Written by Terry Smith
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Best dolly trolley [UK]: top heavy duty dolly trolleys and platform trucks compared
This article was last updated on August 28th, 2021 at 9:50 am
We all know the saying ‘Your body is a temple’ and I would argue that this wise proverb rings especially true when it comes to those who work in the labour industry. Heavy lifting seems like a great idea at the time, until you go for that one object which is just a little too heavy and feel that familiar twang in your back. Ouch. And that’s where the best dolly cart in the UK from our carefully selected list will help you significantly.
Injuries from lifting are detrimental to your health, mobility and, importantly, your ability to work! To avoid any workplace injuries, it’s a really bright idea to invest in the proper equipment to make lifting and manoeuvring heavy objects easy and safe. This protects staff members from hurting themselves, which prevents your business from getting hurt by a damaging workplace injury law case – that’s what I would call a win-win! So what kind of equipment can you buy to make transporting items easier?
The most popular types of equipment for item transportation in the trade industry are dolly trolleys and platform trucks. There are many variations of these names, like dolly carts, stack trucks, trundlers, box carts, sack barrows, etc. But the important thing is that they all aim to do the same thing; safely move items from A to B.
Still, in order to ensure that you are investing in the right kind of product which will best serve your workplace transportation needs, it is essential that you know the difference between the two types of equipment: dolly trolleys and platform trucks. So, let’s get into it…
What is a Dolly Trolley?
Essentially, a dolly trolley is a flat platform with four wheels – it’s as simple as that and operates very differently from a wheelbarrow and varies slightly from a garden cart which is more closely aimed at rugged garden terrain with bigger wheels – a dolly trolley will also carry significantly more weight. I imagine that even the cavemen were using their own version of a dolly trolley, probably consisting of a big flat slab of wood and a couple of round rocks. It really isn’t rocket science. It’s super simple design serves the super simple purpose of giving immobile objects a set of handy wheels to make them mobile.
The fact that a dolly trolley has no handles or arms can make moving it, and the object sitting on top of it, slightly harder, however it means that the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can put on top. However, the issue with a dolly trolley is the fact that, whilst it makes heavy objects super easy to move around, you have to figure out your own way of getting said heavy object on and off of the trolley first. This is where a strong team of people or some kind of lifting mechanism would come in handy – so always consider what you have at your disposal to help you in this kind of situation before it comes down to it.
What is a Platform Truck?
Potato-potaato, tomato-tomaato. When it comes to dolly trolleys and platform trucks there really are more similarities than differences, but we are in the business of splitting hairs – so what distinguishes a platform truck from a dolly trolley?
Fundamentally, it is the addition of a handle which transforms the dolly trolley into a platform truck. Now, this may seem like a tiny change, but it makes a pretty significant difference to the operation of the platform truck. Think ‘One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’. Essentially, the handle means that the platform can be pushed and pulled in any direction, also meaning items can be stacked on top of one another. This makes platform trucks better when it comes to mobility and superior in their ability to hold multiple items at once. However, it does mean that one side of the platform is obstructed by a handle, making it harder to hold large, uniquely shaped objects.
Of course, this is unless you have a folding platform truck, which is essentially the best thing since sliced bread in the dolly cart world. A folding platform truck is fit with a foldable handle, making it both more suitable for a wider variety of objects and easier to store. The only downside to a foldable platform truck is the fact that their handles are often weaker than a proper platform truck, as they typically feature a hinge which limits the load they can support.
Features of a good Dolly Cart/Platform Truck
We may now know the differences between a dolly cart and a platform truck, but this is a review article after all. What we really want to know is which product is the best. But, before we can get into that, we need to ascertain exactly what it is that we are looking for in a good dolly cart/platform truck.
Seeing as the whole purpose of a dolly cart is mobility, we are on the hunt for carts which are super portable. This means that they need to be fairly lightweight, and the addition of a handle (within the platform truck variety) is no bad thing. It also really helps if the cart is foldable, as this increases its storage ability, which is always a plus when you are working in a busy warehouse.
Another really important consideration is how well the cart can perform. How much weight can it hold and move? Do the wheels turn 180 degrees? Does it come pre-assembled? What sort of materials is it made from (this is important when we consider how long the product will last)? Dolly carts and platform trucks were not made to look pretty – they are highly functional objects. So if their functionality is poor, you’re going to want to avoid that product like the plague.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to price. No one likes being ripped off, and it’s been a tough year for everybody, so it is important to be economic. In the cart industry, you can expect to part with somewhere between £19.99 and £99.99 for a dolly cart or platform truck, so there really is a lot of variety in price. For my money, I wouldn’t spend over £49.99, as there are so many high-quality carts sitting in the £20 – £40 range, so splurging really isn’t necessary.
So, now we know why we need transportation equipment in the workplace, the key differences between a dolly cart and a platform truck, and exactly what we should be expecting when it comes to portability, functionality and price in our search for the perfect product. Let’s get into the best of the best in the dolly cart/platform truck market…
Best Dolly Trolley UK
1. Unibos 400kg Heavy Duty Anti Slip Hand Dolly Trolley Cart
Specification: Material: plywood material, Size: 59L x 29W cm, Max Load: 400kg.
We will start off with the Unibos heavy duty dolly cart, a strong favourite in the cart industry. Made from strong plywood, this cart is arguably the most attractive cart on the market, which isn’t necessarily of the utmost importance when it comes to functionality, but still something worth bearing in mind if you like to keep your warehouse, home or workspace looking good.
Aside from aesthetics, this strong plywood material holds the important purpose of increasing the strength capacity of this dolly cart. Thanks to the robust material of the cart, the Unibos dolly trolley can handle up to 400kg of weight, which is nothing short of astounding. To put that into perspective a little, 400kg is roughly the weight of a small elephant, which as you can imagine is pretty heavy. This huge weight capacity makes the Unibos dolly appropriate for all sorts of lifting, whether heavy or light.
Monumental capacity aside, the platform measures 59cm x 29cm x 18cm (Length x Width x Height), coming in at approximately 14cm off the floor. The platform size is decent, not the biggest but certainly not the smallest, and the fairly generous 14cm lift off the ground increases the range of the cart when it comes to moving over hostile surfaces.
Another design element which improves the movement of this cart is the set of four, widely spaced heavy duty castor wheels. The wide spacing prevents any tipping on the platform, whilst the fact that all four wheels move independently means that you can pull the cart in any direction and it will comply. Good cart. In addition to this, the cart features anti-slip pads to prevent disaster by stopping any items from falling off the platform.
To be perfectly honest, the main issue with the Unibos dolly trolly is the fact that it is just a dolly trolley. This product would benefit immensely from a handle, which would of course turn it into a platform truck. However, despite saying this, the cart does have a handle cut out on one of the sides to make pulling it along easier, but there are lots of carts on the market with two, three and even four handle spaces, so Unibos lose a couple of points on this feature.
2. Unibos 200kg Heavy Duty Anti Slip Hand Dolly Trolley Cart
Specification: Material: MDF, Size: 59L x 29W cm, Max Load: 200kg.
We’re staying in the same family with the next dolly cart, this time taking a look at the Unibos 200kg dolly trolley. In truth, there are a lot of similarities between this Unibos product and its sister trolley. The main difference is in the title; this product has half the weight capacity when compared to the 400kg model.
It has the same 59cm x 29cm x 18cm (Length x Width x Height) measurements, however it is closer to the ground, with a height of just 7.5cm. If you are working on a flat surface, this lower height most likely won’t impact the usability of the trolley, however it is worth considering the ways in which this could impact mobility, for example it could make pulling items up or down an incline a little more difficult.
Much like the 400kg Unibos model, this cart comes with an integral carry handle to increase mobility, in addition to four widely spaced revolving wheels to – you guessed it – prevent tipping over. It also features the same anti-slip padding on the top of the platform, ensuring that once your items are loaded onto the cart they will stay put.
In terms of disadvantages, the primary one is pretty obvious; this dolly cart has half of the weight capacity when compared to its 400kg counterpart. Sure, this is a pretty drastic downsize, and considering the fact that that 400kg model will only cost you an extra £7, it does sound semi ludicrous to choose this model over the 400kg option. However, it’s important to think about exactly what you need to use this cart for. To put things into perspective, 200kg is the approximate weight of a fully grown stag (the animal variety, not the car!) A stag is no elephant, but it’s still heavy, so unless you are planning on pushing an elephant from one side of your warehouse to the other, you will most likely fare just fine with a 200kg capacity dolly trolley – plus you will save yourself £7 in the process.
Aside from this, the other main disadvantage of this product is once again the fact that it lacks a handle, making the whole process of trying to move objects just that little bit more difficult. In addition to this, the wheels do not lock or brake, meaning you need to be super careful when moving objects with this cart i.e., try to avoid steep hills if you don’t have total control of the dolly trolley. Just a tip.
3. Silverline 407053 Interlocking Plastic Dolly 100k
Specification: Material: Polypropylene, Size: 40L x 60W cm, Max Load: 100kg.
It is time now to check out how the plastic dolly trolleys fare in the competition. The Silverline Interlocking Plastic Dolly is arguably one of the best plastic dolly trolleys on the market, which is why it constantly appears as one of the highest rated carts on Amazon.
Made from a lightweight polypropylene material, this product weighs under 3kg making it super lightweight and easy to carry. If you’re still not sure about your weights, 3kg is equivalent to a chihuahua, so we’re talking seriously lightweight. In terms of space, you get an impressive 40 cm x 60 cm (Width x Length) platform, giving you tonnes of space to store large or impractically shaped objects atop the platform.
Another clever design feature which makes this product super practical is the fact that the platform is so close to the ground, measuring in at just 7.5cm between the floor and the underside of the platform. This means that the dolly trolly can easily slip into any storage space, making it the perfect cart for on-the-go jobs, as it fits easily into the boot of a car or van.
However, whilst this 7.5cm makes the dolly trolley more portable, it likewise makes it harder to move over rocky or uneven surfaces, so perhaps save this product for smooth flooring only. To increase mobility, however, Silverline have included four heavy duty, swivelling wheels, so that you can move the dolly trolley forwards, backwards and side to side with no problems. It also comes fit with four carry handles, to further improve the movability of the cart. This feature is especially handy when you are manoeuvring a particularly heavy object with the help of another person, as you can both stand on either side of the dolly trolley and pull or push with opposite handles. The most interesting feature of this product is the fact that it has been designed to be connected with other dolly trolleys. Silverline has designed the platform to click into place with another of the same product, giving you double the space and double the capacity when using two products in conjunction. This is a great feature which gives the user tonnes of flexibility, but don’t forget that double the product also means double the price.
The major drawback of the Silverline dolly trolley is the weight capacity, which is just 100kg. I say ‘just’ as if 100kg isn’t the same weight as a giant panda. 100kg is still more than enough capacity for most lifting jobs, but the dolly cart world is competitive and so it has to be said that this product’s capacity is on the lighter side of the spectrum. However, this problem can be easily fixed by attaching another Silverline dolly trolley, pushing the capacity up to 200kg – but at what cost? Well, better than the competitors with the spec to be fair…
Best Platform Trucks UK
4. N&S Tool Platform Trolley Heavy Duty 200KG
Specification: Material: new material PVC (plate) / Steel (Frame), Size: 49L x 73W cm, Max Load: 200kg.
When it comes to platform trucks, it really is hard to beat the N&S Tool Platform Trolley. It is extremely highly rated, with users loving the extreme usability and practicality of the product.
The first design feature which adds to this usability is the anti-slip, super sturdy handle. I know that dolly trolley typically have a higher weight capacity due to their lack of handle, but I simply love the addition of a handle feature. It makes pushing and pulling the trolley ten times easier and transforms a two-person job into a one-person job.
In addition to the handle, the N&S Tool platform truck has an anti-slip board, to prevent items from slipping and sliding about once loaded onto the platform. It also has a set of four rubber wheels, which are advertised as being ‘mute’, which I suppose is a good added feature if you work alongside irritable workers who don’t like the sound of squeaking wheels. One thing to bear in mind with the wheels is the fact that, whilst the front two wheels do indeed swivel, the rear two are fixed. In addition to this, the wheels do not come pre-assembled, so the user is required to fix the wheels onto the platform themselves, but with detailed instructions and fastening materials included, this should not be too much of an issue.
The platform measures in at 73cm x 49cm (Length x Width), which is a fairly generous space, with a height of 87cm in the handle. This makes the dolly cart a decent sized product, however for the pretty eye-watering price at first glance :), a slightly larger size is expected. Whilst it might sound like a lot of money for a platform truck, it can handle up to 200kg of weight. 200kg is a pretty mammoth capacity for a platform truck, making this product one of the strongest platform trucks on the market.
However, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies with this product. There are a couple of issues, for example the fact that it weighs 10.2kg. This is hardly a dealbreaker, but it does impact the transportability of the product, so worth bearing in mind. Aside from this, the major drawback is the price tag. The N&S Tool Platform Trolley is certainly a big investment – it’s up to you just how much you are willing to pay for such a high-quality product.
5. Magna Cart MFF Platform Truck
Specification: Material: steel/aluminium/polypropylene, Size: 41L x 68.1W cm, Max Load: 135kg.
Our penultimate platform truck is the Magna Cart MFF Platform Truck, a highly rated product which won’t break the bank, but is still far from a bargain.
With a weight capacity of up to 135kg, it’s one of the weakest products in the competition however, as mentioned earlier, 100kg is still a fair amount of weight. It measures 41cm x 92cm x 68cm (Width x Length x height) and weighs in at 6.4kg which is just heavy enough to make the trolley sturdy, but not so heavy that it is impossible to lift it yourself.
It sports an anti-slip platform, which we know by now is a big tick from me, in addition to four swivelling wheels. I love thoughtful designs like this, as it goes to show that the manufacturers have actually considered the user’s experience and tried to make it as seamless as possible for the customer. The feature which perfectly exemplifies the fact that usability is at the centre of Magna Cart’s ethos is the adjustable handle, which extends up to an impressive height of 36 inches. This clever feature means that this product can be adjusted to fit the user, no matter what height they are.
The platform truck also folds down to be completely flat, with even the wheels folding up into little pockets. This makes storing the product a walk in the park, increasing its transportability and overall rating.
However, being made with an aluminium frame, the Magna Cart truck should be sturdy and strong, but its plastic platform is what lets the product down when it comes to weight capacity. In addition to this, it has to be said that for £62.01, you would expect the truck to sustain more than 135kg. However, I have a soft spot for this product, impressed by its thoughtful and effective added features.
6. G-Rack Heavy Duty Folding Industrial Platform Trolley
Specification: Material: Alloy Steel, Size: 50L x 70W cm, Max Load: 150kg.
Finally, it’s the turn of the G-Rack Heavy Duty Folding Industrial Platform Trolley, costing a modest mid-range money. Made from heavy-duty steel, this product weighs a hefty 9.14kg, a factor to take into consideration if you were planning on transporting the truck between sites. Whilst the weight is a slight disadvantage, the use of heavy-duty steel makes this platform truck super sturdy, durable and long-lasting. However, coming with a 5-year warranty and VAT invoice, you can rest assured that if, for any reason, this product proves not to be long-lasting, then you will be covered by G-Rack’s money back guarantee. I don’t know about you, but that certainly puts my mind at ease.
Measuring in at 50cm x 70cm (Width x Length), it sports a decent sized platform with enough space to carry a wide variety of items. However, unlike many of the products reviewed in this article, the G-Rack platform truck unfortunately does not come with anti-slip padding on the platform. With this in mind, ensure to be extra careful when using this product to transport fragile items.
Whilst this product loses points for its lack of anti-slip padding, it gains points for the addition of puncture-proof wheels. I haven’t seen this added feature on any other platform truck, so I’m impressed with G-Rack for such an innovative addition which would certainly come in handy in a messy warehouse which has the odd bit of glass or metal on the floor, ready to ruin your new purchase.
Plus, with a 175kg capacity, this platform truck packs a punch when it comes to weight. It may not measure up to some of the dolly carts on the market, but for a platform truck, this capacity really isn’t too bad – especially for such a modest price.
However, this cart does require self-assembly which, though not impossible, is hardly ideal – especially for those people who have never before picked up a screwdriver.
And if you on’t fancy any of these why not make one?