Stop! Before you buy two separate hand trucks – an upright hand truck for stacking and moving freight in the vertical position, and a platform truck for transporting cargo in the horizontal position – consider buying just one truck that can do the job of both: a convertible hand truck.
Douglas Equipment carries a full line of convertible hand trucks. You can use one of these aluminum trucks in the upright position, recline it to an ergonomic tilt-back position, or use the truck in the platform position. Changing from one configuration to another is quick, easy and smooth.
You can save money, time and storage space by contacting Douglas Equipment to learn more about how our convertible hand trucks can solve your material handling problems.
3-in-1 versus 2-in-1 – What’s in a Name?
Convertible hand trucks come in two different styles.
The name “2-in-1” implies that you can operate the truck in two different positions: vertically, as a two-wheel hand truck; or horizontally, as a four-wheel platform truck.
With a “3-in-1” hand truck, there is a third position. You can tilt the handle of the upright truck, and position a second set of wheels beneath the tilted handle. In this angled position, you can support heavy loads without needing to balance the truck in a two-wheel position. This is called the “tilt-back” position. It gives you the maneuverability of a two-wheel hand truck, combined with the stability of a four-wheel platform truck.
But what’s the difference between an ordinary 3-in-1 convertible hand truck, and a great one? What features should you look for when you compare different models? Read on!
What Makes A Great 3-in-1 Convertible Hand Truck?
Convertible hand trucks can be great to use – if they have great features coupled with a strong design. Listed below are just some of the important features you may need.
- Smooth Transition – Converting the hand truck from upright, to tilted back, or to the platform position should be easy and smooth.
- Conversion Pedal – Some of our 3-Position hand trucks have a heavy duty conversion pedal that is welded for strength. You can keep both of your hands on the grips, while you press the pedal with your foot. The frame will then slide easily up or down the handle, as you recline the truck to the tilt-back position, or all the way down to the platform position.
- Easy Recovery – When you are ready to return the truck to the 2-wheel position, just lift the frame, and the frame and caster wheels will automatically lock back into the handle.
- Move Stackable Items – The upright position or the tilt-back position are perfect for moving stackable freight.
- Move More Weight or More Volume – In the horizontal platform position, you can move more product at higher capacities.
- Beveled Nose Plate – Beveled nose plates make it easier to slide the hand truck under a load.
- Main Wheels – For cushioning the load, pneumatic tires work well. Look for main wheels that are at least 10 inches in diameter. This size wheel will roll smoothly over rough surfaces or uneven terrain. There are few things more tiring than pushing a hand truck with small, poorly designed wheels over cracked or broken pavement. You feel every bump – and so does the load! Do yourself a favor and choose a truck with quality wheels.
- Caster Wheels – On a platform truck, the main two wheels are fixed. The other two wheels should be well-designed, high quality caster wheels. These will make maneuvering loads easy. 5-inch swivel casters are often a good choice. Make sure they are non-marking so that the truck does not damage floors.
Here are two of the great 3-in-1 convertible hand trucks that we carry. These are made by Wesco Industrial Products, Inc. They easily convert from the 2 wheel position to the tilted-back position, or to the platform truck position.
1. Cobra 3 Position Hand Truck Model CBR-3-PE by Wesco
The frame of this hand truck is constructed from aluminum, which is strong, like steel, but is much lighter. The frame is further strengthened by incorporating three cross braces, each held in place by eight rivets. The frames carry a two year warranty.
For good control, this hand truck has dual grips, which provide a comfortable, non-slip surface for ease of use. Load capacity is 500 pounds in the vertical or tilt-back position, and 650 pounds in the platform position. Several pneumatic and semi-pneumatic wheel options are available. The overall height of the Cobra 3 Position Hand Truck is 52 inches, and its weight is 43 pounds (or 48 pounds for the CBR-3-Z model).
2. Spartan III 3 Position Model SPTN-III-T18-PE by Wesco
This is a value priced truck, made with an aluminum frame. It has a recessed, folding nose extension, for more options when stacking loads. It has 10 inch full pneumatic wheels, and 5 inch swivel casters.
In the vertical position or the tilt-back position, this truck can support a 500 pound load; in the platform position, it will support 750 pounds. The handle height is 48 inches, and the weight of the Spartan III 3 Position truck is 42 pounds. The warranty is 90 days.
We have other models available as well, which is why you should contact us to learn more!
Contact Douglas Equipment Today
In business for almost 60 years, Douglas Equipment specializes in material handling equipment and casters. We’ve worked with customers from many different industries, so chances are we already understand something about your business. We can help you choose the best convertible hand truck, one that suits your unique needs – and your budget! Contact us today to have your questions answered or for help with the selection process.