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Poly Wheelbarrow Tray – Know the facts!

The tray of a wheelbarrow is a load carrier that makes a wheelbarrow functional. Most of the wheelbarrows manufactured by TUFX are equipped with high-strength, maximum yield poly trays. Great effort has been made to design a tray that ensures fracture tolerant material that has extremely high elasticity features but also increased fatigue protection. The following sections provide some practical information on plastic trays’ raw material selection, and color options, as well as a little more information for you to make the most informed decision when it comes to quality plastic wheelbarrow trays.


 Raw Material Selection

Plastic wheelbarrow trays are manufactured using injection molding machines. Basically, plastic pellets are melted at a high temperature and fed into a cylinder. When the mold is clamped, the liquid plastic is forced into it. The tray is removed from the tooling once it is cooled. HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is used to manufacture TUFX's poly trays. There are some important choices for us though when choosing the right HDPE for our plastic tray wheelbarrows. We need to consider the cost of course, but more importantly the functionality, weight (ergonomic benefit), and even color need. There are basically 2 kinds of HDPE available – Virgin (New) HDPE and Recycled (Used) HDPE.


 Virgin HDPE refers to the materials that are straight out of the petrochemical factory and have never been processed or used. From the performance perspective, all of its properties are in line with the standard physical properties of plastic. Trays that are manufactured from New HDPE deliver consistent quality and do not deform and do not break – they are far superior in this respect, but raw materials are then more expensive.

Recycled HDPE is recycled from existing HDPE products and waste that have been previously processed. The recycling process involves cleaning, granulation (shredding) and reshaping. In theory, after every recycling process, the molecular weight and performance of the material decrease by 20 to 30%, which in turn causes the cost to drop considerably. The more “used” the material has been recycled, the cheaper material is. To the untrained eye, this produces two very similar-looking wheelbarrow trays. However, they will have a significant performance and price difference. 

How to differentiate a New HDPE and a Recycled HDPE tray?

When observing the appearance of an HDPE tray, the New HDPE trays are shown to have a brighter color, high transparency, and low noise. On the other hand, the color is dimmer and more noisy (due to increased density) on the Recycled HDPE trays.

Additionally, for the same material volume and size, New HDPE weighs lighter than that of the Recycled and this can be a significant factor for heavy users.

When carrying load, a New HDPE tray does not permanently deform and does not break upon external impact because of its high yield and impact strength. In contrast to the New HDPE trays, Recycled HDPE trays break and plastically will deform more easily under a heavy load.


 Colour Options

The color of a wheelbarrow tray depends on the color of the plastic additive that is mixed with the white plastic pellets. The solid additive used to injection mold HDPE trays is called the “color master batch.” Based on consumers’ needs and design specifications, various colors of the “master batch” will be added to the plastic mixture accordingly to get the desired result.

 UV (Ultra Violet) light degrades plastic as it is not always reflected and penetrates the surface breaking the internal bonds. Often due to this discoloration, customers can be inclined to choose black poly trays – the logic being that black or grey pigment naturally prevents this penetration at a mild level and prolong the timeline for fading. However, in the market, most black pigments are made out of recycled material, because black hides the impurities in the plastic. Therefore most of the time, black plastic trays will represent the entry/lower level products in the industry.

TUFX offers a variety of color choices and makes sure that the color of their wheelbarrow trays glows for as long as possible and is not susceptible to UV damage by only using UV resistant color master-batches in the new and recycled mixtures (including black).


How to pick the right wheelbarrow?

Plastic tray selection is based on consumers'expectations of the plastic tray wheelbarrow, budget, and the likely working environment.  

For consumers who occasionally use their wheelbarrows in a household setting, a wheelbarrow with a Recycled HDPE tray should satisfy their needs (and save a little on cost too!). 

However, for professional users, such as a contractor, Landscaper, Farmer, or who wants to have a cart that can be used for a long time under intensive work conditions, New HDPE trays are recommended – this guarantees the tray’s high strength and additional stiffness. The New HDPE trays do have higher price tags but a significant increase in performance over a Recycled version has added value that will be well justified in the wheelbarrow’s working life. 

TUFX is an environmentally responsible manufacturer. To that end, we are committed to providing users with the most suitable and reliable wheelbarrow wholesale while maintaining sustainability. The TUFX poly wheelbarrow trays are all made of New HDPE materials and high-quality anti-ultraviolet color master batch ensuring that the trays are wear-resistant, have high color fade protection, high yield strength, and High Impact resistance.  

When you watch any videos that are posted by customers as they put the Tufx Wheelbarrow through all kinds of crazy tests of strength and durability, you can see why it is well known in the industry as the strongest plastic tray wheelbarrow in the world!


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