Hand trucks are simple wheeled devices that are operated without power. Hand trucks are used to transport various types of small loads over short distances. They are used for various things in the industrial sector such as: moving material from the warehouse to the assembly area, moving unloaded crates and cartons from a truck to the warehouse, etc. These maneuverable transportation devices are commonly used in industries, hotels, airports, railway stations and warehouses, etc.
Hand trucks are usually made of steel or aluminum tubes or angles. They have small to medium sized wheels that can be made of either rubber, plastic or metal, with a band of rubber. A suitable harness and restraints are used to bind the load being transported to keep it firmly in place. A long handle ensures that less effort is required to move the load. Hand trucks are classified by: the load they can carry, the wheel size, the type of handle, the construction and their overall dimensions, etc.
A standard hand truck is made up of six basic parts which are the: frame, handle, nose, wheels, stair crawler, and nose extension. The frames are vertical and are usually made of a lightweight material such as aluminum, nylon, or glass-filled nylon. Convertible hand truck frames can be constructed from tubular steel. Frames are available in straight back and curved back designs and the might include a vertical steel strap for added strength.
The handles of a hand truck are usually made of steel for strength and durability. There are various types of handles available such as continuous, dual handle, single loop or P, tall pin, pin and dual loop. The nose is made of either extruded aluminum or cast aluminum depending on the truck’s operational load. Noses usually range in width from 14 to 26 inches.
The nose extension can be added on to vertical hand trucks to extend their base. The extension folds up into the frame it’s not being used. Stair crawlers attach to the frame of the hand truck near its wheels to help maneuver the hand truck over curbs and up and down stairs.
There are various types of hand trucks such as convertible hand trucks, dual directional hand trucks, folding hand trucks, appliance hand trucks high back steel hand trucks, "P" handle hand trucks made of chrome and aluminum and dual handle hand trucks, etc. A basic hand truck can usually handle loads of up to 500 lbs. The convertible type can be transformed from two-wheeled vertical trucks to four-wheeled flatbed trucks very quickly. Many of these hand trucks are designed for heavy industrial loads and can handle over 1000 lbs. Battery powered, stair climbing trucks are also available