on November 10, 2009
My daughter saved her allowance for this truck, and we were thrilled to find it on Amazon for 35% off the list price, so we really got a great deal on it. In fact we bought two - the other as a gift for our friends' son.
Let me say first: I love Green Toys. I love that they are a US-based company that recycles and makes really cool simple toys that are 100% safe. And I love the classic chunky-style of this dump truck.
However, I think it's ridiculous that the wheels don't roll on hardwood floors (our house is all hardwood floors, save for a couple area rugs). It's a notch better on the rugs, and outdoors in the grass. The wheels still seem reluctant to turn, even on terrain they can grip on. This seems like such an obvious design flaw. Didn't they test drive the dump truck before mass-producing it? I mean, we're talking wheels and an axle here, it's not rocket science.
We decided to keep it anyway, or rather my daughter did. It was her purchase, after all. She doesn't seem to mind terribly sliding it around indoors. It gets the most use in the sandbox anyway.
I guess if I had to buy it again, heck, I probably would... at least if it were on sale again. Who knows, we might add the recycle truck to the collection despite the fact I suspect it would have the same flaw... if it goes on sale. I guess it comes down to this: Do you want a safe toy? Or one that works? OK, I want both. Maybe I'll disassemble the thing and see if there's an easy fix.
In summation, this is definitely not Green Toys' best effort.
on December 22, 2010
After reading the reviews here that said this truck doesn't roll on hard floors, I decided to get it anyway, for all of its other virtues, and encouraged by the idea presented in one of the reviews here that removing the tires and adding lubricant would fix the problem.
Now that I have it in my hands, I can attest that yes, it does have a problem rolling on hard floors. And the lubrication idea mentioned elsewhere doesn't fully address the problem. As it turns out, it's a combination of four minor design flaws that causes the rolling problem. To an extent, they can be addressed.
1) The shafts the tires are mounted on are too tight. This is the most noticeable inhibitor of rolling, and the one issue addressed by the "adding lubricant" idea. Instead of an axle which runs all the way under the truck between two opposing tires, each individual wheel is mounted on its own plastic post. The post is split at the end - think of an old-fashioned clothespin - and the tension causes a little drag on the wheel. Removing each wheel and pinching the ends of each post together pretty much eliminates this problem, loosening the wheels and allowing them to spin.
2) The rolling surface of each tire is not flat, that is, not parallel to the ground. If you look at the tire from the side, you can see that each tire is slightly beveled, with the wider side against the body and the narrower side facing outward. When rolling on a hard, flat surface, only the inner part of each tire's surface is actually in contact with the floor. This leaves each tire more vulnerable to any binding/catching that's happening elsewhere. This issue can't be resolved.
3) The tires aren't perfectly circular. If you take off a wheel and look at it from the back, you see that the flared/wider side of the tire - the part that comes in contact with the ground - is not a perfect circle. Rather, it's very slightly oblong, which creates high and low spots when the wheel rolls. When the truck rolls, some tires can get stuck in a high or low spot and disrupt the rolling motion. This can be remedied to an extent by squeezing the (hard plastic) tires in your hands to even out their shape a bit.
4) The undercarriage of the truck comes too close to the tires. In one spot for each tire, just in front of the front tires and just behind the back tires, the inner "walls" that run behind the tires come too close to the tires, and due to the uneven shape of the tires, they sometimes come in contact with the tire and snag it/bog it down. This can be remedied to an extent by bending the walls of the undercarriage inward at these points, giving the tires a bit more clearance.
Even after doing all these things, the truck still doesn't roll perfectly on hard floors. Much better than when it comes out of the box, yes, but not perfect. But it rolls on carpet and the like very smoothly and easily - no hangups at all.
Design-wise, this would be a snap to fix. I also have a Sprig toy recycle truck, and it has a metal axle connecting opposing tires, which roll flat against the ground. The result: smooth, easy rolling motion on any surface. The Green Toys design, with each wheel attached separately to its own plastic post, a beveled rolling surface, imperfectly round tires, and binding spots between the tires and body, is simply inferior. These things are off only slightly, but enough.
All of this sounds like a bad review. Not necessarily. While I'm disappointed in the poorly-thought-out aspects of the wheel design, this is a solid toy with a great bed - it's roomy, well enclosed, and dumps smoothly and easily. Also, it's made in the USA, uses recycled plastic, and is recyclable itself (has the #2 symbol on the bottom). And it's non-toxic, BPA-free plastic, to boot.
So it may come down to priorities. Do you buy the department-store big-name truck that rolls perfectly smoothly but is made in China with possibly toxic materials? Or do you choose the imperfect toy that's made in the US by an American company using recycled, non-toxic materials? A third option would be the Sprig toys, which combine North American and foreign aspects, and also have non-toxic ingredients, and are designed better.
Good luck with your decision.
on November 23, 2010
This is indeed a nice truck, but as others have commented, it does not roll well (or at all) on hardwood floors. Fortunately, all the wheels need is a little lubricant. Remove the red hub cap by pressing in the three clips on the back side of the wheel. Once that's removed, you can squeeze the axle together with a pair of needle nose pliers and remove the wheel. I applied a few drops of TriFlow to the inside of each wheel where it meets the axle. You don't need much and could probably use any variety of lubricants. Reassemble, and after five minutes of work, this little dump truck will roll like it should have out of the box!
on August 11, 2009
The reviewers are raving for a good reason, it's the greenest, safest, srturdiest truck I have seen (please let me know if you know much better).
I bought this for my 13 mos. old son, and as soon as I gave it to him he was very interested and didn't want to let go. No problems with the wheels for us(as some mentioned).
It's fun, educational, sturdy, very durable and ecologically responsible. I try to do some research on the toys I get for my kids (yes..I am a bit picky), especially when it comes to BPA and other harmful chemicals. I am happy that we make it right here at home.
20 April 2015 - Edit Review: It's been almost 6 years since we've owned it, it's all in one piece and survived our 4 kids and a few hundred playdates over the years. Currently my 11mos old is "fascinated" with it and wants to play with it everywhere (we do have hardwood floors, and we take it outside on the concrete/grass/sand too). In fact, all of our green toys products and toys are still in excellent condition, no cracks or broken off pieces. Very easy to clean too! I can't get over the quality of this plastic, super durable. I'm a big fan of green toys and truly appreciate environmentally responsible AMERICAN company that makes awesome (great quality) toys for children. If you had the same in your country you would be proud too!!!!
Keep it coming, Green Toys!
on June 8, 2010
We got this truck and the recycling truck for our son's first birthday. They are durable and I prefer their appearance to most of the trucks on the market these days.
I had read the reviews about these trucks not rolling on hardwood floors, but they work great on ours. The only time they don't roll is if you push them away from you, at which point some of the wheels don't roll the entire time, but the truck doesn't stop moving. We got them to use in the sandbox and they are great for transporting my son's little treasures around the backyard.
on March 9, 2016
We LOVE GREEN TOYS! All Green Toys are hot items in our home.Some reviews mention the wheels not turning on hardwood floors. We have carpet and tile and have had no issues We have so many of them! My 3 and 1 year old love them. The bright colors are visually appealing. I feel that they are safe for my kids to use and paly with since they are made from recycled milk jugs. I also think the "green" aspect is WONDERFUL! These toys are heavy duty. They go to the pool, beach, dirt, park, bathtub - EVERYWHERE! They are thrown, kicked, stepped on and still in PERFECT condition. Super easy to clean, just throw them in the dishwasher. No bells and whistles which means my kids can use their imagination. I love that they don't require batteries, aren't noisy and do not have any stickers that will peel off. These are super high quality and worth every penny. I recommend these toys to ALL parents. The dump truck is one of my boys' favorites! Thanks for making such a great product!