Supplying your warehouse with the correct transportation equipment to move products and heavy loads safely and effectively will help protect your staff from workplace injuries. Hand trucks and dollies are two pieces of equipment that are essential for streamlining your operation. Learn the difference between hand trucks and dollies to determine which better suits your business needs.
A dolly is a type of transportation equipment that features a platform with wheels. The platform provides a higher level of stability and mobility than hand trucks, so you don't have to worry about items falling off. This makes larger or bulkier items more suitable for a dolly. Because of the dolly's raised platform, items will need to be lifted off the ground and onto the dolly manually or with a device.
A hand truck is a type of transportation equipment that features a vertical, L-shaped design with an upright handle, two wheels, and a small bottom ledge. This design allows you to easily slide the hand truck's bottom underneath the item that needs to be moved without having to lift the item by hand. Once the item is securely on the hand truck, the truck can then be tilted backward until the weight is distributed over the wheels to allow the item to rest up against the back of the truck while your staff transports it.
Hand trucks are best suited for moving small and heavy items or moving small items in bulk. While most hand trucks are manually-operated, there are some that are motorized to help with especially heavy loads, uneven ground, and climbing stairs.
Here are some different types of industrial and foodservice dollies that are used to perform specific tasks. Always check a product's weight capacity before purchasing to ensure you're buying the best unit.
Drum dollies are made from heavy-duty metal to transport 30 or 55 gallon steel drums with ease. Commonly used to transport oils, fuels, chemicals, and dry goods, this type of dolly is great to have on hand for both industrial and commercial applications.
Trash can and recycling dollies allow staff to comfortably maneuver full trash cans around your establishment and can help minimize cleanup time at the end of shifts.
Keg dollies can help you efficiently transport full kegs in your manufacturing or distribution facility. They are also great for bars and restaurants, making it a quick and easy task for staff to roll kegs from the walk-in cooler to your bar during peak times.
Utility dollies, or milk crate dollies, are great for food manufacturers and distributors to have on hand when transporting goods from your receiving area to your kitchen.
Dish dollies make it easy to store and transport a high capacity of dishes with one unit. Ideal for restaurants, cafeterias, hotels, or catering businesses, they can be used to keep washed dishes organized, or for placing at buffets for customers to take plates themselves.
Glass rack dollies allow you to easily stack racks of dishware or glassware on one portable unit. Ideal for restaurants, bars, and tap rooms, glass rack dollies aid in the storage and transportation of clean glassware.
Able to support loads of up to 550 lb., insulated pan carrier dollies are designed to quickly and painlessly transport stacked food pan carriers. Typically insulated food pan carrier manufacturers will also have a compatible dolly to ensure secure transport of their product.
Sheet pan dollies are ideal for transporting stacked bun pans in bakeries, cafeterias, diners, and hotels. They are also great for storing pans under tables to save space while they're not in use. Some sheet pan dollies feature an easy-to-grab frame and handle for quick maneuvering throughout your kitchen.
When purchasing a hand truck, it's important to consider how it will be used, how much it'll be used, and in what environment it will be used in. The type of hand truck you may need will depend on the load capacity you're looking to transport. Always check a product's weight capacity before purchasing to ensure you're buying the best unit for your needs.
An upright hand truck is your traditional, general purpose hand truck. They are an ideal option for moving boxes, small furniture, and appliances, making them great for warehouses, delivery services, and catering companies.
Motorized hand trucks make it easier and quicker to move heavy, bulky loads. Some feature stair-climbing technology and most include an automatic brake that activates when the throttle is released for maximum safety. They are great for delivery services, event rentals, and catering companies.
Convertible hand trucks can switch between two and four wheeled support to provide an upright and platform hand truck all-in-one. This dual function allows you to be able to carry heavier loads than a traditional hand truck.
Appliance hand trucks are specifically designed for moving large, heavy appliances, making them ideal for distribution centers, delivery personnel, and moving companies. They feature heavy-duty straps and side rails to secure the appliance in place.
Drum trucks make transporting heavy drums throughout your manufacturing plant or warehouse simple and safe. They come with two or four wheels and some feature a drain stand to make draining drums easier.
Pail trucks feature a supportive frame and hook that make it easy to load, tilt back, and securely move kegs, pails, buckets, or barrels. They are ideal for breweries, restaurants, and bars.
Pallet trucks are designed to streamline loading and unloading materials onto pallets. They are ideal for warehouses, manufacturing plants, and other industrial applications.
Lift trucks feature a hydraulic jack and large platform for simple lifting and lowering and can be used to help load items on top of other goods or onto storage racks in your warehouse.
Machinery movers are designed to safely and easily transport heavy industrial equipment from one location to the next. Machinery movers include an ergonomic lifting system to lift and lower cargo onto the platform or fork, and they typically come in pairs for a two-person operation.
Tilt trucks feature large capacities and their heavy-duty construction can handle heavy loads, which make them perfect for use in high-volume settings. The ergonomic, durable design is perfect for transporting a wide range of heavy items including waste and industrial materials.
It's important to check the wheel material when purchasing your unit to make sure it will stand up to the task at hand. If you are going over various uneven surfaces, you will need wheels with greater shock absorption, whereas if you are indoors, you will need non-marking, quiet wheels. Below are some common hand truck wheel materials and their benefits.