Full disclosure: I blog for WORX, so for one of my posts they sent me an Aerocart for free.
When I got the offer to blog for WORX, I checked out their product lineup. Having used pro grade equipment for my entire adult life I’m not usually too excited by stuff made for the homeowner market. Take my string trimmer, for example. I only use it at my property, and can we be honest? I don’t trim and edge every single time I mow. That said, having used commercial lawn equipment for so long, I get easily frustrated by non-commercial equipment. There’s something about the weight and the power that feels wrong in my big fat hands.
The Aerocart appealed to me, though, because it looks really smartly designed. I may have mentioned that I have two blown lumbar discs and some days even walking is hard. Products that are ergonomically designed are a good bet for me. I was also drawn to the slightly lower capacity of the Aerocart, since the less I’m lugging around the less likely I am to further damage myself. So I was super stoked when I got the call from my receptionist that my package was in.
I’m pretty handy with tools, finding the jokes about how hard IKEA stuff is to assemble to be pretty pathetic. Still I was expecting it to be something of a hassle to unbox and assemble my shiny new Aerocart. Boy, was I wrong. The handles slid right into place and locked with a spring loaded pin, and the wheels slid on and were held with cotter pins. Done. It took longer to break the box down for recycling than it did to set up the cart. Score one for the designers.
I have a big steel wheelbarrow and while I’m not the fittest of guys, I have no trouble using it (unlike the woman in the WORX Aerocart infomercial who dumped a wheelbarrow in a classic “for reals?” infomercial move). I was really excited about the dolly capability of the Aerocart because while I own a dolly, the tires always go flat between uses. For that reason the dolly lives in the back of the shed and when I have to choose between digging it out, putting it in the truck, driving to 7-11, filling the tires, and driving back, or just manhandling whatever it is that I need to move… well, I’m not a patient man, which is why I’m a regretful man. The Aerocart’s tires won’t go flat, which means I’ll actually use it.
So I flipped the dolly plate down and got to hauling. The trash can full of crap? No issues. The 3’x4′ slab of stone, 6″ thick, that probably weighed north of 400 pounds? Yeah, that was a problem. The Aerocart is rated for up to 300 pounds and I bent the dolly plate a little by exceeding the limit. Let me just say, though, that WORX isn’t lying about the ergonomics. Between the placement of the wheels relative to the load and the size and placement of the handles, it was pretty easy to wheel the stone slab over to where it needed to go. Bottom line: I can’t fault WORX for not accommodating a load way in excess of the stated capacity, but I will totally applaud them for making said load easy to move around.
I also used the Aerocart to move bags of mulch around the yard and I will say, that’s a great use for this tool. Instead of wrestling with a wet, heavy 3 cubic foot bag of mulch to get it up over the sides of the wheelbarrow, the Aerocart let me just slide it across the ground onto the extension arms, and slide it off when I got there.
This year I finally bought a cherry tree for the backyard. We had it delivered to a client’s site along with his plant order, his guys put it in my truck, and I took it home. The tree was a mini-beast. Nursery standard puts the weight of a 2″ caliper tree at about 400 pounds and this rootball was a sopping wet bag of mud after sitting outside in the rain overnight. I slid the tree off the truck and hooked up the Aerocart. I lowered the extension arms and tried to fit the rock mesh sling that came with the cart to the rootball. Too small. Huh.
So I dug under the seat of the truck and pulled out some ratchet straps, hooked the ends to the wire basket of the tree, and lifted the tree with the Aerocart. Or tried to, anyhow. Turns out that I hadn’t read the manual thoroughly enough to see that while the Aerocart will do 300 pounds in the bin or on the dolly, the extension arms? 80 pounds. I tilted back on the cart and promptly bent the extension arms. Idiot.
Now picture the scene: I’m standing there, annoyed that a) it didn’t work and b) I broke my Aerocart. My wife and I established years ago that we shouldn’t do DIY projects together because that’s one area where we’re oil and water. She’s just finished telling me that she told me the tree was too heavy and now we needed a machine and there’s no way we’re moving the tree by hand, and I’ve just lost it and channeled Unikitty and yelled “why are you being so negative? You need to be more positive!”
Then it hit me that because of the curved shape of the hopper, I could use the Aerocart as a tree dolly! Sure enough I was able to slide the bottom plate under the tree and tilt it back, where the rootball was cradled in the hopper. Because the wheels are in the absolute perfect place to balance a load I glided across the yard with my cherry tree and deposited it right next to its future home.
Conclusion – would I buy the WORX Aerocart?
Right now the Aerocart is $160 on WORX’s site. At that price, if you’re a homeowner who does a bunch of projects around the house and you’re not an idiot with your tools, I think it’s well worth getting. Out of the box it comes with the strap for moving around pots, the mesh for moving around stone, the insert for carrying tanks/bottles, and the attachment for hanging trashbags for leaf pickup (or in my case, picking up all the pods my sweetgum tree drops). The accessory that turns the Aerocart into a wagon with a seat? Don’t much care, I’d probably never use it (plus it only holds up to 300 lbs and I’m… not svelte). However, the 20 gallon water bag that fits in the cart? That’s great, and for twenty bucks I’ll grab one. I just planted a tree (as discussed above) down at the far end of my yard. It’s not that far, but if I can avoid schlepping a hose all the way down there? I’m in.
This cart is a perfect gift, too, for that relative who loves to do stuff around the yard. I would get this for someone like my dad, who would have respected the cart’s limits and also loved that he could store a dolly, a garden cart, and more in a very small footprint in the garage. Bottom line: the Aerocart isn’t for jobsite use but it’s a pretty cool little homeowner tool.