Beverage Delivery » Hand Trucks

Hand Trucks

Employees repeatedly move beverages from a delivery truck to a hand truck or stack. Product to be moved can be stacked to shoulder height and may need to be lowered to ground level. These lifting tasks pose an increased risk of pain and injury and should be considered hazardous unless appropriate solutions are implemented.


Fig. 1: Bending the torso.

Potential Hazard:

  • Employees must repeatedly bend the torso (Fig. 1) when unloading product from delivery trucks.


Possible Solutions:

  • For large quantity loads provide a four-wheel platform-style cart or a two-wheel hand truck that converts to a four-wheel platform-style truck. This will minimize bending the torso.

  • Modify the current hand truck or supply a new one that has an adjustable height load platform or toe plate. Devices having this capability include a palletized hand truck, a chain/crank lifting hand cart, a hydraulic foot pump hand cart, and/or a scissor cart with counterbalanced technology. Or, provide a spacer for hand trucks with a fixed toe plate so that the bottom loading level is elevated to approximately knee height. Elevating the load by adjusting the height of the toe plate will minimize torso bending.

Fig. 2: Lowering the angle of the load to create more force.

Potential Hazard:

  • When pushing up an incline the employee frequently has to lower the angle of the load (Fig. 2) to generate enough force to push the load up the slope. Lowering the load angle increases the amount of weight the employee must lift. In addition to providing force in a horizontal direction, the employee must now provide force in a vertical direction. This places additional stress on the shoulders, back and legs.


Possible Solution:

  • Provide a fold down third wheel on the back of the hand truck so the load can be self supporting. This ensures that the employee must only provide force in a horizontal direction.

Potential Hazard:

  • Employees who deliver to locations without docks must pull fully loaded hand trucks over uneven walking surfaces, up and over curbs and up stairways.

Possible Solutions:

Fig. 3: Curb Ramp.Fig. 4: Moving the load over the curb with the ramp.
  • Provide and use curb ramps (Fig. 3). Curb ramps allow for easy movement over uneven walking surfaces (Fig. 4), eliminating the need to lift and pull fully loaded hand trucks.

  • Use trucks that have several doors on the side so loads can be accessed by means other than the back door. A short ramp from a side door could eliminate pulling the hand cart up steps and curbs.

Potential Hazard:

  • A poorly maintained hand truck will greatly increase physical stress on an employee. When hand truck tires are under or unevenly pressurized, the employee's arms, back, and legs must provide more force to move the hand truck.

Possible Solutions:

Fig. 5: Hard Wheels.Fig. 6: Balloon Tires.
  • The employee should have the option of hard wheels (Fig. 5) or balloon tires (Fig. 6) for the two-wheel hand truck. Keep balloon tires in good repair and properly inflated. Check tire pressure on a quarterly basis or more often if needed. Make available to the employees a pressure gauge, air compressor, and pressure hose. Hard rubber tires do not have the air pressure problems associated with balloon tires. However, hard rubber tires do not move very well over rough terrain.

  • If rough terrain is encountered, use a four-wheel hand truck in the upright position as a two-wheel hand truck.