Hand trucks, dollies, and related equipment save time and labor so you don’t spend hours carrying individual boxes and oversized items from one location to another. While their benefits are notable, it’s still important to remember that you’re moving heavy loads. Use these tips to ensure every hand truck and dolly trip is a pain-free success.
How to Maneuver Hand Trucks & Dollies Safely
1. Use the Proper Gear
Protect yourself from back strain, hand blisters, and foot injuries with the right gear. Wear a back belt to support your lower back and prevent muscle pulls, as well as thick leather gloves to protect your hands. Also, invest in heavy boots with non-skid soles to prevent injuries from falling objects and slippery flooring.
2. Choose the Right Equipment for the Load’s Size & Weight
Assess the load you’re moving to choose the proper equipment, such as a two-wheeled hand truck or dolly for light loads and four-wheeled equipment for heavier loads. OSHA recommends reducing load weight so you aren’t pushing more than 50 pounds at a time to lower the injury risk.
3. Inspect Before You Move
Check each hand truck or dolly load to ensure it isn’t top-heavy, causing items to fall and risk product damages in addition to injuries. Check all equipment welds for stability, as well as the quality of crossbars, nylon belts, and the vertical bar, if applicable. If your load is unstable for any reason, remove some of the items for the next trip. You can also switch to a different truck and add security materials such as bungee cords.
4. Practice Correct Lifting & Posture
Use your legs instead of your back to lift items on and off of the dolly or truck. Keep your back straight as you push instead of twisting your body in various directions to accommodate the load. If there’s an issue, stop and fix the problem rather than risking back strain.
5. Push the Load Only
Always push loads instead of pulling to further minimize your back strain risk. Do not lift a full dolly or hand truck either, which can cause injuries or exacerbate an existing muscle issue. Utilize stair crawlers and elevators instead. If you’re working with uneven terrain, use a hand truck with pneumatic wheels so you don’t have to pull the load or twist your body in any way.
Replace old hand trucks, dollies, and other industrial handling equipment with quality products from Casters, Wheels and Industrial Handling. Established in 1959, this Farmingdale, NY-based company offers an extensive inventory and ships products around the world. Call (631) 270-9254 today for a quote or review their products online.