As you shop for a platform, keep in mind what you will carry on it. This will determine both the necessary weight capacity and size. This equipment is available with a large range of weight capacities that start at 500 pounds and go to 3,500 pounds. If you'll transport full kegs and similar heavy items, opt for a model with a higher capacity. If you'll be carrying lighter loads, such as dining room chairs, a lower capacity model will do. However, all these models are fairly rigid, with even the smallest capable of moving three full kegs.
Choosing a Size
After weight capacity, you next need to decide on the dimensions of your platform truck. To find what length and width will work best in your operation, look again at what you'll use it to haul. The measurements and number of those items will typically dictate what size you need.
Keep in mind that the unit must be able to move through the areas and aisles where you'll use it. So, if you'll be moving kegs from a receiving area to a walk-in, make sure your truck will fit through every part of the course between those two areas. This can be a challenge if you have narrow aisles or don't have enough room to turn a long truck to get it around corners.
There are three types of handles available on platform trucks: stanchion, T-Bar, or U-shaped:
- Stanchion handles consist of a removable post at each corner of the truck. This design allows you to pull or push the truck from each corner and provides the ability to haul long loads such as pipes, carpet, and rugs.
- A T-bar handle is mounted in the middle of the truck and resembles the letter in its name, with a single pole that has a wide bar on top. This style offers the operator comfortable control of the cart and more maneuverability.
- A U-shaped handle connects between two corners and is the best choice for pushing heavy carts. Frequently, these models have handles on both the front and the back, or at least have a single handle that can move between those areas, so loads can be pushed or pulled.
Many different options are available to allow your platform dolly to best fit the needs of your establishment.
- If you are carrying items that may otherwise fall off the side of the cart, consider purchasing a model with side panels, available as either solid or wire. Either way, this option can be used to prevent loose items from falling during transport. Most models also come with a gate to make loading and unloading easy.
- It is not uncommon for these carts to carry loads over 3000 pounds. At this weight, they can become difficult to maneuver, so some manufacturers offer power drive trucks with rechargeable, battery-powered motors in order to make moving them easier.
- A convertible platform truck can be converted from a platform model to either a two-shelf utility cart or a hand truck.
- Many models have hooks for tie downs. By tying items down with either straps or bungee cords, it is possible to keep them from falling off the platform truck. This can be a very useful feature when transporting heavy items that could do damage or injure someone is they were to fall off.