jump to example.com

True Value Co. of Chicago announced the recall of around 17,000 wheelbarrows recently.  I wondered what could possibly be so dangerous about a wheelbarrow that there would be a national recall — well, apparently, overinflating the tire could cause the wheel’s plastic rim to break, posing an injury to the user.  Wow.

I applaud the effort on True Value’s part, but I think a dose of common sense might be more prudent. Maybe I’m getting a bit cynical here, but back when I was a kid the whole issue would’ve been handled when dad told me not to overinflate the tire on my bike and showed me what was up — ’nuff said.

Instead of a massive recall and all this hassle couldn’t they just say, “Hey, don’t overinflate the tires, ’cause the rim will crack.”  We guess they don’t want a lawyer showing up on their doorstep representing someone with a wicked wheelbarrow injury.  The times we live in are rather amusing when you stop to think about it.

True Value Recalls Wheelbarrows [CPSC Recall]

 

18 Responses to True Value Wheelbarrow Recall

  1. Kevin says:

    In my opinion, less amusing, more depressing. People sue over anything. It’s ridiculous.

  2. Paul Bob says:

    Well, plastic wheels on a wheelbarrow is a pretty dumb design idea to begin with.

  3. slapinem says:

    i agree that people do sue over any stupid little thing these days, but i also think that true value could have avoided this by using better materials in the manufacturing of this product. i have a wheelbarrow that is older than me that i’ve hauled rock,dirt,gravel and everything else with, it’s gotten a few tires over the years and the bucket has a few dents but the steel rim is as good as it ever was. this is a case of “they just don’t make em like they used to”. but i guess at least they are taking care of it.

  4. Shopmonger says:

    Ok here comes a rant….

    1. Lawyers have really screwd things up. Like stated in the post…..lets learn how to use our common sense and ….oh god forbid….take responsibility for what we do…

    2. Plastic……gentleman….can be pound for pound stronger than alum, steal, and in some cases ceramic….. It is not the fault of the plastic if someone does over-inflate the tires……Stress loads are calculated…..and then some moron goes and mis-uses the item.

  5. BJN says:

    Plastic wheels on a wheelbarrow are a bad idea – we have an all-plastic Rubbermaid “barrow” and the wheels deform and collapse if you load it more than a third full of dirt. That’s forgivable since the thing is intended to haul trimmings, weeds, and the like. Fortunately, the light duty Rubbermaid product’s tires are solid. Pneumatic tires would roll off a distorted rim and the innertube would herniate.

    The small diameter tires on the recall barrow will need to run at considerably higher pressure than the more typical balloon tires you find on better wheelbarrows. I imaging some users would overinflate the tires to avoid pinch flats when carrying heavy loads.

  6. SlowJoeCrow says:

    I prefer my wheelbarrows old school, but FWIW we had a Burley bike trailer with similar wheels and one day when I was inflating the tires one of them started to pop off the rim, so overinflation is definitely a bad idea.

  7. Scott says:

    Seems to me the design specification should have required that the tire fail before the wheel does if the tire is over inflated.

    Make the wheels out of anything you like, but they have to be stronger than the tires.

    If you over inflate a bike tire, does the wheel fail before the tire does?

    The Budd company was sued for the same problem in a different context years ago.

  8. @Shopmonger:

    2. Plastic……gentleman….can be pound for pound stronger than alum, steal, and in some cases ceramic….. It is not the fault of the plastic if someone does over-inflate the tires……Stress loads are calculated…..and then some moron goes and mis-uses the item.

    I completely agree with that statement, but plastic was not a good choice in this case because of it’s failure mode. Aluminum or steal(sic) would have bent rather than cracked.

  9. Toolaremia says:

    “If you over inflate a bike tire, does the wheel fail before the tire does? ”

    If you are using one of the insanely-light, insanely-expensive composite racing rims, yes it could fail before the tire does. Should they be recalled or sued?

  10. Shopmonger says:

    Toolaremia Says:

    February 23rd, 2009 at 1:19 pm
    “If you over inflate a bike tire, does the wheel fail before the tire does? ”

    “YES” it can

    I completely agree with that statement, but plastic was not a good choice in this case because of it’s failure mode. Aluminum or steal(sic) would have bent rather than cracked.

    and I concer sir…….They used the wrong type of plastic, should have had more of and elastomeric fail mode…..

  11. river1 says:

    back when i was a kid i learned not to over inflate from experience!

    i rode my bike down to the local gas station to fill the slightly low tire. i read the side of the tire and read 80 lbs. DOH i should have looked closer! i filled it with 80 lbs and rode it home. the ride was a little rough but i thought it was the difference from low to “correct” pressure in the tire. i got all the way home, about 3/4 mile, and parked the bike on the back porch. a little while later i heard an explosive sound from the porch. i ran out to find pieces of tire all over the place LOL in picking up the pieces i found the part that list the pressure and found it said 30 lbs. i was lucky it waited till i got home but i learned an important lesson to pay more attention to details. my dad also made me earn the replacement tire so i was without a bike for a few weeks.

    ahh life lessons that today’s society wants to sue for.

    later jim

  12. heywoodj says:

    I’m with the others that we need to take responsibility for ourselves…

    However, I would rather just take the wheels off and replace them with cheapo bike wheels of a similar diameter with metal rims and not have to deal with the recall. What bugs me most about all this litigiousness is that it makes every product and service we buy in this country astronomically more expensive than it should be.

    The justice department needs to man up and start a new procedure for civil suits that involves some sort of “prequalification” to be able to sue. If it sounds like a ridiculous lawsuit it should be dismissed out of hand with no recourse, that would stop most frivolous lawsuits within a pretty short period of time. Might put a few ambulance chasers out of work, which to me is not a bad thing for our society.

  13. Joe says:

    I’m not going to let anyone off the hook here, responsibility-wise, but I think the over inflation of these tires is too easy for the average person, due to their ignorance, or laziness.

    First, I doubt if most people pay attention to the recommended pressure, or use a gauge when inflating–they just pump them up until they’re “hard”.

    Second, I’ve watched too many people blow a bicycle tire off the rim while using an air compressor. They don’t realize how little volume there is inside a small bike tube/tire and don’t know to give it little “pulses” of air into the valve.

  14. fred says:

    There was a similar recall on Porter Cable air compressors and sister products made by DeVilbiss. Their original tires wre on plastic wheels. The replacements are steel.

  15. fred says:

    BTW – here is a link to the DeVilbiss recall:

    http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07060.html

  16. I understand everyone’s opinion on this, but let me add something. I am an attorney in Atlanta I have represented many people who were injured by another poorly designed plastic wheelbarrow rim designed and made by O. Ames Company, now Ames True Temper. This company manufactured and sold more than 600,000 wheelbarrows with a thick, black honey combed rim. They were defectively designed and manufactured. When the tire was filled with air (in some instances the pressure was even less than the max psi), the rim could explode like a grenade. People lost fingers, a guy in Mississippi was blinded in both eyes and one of my clients sustained a crushed skull and brain damage. The company and its insurer had been receiving reports for years before reporting it to the CPSC.

    I know nothing about this particular product but anyone in engineering knows that you have to (a) design a product with the expectation that it might be overinflated and (b) it has to be tested properly before it’s released to the public.

    Several on this post have correctly noted that the failure mechanism should be designed so that the tire explodes before the rim. Think about what would happen if your kid was standing next to this when you were filling it with air. If they had plastic pieces exploding in their eyes and you found out that the company had known about this problem before but didn’t do anything about it, i think opinions might be different.

  17. mik says:

    one word … CHINA

  18. Nick Fury says:

    Solid rubber tires solve this whole stupid scenario.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *