The origin of the name of these carts is a cause for speculation. Whether it refers to the luxury ocean liner of the same name or the long, low road carts used to transport aircraft during WWII, the Queen Mary cart can tackle heavy-duty jobs with sleek style and efficiency.
Number of Levels
The number of levels you'll need will depend on how you intend to use the cart. These are designed for back of the house transport, banquet service, and mobile storage and typically have between three and six shelves. A Queen Mary cart with few shelves may be more appropriate for transporting bulk items, because there may be more space between the shelves. On the other hand, a unit with several shelves may be better for setting up and replenishing banquets, since there may be several smaller items being moved at once.
The weight capacity of this type of banquet cart can range from 1200 to 3000 pounds, with each shelf holding between 200 and 600 pounds. It is important to keep in mind how far and across what terrain you'll move your cart. You don't want to purchase a cart that, when loaded, will be too heavy to maneuver through tight spaces. In this case, it may make more logistical sense to purchase two or more smaller carts.
Stainless Queen Mary carts tend to be slightly more expensive than their aluminum counterparts. Stainless steel is more heat, corrosion, and impact resistant, so carts made from it may be a better value in the long run. Aluminum carts, on the other hand, are usually less expensive and lighter weight. They are also more susceptible to damage and corrosion over time, but will not rust when damaged like steel can. Both are relatively easy to clean and sanitize. Many come with non-marking rubber or vinyl bumpers to protect walls and other surfaces from damage during transport.
- Carts with enclosed shelves are great for mobile storage and also for transporting less-stable items, such as dishes. They tend to be enclosed on three sides, so they may not be as convenient when loading and unloading.
- Raised ledges help products stay in place without falling over the edge. These ledges may be flanged up or down, and it's important to keep this in mind when calculating the measurements between shelves. These edges may make placing some items within the Queen Mary cart more difficult.
- Slanted shelves may be desirable for seeing what items are on a cart. They may not be as beneficial when moving items from place to place because items may slide around. Some models come with built-in drain devices that empty into drain pans at the bottom of the unit. The slanted shelves help water and debris move away from the dishes. That design makes them perfect for banquet breakdown operations, as it keeps liquids from pooling on the shelves. This also makes it easier to clean the cart, allowing the operator to splash soapy water on them and then rinse them, with the liquid automatically draining off the levels. In most models of this type, the drain tube can be positioned to empty into a floor drain, so the operator doesn't have to empty the drain pan repeatedly during cleaning.