Needless to say, having the right equipment for any job will make it easier and faster. Plus, it might save you a lot of extra expenses and possible accidents. One task that you definitely want to be made easier is moving big and heavy objects. And when it comes to this, you have to choose between a moving dolly and a hand truck. But how can you tell which one is best for you and your needs? Fret not, for we have the answer.
What is the difference between a moving dolly and a hand truck?
First of all, there is a clear difference in their appearance, seeing as they are completely different types of equipment.
A moving dolly is a cart, flat in appearance and horizontal, specially designed to transport large items. Most dollies have four slats. These are long, thin pieces of metal which come together to make a square. This is the ‘surface’ that will hold the item you’re moving. It’s hollow in the middle. The slats’ ends can be either bare, carpeted or covered in plastic or rubber so that the object you’re moving doesn’t slip of. They also protect it from bumps and scratches.
There are other types of dollies as well that have a platform instead of the three or four slats in the middle. The platform is made of either metal, wood, or polyethylene. And while we’re on the subject of types, you should also know that there are general dollies, as well as custom designed ones, for specific items, such as piano dollies, furniture dollies or appliance dollies. They can hold some 1000 lbs at a time.
A hand truck is a cart as well, just like the dolly, only that it’s upright and has two wheels. Some special models may have another two in the back, for additional support and leverage. A hand truck has a platform as well or any kind of solid plate that typically goes under the item you’re trying to transport, kind of like a shelf. It makes the transport a lot easier and faster.
The main difference between hand trucks and moving dollies, other than the way they’re constructed is that the former are used to transport smaller objects. For example, a moving dolly can be used to carry a piano while a hand cart is usually used for boxes and such.
Some types of hand trucks are also equipped with straps, so as to secure whatever it is you’re trying to move. They can carry up to 600 lbs.
What do a dolly for moving and a hand truck have in common?
Even though they have a few differences, these two pieces of equipment have many things in common as well.
- They both sustain folding – this means they are both easy to transport and to deposit.
- They are both portable – another quality they share that stems from their foldable trait is the fact that they can be easily moved around.
- They are lightweight – seeing as most dollies and hand trucks are made of aluminum, they are light when it comes to hand carrying, so you can easily take them with you, even up or down the stairs.
- Both their tires are pneumatic – this serves for a better, bump-free transportation.
- They can be electric – there are both two-tire powered stair climber type of hand truck and electric dollies with remote controls used for climbing stairs. They can also be used to lift more dangerous objects safely.
- They can both be motorized – in this way they can be operated to drive or pick up objects without any personal effort from the mover.
- They can both be hydraulic – making heavy objects, such as a pallet, easy to lift.
- You can buy them used – to get a lower price on any of these industrial accessories you can buy them 2nd Make sure they are safe to use before you make the purchase.
- You can get them for sale – if you keep an eye on the big retailers, such as Magliner, Harper Trucks, Dutro, Safco, Cosco, Walmart, Wesco, Lowes, Home Depot or Amazon, you can find great deals that will save you more than a few pennies.
- You can rent both of these appliances – do an online search and pick the one that is best suited to your needs. A rental is cheaper that one bought from the store, especially if it’s second hand.
- They are both heavy-duty pieces of equipment – even the mini versions of these two pack a lot of power and can carry surprisingly large loads, with nothing left for you to do than supervise.
There are also some things they don’t have in common and which will help you decide which one you need.
- Only hand trucks are convertible – this means their parts are malleable, making them shape shifters, to accommodate any object you may want to move.
- A hand truck comes equipped with handles while a dolly does not – depending on what you’re planning on moving, you may or may not require the handles.
- A hand truck is a lot more versatile in shape and size than a dolly – although dollies can carry larger weights, hand trucks are more flexible when it comes to shape. This means you could use them around the house or around a ranch, for example, better than you would a dolly. Hand trucks are also collapsible.
- Hand trucks are easier to use when it comes to surpassing a stair – seeing as they have handles, you can wheel them around far easier than you would a dolly, which has to be picked up and taken to the moving car.
When it comes to hand truck or dolly moving, it all depends on your needs. Here you have all the differences between them, as well as all the ways in which they are similar. Prior to the actual move, make an inventory of all the items you need to relocate. This should tell you what your ‘move’ should be when it comes to dollies and hand trucks.