Also referred to as trollies, hand trucks are among the most valuable pieces of material handling equipment for facilities of all sizes, including convenience stores, warehouses, manufacturing plants and everything in between. These simple machines allow you to carry odd-shaped items and containers from one place to another safely and efficiently. By taking advantage of an industrial hand truck, you reduce the risk of straining your body from the stress that comes with repetitive lifting. Even if you’re lifting light loads, constant lifting and bending can lead to health problems.
Industrial hand trucks come in a wide range of designs and can be made from a couple of different materials. Depending on the size and capacity, they can be made of aluminum, durable plastic, or heavy-duty steel. The first two are meant for more lightweight lifting, while heavy-duty steel is meant for serious commercial applications. Besides the materials it is made of, when shopping for an industrial hand truck, there are a few important factors to consider in order to get the right one for your specific job.
First and foremost, you need to consider all the different available hand truck designs. The three most popular designs include convertible, upright and specialty. Upright models are typically suited for loads that weigh less than 250kg. However, there are some heavy-duty upright models that can move more. Convertible models, on the other hand, feature 4 wheels instead of only 2, and that makes them more versatile as you can use them in a cart-like way, as well as in an upright way. These models are designed to carry heavier loads. Lastly, specialty trucks are made for carrying specific items like crates, furniture, bags or machinery.
After you’ve decided on your preferred design, you need to consider the load capacity. The load capacity is there for safety reasons, and the limit is always listed on the spec sheet or on the hand truck itself. You shouldn’t try going above the listed weight as it can cause the truck to break or tip over, which can lead to injuring people and damaging expensive items.
The load capacity is often co-related to the hand truck’s construction. As aforementioned, hand trucks are typically made of heavy-duty steel or aluminium. Steel trucks can withstand the heaviest loads, simply because they’re also reinforced with double welds and feature added support in the parts that experience a lot of pressure. Aluminium ones, although not as strong, are more lightweight, and with the proper reinforcement, they can also carry heavy loads.