There are many terms used to describe the hand truck. Perhaps you know it by its more common name, the dolly. The traditional hand truck is L-shaped, with handles on one end, and wheels on the other, and a short nose plate that supports the load underneath. This recipe is just right for helping movers get the job done across the world.
Convertible hand trucks allow you to change between the upright or vertical positions, enabling a single person to move a greater variety of heavy items. This tool cuts down on repetitive lifting, and allows for fewer trips to complete a load. This increases efficiency, reduces physical injuries, and serves as a sound investment.
Types of Hand Trucks
There are basically three types of hand trucks: upright, convertible, and specialty. Upright, traditional hand trucks can usually carry up to 500 pounds, although some are designed to handle heavier loads. Specialty trucks are designed to carry specific loads, such as crates, furniture, or machinery. Convertible trucks generally have four wheels, and are manufactured to carry heavier loads, generally between 500 to 1500 pounds. They can be used as a cart in a vertical position, or as a traditional hand truck in an upright position, so they are a more versatile device.
Convertible Hand Truck Types
Convertible hand trucks can switch between two and four wheeled support. They are meant to be lightweight to reduce fatigue for the user, as well as durable and able to hold up to the weight of various heavy loads. Choose from a variety of convertible hand truck styles, whether it is for a residential or commercial setting.
- You can choose either a straight-back or curved-back frame to best suit the task. Straight-back frames are good for general use, and for a wide variety of box sizes. For maximum durability, choose heavy duty straight frames with wider cross members. Curved-back frames are better suited for cylinders, barrels, and other rounded loads.
- Consider a lattice-type back frame for moving smaller packages that would slip through the open frame styles.
- Convertible hand trucks are available in one- or two-handle styles. They also come in a continuous U-shaped, horizontal loop handled style. The simpler the handle, the less weight it adds to the hand truck. There are specialty handles available, with added features like a garment hanger. The most popular handle, however, is the horizontal loop, because it allows the user to grip on multiple locations on the handle, depending on the load.
- Convertible hand trucks are also available in two-position and three-position styles. The two-position allows for traditional two-wheel, upright use or a vertical platform use. The three-position offers the same, but adds an additional inclined position as well.
- Modular design is a plus when it comes to durability. They are manufactured as one piece, and that means there are no welded parts or seams that could break under repeated stress or heavy loads.
Design Your Own
Hand trucks should meet the user’s needs. The hand truck can be such a versatile device, so there are important considerations and features that may not apply to a traditional convertible hand truck that you’ll want to consider. Gemini offers a design-your-own option for its 2-in-1 convertible truck models, allowing you to choose specifics and create the perfect convertible hand truck for your needs.
- Size: Choose from the Gemini Jr. 51-inch model, or the Gemini Sr., which has a height of 61 inches and an added eight inches to its length.
- Noses: There are nose widths available in 14, 16, 18 and 20-inches, constructed of magnesium or aluminum.
- Casters: Swivel casters are available in either polyurethane flat tread or thermoplastic rubber flat tread that can be replaced as needed. Thermoplastic is generally considered a better option for indoor work, due to its quieter operation.
- Handle: Choose from either a vinyl covered or standard horizontal loop handle.
- Brakes: Add brakes for increased control of heavier loads in outdoor situations, warehouses or for working on hard surfaces.
The Importance of Wheel Construction
Wheels are likely the most important component of the hand truck, especially with convertible hand trucks that are designed to carry heavier loads. Ten-inch wheels offer better maneuverability and provide greater control over a variety of terrains, but 8-inch wheels are available on smaller trucks. Choose from balloon cushion wheels, pneumatic wheels (air-filled), or microcellular wheels.
- Balloon cushion wheels offer increased shock absorption for loads that require reduced impact.
- Pneumatic wheels provide excellent shock absorption and load protection on uneven terrains, and are usually recommended when loads frequently reach maximum capacity.
- Microcellular wheels never go flat and don’t need air. They are considered extremely durable and long-lasting. They operate easily on uneven surfaces, and provide some shock absorption, but less than pneumatic wheels.
Learn more about convertible hand truck models on our website. Discover all you need to know about optional accessories, bulk containers, garment rack assemblies and more.