Handcarts vs Dollies: Choosing the Right Equipment for the Job

Warehouse Equipment | May 28, 2019

When moving heavy loads, it can be useful to know the applications and benefits of different hauling devices that can make the work easier. Choosing the right equipment for the job when using handcarts and dollies to move large items will help you to complete tasks efficiently and easily. At Western Equipment, we know the proper applications for different pieces of carting equipment and we supply a variety of types of dollies, handcarts, and other warehouse and storage equipment throughout BC.

Differences between Handcarts or Dollies

Although they can both be used to accomplish similar jobs, there are a couple of differences between handcarts and dollies. The differences between handcarts and dollies are as follows:


Handcarts, which are often called hand trucks, are useful for any kind of operation where some of the weight of the load can be borne by a worker. Hand trucks use an L-shaped frame to form a lever that lifts and tips heavy loads with two wheels at the fulcrum, so that the load can roll around. These tools are extremely useful if you are moving stacked boxes or large, awkward items. They are often limited in the amount of weight that they can carry by the frame construction, as well as by the person moving the load. The best times to use a hand truck include:

  • Moving items up and down stairs
  • Transporting stacks of boxes or inventory
  • Carrying something large and awkward but not too heavy


The term “dolly” can refer to a variety of types of wheeled platforms. Dollies are essentially a platform with any number of wheels upon which large, heavy items can placed so that they can be easily moved around. They can sometimes have handles, braking systems, and any size of wheels and casters. The main purpose of a dolly is to give workers a way to transport heavy inventory freely when lifting and carrying it is an impractical possibility. Dollies can be used to carry anything heavy over flat terrain.

If you would like to learn more about the types of handcarts and dollies available from Western Equipment and how to choose the right equipment for the job, or if you are interested in any of our other products or services, please contact us at the location nearest you or by filling out a contact form on our website.