Exploring the Parts of a Hand Truck

Hand trucks offer an easier and more ergonomic way to transport objects. Rather than carrying the objects by hand, you can place them on a hand truck. Not to be confused with a dolly, it can lower your risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). While their features may vary, however, most hand trucks have the following parts.

Nose Plate

Also known simply as the nose, the nose plate is the bottom part of a hand truck on which you can stack objects. It typically consists of a flat piece of metal. You can place the heaviest object directly on the nose plate, after which you can stack lighter objects on it.


The frame is part of the main body. It’s typically made of aluminum or steel. Hand trucks with an aluminum frame weigh less, but those with a steel frame are usually stronger. Regardless, the frame is the metal body of a hand truck that runs perpendicular to the nose plate. The nose plate connects to the bottom of the frame at the front of the hand truck.


All hand trucks have wheels. Wheels, of course, provide the rolling mechanism for hand trucks. You can expect to find at least two wheels on any given hand truck. Some hand trucks have solid wheels. Others have air-inflated wheels, which are also known as pneumatic wheels. With wheels, you can roll the hand by pulling it. There are also stair-climbing hand trucks, some of which feature up to a half-dozen wheels.


Handles are the surfaces that you can grip to push a hand truck. You can find them at or near the top of the frame. Depending on the particular type of hand truck, it may have a straight handle, or it may have a looped handle. Straight handles extend directly out the back of the frame. Looped handles, on the other hand, consists of a looped piece of metal that’s attached to the back of the frame.

Skid Runner

While not found on all hand trucks, some of them have skid runners. Skid runners are bars that allow hand trucks to glide up and down elevated surfaces more easily. They start at the wheels and run either partially up or completely up the frame. With skid runners, you can pull hand trucks up steps and stairs. The skid runners will provide a surface on which to glide the hand truck up.