Moving large, bulky boxes and sacks around requires a lot of physical effort. Dollies and hand trucks can be very helpful. Although hand trucks can be called many things, including dolly, cart, sack truck, and trundler, they are basically L-shaped machines that are used to move large and heavy objects. There is a handle at the top of the L. The bottom portion can be used as a platform to slide under boxes or appliances. To lift the item off the ground, the user tilts the hand truck backward.
Many people believe hand trucks are the same, and that they don’t differ much from each other. In fact, there are many options. You can find other types of dolly or hand trucks in the form of a platform with wheels and a handle. Some models can be converted into hand trucks for stair climbing. Also, some folding models that can be stored in your trunk and sturdy platforms can carry hundreds of pounds.
The best dolly for you will depend on what kind of work it does. Their main purpose is to ease the physical strain and give leverage to one person to complete the moving task.
We reviewed them to help you distinguish the differences and highlight those that could be the deciding factor in your purchase. This list contains all the information you need to make an informed decision about which hand truck is best for your situation.
Best Hand Trucks and Dolly
1 used from $115.86
- Smooth maneuvering and easy glide with solid rubber tires
- Adjustable handle and easy to swith structure
- Glass filled nylong plastic frame
- Item weight: 19.26 pounds
- Capacity: 300 lb dolly and 400 lb cart
- Some reports of missing parts on arrival.
- A bit tricky to assemble for some people.
- Suitable for moving light items
- Save storage space
- Foldable aluminum frame with rubber wheels
- Item weight: 7 pounds
- Capacity: 150 pounds
- Occasional reports of handle bending after a period of use.
- Can’t carry heavy things. Better under 100 pounds
- Collapsible handle with ergonomic padded grip
- No assembly required
- Foldable aluminum frame with rubber wheels
- Item weight: 10 pounds
- Capacity: 275 pounds
- Occasional wheel problems
- Capacity is not as advertised.
- Easy to convert to various positions
- Steel structure with never-flat tires
- Easy to maneuver looped handle
- Item weight: 29.2 pounds
- Capacity: 800 pounds
- A few complaints about handles
- The maximum capacity is less than the advertised weight.
2 used from $65.59
- FOLDING HAND CART – Lightweight industrial-grade trolley helps moving heavy objects. Save your back and carry things around with the right tool for the job. Perfect for use at home, office, business, travel or shopping. Let our rugged dolly do the heavy lifting.
- PREMIUM PORTABLE UTILITY AND MOVING CART – Constructed from Aluminum alloy and rated to hold up to 264 lbs. Included bungee cord secures the loads to the hand truck. Large rubber wheels generate no noise and roll smoothly.
- Telescopic handle with soft rubber foam grip
- Aluminum alloy frame with rubber wheels
- Item weight: 12.6 pounds
- Capacity: 264 pounds
- A few reports of wheels breakage
2 used from $66.06
- Easily collapsible for compact storage
- Back-saving when gliding up and downstairs
- Come with a removable storage bag
- Item weight: 7 pounds
- Capacity: 150 pounds
- Not for carrying heavy stuff
What to Consider When Buying a Dolly and Hand Truck?
Dolly or hand truck types
There are three main hand truck types to choose from Upright, Folding, and Convertible. Let’s take a look at each one individually and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.
Upright hand trucks
Upright hand trucks have been around for over several hundred years. The basic upright dollies, also known as hand trucks or sack trucks, are made of welded tubular steel with rust-resistant epoxy powder coating. The handle can be a continuation of the tube that runs around the top. It can also have an additional “P” or D-shaped loop or a pair with rubber grips. The wheels are usually made of solid rubber and mounted to plain wheels. The ball bearings of the wheels make it move easily and smoothly.
Upright dollies can be used for simple, hassle-free lifting. It can help you carry heavy objects up to 500 pounds. Because it works, the design has not changed much over several hundred years. Although they are relatively inexpensive, heavy-duty models can be quite expensive. In addition, upright hand trucks are relatively heavy and not so flexible in use.
Folding hand trucks
Folding hand trucks are popular due to their versatility and affordable prices. The main material used in folding dollies is aluminum alloy, which is lightweight and rust-resistant. Their wheels have solid rubber tires but are smaller than traditional hand trucks, and when loaded, the smaller wheels make it more difficult to maneuver. Their telescopic handle can be closed very compactly. And the nose plate and wheels can be folded flat. This makes it super easy to transport and store in the trunk or garage hook.
Aluminum alloy hand trucks can lift up 150 to 300 pounds of sacks. However, they are not as durable as traditional steel models. Heavyweight may make them break or bend.
Convertible hand trucks
It sounds like a convertible dolly should be the sporty one! These dollies can be used upright or converted quickly into four-wheeled load platforms.
Most frames are made of plastic, often nylon polymer reinforced with fiberglass to save weight. This makes it lightweight and portable, even when it is not packed. However, the strength of a plastic frame is not the same as that of steel. Steel toe plates are bolted to the frame.
The handles are typically a steel loop and sometimes telescopic with a foam-padded grip.
The main wheels are fitted with solid rubber tires. Better models come with pneumatic tires, which can provide smooth rolling. Some models may have caster wheels that are solid plastic wheels with no tires. These wheels don’t perform well on uneven ground, such as grass, or lawn. The wheels may be foldable compared to traditional upright dollies.
When it is in a four-wheeled position, the maximum load capacity of some quality models can be up to 800 pounds. Also, the cargo can be stacked stably on the platform.
According to the way that we have looked at hand trucks, stair climbers don’t actually exist as a configuration. It’s more of an addition to a hand truck than a new type. All models of stair climbers can be upright, folding, or convertible.
They can be converted to stair climbers by adding an extra set of wheels. They have three to five wheels instead of the standard one. It is similar to a fidget spinner. Each wheel takes the load and rotates as you move the stair climber along a curb or step. The operation is much more fluid and easy than the traditional stopping and starting.
The dolly that you choose will depend on what you need, but there are some general guidelines you can use.
People load and unload trucks and vans every day using basic upright dollys all around the globe. If you are that person, there is nothing more simple, durable, or cost-effective than a basic upright dolly. It will likely continue to do the job for years after your departure!
A foldable doll is the best choice if you are looking for an all-arounder. It can handle most lifting tasks. You can put it away in a corner of a shed or cupboard when you are done. It can be easily transported in your car’s trunk if you have to.
Convertible dollies are the most versatile, and will be more common in a business setting. It could prove useful if you are a hobbyist who moves all sorts of gear around. However, we believe it is most valuable when a large number of items need to be moved. Combining functions can save money in this situation. It is enough to buy one hand truck or dolly, and not two.
A stair climber is a great option if you are constantly having to climb up steps. You will be surprised by how much strain it saves after you try it.
Another important feature is the type of frame and the material used to construct the hand truck.
Steel frames were historically stronger but more prone to rust. Epoxy resin or powder coatings are now used to keep the rust away from metals for a longer time.
The aluminum tube is very light and rust-resistant, but can only withstand the lighter weight. Overload will bend aluminum frames.
Although plastic frames are lighter than steel frames, they can be less durable. Fiberglass-reinforced nylon polymers make “plastic” dollies very tough.
Many steel dollies are made with plastic components. Nylon models almost always have a steel toe plate and handle. The way a dolly is made, its capacity, weight, and flexibility should all be considered when choosing materials.
Hand trucks’ weight capacity is an important feature. Hand trucks that can carry heavy loads and large objects are the best on the market. Upright and foldable hand trucks can usually hold 150 lbs to 400 pounds. Convertible hand trucks can carry up to 800 pounds. However, the weight capacity is actually based on the strength of the material. You need to choose the most suitable hand truck types according to the items you want to move with.
Upright and folding hand trucks usually have two wheels, and convertible hand trucks have 4-6 wheels. The stair climbers can have 6-10 wheels. Good wheels have rubber tires for steady rolling. Some high-end models have pneumatic tires and flat-free polyurethane tires that provide smooth rolling on various floors.
When shopping for a new tool to move your stuff, another consideration is the weight of your hand truck. It is important to have a lightweight option that can collapse or partially collapse if you plan on traveling with your hand truck. You should ensure that the lightweight option you purchase is made from durable material and can withstand sufficient weight to hold your items.
A trusted and reliable company will usually ensure that your hand truck is high-quality. Trusted companies often offer a limited warranty that allows you to return your hand truck if it has any problems.
What Is The Difference Between A Dolly Or A Hand Truck?
A dolly is a platform that has four wheels and two axles. It can be used for transporting heavy items from one place to another. There are many different sizes and designs available, so it is easy to choose the right dolly for you. Contrary to hand trucks that can slide underneath the item, dollies require that items be lifted onto the dolly to enable them to be transported.
Dollies come in many sizes so they can easily transport larger items. The four-wheel design of dollies provides greater maneuverability and balance than hand trucks. You won’t have to worry about your items getting damaged or falling off a dolly.
Hand trucks have two large wheels and are upright. They are also designed in an “L” shape so they can slide under the item to be moved. After the item has been placed, the hand truck can be tilted backward to allow it to rest against the truck’s back.
The hand truck’s unique vertical design makes it easier to lift and move heavy and tall items than dollies. Hand trucks are great for smaller items because they can be easily stacked and moved simultaneously. Hand trucks can sometimes be equipped with extra wheels or attachments that allow for the climbing of stairs. There are also versions that can convert between horizontal and upright.
We can only say that it doesn’t matter what its name is, so long as it does the job it was designed to do.
How to Use Hand Trucks or Dollies Safely?
Check your dolly for cracks or loose wheels & screws before you use it. If it is damaged, you should not use it.
Secure the items firmly. This can prevent items from falling off.
Straighten your back when lifting. Don’t bend at the waist. Remain bent at the knees, and then squat down.
Wear work gloves. These gloves not only protect your hands but also improve your grip.
Don’t overload. Every hand truck has a maximum capacity, which is sometimes less than the manufacturer’s recommended weight limit. It’s better to start with lighter items.
Avoid tipping. Make sure that the load is evenly distributed when using a horizontal dolly. Light items should not be stacked so high that it obscures your vision. Otherwise, it may tip and cause damage to your items or even your feet.
Pushing instead of pulling. Pushing the load away from you means that it is constantly moving towards you. If you lose control, you are at little risk of it falling on your head or trapping you. You can only pull curbs and steps. But, be gentle so as not to jar your back.