts of dirt across from your garden.

Wheels or no wheels – Things You Should Consider

No Wheels

Consider these tools if you plan to move dirt through unlevelled or rocky paths that may constantly tools with wheels get stuck. There are even chances of dirt falling off.

Recollecting the dirt and putting it back is not only hardwork but also eat up your precious time.

Especially if your path is made of very heavy clay soil which tends to get very sticky when wet. In addition to this, clay soil is normally very hard and forms up when extremely dry, which may make you experience difficulties when navigating through such a path.

You should also consider getting a tool that doesn’t come with wheels if you intend to move small amounts of dirt from one point to another.

This is because they are usually not too heavy and it will even take a shorter time as compared to loading them to a wheelbarrow then offloading.

Without doubt, wheelbarrows make work easier but it really isn’t that much of a necessity for transportation of small amounts of dirt.

One benefit about using no- wheel tools is that it is a very cheap method.

Actually, some tools such as the Yoke and pair of buckets are DIY tools that you can even make by yourself at home.

You can also be helped to carry these tools whenever you move dirt which makes your work easier. This is because you will be using even less effort as compared to carrying it by yourself. 

With Wheels

You should consider getting tools that have wheels if you frequently move large amounts of dirt on your garden.

Aside from this, you should also ensure that your garden has a passable path which will allow you to easily push the tool.

This is because most tools come with small wheels which makes it difficult for them to easily navigate through uneven surfaces.

For sure, tools with wheels are also ideal for use if you move dirt over long distances within your compound. This is because they will allow you to cover a lot more ground faster without you being too fatigued.

Therefore, you should consider a tool with wheels if you own a large sized lawn or work on a large golf course.

Wheelbarrow alternatives for your garden

Duffel (Sack)

This is actually one of the most recommended no- wheel tool you can use as an alternative for a wheelbarrow. It is a square piece of cloth that is either made of cotton or polyethylene which are durable materials that don’t tear easily.

Therefore, you won’t have to keep on buying these sacks which will help you save on replacement costs in the long run. However you should ensure that you drag this sack on a smooth surface in order to efficiently move dirt from one point to another.

You can actually drag this sack alone or using the help of another person. Here are some of the best sacks you can get as alternatives for a wheelbarrow:





Tarps Direct Brown canvas


6.0 x 6.0 inches

Buy here

Rocky Mountain Goods Tarp

UV treated polyethylene fabric

10.0 x 10.0 inches

Buy here

Tarps Heavy duty Brown Tarp


6.0 x 8.0 inches

Buy here

Harpster Tarps


10.0 x 12.0 inches

Buy here

Yoke and a Pair of Buckets

Are you someone who is very creative and love DIY tools in your garden? If yes, this tool may just be your cup of tea for moving small amounts of dirt in your garden.

All you have to do for this method, is simply get two buckets attach a strong rope on each handle of the bucket then tie the rope on the yoke.

There isn’t a specific bucket that you are required to use however it is recommended that you use either a Burden basket or smart pots. Using these two tools will enable you to move dirt from one point of your garden to another efficiently.

You should also ensure that you use a yoke that is thick and strong enough to support both baskets. In addition to this, you should also ensure that you make a deep notch on the yoke so that it doesn’t slip when you carry it.

Heavy Duty Sleds

This is also another very useful tool that you can use as an alternative for a wheelbarrow.

It is important to note that sleds usually come in various shapes and sizes which also determine their price in the market. Therefore, you should be aware that sleds which are larger and made of higher quality material are more expensive than sub- standard sleds.

You should also ensure that you don’t put large amounts of dirt on the sleds as they will fall when you drag the sled. This is because they don’t come with high side walls. Here are some of the sled that are best suited for moving dirt from one point to another:




AGPTEK Toboggan sled

35 x 17 x 4.3 inches

Buy here

Slippery racer Downhill sled

26 inch (diameter)

Buy here

Hand truck (Has wheels)

This tool is most suitable for use if you intend to frequently move large amounts of dirt from one point to another in your garden.

One benefit about a hand truck is that you can actually put a number of containers filled with dirt on it and transport them efficiently. Its L- shaped design also not only allows you to place containers on it but also offers great stability every time you push the hand truck. Below are some of the best hand trucks that you can get for transporting large amounts of dirt:



Maximum weight


Milwaukee 47109 hand truck

42 inches


Buy here

Harper JEDT8635P hand truck

50 inches


Buy here

Pack N Roll hand truck

30 inches


Buy here


Without doubt, these are some of the most efficient wheelbarrow alternatives for moving dirt in your garden. This is because they are not only affordable, but also serve their purpose quite effectively when it comes to transporting dirt from one point to another. However, the type of tool that will suit you best depends on the amount of dirt you intend to transport frequently.


Can I make my own hand truck at home?

Yes, it is very possible to make one on your own. However, you should ensure that the base of the hand truck is wide enough to fit containers full of dirt. You should also ensure that you use strong wheels so that they are able to sustain the weight throughout.

Is a duffel (sack) suitable to move large amounts of dirt?

No it isn’t. This is because the dirt may end up spilling over and you will also get tired carrying the sack from one point to another if it’s really heavy.

Also read

What is the Difference Between Soil and Dirt?

Gorilla Cart vs Wheelbarrow – Which is Better?

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