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Trucks and Trolleys Guide

Trucks and trolleys play a vital role in many supply chains, warehouse operations and processes where heavy, numerous or awkward loads need to be transported from place to place.  They can be used to move a variety of loads, from machinery to stock, with some being specifically designed for particular operations and others being just handy to have around.

The introduction of mobile lifting and transport equipment often helps to improve productivity in the workplace and reduce the risks involved in handling heavy or unwieldy loads.  As a result this often helps to minimise employee injuries.  Trucks and trolleys are therefore a very cost effective way to increase efficiency and lower risks in the workplace while boosting employee morale.  They can also assist in adherence to health and safety legislation (such as The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992) by offering practical solutions to risk assessments involving manual handling hazards.

Ready to Roll

While you may think that there isn’t much to the wheels and castors that make your equipment mobile, there are many different types of each.  Improvements in technology mean that you can now choose a type that is most suited to and will have specific benefits to the application it is used for, making it easier for you to move equipment from one place to another.

An extensive range of different tyres as well as features such as in-built braking systems and shock absorbency mean that the wheels or castors you use can be chosen to improve the speed and safety of the operation required.

When choosing wheels and castors, you should consider the terrain they are travelling on, the weight of the materials they are transporting, and any other environmental factors that could have an effect on the health and safety of the staff that are using them.  This will help you to comply with the relevant legislation such as the Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.

Your Guide to Choosing Trucks and Trolleys

With a huge range of different trucks and trolleys, from platform trolleys, parcel trolleys and roll containers to sack trucks, stairclimbers, hand pallet trucks and mobile scissor lifts, it can be difficult to know which one to choose.  Before selecting a truck or trolley you may want to ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Have you consulted with the handlers themselves on what they believe would work? They may have valuable advice on what to choose
  • What are the dimensions and weights of the load or loads to be transported? Make sure the handling aids you choose fits and can support the loads required to be transported without the risk of tipping
  • How far are the loads being transported? While a heavy-weight steel truck may take an increased weight, it may be more ergonomic for a lightweight aluminium truck to be used
  • Consider the traffic route – Will the goods path take it outside or over uneven ground? Does it need to go up stairs? This will have an effect on the wheels of the truck or trolley – you may want puncture proof tyres for uneven ground or a starred wheel truck for going up stairs
  • Consider the logistics of the operation – How many people will be using the handling aids? Will you need more than one/several handling aids?

Your Guide to Choosing Wheels and Castors

Selecting the right wheels for the job can be tricky.  You should take account of the terrain involved (uneven flooring or outside conditions), the traffic route (does it involve going up or downhill?), the load or materials to be transported, and any other environmental factors that could affect mobility (such as the likelihood of spillages on traffic route).  It should be noted that there is a difference between castors and wheels – wheels consist of a hard or soft tyre around a plastic, rubber or metal middle, while castors consist of the wheel within a frame with a plate attached that can be fixed to almost anything to make it mobile.  Below are some of the features and benefits of specific tyres and their application:

  • Rubber – quieter with good shock absorption and can be used on most floors, can be harder to move than harder wheels if the load is quite heavy
  • Cast iron – extremely durable, high load capacity and increased resistance to high and low temperatures and chemicals, can be noisy and vibrate if going over uneven ground
  • Nylon – durable, low roll resistance for faster performance, resistant to some chemicals, can be noisy over uneven surfaces
  • Pneumatic – high shock absorption rate, good on uneven ground, low wearing to floors, can deflate so must be checked often for adequate pressure
  • Polyurethane – fast performance, high load capacity, good grip, resistant to chemicals and water, good shock absorption for quieter movement, harder wearing than rubber but can be more costly