Sack trucks and trolleys are one of our most popular materials handling products. They are easily stored, easy to use and incredibly versatile. With the help of one of these, it’s easy to transport heavy items around the building without risking injury or accident.
You can buy sack trucks in a whole host of different colours, styles, frames and specifications. Upon first inspection, it might all seem a bit daunting, with so many options from which to choose, so here’s what you need to know about buying a sack truck or trolley for your business.
A platform trolley or upright truck?
Platform trolleys are long, flatbed trolleys that have a solid deck and swivelling castor wheels underneath. The large deck means they are well suited to moving bulky items, but it does mean you have to manually lift the item onto the bed of the truck, which is not good if the item is very heavy. Some platform trolleys have brakes built into the handle, making them easy to control even on slopes.
Sack trucks are upright movers, with a solid toe at the bottom which can slide under boxes and other items. This gives them an advantage in that they are able to easily lift and move heavier items without manual intervention. However, the construction of these means they aren’t great for moving large or bulky items, as they would overbalance or fall off the side.
So, large and bulky but not too heavy is best for a trolley, and smaller, heavier things are better with the truck. But what if you need to move a variety of things? Or don’t really know what you’re going to move? Well, thankfully you don’t always have to decide.
2 in 1 and 3 in 1 trucks perform both jobs at once, making them super versatile and pretty much ready for anything. The largest capacity ones can handle up to 400kg in weight, and are a great choice if you have a variety of moving needs but only want to purchase one truck.
Steel or aluminium frame?
Most sack trucks are available in either aluminium or steel construction. Each comes with its pros and cons, and the right choice will depend on what it is you need to move.
Aluminium is incredibly light. This can make it easier to store your truck, and to move it around where rolling it on its wheels is not possible, such as when it’s being lifted into the back of a van. It’s easy to manoeuvre, and with aluminium’s natural resistance to rust, you can be confident it’s going to last a long time.
Steel framed sack trucks are incredibly strong and durable. Although heavier than the aluminium versions, they are much more heavy duty, and therefore able to carry a greater weight capacity than their aluminium counterparts. If you need something that can lift up to 300kg with ease, then heavy duty steel sack trucks are a top choice.
Solid or pneumatic tyres?
Trucks and trollies are available with both solid wheels and air filled pneumatic wheels, and again, the correct choice for you will depend mainly on where and when you plan to use your truck.
Pneumatic, air filled tyres are just like those tyres you would have on your bike or car. The air inside makes them lightweight and springy, making these types of tyres ideally suited to bumpy or rugged terrain. The tyres go some way to absorbing the uneven lumps and bumps in the ground, making it easier to control your load and to avoid it becoming unstable or loose.
Solid tyres have one obvious advantage, and that is that they will never get a puncture from driving over a nail. They won’t go flat over time, and this means you can always rely on them to be ready for work. These are ideal for use on the solid, flat floor of a factory or workshop, but are not well suited to rough or uneven ground.
What type of handles?
You wouldn’t think there would be any issue with choosing the handles of your truck or trolley, right? Well, think again, because you’ve got to choose from P handles, dual handles and standard handles, and then decide if you want skids or not.
Standard handles – one for the left and one for the right hand. Having two separate handles like this is excellent for stability, and will ensure your truck is being well controlled and accurately manoeuvred. These are good for heavier loads.
P handles are a popular option, because the whole truck can be controlled from the P shaped extrusion at the back. This is done with just one hand, leaving the other hand free to open doors, steady the load and generally make itself useful. With lighter loads, this option is fine.
For those who want the best of both worlds, our dual handled trucks are the perfect choice. These have the left and right standard handles at the back, but also have a loop at the top which can be used one handed if necessary. This is a great half-way version which offers both flexibility and adaptability to suit a variety of situations.
Skids are the name given to the angled runners underneath the truck. These are very much like the ‘legs’ on a wheelbarrow, making contact with the ground and making it possible to lay the sack truck down for ease of loading or unloading. Whether you need these or not is entirely up to you, but they can be incredibly useful if you want to unload the items one at a time in a safe, secure manner.
Folding or fixed toe?
The ‘toe’ of your truck is the flat plate in front of the wheels, which is used to slide under the load and lift it up. These toe plates come in a range of sizes to suit your load, and are also available in either fixed or folding options.
A folding toe plate is usually larger than a fixed one, giving a larger loading area and therefore making it easier to use with a variety of load types. The plate folds away when not in use, which makes it easier to store and less of a trip hazard if it’s left hanging about.
A fixed toe plate, as the name suggests, does not fold away at all. Fixed models tend to be heavier duty, capable of lifting much heavier loads than a folding plate, although the loading area is smaller so they are best suited to small, heavy objects.
If you really can’t make your mind up, we do have a few models of truck that come with a small fixed toe and a larger, folding toe, making them more versatile and suitable for a range of situations.
Do you need stair climber wheels?
If you’re lacking a lift, our stair climbing sack trucks could be just what you need. These trucks use specialist stair climber wheels which are arranged in a triangular shape. This innovative arrangement of wheels means the truck will literally ‘climb’ any step it comes into contact with, making these a great choice for those who frequently have to move their loads up or down stairs or kerbs.
At Equip4work, we have a full range of trucks, trolleys and stair climbers for streamlined materials handling. We supply low cost budget sack trucks and as well as portable folding and telescopic trucks, which are great for taking to conferences and events. If you need more guidance on trucks, trolleys or any other material handling equipment, call us directly for friendly, professional advice.