Old Fashioned | Lawn and Garden | Carts | Wheelbarrow | Gardening | Equipment
What has happened to all the good lawn and garden equipment like they made in the 50s and 60s?
Where has all the good stuff gone? It could very well be written into a country and western song.......
Oh, my aching back! How I wish for grandpa's little old American made garden wagon. We used it all the time to haul tons of stuff and even the dog a wagging. It was made from steel and American pride. We could stack it high and roll it a country mile wide. Now all I have is a broken down imported wagon. My old dog is no longer wagging and my back is aching for some of that old American pride.
The type of homeowner lawn and garden equipment that was built in the 50s and 60s is now basically being sold to commercial landscapers and contractors, or no longer even available.
Over the past 45 years American consumers have seen a steady decline in the quality of lawn and garden equipment in everything from, garden tractors, Implements, wheelbarrows, garden carts, wagons and garden tools.
The average homeowner has a difficult time finding industrial grade lawn and garden equipment.
They also have a hard time in justifying some of the prices for such heavy made equipment if they happen to stumble into a contractor supply house.
As we age we begin to appreciate quality lawn and garden equipment that takes the back breaking fatigue out of our lives.
Even as important, the equipment that we buy on limited incomes just has to last for the lifetime that we have left to enjoy it in our senior years.
As baby boomers we were brought up in an era where we experienced the good stuff.
Now that we are reaching a point to really enjoy gardening we see our purchasing options for quality lawn and garden equipment being greatly diminished over the years.
Unfortunately what is being sold in most home centers and big box discount stores can sometimes create more problems.
Things just aren't being built to last as they used to be.
Most of the stuff you have to drag home in a box and assemble.
By the time you pull it out of the box you begin to have buyer’s remorse.
Up close you can see and feel just how flimsy and cheap the materials are made of.
Taking it back and dealing with the hassle of loading and unloading is just not always worth the time and effort to return it and start over.
Then where would you go to start over?
Even the more famous merchants that have longstanding reputations of selling only the very best lawn and garden equipment over the years are really mostly selling all the same stuff now as everyone else.
They simply have had it plain labeled under their brand name and painted a different color.
It seems to be reproducing as well, just because it’s that famous green doesn't mean it is of the green heritage that made it so famous.
Even big green is struggling for market share.
That's what has happened to most all of the old companies that were making quality American products at one time.
As the large discounts stores began to move in for the consumer the American Icon's felt they had to retool to cheaper products in order to keep market share.
It was the time when plastic parts could be massed produced and replaced metal parts.
Stamped metal parts could be made in a fraction of the time and save so much on labor over traditional welded and hand forged parts.
It was also a time when manufactures began to justify to themselves that if they kept building stuff to last, soon they would be out of business.
Manufactures somehow rationalized, no one would ever need to buy it again so, stuff would have to be built to break down for parts or complete replacement.
Back in the 50s and 60s planned obsolescence wasn't a term ever used or even thought of.
Growing up I can remember visiting my grandparents, aunts and uncles and helping them out in the lawn, gardens and orchards.
They used wagons and carts built in the 1940s-1960s.
Now that’s the stuff that I have been craving to find again.
Equipment back then was built in a time when the metal thickness on a wagon bed might be thick as ¼”.
Now it’s sold in gauge decimals that require you to have conversion chart to figure out the equivalent thickness to an inch.
The axles and tongue were made out of welded metal and not stamped out of sheet metal as things are made today.
They used cotter keys and snap pins to hold the wheels on to thick heavy duty axles.
Now it's one of those plastic top friction caps snapped on the end of a little thin axle.
You also didn't have all of this plastic poly stuff either. In fact back then plastics weren't even invented yet.
Things were bolted or welded together in a solid bead and not spot welded or riveted as they are now.
And the wheels, darn that cheap imported stuff! Every time you go to use this new stuff the air has leaked out of the tires because the seal just won’t hold.
No inner tubes these days I guess.
The tires are also so paper thin that they dry rot quickly when left outside even for short periods.
Out with the 4-ply and in with the single ply.
Need parts?, expect to be charged an arm and leg to buy a replacement part on something that should of never have worn out so quickly in the first place.
Lawn and Garden Equipment USA made the old fashioned way.
Well we found that good lawn and garden equipment still being made in the USA just as it was in the 50s and 60s.
When we were able to put our hands on it we knew we were either transported back into a time machine or we just found someone who still carried enough to build stuff the old fashioned way.
The wagons, carts and wheelbarrows could be considered and used as commercial compared to today’s standards.
They are just being made and used by everyday people who depend on the equipment to live in the sustainable living Amish communities.
The Amish don’t care about market share, corporate profits or planned obsolescence.
Amish are also not into large fat corporate structures with share holders.
Most Amish shops are small cottage based businesses owned and operated by the same family for generations.
Surprisingly the prices aren't that far off the mark either for what you might pay for a cheaply made version at a discount store.
Since Amish good suppliers are not in every city, so, shipping cost can become a factor.
Depending on where you live it can get a bit salty on the shipping, but pay for what you get.
The longevity of not having to replace something far out ways the cheaper quality products in the longer term.
Heavier made stuff also just seems to work better and operates smoother, making the lawn and garden task more enjoyable.
What types of Amish Lawn and Garden Equipment is available?
Amish made dump wagons are made with 1/8” welded aluminum.
Heavy duty tandem axles distribute the weight evenly and the complete dump out capabilities makes the job go much faster.
They come fully assembled in three sizes, the smaller size can be UPS shipped the larger sizes are shipped truck freight.
The dump wagons can be equipped with either a hand pull hitch, tractor pull hitch or combination hand/tractor pull hitch.
You can also purchase the dump wagons with different tires for different applications and hauling weights.
Those easy rolling industrial nursery wagons that you find only in nurseries while shopping for plants and trees are also available in three different sizes.
These aren't the look a like impostors being sold in the discount stores either.
These wagons are rated to haul up to 1100 lbs and up with heavy duty turf tires.
You can also find the popular two wheel garden carts with the large wire spoke easy rolling air tires.
This two wheel garden cart even has a unique bed made out of fiberglass.
It almost reminds you of a bathtub on wheels and is perfect for wet material and muck applications such as cleaning out manure and straw for composting.
It's also perfect for hauling gains and other livestock bulk feed.
Welded frame rubber tire wagon gear is also available to make your own wagons.
The model 1200 gear will haul up to 1200 lbs. It is being used to build all types of wagons used by the Amish from pony wagons to garden and equipment carts.
If you really want a powered wheelbarrow but couldn't afford the commercial brands, the EZ Motorized Wheelbarrow just may be what you have been looking for.
It’s a two wheel front mount motorized wheelbarrow with two trolley wheels on the back.
The four cycle motor requires no oil mixed gasoline and is built with a lubrication system and carburetor that will run even when the wheelbarrow Is being dumped, turning the motor upside down.
The EZ Motorized Wheelbarrow also has a heavy duty fiberglass tub that is being used in Amish construction projects hauling rocks, gravel and even concrete.
Other Amish made garden tools are also available from hand push garden cultivators to small hand garden tools.
Amish reproduction express wagons, buckboards, and wheelbarrows are very popular garden and yard décor items.
For those who do not live close to the Amish, or know where to find their products, you can purchase them online at such stores as Cottage Craft Works .com.
Cottage Craft Works has one of the largest online offerings of Amish farm and garden equipment located under the farm and garden tab on the home page.
Home goods and Kitchen items as well as hunting products are also available.
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