Recognizing the need for hand trucks to make your workplace more efficient is the easy part. What can be difficult is choosing the right hand truck from among the myriad models available. The following hand truck buying guide should simplify the selection process to help you find the hand trucks best suited to your work environment.
Standard Hand Trucks vs. Heavy Duty Hand Trucks
The chief distinction between standard and heavy duty hand trucks load capacity. Standard hand trucks are generally limited to loads of 600 pounds or less. A heavy duty hand truck is capable of carrying loads well over 600 pounds. Consider the typical load weights of your workplace to help you decide.
Material: Steel, Magnesium or Aluminum Hand Trucks
Aluminum hand trucks are both lighter and cheaper than steel, making it a sound economical choice. Of course, this means aluminum is not as strong as steel, so aluminum hand trucks have a lower load capacity.
Magnesium is 33% lighter than aluminum and is the world's lightest structural metal. This provides a very strong yet lightweight hand truck for easy maneuvering. It also makes out of the way hanging storage possible. Magnesium hand trucks are ideal for frequent lifting in and out of a delivery truck or utility van.
2 In 1 Convertible Hand Trucks
2 in 1 convertible hand trucks offer a larger load capacity than do standard 2 wheel hand trucks. The load carrying capacity in the four wheel position is typically double that of the two wheel position. It is far easier to operate and maneuver loads in the four wheel hand truck position.
Third Wheel and Kick Out Four Wheel Hand Trucks
These options are available on some hand trucks designed for hauling heavy loads of 900 pounds or more. An optional "kick out" set of wheels lets the operator use a foot to release a second set of wheels to transport on four wheels instead of two.
Some hand trucks, drum hand trucks in particular, offer a static four wheel option. The operator can tilt the hand truck down to utilize the four wheel position. A four wheel hand truck transfers the load bearing responsibility from the operator to the hand truck.
Drum Hand Trucks
A drum hand truck is a specially designed hand truck dolly for moving barrels, drums, kegs, or other round containers or objects. The frame of this type of drum hand truck is curved to allow a round object to settle in securely. Drum hand trucks often have special forks or hand truck folding nose plates to hold or support round objects. Some are equipped with a hook or clamp to secure the load.
Specialty Hand Trucks
Build You Own
This simple breakdown of the main styles of hand trucks should be a good starting point. There are also accessories to consider, but if you look to your work environment and typical load size and weight, you should have no trouble finding the options meet your needs.