5 Things to Consider When Buying Hand Trucks

Illustration of a hand truck with boxes

A hand truck is an invaluable material handling device. Also known as a dolly or stack truck, it consists of an L-shaped frame with wheels on the bottom and a pair of handles at the top. You can place boxes and other loads on the bottom lip, after which you can roll them to a different location. It’s an easier, as well as a safer, way to move otherwise heavy loads than by manually lifting and carrying them.

#1) Load Capacity

You should consider the load capacity when buying hand trucks. While all hand trucks can support at least some weight, some hand trucks have a higher load capacity than others. Think about how much the loads you intend to move weigh, and choose a hand truck with an appropriate load capacity to accommodate.

#2) Height

Always check the height when shopping for new hand trucks. Height refers to the distance from the bottom lip, also known as a nose, to the top. Some hand trucks have a height of 50 inches, whereas others measure 60 inches or taller. If a hand truck is too short, you may find yourself bending over to push or pull it. If it’s too tall, conversely, you may struggle to reach the handles.

#3) Folding vs Non-Folding Lip

Hand trucks are available in two different lip styles: folding and non-folding. Non-folding is the most common lip style. It consists of a fixed piece of flat metal that extends from the hand truck’s frame at the bottom. A folding lip also extends from the frame at the bottom. As the name suggests, though, you can fold it up or down. Folding-lip hand trucks are great for small spaces since you can fold up the fold when you are finished using them.

#4) Stair Climbing

If you’re planning to use them over stairs, you should consider choosing stair-climbing hand trucks. Like all hand trucks, they feature an L-shaped frame with wheels and a pair of handles. Stair-climbing hand trucks, however, are distinguished from their counterparts by their use of extra wheels. Rather than only two wheels on the bottom, they typically have four to six wheels. The presence of these extra wheels allows them to easily climb stairs.

#5) Material

While nearly all hand trucks are made of metal, they are available in different types of metal. Aluminum is a common material in which hand trucks are made. Aluminum hand trucks are lightweight, inexpensive and offer a high level of protection against corrosion. Other hand trucks are made of steel. Steel hand trucks are heavier than those made of aluminum, but they are typically stronger and more durable.

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