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Hand Truck vs. Moving Dolly: Which One for Your Next Move?

Mastering Your Move: Hand Trucks vs. Dollies – Choosing the Right Tool for a Seamless Transition
By · October 2, 2023
Hand Truck vs. Moving Dolly: Which One for Your Next Move?

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We are helping thousands of customers just like you to move anywhere in Canada. Door to door service. Fixed prices.
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Ever stood before a towering stack of boxes, feeling the weight of the world (or at least your belongings) on your shoulders, wondering how you'll transport it all? If you've ever moved or even thought of moving, this dilemma probably rings a bell.

Luckily for you, there are tools to help. Hands trucks and dollies have been helping homeowners for years with transportation.

In this guide, we'll delve into:

  • Understanding Hand Trucks and Dollies
  • The unique design and capabilities of each tool
  • Benefits derived from both, and their specialized use
  • A detailed breakdown of which tool prevails in different categories like versatility, maneuverability, and load capacity
  • FAQs to dispel any lingering doubts.

P.s., If you need a helping hand with your move, answer a couple of questions on Top Move and start getting affordable quotes from local movers in your area.

Table Of Contents:

  • Understanding Hand Trucks and Dollies
    • The Design and Functionality of Hand Trucks
    • Different Types of Hand Trucks
    • Size and Capacity
  • Advantages of Using a Hand Truck
    • Easily Lift Heavy Cargo
    • Folding Capability: A Unique Advantage
  • Benefits Derived from Using Dollies
    • Higher Load Capacity Than Most Standard Hand Trucks
  • Navigating Various Types Of Dollies Available
    • Piano Dolly
    • Equipment Dolly
  • The Best Choice for Moving: Hand Truck vs Dolly?
    • Versatility
    • Maneuverability
    • Load Capacity
    • Terrain Adaptability
    • Storage
    • Ease of Loading
    • Stability During Transit
    • Specialized Use
  • How to Move with Top Move: A Step-by-Step Process
    • Step 1: What Are You Moving?
    • Step 2: Insert Your Current Address
    • Step 3: Moving From
    • Step 4: Moving To
    • Step 5: Moving Date
    • Step 6: Address Moving To
    • Step 7: Driver Help Required or Not
    • Step 8: Add Inventory
    • Step 9: Do You Have Photos?
    • Step 10: Your Email Address and Submit
  • FAQs
    • Why is a hand truck called a dolly?
    • What is the difference between dollying and trucking?
    • How do you spell dolly as in a hand truck?
    • What's the difference between a dolly and a two-wheeler?
  • Make Your Next Move a Breeze with the Right Tools

Key Differences Between a Hand Truck and Dolly

  1. Design & Structure: Hand trucks typically have a vertical L-shaped design with two wheels, while dollies are flat platforms with four wheels.
  2. Load Orientation: Hand trucks are designed for stacking items vertically, whereas dollies allow for horizontal placement of items.
  3. Maneuverability: Hand trucks can navigate through narrow pathways with ease due to their upright design. Dollies, on the other hand, require more floor space but offer stable support for wider items.
  4. Use Case: Hand trucks are versatile for general-purpose moving, including boxes and smaller appliances. Dollies, especially specialized types, cater to specific items like furniture or pianos.
  5. Weight Distribution: Dollies evenly distribute weight across their flat surface, providing stability. Hand trucks rely on the user's strength and balance to tilt and move the load.

The Hand Truck: Types, Pros & Cons, & When to Use

Types of Hand Trucks

The world of hand trucks is vast and diverse. There's no "one-size-fits-all" solution here. Let's dive deeper.

  • Upright Hand Trucks: The jack-of-all-trades. Versatile and eager to handle whatever you throw its way.
  • Appliance Hand Trucks: Made for the big stuff. Think refrigerators or washing machines. Built sturdy for those household titans.
  • Convertible Hand Trucks: The transformers of the hand truck world. One minute it's an upright truck, the next? A full-blown furniture dolly. Talk about getting a two-for-one deal.
  • Ever come across a Folding Hand Truck? These compact wonders can be tucked away easily, ideal for those tight on space but big on moving needs. No more clutter, just fold and store.

Remember, selecting the right equipment isn't just about convenience. It's about saving time, effort, and those dreaded moving-day injuries.


  1. Enhanced Maneuverability: Perfect for tight spaces and tricky turns.
  2. Space-Saving Design: Foldable models slip easily into compact storage.
  3. Versatile Functionality: From groceries to appliances, they handle it all.
  4. Quick Loading & Unloading: Speed up your moving process with the tilted design.
  5. Cost-Effectiveness: Durable and budget-friendly, offering bang for your buck.


  1. Weight Limitations: Overloading can compromise stability.
  2. Terrain Challenges: Not all models handle uneven surfaces well.

What Could You Use a Hand Truck For?

  1. Furniture Relocations: Shifting that hefty sofa or bulky bookshelf? Hand trucks make it effortless.
  2. Gardening: Easily transport large bags of soil, compost, or even potted plants around your garden.
  3. Home Renovations: Moving building materials or tools? It's a breeze with a hand truck.
  4. Garage Organizing: Clear out clutter and rearrange items without the heavy lifting.
  5. Appliance Installation: Whether it's a new washing machine or fridge, hand trucks ease the process.

The Dolly: Types, Pros & Cons, & When to Use

Types of Dollies

  • Furniture Dolly: This is the go-to choice for homeowners. With a flat platform and sturdy four-wheel structure, it's perfect for that cumbersome couch or hefty wardrobe.
  • Drum Dolly: Built with an indented platform, this dolly's prime role is to cater to the rounded items in your home. Barrels of rainwater, plant pots, or any cumbersome cylindrical items? Sorted.
  • Piano Dolly: Designed with precision and love. If you've got a grand piano or any large musical instrument, this dolly ensures they move safely.
  • Appliance Dolly: Refrigerator, washing machine, or any other hefty home appliance? This one’s tailored to ensure their safe transit with straps and stair climbers.
  • Platform Dolly: Flat, open, and versatile. Great for moving multiple boxes or oddly shaped furniture pieces.


  1. Stability: Four wheels ensure a more stable platform, reducing chances of toppling.
  2. Versatility: With various designs, there's a dolly for almost every household item.
  3. Weight Distribution: Their design ensures an even distribution of weight, making heavy lifting feel lighter.
  4. Protects Your Back: Instead of lifting, you're pushing or pulling, which can reduce the risk of back injuries.
  5. Efficiency: Moving multiple items at once? Dollies make the job quicker.


  1. Space: Larger than hand trucks, they might require more storage space.
  2. Navigation: In tight corners or narrow passages, maneuvering can be tricky.
  3. Terrain Limitation: Not all dollies handle uneven terrains well. Your garden path might be a challenge.

What Could You Use A Dolly For? Use-cases for Homeowners

  • Redecorating Rooms: Shuffling furniture around for a fresh look? Dollies can make this a one-person job.
  • Home Renovations: Moving large materials or multiple tools? Dollies can come to the rescue, especially platform ones.
  • Gardening: Moving large planters, stones, or bags of soil? A dolly can make gardening a breeze, and not a backache fest.

Remember, dollies aren’t just about weight; they’re about making smart moves. For homeowners, that means ensuring your precious items – and your back – are protected.

The Best Choice for Moving: Hand Truck or Dolly?

When it comes to moving, the choice between a hand truck and a dolly can significantly impact the efficiency and ease of your move. Here are eight points to consider:


  • Hand Truck: Hand trucks are generally more versatile, capable of handling both small and large items.
  • Dolly: Dollies are more specialized, often designed for specific types of items like furniture or barrels.


  • Hand Truck: With only two wheels, hand trucks are easier to maneuver, especially in tight spaces.
  • Dolly: The four-wheel design of a dolly offers stability but can be harder to navigate in confined areas.

Load Capacity

  • Hand Truck: Generally has a lower weight capacity, making it suitable for lighter loads.
  • Dolly: Designed for heavier loads, a dolly can handle more weight thanks to its four-wheel design.

Terrain Adaptability

  • Hand Truck: Less stable on uneven terrains due to its two-wheel design.
  • Dolly: More stable on uneven terrains because of its four-wheel design.


  • Hand Truck: Some models can be folded, making them easier to store.
  • Dolly: Generally takes up more space due to its larger surface area.

Ease of Loading

  • Hand Truck: Items need to be tilted and then placed on the hand truck, which might require more effort.
  • Dolly: Items can be placed directly onto the flat surface, making loading easier.

Stability During Transit

  • Hand Truck: Less stable during transit, especially for unevenly distributed loads.
  • Dolly: More stable during transit due to its flat design and even weight distribution.

Specialized Use

  • Hand Truck: Some models are convertible and can function as a dolly.
  • Dolly: Comes in specialized types like furniture dollies, drum dollies, and piano dollies for specific moving needs.

In summary, the choice between a hand truck and a dolly depends on various factors such as the type of items you're moving, the terrain, and your storage space. Both have their pros and cons, and the best choice would depend on your specific needs.

Find a Helping Hand on Top Move

Moving can be a daunting task, but with Top Move, the process becomes much simpler. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to move with Top Move:

Step 1: What Are You Moving?

The first step involves selecting what you are moving. Choose the appropriate option from the list provided on the platform.

Step 2: Insert Your Current Address

Input your current address in detail.

Step 3: Moving From

Specify the type of residence you are moving from, such as the number of bedrooms and the floor it's on.

Step 4: Moving To

Similarly, specify the type of residence you are moving to, including the number of bedrooms and the floor.

Step 5: Moving Date

Choose the date you plan to move. This will help the moving companies to check their availability.

Step 6: Address Moving To

Input the address you are moving to. This will be used to calculate the distance and provide an accurate quote.

Step 7: Driver Help Required or Not

Indicate whether you will need help from the driver for tasks like loading and unloading.

Step 8: Add Inventory

List down the items you will be moving. This helps in getting a more accurate quote and ensures that the moving company comes prepared.

Step 9: Do You Have Photos?

If possible, upload photos of the items you are moving. This can provide additional clarity for the moving companies.

Step 10: Your Email Address and Submit

Finally, enter your email address and submit the form. You will receive quotes and can proceed to finalize your moving plans.

By following these steps, you can make your move organized and hassle-free.

Make Your Next Move a Breeze with the Right Tools

Moving is often seen as a Herculean task, especially when you're unsure about the tools that can make the journey easier. Whether you're team hand truck or team dolly, what truly matters is understanding their unique features and capabilities to ensure you're making the most informed decision for your specific needs.

As we've explored, both tools have their distinct advantages, with factors like versatility, load capacity, and maneuverability playing a crucial role. Equipped with this knowledge, you're now ready to take on your next move with confidence and ease.

And hey, speaking of making moves smoother, don't forget to give Top Move a whirl for your next relocation. You can get quotes sent to your inbox from the best local movers in your area.

Start by answering some questions here.


Why is a hand truck called a dolly?

The term "dolly" is used to describe a platform with wheels that is used for moving heavy objects. Hand trucks are often referred to as dollies because they serve a similar purpose, despite having some design differences.

What is the difference between dollying and trucking?

Dollying involves using a flat platform with four wheels to transport items, while trucking utilizes an upright two-wheeled device known as a hand truck.

How do you spell dolly as in a hand truck?

The correct spelling for the wheeled transport tool is "dolly", spelled D-O-L-L-Y. It is often confused with "hand trucks," which are another type of moving equipment.

What's the difference between a dolly and a two-wheeler?

A dolly typically has four wheels and is used to carry loads horizontally. On the other hand, a two-wheeler, also known as a hand truck, has only two wheels and is used to transport items vertically by tilting them back onto its frame.

Do you need help moving?

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9.6 · 134 reviews

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