Our cart was originally “The Gardenway Cart” when purchased in about 1977. Guess that there have been a few mergers/acquisitions in Vermont. The cart is still “going strong”.
Recommend this product?
The “cart” was once was a yuppie', status symbol. Today it’s obligatory in almost any yard on “both sides of the track”. From hauling firewood, leaves, manure and an occasional refrigerator (Probably exceeds the recommended weight. Balance it crosswise on the sides) it’s indispensable.
Sturdy? Ours still has the original plywood components. It’s been “left out” for months on end, been a feeding platform for horses (that like to “crib” on wood) and been abused in other ways. You should put some varnish or sealer on yours, although we’ve never bothered.
The plywood components can be replaced with minimal carpentry skill. Vermont might have made the panels “slide-in” for easy replacement. It’s probably good that they didn’t, as it might have compromised the structural integrity of the cart.
The metal parts of the Vermont are galvanized. After our two plus decades of use, rust and corrosion are not a problem.
Our machine does not have the pneumatic tires that modern one uses. I probably prefer the hard rubber anyhow: one fewer maintenance problem. The inflated tires probably will enhance the ride you will (have to) give your kids/grandchildren.
The wheels have the little lubrication port that you have seen on bicycles. Every few months it’s a good idea to “pop” the plastic cover and fill it with oil. As above, I tend to forget this step for a year or two at a time. The ball bearings still function.
Pushing the cart is the best way to transport your junk. The Vermont’s balance is such that the effort required for a heavy load is only slightly more than empty. You really have to miss-load the wagon in order to make it “tippy”.
Pulling it can be annoying. The U shaped rear leg can chop-away at your heels if you’re not careful. This leg makes the cart difficult to pull behind your garden tractor. You have to raise the angle to an unnatural height in order to avoid it dragging. The length of the handle further precludes any sort of trailer hitch without extensive re-engineering.
Obviously this is a quality product. Were I shopping for one today, I’d probably investigate the PVC version. They usually cost less and, barring ultraviolet degradation, should be durable. Can the axles and plastic stand up to weight and time? Don’t know.