Safe Material Handling Tips for Hand Trucks

Hand trucks are perhaps the simplest form of material handling equipments used in the industry, business and commercial establishments for ease of moving loads. In its traditional form, hand trucks were primarily used for moving items that would require huge effort, manpower and time to move manually. Mechanisation of material handling saw the introduction of hand trucks that helped efficient and safe movement of goods through small spaces. The two wheeled hand trucks are L shaped with a ledge on which the goods to be moved are placed. The use of hand trucks may seem to be very simple but in reality it needs some careful manipulation to ensure that there is no accident that can result in injuries. The most important thing is to choose the right type of hand truck for handling specific goods as wrong selection can make things difficult and compromise with safety. In order to have a comfortable experience with hand trucks the following tips should come handy.

Stack it properly

Since hand trucks are meant to make material handling easy, you have to know the ways of easy manoeuvring.  To make the equipment work at maximum efficiency you should try to use the maximum height available to load items within the permissible capacity. And to make this happen you have to find the proper centre of gravity of the items that are loaded. Place the biggest and heaviest piece of load at the bottom and stack lighter loads one above the other with the topmost load being the lightest.

Overloading is prohibited

Never try to overload a hand truck as it can cause accidents. Attempts to reduce the number of trips with the truck can prove to be disastrous. You must pay attention to stable loading and leave some room at the topmost level so that there are no chances of boxes toppling over when the truck is moved.

Slow movement

Never try to rush with a truck even if the load is light because this can affect the balance of the load and throw it off the stack. Moving slowly is even more required when there is a huge difference in weight between the heaviest and the lightest load. Trying to move fast can throw off the lightest items. First ensure that there is perfect balance before pushing the truck and then incline it slightly so that the load is supported on the frame of the truck and then push it slowly. The correct position of the truck that is most convenient for easy pushing is determined by the centre of gravity of the load which you have to understand.

Place items safely

Boxes, cartons and other items that are placed on hand trucks have to be placed in a stable way so that it does not move when the truck is pushed. Elastic straps are sometimes used along with cushion boards to ensure that the loaded goods are not damaged. Goods have to be properly aligned on the ledge so that it rests firmly on the frame of the truck.


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