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How to Use a Hand Truck

Stephen Rampur
Any mechanical equipment at the factory is supposed to be used with care. Same goes for a simple hand truck as well. Here is some information on how to use a hand truck safely. Read on.
Be it any mechanical equipment, you need to handle it with care. There are some safety rules and guidelines as to how to use a particular equipment, especially in a factory setting.
In a factory, there are many devices which are used to transport goods from one facility to the other for processing. These devices can be operated using battery, fuel, electricity, or hydraulics. You will even find simple equipment for goods transportation which have a traditional setup. One such equipment is a hand truck.

What is a Hand Truck?

This is a mechanical cart which has an L-shaped structure, two wheels at the bottom, and a handle on one side to push the cart. At the base, the structure has a platform of bars on which luggage or cargo is to be loaded.
Nowadays, these devices are even found with straps which allow the cargo to sit firmly on the platform. Some of these equipment have stair-climber wheels, which help the cart go up and down the stairs freely. Others have an additional set of wheels at the handle bar, which helps the device to be used horizontally for large bulky material.
Modern trucks come with adjustable designs which adds to the convenience of carrying any type of load. They are commonly used in food manufacturing facilities and other product manufacturing factories. Though these trolleys may seem simple mechanical equipment, they are to be used properly for safety and convenience purposes.

Using a Hand Truck Safely

First, make sure that it is appropriate for handling the luggage to be carried. A truck that can handle a maximum weight of 250 pounds should not be used to transport a product of 600 pounds. This may damage the frame badly and may also put the handler in the risk zone.
You can find out about the weight capacity somewhere on the frame. The tires and wheels are also to be inspected before using the tool. This is because worn out or damaged tires increase physical stress on the user and may lead to improper control.
While loading the material, push the tongue of the truck under the luggage, which will aid in easy loading. To keep a good balance of the luggage, it is always better to keep heavy cargo at the bottom.
Note that the base is supposed to handle the weight, and not the vertical support. The vertical support is just meant to provide a resting place and light support to the load. So you should balance the weight on the front part of the base, instead of the rear, which will put less pressure on the handle.
You can secure the cargo with straps if the utility dolly has the facility. This will help you carry loads with different shapes and sizes in a secured and safe manner.
Do not pile up luggage so high that you will not be able to get a clear view of where you are heading. See the type of surface and if it's an incline or a decline, and then maintain a steady speed which will keep the cart in proper control. It is better to push than pull the hand truck.
However, pulling the car behind you is fine if working on an incline or ramp. To avoid getting your hands hurt in between the luggage and the handle, use a pair of gloves. This will also contribute to extra grip for handling.
Learning how to move your appliances safely and practicing the correct methods will prevent back and muscle injuries. If you have an adjustable hydraulic hand truck, set it right according to the type, shape and size of the luggage, surface, and your convenience.
Hydraulic-operated hand carts are not to different to use than conventional ones. This will let you do the job safely, and without putting a lot of pressure on your body.