Re-inflating a Tubeless Wheelbarrow or Hand Truck Tire (without Explosives)





Introduction: Re-inflating a Tubeless Wheelbarrow or Hand Truck Tire (without Explosives)

I have simplified a way to re-inflate small tires on around the house devices such as wheelbarrows and hand trucks with tubeless tires.
I had a hand truck sitting under my deck for several years and the tires subsequently went flat. 

After trying unsuccessfully trying to wrap the tire with a rope and twisting with a screwdriver, I decided to try a simpler method.


Step 1: Tools You Will Need

You will need the following tools

Deflated tubeless tire
Side cutters
Half a dozen zip ties.
Air pump

Step 2: Clean the Tire Rim Seal of Debris.

Remove any dirt, grass, bugs, etc from within the tire and from the rim seal.
After sitting for two years, my tire had all of the above.

Step 3: Attach Several Zip Ties Together Then Attach to Tire.

Attach several zip ties 3/4 the circumference of the tire
Surround the tire with the zip ties.
Add additional zip tie (if needed)  to completely surround tire with zip ties.

Step 4: Attach Zip Ties Around Tire and Secure With Additional Zip Tie

Tighten BY HAND the zip ties. I found that if I tightened two zip ties opposite each other, it was easier to tighten an additional zip tie without risking completely tightening one zip tie into one of the other zip ties.

Step 5: Tighten Zip Ties and Inflate

Tighten the zip ties while stepping on tire. This will allow for addtional tightening of the zip ties.The goal is to force the sidewalls of the tire against the rim.

Inflate tire with compressor or bike pump.

Step 6: Once Seal Has Been Established, Remove Zip Ties With Side Cutters

Once seal has been established, remove zip ties with side cutters, being sure to only cut the zip tie, and not the tire.
Enflate to desired pressure.

Step 7: Additional Help

I found that one of my tires needed a little "encouragement". I stomped down on the tire while my son pumped air. This helped make a seal and I was in business.

I also was able to reuse all but one zip tie for the second tire on my hand truck. Remember you only need to cut one of the zip ties to release the tire.

Save the zip ties that are attached to each other for future use on a similar project.

I apologize for the mediocre photos. When I took the photos I handed the camera to my son and said "take some photos". I was not sure it would work. When it did, I wished I had taken better photos ;)

My first publised Instructable! "Long time listener, first time caller".



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    60 Discussions

    I had tried everything and was ready to just go buy another tire for my hand truck when I came across this. Great idea that works like a charm! Within 5 minutes the truck was ready for use again. Thanks!

    1 reply

    Good to hear, Harry. I added some of the green slime ( to the rim before applying the zip ties to increase the life of the seal. Some older tires suffer from aging in the elements, such is the case with mine.

    I've actually had to go back and do this several times to the same hand truck. It's over 10 years old now.

    I used pliers, to tighten, around in a worked fine.

    1 reply

    Makes sense to me! Thanks for the tip.

    If you use a compressor (or air tank like me) the first burst of air may both seal the bead, and violently burst the zip-ties... stand clear, and use eye protection.

    1 reply

    Good to know. I didn't have an air compressor at the time.

    I was just about to purchase new wheels for handtruck out of frustration of many failed attmpts to inflate tires.... this worked like a charm! Thank you!!

    1 reply

    I love fixing things myself but keep running into roadblocks. I'd watched a video on how to replace a truck tire that looked so easy & thought I'd be done in less than an hour. Guess I've lost strength in my old age. So, back to google & I found this. It inflated so quick one of the Ty-wraps slipped loose, they popped off & voila!! I have a functional wheelbarrow again. You saved the day! Thank you SO MUCH for your wonderful idea and your pictures were just fine. Laurie

    Thank you for posting your brilliant solution. I used a canvas belt on my flat hand-truck tire and it worked beautifully.

    1 reply

    That's a great idea too. Everything I tried at the time worked ok, but the trouble came when I was trying to release whatever I had used "squash" down the tire. In one case (when using a ratchet strap) once the tire was partially inflated, I attempted to release the strap and it came off so fast that the metal part of the strap hit my hand, causing a nice bruise.

    I realize this is an old thread, but wanted to thank you for posting the how-to. It worked like a charm, in under 5 minutes, on my neighbor's old wheelbarrow that I borrowed today, saving me a trip to a tire store or service station. (I knew there was a reason I'd saved a bag of super-long zip ties all these years!)

    1 reply

    Worked like a charm on a pneumatic tire for my chipper/shredder/vac. Fiddled with the dang thing for an hour before doing a search for "trouble filling tubeless tire". I used some 1/4" rope, hit it with my compressor(Which I literally wanted to do at one point) and it was filled in seconds.


    1 reply

    I tried a rope as well without success. If I had my air compressor setup at the time that would have made it easier as well!

    Thank you so much for this idea! You saved my bacon (I had a flat on my snowblower). The zip ties I had on hand were not so heavy duty, so I just kept inflating until they snapped right off. Anyway, I am so glad that your idea worked out for me. when I was in a pinch.

    1 reply

    Thank you for the complements. I too was in a bind at the time and had tried several things, all of which failed. I tried rachet straps, which nearly broke my finger when I released it. I tried twisting a piece of rope around it and that didn't work either.