Before Buying a Hand Truck

By: jraynal
Unlike storage carts, which support the weight of the load entirely with structural steel, hand trucks rely on the strength of the operator to balance the load. For this reason, there is no single "safe capacity" for hand trucks. Conditions such as the size and strength of the operator, the weight of the load being moved, and the presence or absence of thresholds, ramps or slick surfaces can all affect the capacity of hand trucks. We recommend starting with small, easily handled loads and adding one or two objects at a time to determine the safe capacity for each set of conditions. It's always better to make a few extra trips than to risk injury to yourself or others by overloading a hand truck. Remember, loaded hand trucks can be dangerous! Use common sense.

Seek Assistance When Moving a Large Heavy Object:

While much of our equipment is designed to allow one (1) person to move large heavy loads, it is always prudent to use proper judgment and common sense when moving items. It is best to seek physical assistance from others when the user is not sure if they can move the object by themselves.

When loading hand trucks, keep your feet clear of the wheels. Do not exceed the manufacturer's load rated capacity. Read the capacity plate on the hand truck if you are unsure.

Place the load so that it will not slip, shift, or fall. Use the straps, if they are provided, to secure the load or order straps to go with the hand truck as a safety measure.

For extremely bulky or pressurized items such as gas cylinders, strap or chain the items to the hand truck.

Tip the load slightly forward so that the tongue of the hand truck goes under the load.
Push the tongue of the hand truck all the way under the load that is to be moved.
Keep the center of gravity of the load as low s possible by placing heavier objects below the lighter objects.

Push the load so that the weight will be carried by the axle and not the handles.
If your view is obstructed, ask a spotter to assist in guiding the load.

Do not walk backward with the hand truck, unless going up stairs or ramps.
When going down an incline, keep the hand truck in front of you so that it can be controlled at all times.

Move hand trucks at a walking pace.
Store hand trucks with the tongue under a pallet, shelf, or table. Individuals often move beverages from a delivery truck or storage shelf to a hand truck or stack. Product to be moved by a hand truck can be stacked to shoulder height and may need to be lowered to ground level. These lifting tasks pose an increased risk of pain and injury and should be considered hazardous unless appropriate solutions are implemented.
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