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How To Use A Hand Truck – A Step By Step Breakdown

Author : Robert Vanderveken

A hand truck is a great way to move freight short distances, like from a building to a truck or through a warehouse. The hand truck is a simple machine, an upright cart with a "plate" at the bottom for stacking all kinds of stuff on. But there are a few things to think about when using a hand truck, including the physics of displacing heavy or large boxes or objects. It is very important you know how to use it and know how much weight belongs on it or it can lead to serious injury.


1.Make sure your hand truck is in good condition. There aren't a lot of moving parts that can break or wear out on a non-powered cart, but most hand trucks have wheels that can deflate. You have to make sure the wheels are good and have the proper air pressure in them, or else you wont be able to push you load because flat tires don’t roll so well.

2.Make sure your cargo fits. Trying to load the hand truck with thin sheets or a whole lot of small stuff can be a headache. Put items into a container that you can stack easily for transport.

3.Load the heaviest stuff first. Unless you want a top heavy, half-crushed load, the heaviest boxes should go on the bottom. This is one of the easiest ways to get hurt especially if your load starts to tip over.

4.Pick up the hand truck about halfway, so that the handle comes up to your waist or slightly above, and the cargo rests neatly against the back of the cart. This allows the wheels to carry most of the weight. It is much harder to load the truck and then tip it up, and it is a good way to wrench your back trying to tilt the cart with a heavy load.

5.Choose which way you are going to go before you start. Moving forward (with the cart in front of you) is more stable, but your vision of what is in front of you is obstructed by the cart. Going backward means you will be in front of the cart, but the cart stands a greater chance of tipping over if you hit something, and it’s more difficult to control when you’re dragging the load behind you. It can be easy to bump the wheels on things and even knock product off of the truck. Pulling the load behind you helps you see what is in front of you, but you can’t see the back of the cart to avoid obstacles and hang-ups.

6.Move at an appropriate pace: rushing or pushing too hard can cause the load to shift and become unstable causing damage to the product. It can cause injury not just to you, but people around you.

In addition to the vertical stacking approach, most hand trucks have a set of wheels near the top to accommodate a different stacking method. Convertible hand trucks can act more like a cart. For very heavy loads, you can try setting the hand truck horizontally, and using it as a flat platform to roll these objects to their destination or consider using a dolly or a pallet jack.

It is very important to know to have an idea on of how much your load is going to weight and never overload your hand truck. Make sure you have a clear route to take the item and give yourself plenty of space to navigate. Be careful and you will be able to move loads easily, productively, and best of all safely.

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Tags:   Hand Trucks, Aluminum Hand Trucks, Moving Dollies industrial moving equipment, material handling, industrial supplies, how to use, hand truck

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Submitted : 2010-10-25    Word Count : 633    Times Viewed: 467