The hand truck has come a long way from its forerunners, then called sack truck, sack barrow, bag barrow, and box cart. While it has evolved in terms of the materials used to build it, it has retained its distinct L-shape with wheels at the rear of the base. For the longest time, it has competed against different types of carts in this form.
Today, however, convertible hand trucks are taking over the market. This tells us one thing – the hand truck has entered another phase in its evolution. As it keeps up with the changing environment, it too must change. To users like you, a 2-wheel dolly that’s convertible has a lot to offer.
Multiple ways to transform a convertible hand truck
Most convertibles have dual functions – as a basic 2-wheel hand truck and as a 4-wheel dolly. These dual-use hand trucks are the most common among various convertible models. The dual design is rather conservative because we’ve seen convertibles with up to eight (!) configurations. Why settle with two functions when there can be more? Here’s why.
The truth with this mind-boggling number of conversions is that, the more moving parts your hand truck has the less sturdy it becomes. To convert to various shapes and functions, there will have to be multiple segments and joints. With each joint added to the design, you will have to accept some give. That’s the trade off.
So to maintain the balance between a hand truck’s functionality and structural integrity, we recommend three configurations at most. The versatile hand trucks featured below possess this balance.
Top 2 convertible hand trucks and what we like about them
We’ve picked up these hand trucks based on their multiple functions, usability of each function, ease of conversion, and structural strength in each configuration.
Harper’s dual hand truck converts within seconds from a 2-wheel upright position to a 4-wheel platform. The capacity in the vertical setup is 600 lb, while the max capacity in the horizontal setup is 700 lb.
What’s unique about this hand truck is the material used in its construction. Its frame truss is molded from glass-filled nylon instead of the usual steel or aluminum material. It is 30% lighter than steel but equally tough. The telescoping handle and base plate are made of steel. We’d like to note that a slant on the truss provides for easy glide on stairs.
The hand truck rests on a pair of 10” never-flat solid rubber wheels. If you prefer inflatable wheels, you can have it in this same model but fitted with 10” pneumatic wheels instead. When laid as a platform dolly, a pair of 5” swivel casters assists in the load-lifting job.
What makes this number 1 for us is its solidity – it’s never shaky. We attribute this to the fact that it has no foldable parts. Only the handle, which is secured by quick-release pins, shifts position when converting to another setup.
Since there’s practically not much converting involved, we find this convertible hand truck from Harper Trucks the easiest to swap between functions. And we don’t mind at all that it’s rock-stable as a result.
This Costco hand truck can be configured in three different ways – as a 2-wheel upright hand truck, a 4-wheel assisted hand truck, and a 4-wheel platform cart. It has a rated capacity of 1000 lb when used as a 4-wheel cart and 800 lb when used either as upright or assisted hand truck.
It is made of commercial-grade aluminum, lightweight, and highly maneuverable. It has two oversized, flat-free wheels and two caster wheels. You will only need easy one-hand motions to click it to its different configurations.
This 3-in-1 hand truck is even slightly lighter than Harper’s dual hand truck, but its edge is its 4-wheel assisted setup. The small casters do an amazing job of taking the weight away from the user. If you’re transporting a few hundred pounds, this is exactly the kind of help that you’ll need!
You will find our full review of the 3-in-1 Costco hand truck here.
One hand truck for different moving needs
If you can’t have both a hand truck and a platform dolly, what about having the best of both worlds – in one convertible hand truck? Why not, indeed? It’s the most practical way to go.
We’ve given you our top 2 choices – even including one with a third configuration. Each one has an edge over the other. Between the two, however, there should be one that best speaks about you and what you need in a hand truck.
Pick THAT ONE now and make every moving chore a breeze!