What are the different types of hand trucks and dollies available

By | March 24, 2016

Different Types of Hand Trucks and Dollies

In a previous post, we talked about selecting the best hand truck based on its features like capacity, shape, size and utility. You can read the post here.

In this post we shall take a look at the different types of hand trucks and dollies available in the market.

Often times the terms hand trucks and dollies have been used interchangeably. Much as they may be having a few similarities, they are different. Before we can discuss the different types of hand trucks and dollies, let’s first make a distinction between the two.

A dolly is a flat four-point cart used for moving weighty load. Some dollies are designed with rounded rubber or plastic corners to protect the load being moved while still others will have a sturdy textured platform for a firm hold on your load.

A simple roller dolly will be suitable for you if your surface is rather straight without corners or turns to maneuver, otherwise one with swivel casters comes in handy.

This post explains to you the various features and types of hand trucks available in the market and their suitability to their design.

1. Furniture, Appliance or Box Dollies

Dollies can be furniture dolly for moving furniture and less fragile cargo of up to 1000 pounds, appliance dolly for carrying delicate but heavy and bulky appliances like refrigerator, or box dolly for carrying lighter items like empty boxes.

Sparco Folding Platform Truck, 660 lbs Blue (SPR02040)

Sparco Folding Platform Truck, 660 lbs Blue (SPR02040)

The appliance dolly is fitted with straps to hold firm the cargo being moved and stair climbers for ease of moving up and down the stairs. However, for the staircase, hand trucks are the most suitable.

To learn about the best platform and flatbed hand trucks, check this previous post –

Top 5 Best Platform/Flatform Hand Trucks and Dollies - Reviews and comparisons

2. Upright, convertible or specialty hand trucks

A hand truck on the other hand is typically an upright two-wheeled cart. The convertible ones come with extra two wheels for easier conversion to a 4-point hand truck or an assisted hand truck which can be maneuvered with only one hand.

Harper Trucks Nylon Convertible Hand Truck and Dolly

Harper Trucks Nylon Convertible Hand Truck and Dolly

Hand trucks are designed to move lesser weight of up to 600 lbs compared to the dollies like packed boxes. Hand trucks can be convertible, two-wheel upright or specialty types.

The convertible type has the ability to carry load as a two-wheeler or when extended out to a 4-wheeled platform truck. Warehouses and stores are fond of platform hand trucks because their load bed provides ample space for bulky items.

Some hand trucks have 360-degree rotating wheels that are important for maneuverability.

A previous post talks about the best convertible hand trucks. Check it out here –

The top 5 best Convertible Hand Trucks in 2016 - reviews and comparison

3. Heavy Duty or standard Hand truck

Hand trucks can also be heavy duty or standard. The standard hand truck is ideal for the small business or homeowner as it is suitable for a load capacity of 600 lbs or less. They are commonly made of aluminum material which is light in weight but tough. Aluminum presents easier maneuverability compared with to steel.

Heavy duty models on the other hand are usually constructed with steel or a mix of steel and aluminum (steel frames and aluminum platform). They are used mostly for heavy commercial functions because they are designed for more than 600 lbs load capacity. Steel is the toughest and most durable material.

4. Folding Hand trucks

For the traveler, a folding hand truck presents a good option because it can be folded to fit in car trunks, plane’s overhead compartment, closet, or be hang from a hook in the garage.

The food and beverage distributors like this truck because they are always moving around and need it during distribution.

Portable Hand Truck

Portable Hand Truck


People choose hand trucks or dollies based on their specific needs. To get the right tool for your task, it is important to first evaluate what you need it for. A good choice will give you utmost convenience and ease.

If you find yourself considering a next buy a short time after purchasing your hand truck, you probably did not get the right truck. It is better to take your time evaluating your needs than get the wrong tool for the job.

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