Lead Forensics

Designing bespoke storage trolleys

Storage trolleys are used for both storing and moving items in warehouses and storerooms. Storage trolley manufacturers make a wide variety of storage trolleys for different uses, but sometimes a standard trolley is not sufficient to satisfy the needs of a business. This is when a bespoke trolley is required.

Custom sizes

The simplest modification to storage trolleys is to have them made in custom sizes, narrower, wider, taller or shorter. As long as the trolley fits through any doorways, it can be widened. Longer trolleys can be made, but a trolley that is too long will be difficult to steer.

A storage trolley manufacturer will advise you about the maximum and minimum sizes that are practical for their storage trolleys.


Storage trolleys made from tubular steel are strong and lightweight. The manufacturer will have a load rating, the maximum load that can safety be carried on it. It is possible to have the storage trolley strengthened, but this is not always a good idea. Workers need to be able to push or pull trolleys with ease or risk muscular skeletal injuries. If items are manually lifted from shelves onto storage trolleys, they must not be too heavy to lift manually. Trolleys and their loads should be suitable for the average worker, not ones that have above normal strength capacity.

Strength and build quality

Storage trolleys made from tubular steel will last a long time even in heavy use. There is not a lot to go wrong with them, though they should be checked regularly for defects. Many trolleys that you can buy online or from do-it-yourself retailers are made from other weaker materials. While these are fine for occasional domestic use, they are not intended for warehouse use. If your storage trolley manufacturer makes both domestic and industrial trolleys, only buy commercial ones. There should be no need to specify extra durable trolleys as standard ones should be strong enough, but you could discuss this with the manufacturer.

Storage trolleys have swivel casters that make them easy to move and steer. Manufacturers use good quality casters that are built to last. There should be no need to specify higher grade casters, but these may be available. The top of trolleys and any shelves should be made from strong materials that are designed to hold the weight.

Ideally, use a storage trolley manufacturer that does not outsource any of the manufacturing processes. This means that they can have strict quality control over the whole manufacturing process, from the powder coating of the tubular steel to cutting, bending and welding them together. Skilled metalworkers will make sure that all welded joints are solid and unlikely to break. A good manufacturer will welcome a visit to their workshop for clients to see for themselves the quality of construction. The same quality work and attention to detail will be applied to bespoke storage trolleys, so there is no need to specify different fabrication processes.

Redesigning storage trolleys

If a significant redesign of storage trolleys is required, invite a design engineer from the equipment manufacturer to visit the workplace to look at the way items are currently stored and moved. Often a bespoke solution is required because the business has heavy or odd-shaped items. For example, before specialised sofa trolleys were designed, it was difficult to store and move more than one at a time. Sofa trolleys were invented that could hold two sofas, one above the other without touching.

Sometimes a new design consists of adding extra features such as document holders, laptop stands or steps.

The designer will discuss their ideas about a bespoke solution with business owners, managers and workers to come up with a new design. Back at the manufacturer’s workplace, a prototype of the new design will be fabricated by metalworkers ready for testing. After the client has used the trolley and either approved of the design or suggested modifications, the bespoke storage trolleys will be made and delivered.

How long do bespoke trolleys take to make?

A good manufacturer based in Britain should be able to make a bespoke storage trolley within a few weeks from the initial designer visit to the delivery of the order. If the order is for a custom size standard trolley or a standard trolley with a feature or accessory added, it may take less time.

A British manufacturer will obviously be quicker than one based outside the UK, as shipping times are speedier. Unlike many equipment manufacturing processes, storage trolleys are usually made in small batches. When making bespoke trolleys, there is no need for expensive and time-consuming retooling. Storage trolleys are not made on a large production line, as workers can quickly adapt to making small batch bespoke jobs.

If the bespoke trolley order is required very quickly, a manufacturer may be able to fast-track the job. Manufactures want to provide top class customer service and will do a job quickly if it is possible.

Customer service

Once the bespoke storage trolleys have been delivered and a business is happy with them, they should provide many years of trouble-free use. If trolleys do develop a fault, the manufacturer should provide top class customer service and rectify the issues quickly and efficiently.

Many storage trolley manufacturers are small or family businesses that provide better customer service than large organisations. They develop relationships with their customers to provide a more personalised service. Service calls are not handled by a call centre; instead, clients get to speak directly to the decision makers of the company.

Not just storage trolleys

A storage trolley manufacturer will also produce a whole range of equipment – trolleys, shelving, packing tables, garment rails and more. As a business grows, it needs more equipment for the warehouse. Many companies are expanding their online operations and need efficient packing stations and order picking equipment

When planning a warehouse expansion or reorganization, talk to Steely Products about what bespoke equipment will be required. Use the contact form below to get started.

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