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What is a Hand Trolley?

S. Zaimov
S. Zaimov

A hand trolley is a small transport device used to move heavy loads from one place to another. It is a very common tool used by a large number of industries that transport physical products. Also called a hand truck or a dolly, the hand trolley is often used by stock persons who arrange and restock merchandise in retail stores. When used properly, trolleys can protect people from back injuries and other health problems that can result from lifting heavy loads.

Typically comprised of two small wheels located beneath a load-bearing platform, the hand trolley usually has two handles on its support frame. These handles are used to push, pull and maneuver the device. An empty hand trolley usually stands upright in an L-shape, and products are usually stacked on top of the platform. When the goods are in place, it is tilted backward so that the load is balanced between the platform and the support frame. Especially if heavy or fragile materials are moved, the person operating the trolley should return it to an upright position carefully, to ensure nothing falls off the platform.

When used properly, trolleys can protect people from back injuries.
When used properly, trolleys can protect people from back injuries.

Different types of these tools exist, and the type used is often chosen based on what type of material it will move. Hand trolleys are made of various types of hard materials, including steel, aluminum and high-impact plastic. Most hand trolleys come in standard sizes and are used for general loads, but there are some that are specifically designed for very small or large products.

Wheeled trolleys made from stainless steel are the most common type of hand trucks used. These are used in places with heavy loads to move, like retail stores and factories, and typically have wheels made out of stainless steel as well. Welded steel and metal wheel trolleys are typically much more lightweight and are often used to carry lighter materials.

Those with a frame and wheels made of a metal alloy are heavier and sturdily made. Trolleys of this type usually have a wider platform for oversized loads. Metal alloy hand trucks are typically used to transport heavy products, such as items made of steel.

A folding trolley is another type of hand tool, and is often made of rust-proof aluminum. It is also lightweight but is usually able to carry heavy loads, and can fold to take up less space when not in use. This feature also allows it to be easily transported to places where it is needed.

Discussion Comments


After years of gardening, I finally discovered the garden trolley. It looks like a child's wagon, but it is made of wire mesh to let soil fall through the cracks.

This wagon has a handle and four wheels. I can fit two sacks of fertilizer in it or several containers of flowers. I can also lay shovels, rakes, and hoes across it at an angle and carry them where I need to use them.

I rent a home, and I just happened to look inside the old abandoned barn out back. The landlord had told me I could use whatever I found inside, and I was delighted to find this garden trolley. It has saved me lots of time and energy in the yard.


@OeKc05 – A hand trolley made my move much easier, also. I was moving from one furnished apartment to another, so I didn't have to transport super heavy stuff like a refrigerator, but I did have to move everything by myself, and I was glad to have help.

I boxed up my computer, printer, and scanner separately, and I piled them on top of each other on the platform. I carted them to the truck with the hand trolley.

I moved lots of my clothes quickly with this device. I had put all my garments into space saving bags, so I could fit several of them on the trolley.

Without the hand trolley, it would have taken me all day to move my stuff. It only took a couple of hours!


My husband works as a stockperson, so he has to use a hand trolley frequently. He works in the dairy and deli area, so he has to cart large boxes of yogurt, cheese, and orange juice from storage out into the store's main area.

Using the hand trolley keeps him from hurting his back. Though he does have to bend to put the boxes onto the trolley, he doesn't have to carry them by hand across long distances. He simply wheels the trolley to the shelf where the items need to go.

He uses a large hand trolley, so he can fit several boxes containing many cartons of product onto it. This reduces the number of trips he has to make back and forth.


I have seen people use hand trolleys when moving into new houses. When my friend asked me to help him move, I carried lots of boxes, but he used the hand trolley to lift heavy furniture.

He even put the refrigerator on the trolley. This helped him wheel it out to the moving van, which had a ramp so that he could wheel it up into the back, rather than having to lift it and place it on there himself.

The hand trolley made what seemed like a very daunting task fairly easy. He didn't seem to be struggling at all as he carted heavy items around. He even let me push the refrigerator a short distance just to show me how easy it was.

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    • When used properly, trolleys can protect people from back injuries.
      By: sframe
      When used properly, trolleys can protect people from back injuries.