How are heavy duty trolleys made?

Heavy duty trolleys enable goods to be moved easily by one person.

The first widespread use of trolleys was in docks for unloading ships. They were then adapted for other industries and now most warehouses or storage areas will have some kind of trolley to manually move goods.

Trolleys used to be made from wood – a material still used for the top of flat heavy duty trolleys, and some domestic trolleys are mainly constructed from wood too. You can also purchase plastic trolleys. Wood and plastic trolleys are fine for use in the home, but they are not durable enough for heavy duty. Tubular steel is a far better material.

Online retailing has risen dramatically over the last few years. While large retailers like Amazon have robots to move goods around their warehouses, smaller retailers still rely on trolleys for their picking and packing operations.

The basic designs

The basic design of heavy duty trolleys has not changed a lot over the years. There are two standard designs – the L-shaped sack trolley, and the platform trolley.

The sack trolley has been adapted for specialist loads. For example, an L-shaped trolley to carry barrels has a curved instead of a straight back. There are also trolleys designed for specialist industries such as the furniture, window and door trades. These pieces of equipment are variations on the flat or sack trolley adapted to a particular shape and sizes of goods. Some platform trolleys have one or more shelves.

Constructing heavy duty trolleys

Trolleys for home use are cheap but constructed from lightweight materials. Warehouses need to use trolleys every day for carrying heavy loads. A trolley built for the domestic market would not last long, so a heavy-duty trolley needs to be made with strong tubular steel.

Tubular steel is strong and durable. Powder coating prevents the steel corroding, and because tubing is hollow, it makes a trolley strong without making it too heavy.

The tubular steel is bent using specialist machines. The steel could be riveted together, but the best trolleys weld the steel to construct the trolleys. Premium quality heavy duty trolleys are welded by hand rather than mass produced. Welding requires skilled workmen who can create strong joints that will not pull apart. A highly skilled welder will be able to build a high-quality trolley quickly.

The next important components used in constructing a trolley are the castors or wheels. Sack trolleys have fixed wheels and flat trolleys usually have four swivel casters. Casters need to be strong and allow easy movement of the trolley.

Supermarket trolleys often suffer from being difficult to handle, whereas a heavy duty trolley has to have the casters positioned in the right position and have a swivel action that is reliable. A flat trolley with high quality casters will be easy to move and turn by one worker without a lot of effort.

Well-made heavy duty trolleys made contribute to the efficiency of moving goods around the workplace.

Posted by Katrina
1st August 2018

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