What is a Hand Truck?

What is a hand truck? A hand truck is a two-wheeled and upright piece of equipment that can also include additional wheels to convert to a flat, rolling carrier when necessary. It is used to carry up to a few hundred pounds, and there are many other names it goes by — the most common being dolly or cart.

Maybe you’ve heard of hand trucks, but you aren’t exactly sure what they are, how to use them properly, and aren’t sure whether or not your business can benefit from them. Here’s everything you need to know about hand trucks.

Is your business interested in utilizing hand trucks to optimize your day-to-day operations? Whether you’re a moving company, an industrial warehouse, or something different, you may have heard how effective hand trucks can be in business operations. Hand trucks can be used in a wide range of companies, industries, and applications as secret weapons to aid in moving heavy items.

So you answered the question, “what is a hand truck?” But surely, there is more you may like to know!

Hand trucks are used for moving heavy items, and they are commonly seen in the public being used by movers and distributors. They are often seen carrying boxes, furniture, appliances, equipment, and beyond. You can use them to move items across a warehouse or workspace, or you can use them to load and unload items onto a truck or another vehicle.

Beyond movers and distributors, hand trucks are highly useful in a wide range of businesses and industries, including restaurants and other foodservice operations, retail stores, hospitals, industrial businesses, breweries, hotels, airports, and more.

How to Use a Hand Truck

Using a hand truck is simple, but it’s important to use it properly, in order to risk hazards and efficiently move items. No matter how heavy the load is that you’re using your hand truck for, it’s important to make sure to use it the right way.


When you’re loading a hand truck, you want to slightly tip the stack of boxes, furniture, or equipment, so that you can slide the hand truck’s bottom platform underneath. When sliding the hand truck’s bottom platform underneath, use your foot to push the platform below the load and guide the top of the hand truck with your hand on the top handle.


When unloading your item(s) off of a hand truck, you’ll want to use the same procedure. Make sure you are in the exact place you want your items to be before unloading, then tip the boxes, furniture, or item(s), and slide the hand truck’s bottom platform out from underneath. Guide it out with your hand on the top handle.

Helpful Tips

  • When using a hand truck, make sure to not slide the bottom platform on floors, as it can lead to scratching or damage. Use the wheels as much as possible, while tipping the load horizontally.
  • Make sure your load is balanced before moving.
  • Make sure your load is aligned properly at all times and use your free hand to stabilize your load during moving, loading, and unloading.
  • When going over ramps or bumps, be sure to move slowly, steady items, and maintain balance and alignment.
  • Get a spotter for large items. They can lift some of the weight while ensuring the load stays balanced.
  • Use padding to keep items from being scratched.
  • Utilize your brake to stray away from rolling or tipping over large items.
  • When going up ramps, go backward and pull your hand truck.
  • When pushing, use your handle.
  • When going over bumps, make sure both wheels go over at the same time.
  • Looking for more safety resources? Be sure to check out Middle Georgia State University’s Hand Trucks & Dollies Safety Training here.

What is a Hand Truck? & Why Use Hand Trucks

Since there are so many options of equipment and machinery for moving heavy items from A to B, you may be wondering why you should choose a hand truck over all of the choices. There are many benefits to choosing hand trucks, including being economical, durable, improving productivity, and safety.


Hand trucks are a great, economical choice to use for moving heavy items in a wide range of businesses and applications. Not only are they effective at helping lighten and move heavy loads, they only require a small investment.

Whether your business is small, a start-up or you just want to keep your budget tight, a hand truck is a cost-effective tool. Compared to many similar options, hand trucks only require a small cost to make a big improvement in your business.


Hand trucks are simple tools that have a few basic components: wheels, body, and handles. There are no integrated computers or complex parts. They have a straightforward design that is made with high-quality aluminum and steel, making it a durable tool that will last as long as you need.

Improves Productivity

If your business is constantly moving items by hand, it’s slowing down your workflow, and you may be a great fit for a hand truck. Whether you’re moving heavy items across the warehouse, throughout your office, or in your store, you can jumpstart your material handling workflow with a hand truck.

Whether you use it often or sometimes, a hand truck is your ally when you have the need for heavy lifting and don’t want to slow down your operations. It’s your tool to keep your business productivity optimized.


Business owners and executives understand the need for running a safe operation. When your employees are doing manual, heavy lifting on a day-to-day basis, you run the risk for injury. With hand trucks in your toolbox, your employees can safely and efficiently move a wide range of items with ease.