In 1974, James Dyson created the Ballbarrow, a wheelbarrow with a ball in place of the front wheel. It’s no longer manufactured, but a company named NuVations markets a wheelbarrow similar in concept: the NuBarro.
NuVations manufactures the NuBarro in Germany. They start with a polypropylene roller wheel (the NuRoller) that they claim is impossible to puncture, never needs inflation, and resists heat and acid. The wheel rotates about a steel axle on sealed bearings and can support up to 750lbs. The wide ball-like wheel travels easily over soft terrain like mud, snow, gravel, and sand without sinking and makes it easy to lift, turn, and dump the NuBarro.
Heavy-duty skid plates on the bottom of the no-rust steel frame protect it from damage and keep it balanced. The tub is also zinc-galvanized to resist corrosion.
NuVations currently sells three different models in some limited retail locations: the NuBarro L which retails for $135 and has a 3 cu. ft. capacity, the NuBarro XL that has a 4 cu. ft. capacity for $150, and the NuBarro XL Pro which also has a 4 cu. ft. capacity, but also features a painted tub, for $165.
Despite the website’s 2005 copyright and order links that you can’t order from, NuVations is still alive and kicking. I talked with a representative on the phone who told me they’re planning to re-launch their web page with an e-commerce site, and they’re also planning to sell a new version with a frame that can be broken down and shipped easily via UPS.
NuBarro [Corporate Site]