Dolly vs. Hand Truck: Which Is Right for Your Move? | My Move

Dolly vs. Hand Truck: Which Is Right for Your Move?

Author: Nancy LaFever

Ever noticed that having the right tools for a task makes it go easier and faster? If there was ever a task that you want to make easier, it's moving. Especially if it's a DIY move. So in addition to the basic moving supplies like sturdy moving boxes and packing tape, you'll want a moving dolly or hand truck on the job. These handy tools can either be rented from your moving truck rental company or purchased at hardware stores. Although moving dollies and hand trucks perform similar functions, there are differences.

RELATED: Purchase All of Your Moving Supplies in the My Move Store

Hello Dolly

A moving dolly is a flat, horizontal wheeled cart for transporting heavy or bulky items. Some dollies simply have four "slats" that form a square-carrying surface with an opening in the middle. These can have carpeted or rubber ends to protect your furniture or belongings. Other models have a solid platform that supports your cargo and is available in wood, metal or polyethylene. Some models are called "furniture dollies" or "appliance dollies" and are used primarily for items weighing up to 1,000 lbs.

Hand Truck

A hand truck is a two-wheeled, upright cart (some models have two additional wheels that can convert the hand truck to a dolly-style cart) with a solid plate or platform that is slid under your cargo to make transport easier and more efficient. Hand trucks are usually used for smaller items like packed boxes. Some models come with straps to secure your load from shifting while you are wheeling it. This tool is usually designed to carry up to 600 lbs.

RELATED: Video: How to Use Hand Trucks, Dollies and Moving Straps

Moving Dolly or Hand Truck: Which One for Your Move?

Even though the hand truck and moving dolly both have a particular job to do, one might be better than the other for your move. If you are not moving appliances, you may be able to get by with a hand truck. Hand trucks can transport very heavy boxes and can save you from back strain. If you are not moving terribly large pieces of furniture, you could carry those with a helper.

Consider a dolly if you will be moving large, heavy furniture and appliances. It's always a good idea to secure these heavier items on the moving dolly with straps and/or tie-downs. Although it's possible to go down stairs with a loaded dolly, a hand truck might make more sense, especially for lighter items.

How to Use Moving Dollies

You really can't use a dolly by yourself to move heavy items. One person has to tip the item back and the helper can then slide the dolly under the item. It's important to get the moving dolly centered as much as possible under the object being moved. The item can then be tilted back onto the dolly and secured.

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