While some aspects of masonry have changed drastically in recent years, methods of transporting mortar have changed very little. Masons today still rely on wheelbarrows and mortar buggies to do the bulk of that work.
The standard construction wheelbarrow is a manual, one-wheel model with a steel frame (including legs and leg brace), a 10- to 18-gauge steel tray, and wooden handles. Although construction models can hold up to 6 cubic feet of mortar, they usually are moved only when 1/2 to 3/4 filled, contractors note, because a 6-cubic-foot barrow full of mortar weighs close to 900 pounds. That's too heavy to move efficiently without spilling material -- and without suffering some strain.
The new innovations in wheelbarrows are motorized units and manual barrows with two wheels. Like a long-nosed tray single-wheeled unit, the double-wheeled barrow is designed so that when lifted, 80% of the load's weight is on the wheel and 20% on the handles. But the weight is distributed over an axle rather than just a wheel, eliminating sidesway and easing handling of an uneven load. Users say the motorized wheelbarrow increases traction in soft or uneven terrain, facilitates climbing and descending slope, and speeds retrieval and delivery of mortar to masons.
Most contractors and manufacturers define a mortar buggy as " a mortar tub with wheels." Contractors can choose motor-powered buggies which come in walk-behind, sit-down, and ride-on models.