At Felix Loeb, we’re big fans of hand trucks. Who wouldn’t be? They’re an invention that’s brilliantly simple and when it comes to transporting objects short distances, highly useful. However, like everything else, there are right and wrong ways to use them. The last thing you need is an accident, particularly if it’s one that could have been easily prevented.

Keep reading for 5 handy tips to increase both your efficiency and your safety.

  1. When carrying or moving cargo or loads, back injuries can be very common. Since the whole point of a hand truck is to make the process easier, never pull it when moving stuff. By pushing the hand truck, it’s not only less work for you, but there’s no risk of the load falling on you if it stops suddenly.
  2. Speaking of falling loads, before you start moving, make sure your load is tightly secured with a heavy-duty nylon belt. Before using it, inspect it and keep an eye out for fraying, tears, or any signs of damage.
  3. You know those people who go grocery shopping and try to carry all of their bags inside in one trip? When using a hand truck, don’t be that guy. Overloading it can increase the odds of your load collapsing, so if you need to break down a big load into several smaller loads, make it happen.
  4. For lighter loads, it’s okay to use a two-wheeled hand truck. But if your load is heavy, be smart and use a four-wheeled hand truck. It distributes the weight more evenly, plus it’s much easier to use.
  5. Be careful with personal protection. A good pair of leather gloves will keep hands safe if loads have sharp edges. A good pair of shoes, such as steel-toed boots, will keep feet safe from wheels rolling over feet or falling objects.