Sack Truck – General description
A sack truck is known by several other names including a dolly a hand truck a sack barrow and a box cart.
Constructed in the shape of a letter ‘L‘. It is basically a lever and is great for moving heavy objects; you simply tilt the object forward and slide the flat plate or one of the many versions of it under the heavy object to be moved. Immediately behind the plate is a pair of wheels and the weight is levered over these wheels by the long arms that have handles at the end. The products are then wheeled to their new position.
Sack truck came into existence on docksides where they were used to move large sacks of spices. They are efficient and at that time allowed boys as young as 10 to do the same job of men in the early eighteenth century.
They were later adapted by other industries such as beer making where sacks of hops had to be moved.
This efficiency allowed women to use them and the picture below shows an example being taken in an English biscuit factory during the First World War.
They can be made of a variety of materials such as steel and alluminum tube and even high impact resistant plastics
There are a multiple variations with some having rounded backs for transporting barrels. The variations even include the stair climbing sack truck which has a trio of wheels so positioned that they roll over the profile of the stairs and are surprisingly efficient, however they are not so good round corners! They can have either hard wheels or inflated pneumatic wheels depending on the surface that they operate on.
Variations can be found at airports, train stations and quaysides all around the world.
Unless they are made of wood the sack truck is often painted blue in colour and there are established sack truck manufacturers in Cardiff where a complete range of sack trucks or hand barrows, can be found.