Tool Box: You'll have a ball with this barrow

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The Independent Online
BARROWS of one sort or another must be the oldest of wheeled vehicles. The basic principle has not changed since prehistoric toilers realised it was a good way to transport heavy and bulky objects.

Modern versions include Hozelock's metal-framed, plastic-bodied Husbander ballbarrow, which is listed at pounds 67.99. It eschews a traditional wheel in favour of a big, tough sphere of ribbed plastic.

I was going to say that it makes a very good impression, which it does, but one of the advantages of the ballbarrow is that physically it does not make much of an impression: the ball spreads the load better than a wheel, so pushing is easier, notably on soft surfaces and gravel.

However, if you have steps in your garden, the main drawback of the barrow is the way the frame sweeps down to form the axle, then bends round in front of the ball at hub height. It provides a degree of protection, but can get in the way if anything other than very low steps have to be negotiated. The steel-bodied Yeoman version is better in this respect.

The Husbander can hold 3 cubic feet; an extension costs pounds 29.99, slots easily into place and trebles capacity.

Hozelock Ltd, Haddenham, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP17 8JD (0844 291881).