Hand Truck vs. Dolly: Differences and Choosing the Right Caster Wheels for Each
Victoria Forney

Hand Truck vs. Dolly: Differences and Choosing the Right Caster Wheels for Each

When you want to move smaller items or lift a vehicle, you need to know the differences between a hand truck vs. dolly. You also want to ensure your hand truck or dolly has the proper caster wheels. The right casters determine weight limits and how smoothly your carrier moves.

Unfortunately, many people choose the wrong caster wheels for their hand truck or dolly? Today, Caster Central compares the differences between a hand truck vs. a dolly and shares with you how to choose the right caster wheels for each.

Contact Caster Central for more information or to purchase casters for your equipment.

Understanding a Hand Truck

When it comes to understanding a hand truck vs. dolly, hand trucks differ significantly from dollies. A hand truck refers to an L-shaped wheel carrier with two large wheels that help it stay upright. Some models feature four wheels or additional attachments to make climbing stairs safer and easier.

On a hand truck, the unit’s platform supports the item you intend to move while the item tilts back against the hand truck to further allow you to maneuver it. Depending on the caster type and sturdiness of the hand truck, some models may allow you to lift up to 500 pounds or more.

Hand trucks work best for lifting large, heavy furniture, appliances, and other tall, bulky items. They also make moving small boxes more efficient as they allow you to stack and move multiple boxes at one time. Individuals don’t have to place items onto the platform to move them.

Advantages of Hand Trucks

Hand trucks offer an excellent option for those seeking to move heavy loads, large items, or many smaller items. Between multiple attachments and additional wheels, you can find many different styles that offer efficiency and adequate help when necessary.

Regarding the advantages of a hand truck vs. dolly, a hand truck’s large wheels allow for larger loads and offer excellent stability. Other concepts include hand trucks with four wheels instead of two or casters that allow you to maneuver a hand truck over stairs and longer distances.

Aside from hand trucks being an excellent solution for moving items efficiently, they provide safety, increase worker productivity, and require little maintenance. Workers face a lower risk of injury and can move more items in less time when using a hand truck. Hand trucks have long lives and rarely need servicing to work properly.

Understanding a Dolly

Regarding the differences between a hand truck vs. dolly, dollies work similarly in that they assist individuals in moving heavy, bulky items. They have two to four wheels and a large, tall, flat platform for carrying items. Several types of dollies exist, including options for small packages and dollies for vehicles.

Moving furniture or boxes with a dolly requires more effort than a hand truck. While dollies can also tolerate high weight capacity, individuals must lift and place items onto a dolly. Casters then allow the dolly and items to maneuver in small spaces without the contents falling.

Some dollies differ from hand trucks due to their wheel type. Smaller casters offer suitable weight distribution while maintaining a high carrying capacity. Dollies made of especially strong materials like steel can help individuals carry objects weighing up to 30,000 pounds.

Benefits of Using a Dolly

Dollies offer many of the same benefits as hand trucks, including increased efficiency and productivity when moving heavy items. Because available dolly sizes are significantly larger than hand-truck options, moving extremely large objects or many smaller ones becomes easier and more efficient. Some dollies feature railings to prevent items from tipping or falling while in transit.

Dollies feature different wheel-type options, including rollers and swiveling casters. Swivel casters make dollies perfect for tight turns. As such, dollies make an ideal option for maneuvering large furniture items down straight, narrow hallways with traditional rollers. While dollies don’t often include added features, some come with handles for easier steering.

Dollies help individuals avoid injuries they would otherwise sustain by lifting and carrying an item themselves. Having more than four wheels also makes them easier to transport than hand trucks with two wheels.

Choosing the Right Caster Wheels for a Dolly

Depending on whether you have a hand truck vs. dolly, options for wheels vary significantly. Dolly wheels are considerably smaller than hand truck wheels but can contribute to a higher capacity rating, making it possible for you to carry heavier loads with rollers or swivel casters on your dolly. Four wheels also distribute the weight around the dolly’s platform more evenly.

Dolly wheels come in different materials, colors, and sizes. You’ll find swivel casters made of steel, hard rubber, aluminum, polyurethane, iron, and polyolefin. Colors range from gray and silver to black or green, while caster sizes range between 3.5 and 4 inches.

The right dolly casters depend on what you need to transport and the surfaces you’ll travel over. Heavier loads may require dollies with more durable wheels. A dolly carrying a heavy load across a smooth, slippery concrete floor may work best with a soft or hard rubber caster for maximum grip, while outdoor surfaces may warrant aluminum or iron wheels.

Selecting the Proper Caster Wheels for a Hand Truck

A hand truck requires large wheels to balance the unit and keep it upright. Options include 10-inch wheels and five-inch casters. Whether you choose swiveling or straight rolling options, you’ll need to consider the flooring type and the weight of the items you must transport before selecting the right one.

Solid hand truck wheels make traveling over smooth flooring effortless. They last for years due to excellent quality materials. You can also purchase wheel kits to save more on hand truck wheels.

Whether you opt for a dolly or hand truck for your materials handling, Caster Central is the go-to company to order swivel casters and many other types. Get more information on choosing the right casters for your hand truck vs. dolly when you call us today at (800) 445-4082.Β