A.M. Leonard GardenGlide Transportation Tote: Product Review
A unique and nifty tool for moving just about anything
Available on Amazon
When I first set eyes on the A.M. Leonard GardenGlide Transportation Tote it reminded me of my childhood. I remember those snowy days when I donned a pair of rubber boots and my winter clothes and headed out for some sledding. One of my favorite sleds was my flying saucer.
The GardenGlide is a new product that’s like my old flying saucer. The main differences are that it’s made out of 100% recycled HDPE plastic vs. aluminum and it has a raised back to prevent loads from falling off. It also has a pull rope with an attached handle that’s used to tow the GardenGlide.
So if it’s not for whooshing down frozen slopes, what’s the GardenGlide used for?
Pretty much anything that fits onto the GardenGlide’s 28.5-inch pan can be pulled across the ground, up to a maximum of 200 lbs. Unlike a wheelbarrow or garden cart, you don’t need to lift items into it (just roll them onto the pan), there are no tires to inflate, it won’t make tire marks in your garden, and it won’t tip over. Plus, because it’s flat it’s easy to store (no more taking up half your garage with a wheelbarrow).
IT HAULED 200 POUND BOULDERS
I had a large gardening project that required moving boulders that weighed about 200 lbs. There was no way that I could have lifted them into a wheelbarrow by myself. So I got out the GardenGlide and pushed a rock into the pan. To my surprise the sides of the GardenGlide didn’t bend when I rolled the rock over them. The weight depressed the sides a little but they snapped back into shape as if nothing happened.
Next came the all-important tests – could I pull the boulder by myself and would the GardenGlide hold up to the abuse of 200 pounds being dragged over gravel, asphalt, and concrete. I was amazed at how slippery the bottom of the saucer was. It felt like someone had greased the way (note: there is NO grease or other lubricant on the bottom of the GardenGlide) and I glided over all three surfaces without a hitch. I was also pleasantly surprised that the HDPE plastic base did not mar any of the surfaces.
The GardenGlide has a raised back that helps keep items safely positioned in the pan so nothing was at risk of falling off the back as I dragged it along. And because the center of gravity is low, it didn’t tip over.
I made several trips with equally large boulders from my front yard to my back yard. Each trip had the same smooth pull as my initial drag.
Easier on Your Back
In the past I’ve used the Pot Lifter (a fantastic tool that earned our Seal of Approval) to move heavy, unwieldy items like rocks. But the boulders I was moving this time were too heavy for it and put too much strain on my back.
In contrast, the GardenGlide made it possible for me to move 200 lb boulders by using my legs to do most of the work, instead of my back. I didn’t have to lift anything – I just rolled the rocks onto the pan, grabbed the handle, dug my heels into the ground, leaned away from the GardenGlide and started pulling.
My wife was also able to pull the boulders using the GardenGlide – including up a sloped concrete driveway!
THE HANDLE COULDN’T TAKE THE STRESS
The GardenGlide has a PVC type handle at the end of the towing rope to make it easier and more comfortable to hold. A nice clean splice secures the handle to the rope and there are no knots for the rope to hang up on.
I was on my third rock moving expedition when the handle bent in half. Although the tote is rated to pull 200 lbs., the towing handle could not take the stress. I found that I was still able to use the handle, but it was not as comfortable to pull as when the handle wasn’t bent.
Editor’s Note 10/13/17: After speaking with the company in October, 2017 they plan on beefing-up the handle in the Spring of 2018 so that it will take more of the heavy loads without bending.
EXTREME USE CAUSED THE BOTTOM TO WEAR THROUGH Slightly
I really put the GardenGlide through the wringer, hauling 5 extremely heavy rocks over a rough concrete walkway and gravel paths. Eventually the bottom started to wear through, but only in a very small area. I estimate that the pinhole (and only a single one at that) was only about 1/32 inch in diameter. Based on the abuse it took I was amazed that I didn’t wear a large hole straight through the bottom of the GardenGlide. With less extreme abuse, I’m certain that no holes would have appeared.
HAUL Just About Anything
Just about anything that you’d load into a wheelbarrow or cart can be transported by the GardenGlide. Cordwood, groceries, rocks, dirt, gravel, weeds, mulch, mortar and concrete mix, etc. It’s even been suggested using it in the back of your pickup truck to move heavy loads by sliding it across the bed. Anything that will fit in its 28.5 inch diameter pan can be slid across numerous surfaces.
Changing Directions – Easy Except Around Tight Corners
The rounded shape makes it relatively simple to change directions when pulling a load. In fact, you can spin it in place fairly easily.
However, since you’re pulling the load on the end of a four foot long rope (53 inches from the glide to the handle), it’s not that easy to take it around tight corners. You have to walk past the turning point yourself before you can spin the GardenGlide and then start pulling it in another direction. That’s not always possible or simple – at one point I found myself standing in the middle of a flowerbed, hauling on the rope, trying to maneuver the glide along a winding gravel pathway.
A.M. Leonard warranties the GardenGlide against material defects and workmanship.
The A.M. Leonard GardenGlide is a nifty and unique item with almost limitless transport uses. I’ll bet I could even use it as a flying saucer over the frosty snow, with the added bonus of a tow-rope to haul it back up hill!
I was impressed with the loads the GardenGlide could handle, the ease at which it slid across a wide range of surfaces, and the abuse it withstood when pushing it to extremes.
The one improvement I’d recommend is to make the handle sturdier – it was uncomfortable pulling heavy loads with a bent handle. And if the plastic was thicker, it might have greater longevity if used continuously on very abrasive surfaces.
Bottom line, I liked this useful product and highly recommend it.
WHERE TO BUY
The GardenGlide is available directly from A.M. Leonard for $34.99 + $8.99 shipping. It is also available from Amazon for $34.99 + $8.59 for shipping.
Now over to you – What’s a gardening project you’ve been putting off because of needing to move heavy items? Let us know in the comments below!
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