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Wheelbarrow Tyre Sizes Explained

Wheelbarrow tyre sizes explained - GEO Tyres Online

Picture this, it’s a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon and you have decided to get the wheelbarrow out to do some of those garden chores, only to find the wheelbarrow tyre is buggered.

As frustrating as this is, don’t go rushing down to the store to buy a whole new wheelbarrow when all can be restored simply by replacing the wheelbarrow tyre and tube.

Upon checking the sidewall of the wheelbarrow tyre, you see a bunch of numbers and cannot make any sense of the all the numbers and details stamped on the side. How are you meant to replace a wheelbarrow tyre when you have no idea what to order?

Stress not! Finding out what size you need is easy once you know what to look for and how to understand it.

There are four things to take note of when looking to replace your wheelbarrow tyre.

  1. The tyre size,
  2. If the tyre is tubeless or has a tube in it,
  3. The ply rating or load carrying capacity
  4. The type of tread pattern

Knowing these four things can help in making sure the tyre you decide to purchase is going to be the right tyre for your wheelbarrow.


Tyre Size

Lets first look at the tyre size. You may think that all wheelbarrows have the same size but that is not always the case.

To find the size, we need to check to see what is stamped on the side of the tyre. It will most likely look something like this,

 wheelbarrow tyre size

The most common size format that could be stamped on the side your wheelbarrow tyre is usually 2 numbers that are separated by a hyphen or alternatively, 3 numbers separated by a slash and a hyphen. A good example of one the most common wheelbarrow tyre sizes is the 4.80/4.00-8.

The first number, 4.80, usually refers to the height of the sidewall of tyre which is also known as the section height. If you times this number by two and add the rim size, in this instance it is an 8 inch, you will get an approximate overall height of the tyre. Keep in mind this is not an exact measurement, as it can vary +/- 10% depending on the brand.

The second number, 4.00, usually refers to the width of the tyre, which again, can vary +/- 10% depending on the brand.

The last number, 8, will always refer to the height of the rim.

An inexpensive wheelbarrow tyre option in this size is the Bushmate P301, which are available on GEO Tyres.

You may be looking at your current wheelbarrow tyre and only seeing 2 numbers such as 4.00-8. Is this the same size as a 4.80/4.00-8?

In most cases, a 4.80/4.00-8 and a 4.00-8 will both have an approximate height of 16 inches.

If you have a more heavy-duty wheelbarrow or carry more weight than your standard garden clippings, then you may have a larger and wider than standard wheelbarrow tyre. This will most likely be a 16x6.50-8, which is the most common for these larger wheelbarrows. The same format applies to the 16x6.50-8 as it does for the 4.80/4.00-8 – 16 equals the height, 6.50 equals the width and 8 equalling the rim height.

An inexpensive wheelbarrow tyre option in this size is the Kenda K358, which are available on GEO Tyres.


Tube or no tube?

When replacing your wheelbarrow tyre, you need to also take note if a tube is currently fitted inside the tyre. Most of the time, this will be the case unless you have a flat free tyre, which is another thing we need to be mindful of too.

To verify if a tube is fitted, there are a couple of ways we can find this out. The first being to check the sidewall of your current wheelbarrow tyre. All tyres will have this information stamped on the sidewall where it will say either Tubeless or Tube Type. Do take note, however, that if you have Tubeless stamped on the side of the tyre, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t any tube fitted. Often people will use a tubeless tyre on a tube type rim – meaning the rim is either a two-piece rim that bolts together or the rim is not designed to hold air without a tube. 

The other option is to check the valve itself. The easiest option here is to deflate the tyre completely and check what the valve does. If it stays in the valve hole location, you have a tubeless setup but if the valve falls inside the hole into the tyre, then you have a tube fitted. Alternatively, if you can push the bead of the wheelbarrow tyre out of the way, you may be able to check inside the tyre to see if there is a tube inside it.


 Tube Typetube type tyre

TubelessTubeless tyre

Whilst your current wheelbarrow tyre may not have a tube installed, you may be suffering from constant air loss. If this isn’t due to punctures, it may well be that the current rim isn’t in very good shape and the air is leaking out from either cracks or improper sealing.

This can be caused by the age of the rim where small hairline cracks have started to form or possible build-up of rust or corrosion around the bead area of steel rims. If you have a build-up of rust on the rim, it is worthwhile to use a steel brush to remove this before replacing any tyres or tubes, as it will only lead to punctures happening to the tubes from the sharp fragments of the rust. 


Tread Pattern

Most wheelbarrows will have either a rib or a block tyre tread pattern.

A rib tread pattern has circumferential grooves that run parallel with the tyre whereas the block pattern can have

Quite often those wheelbarrows that have a rib tyre fitted can be converted to a block pattern to provide extra traction when compared to the rib pattern.



Ply Rating / Load Rating

Our final step in choosing a wheelbarrow tyre is selecting the right tyre that is capable in supporting the weight you plan to carry in the wheelbarrow. Most of the time, the higher the ply rating, the more weight the tyre can carry. Another thing to note when it comes to ply ratings is that generally the higher the ply, the more puncture resistance the tyre has. This can be very beneficial if you find yourself repairing wheelbarrow tyres and tubes due to regular punctures, as the higher ply rating has usually has a reinforced sidewall and tread area. However, a higher ply rating can also translate to a stiffer tyre, meaning there will be less give in a 6 ply tyre vs a 2 ply tyre.



Choosing a wheelbarrow tyre doesn't have to be difficult. Get in touch with us today if you need more help in choosing a wheelbarrow tyre that will best suit your needs.


View our full range of Wheelbarrow Tyres and Tubes at GEO Tyres.