How to choose the best Hand Truck for your needs

By | March 23, 2016

Select the right Hand truck

Manual handling of loads can be defined as lifting, holding, moving, pushing, pulling, putting down, or carrying load that is inanimate or animate. This tends to be strenuous especially where it is a repetitive task or where one has to handle heavy or otherwise bulky weight.

Hand trucks are useful tools when it comes to handling weight. Different types of handtrucks are designed for a wide range of load handling tasks.

They are essential for making work easier and saving time. Furthermore, they are used as a safety measure to prevent injuries that may result from manual handling.

Cosco Shifter Multi-Position Heavy Duty Folding Hand Truck and Dolly

Cosco Shifter Multi-Position Heavy Duty Folding Hand Truck and Dolly

They do not only protect the handlers, they are useful for protecting load too.
What would you look out for in a hand truck when planning to purchase ? This post helps you understand various features of hand trucks and how to select the best one for your needs.

There are three major categories of hand trucks, upright, convertible and specialty hand trucks and they are designed for different tasks, although the convertibles tend to be more versatile as to handle varying tasks.

Apart from the three categories, many factors inform the choice of an ideal hand truck. In order to select the right tool, it is important to ask yourself some few questions.

1. For what purpose do I need a hand truck

Handtruck uses vary from small weight or light weight, stair climbing or flat surface, delicate or non-delicate load, occasional or repetitive use to name but a few.

For this reason, handtrucks usually have different features to match their function. For instance, a three-wheel tire orientation like that of the UpCart – The All-Terrain Stair Climbing Folding Cart is best for moving weight up and down stairs while the simple single-wheel design would be ideal on a flat surface.

Secondly, a small scale home user would appreciate a magna personal cart because of its size and 150pound load capacity. This same cart may not be an option for heavy commercial use of up to 1000 pounds.

For a user with varying non-defined tasks, the convertible handtruck works well. These are usually 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 and can be converted to a two-wheel upright truck, a four-point flatform, or an assisted 4-wheel truck.

Specialty handtrucks on the other hand have taken versatility a notch higher to tasks that are more specific. Most stair climbing handtrucks are specialty trucks because they are specifically designed for the staircase. A special feature that adapts them to the stair case is their three-wheel configuration.

If you are handling delicate load, you may consider a handtruck with textured platform to prevent them from slipping off the truck. On the other hand wide tires are good for heavy loads because they increase stability.

2. How much space do I have

The ability to fold makes storage and transportation convenient. Space requirement is one of the most important factors that users consider when buying handtrucks. Apart from storing it in the house, garage, or even the warehouse tools store, they will consider how well the handtruck fits in their car trunk.

Portable Hand Truck

Portable Hand Truck

These tools fold to different widths depending on their size and design. For instance, the Magna Cart Flatform folds to 3.5 inches while the Magna Cart Ideal Steel Folding Hand truck folds slimmer to 2 inches.

3. What type of surface will I use the truck on?

Surface is an important factor to consider. Most hand trucks come with rubber wheels that need no air. Their advantage is that they are ideal for all types of surface, whether rugged or smooth.

However all hand trucks do not perform equally well on all kind of surfaces. Therefore the wheel material and quality must be considered too.

4. Which type of material is it made of ?

Hand trucks are made of three common materials:

Aluminum – this is perhaps the most common material. It is popular because it is light in weight but very tough. It is also rust-free and therefore durability is guaranteed.

Steel – steel the toughest and most durable material. It is also light in weight but slightly heavier that aluminum. It is preferred for heavy duty and commercial use.

High impact plastic – this material is ideal for fragile weight. It is also light and tough but a bit easy on load particularly when there is impact.

5. Ergonomics

Ergonomic design takes care of safety especially when handling very heavy weight and repetitively. It is common on hand trucks used it warehouses and busy big size businesses. It minimizes the risk of straining muscles, injury, and suffering fatigue.

6. Ability to extend the handles

The length of handle is one often overlooked factor. Telescoping handles do not only suit people with different heights but also different tasks and weight. Heavy load for instance is made light with a longer handle than that of light load.


There are more factors that people consider when buying handtrucks like price, warranty and the availability of replacement parts but these are more specific to users and vary greatly.

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