Home / Business / Hand Truck vs. Dolly: What’s the Difference?

A hand truck vs dolly are both professional moving equipment. They are used to lift a vehicle or move smaller items. Moving from one place to another is not an easy task. Using the right tools is critical for the safe transportation of all your items. Since both hand trucks and dollies are used to move similar items, people are often confused about them. This confusion leads them to choose the wrong equipment, which hinders efficient movement. This article will closely examine both these equipments. By learning how they differentiate from each other, you can benefit from quick transportation that carries minimal risk of injury.

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Hand Truck: Uses and Method of Operation

Hand Truck: Uses and Method of Operation

A hand truck is a device that lets you move one or more heavy objects. It is used primarily for those objects that should not be lifted by hand as they can pose a danger to the carrier. This equipment is in the shape of an L-shape wheel carrier comprising two or four large wheels. The wheels help a hand truck stay upright.

Uses of Hand Truck

  • Hand truck has various use cases. It can be used for moving around:
  • Different types of tents, such as high peak tents, pole tents, pop-up tents, or frame tents.
  • Commercial inflatable-like water slides, sealed air frame games, and bounce houses.
  • Event products like outdoor heaters and dance floor components.
  • Folding furniture like chairs and tables.

How Does a Hand Truck Operate?

Hand trucks fall into the category of a class one lever. On one side, there’s ‘resistance’ or the heavy objects, and on the other is ‘effort’ or the force applied to move the heavy stuff. In the centre is the fulcrum. This is where the weight is counteracted. In a hand truck, the wheels work as a fulcrum, taking in the weight and evenly distributing it. It facilitates easy movement of the hand truck. 

Dolly: Uses and Method of Operation

Dolly: Uses and Method of Operation

Dolly is a moving equipment with four wheels and two axles. Unlike a hand truck, dollies are available in various types and sizes. In this equipment, you first have to lift the objects and then transport them. Although they can move items of much greater weight, the mover has to provide the initial effort of lifting the objects onto them. 

There are mainly five main types of dollies. These are:

  1. Furniture dolly
  2. Appliance dolly
  3. Utility dolly (hand truck comes into this category)
  4. Platform dolly
  5. Specialty dolly

Uses of Dolly

The availability of different types of dollies enables them to effectively transport a variety of objects.

  • Furniture dolly can transport large furniture pieces or awkwardly shaped items over flat surfaces.
  • An appliance dolly can be used to move items like washing machines and refrigerators.
  • Utility dolly is best suited for moving medium-sized items.
  • Platform dollies can transport bulky and large items like furniture pieces and packed moving boxes.
  • Speciality dollies are used to move specific objects, such as musical instruments or other such equipment.

How Does a Dolly Work?

A dolly is composed of a frame or body, which is made of robust materials like aluminium or steel. The strength of these materials enables the equipment to carry a large amount of weight. Dolly’s handle is attached to its body and lets you manoeuvre the equipment. Items are loaded on the equipment platform. The wheels of the dolly provide mobility and ease of movement while carrying the objects. 

Hand Truck vs Dolly: Which Is Right for You?

As you can see, there are various differences between a hand truck and a dolly. However, you may still find yourself a bit confused when it comes to picking the right one for your needs. Careful consideration of the factors below will help you make the right choice.

1. Size and Weight of Objects

The first thing to consider is the size of the objects that you plan to move. Hand trucks are most suitable for stacked items. These include objects like crates and boxes. If you have larger and heavier items, a moving dolly will be the best choice. You should also pay attention to the weight of the objects. Dollies come in various designs. They can handle much more weight compared to hand trucks.

2. Equipment Support

The support offered by the moving equipment is essential for safe transportation. Hand trucks are provided from their handle and back frame. in dollies, although the initial loading process can be challenging, more stability is provided for different types of objects. You can use dollies with ratchet straps to strap your objects, keeping them secure during the move.

3. Equipment Manoeuvrability

The ability to manoeuvre the equipment is connected to the type of cargo they handle. As such, hand trucks are used with less heavy objects. So they can be manoeuvred better than dollies. This is because they need less space to move the objects and can work around areas like hallways, clear doors, and other kinds of openings. Dollies, on the other hand, handle heavier objects. So, they can be hard to manoeuvre through areas with limited spaces. Generally, dollies are more suited for open spaces like warehouses.

4. Terrain Adaptability

 Most hand trucks come in a two-wheel design. This makes them difficult to use on uneven or rough terrain. On the other hand, dollies have a four-wheel design. They can easily manoeuvre objects on even the most challenging terrains. 

5. Price of the Equipment

Price is one of the factors that can influence your decision to choose a specific piece of equipment. As such, dollies cost more than hand trucks. This is because they come in a variety of designs and are constructed to handle a range of loads. This level of customization cannot be seen in a hand truck. In particular, appliance and speciality dollies may cost more as they are designed for specific items.

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Final Thoughts

Hand truck vs dolly makes the task of moving much simpler. They can be easily used even by someone who is not accustomed to using them. However, depending on your needs, choosing a hand truck or a dolly might make more sense as they will be more suited to the task. Hopefully, after reading this article, you will find yourself in a much better position to make an informed decision.