Just over five percent of full-time US warehouse workers will be injured while on the job–an injury rate that is similar to that of farming.
Improper transportation of goods from the delivery vehicle to the warehouse (or other places of storage or use) causes a lot of these injuries.
Hand trucks help staff work faster, prevent injuries that come with moving weighty items, and protect the products a worker is moving. Choosing hand trucks correctly will ensure your small business employees don’t become a statistic.
Read on to learn how to select a hand truck to suit your budget and job requirements.
Ask Yourself These Questions About Hand Trucks
When researching types of hand trucks, it’s important to spend a bit of time working out the needs of the job.
Questions to ask yourself include:
- How heavy are the loads?
- Are the shapes of the objects uniform?
- How far do you need to transport items?
- Is the terrain uneven or are there ramps?
Decide on Hand Truck Features and Materials
Next, consider the hand truck features that you’ll need. Do you want an upright, convertible, or specialty frame? Which tires for hand trucks are most appropriate for your surfaces? Do you need a die-cast or extruded aluminum nose?
Finally, choose a hand truck made of a suitable material.
There are three common materials for hand trucks:
- Aluminum is light, strong, and popular.
- Steel is heavier for heavy-duty or commercial jobs.
- High impact plastic is light, strong, and absorbs impacts.
Choosing Hand Trucks With the Right Handle
The handle on the different types of hand trucks matters when it comes to keeping workers safe from injury.
A dual-handle hand-truck offers the user a lot of control and stability. It’s a great choice for heavy loads or long distances. As does a double-grip handle, with two grips sticking out at right angles from the frame. A P-Handle is more flexible, allowing for one-handed operation.
A horizontal or vertical loop hand truck handle features a bar that can be gripped in several ways. This handle style is perfect for transporting flat loads or boxes like flat-packed furniture. A pistol or single grip handle is compact, reducing the overall weight of the hand truck itself.
Small business owners that have a wide variety of uses for hand trucks might want to purchase one with height-adjustable telescoping handles.
Add Some Handy Accessories
Depending on your hand truck budget and uses for hand trucks, you might also want to consider some accessories.
Vinyl handle grips are ideal for cold climates where putting a hand on a bare steel frame would be uncomfortable. Folding noses make a hand truck more compact and allow workers to carry items big or small. Wheel guards stop heavy loads from rubbing against the tires for hand trucks and slowing down travel times.
Key chains and storage loops and fasteners keep objects more secure on the hand truck.
Specialty Hand Trucks for Speciality Jobs
Need to move items that are very heavy or awkwardly shaped? You might need to consider a specialty hand truck like an appliance truck (for moving appliances) or a four-wheel hand truck (for extra stability).
Don’t have a lot of space to store your hand truck? Consider choosing hand trucks that are portable or convertible.
And of course, your hand truck budget also matters. Decide on what you want to spend at the start and that will help you match price to features.
For more advice on how to equip your small business for success, browse other articles in the Business section.