best prices

Best Prices Guaranteed

Flexible payment options available

free delivery

Free Delivery within Great Britain

Express delivery available

free warranty

Enjoy Free Warranty

on all purchases

FREE DELIVERY Within Great Britain

By Barriers Direct on 22/03/2023

Sack Truck Guide: Benefits, Components & Safety

Sack Truck Guide: Benefits, Components & Safety

Using the correct equipment is essential to move inventory safely and efficiently, avoiding injuries, breakages and damages. Here we take a look at sack trucks, one of the most affordable and reliable options for transporting goods and supplies.

In this sack truck guide, you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions:

  • What is a sack truck?
  • What are the benefits of sack trucks?
  • What are the different sack truck components and variations?
  • How do you use a sack truck safely?
  • Where can you buy a sack truck?

Read on to learn everything you need to know to use a sack truck safely and select the right one for your requirements.

What is a sack truck?

A sack truck is typically a two-wheeled trolley used to carry storage boxes, sacks and other inventory. You can stack multiple items, including large or heavy loads, for efficient and easy transport from one location to another.

A sack truck comprises a ledge at the base for placing packages and containers on, or for scooping heavy items from the floor to avoid manual lifting. They’re easily manoeuvred by simply gripping the handles or bar, tilting the sack truck on its wheels and pushing.


We’ll go more into the safe and correct usage of a sack truck later in this article. First, let’s explore a sack truck's benefits, components and variations to help you select the best one for the job.

What are the benefits of sack trucks?

Here are some reasons why sack trucks are one of the most popular ways of transporting loads:

  • They’re extremely easy to use. With the right method, anyone can operate a sack truck to move unwieldy items.
  • Their simple design makes them affordable.
  • They don’t use a lot of storage space and some are even collapsible, helping you optimise space, reduce trip hazards, save money on commercial rent and transport them across sites.
  • It’s possible to scoop heavy items that aren’t easily lifted and move multiple of these at once, saving time and effort.
  • They’re safe to use. Moving objects is simple and you can avoid lifting heavy objects manually, reducing injury risks.
  • Large quantities of items can be moved efficiently, aiding productivity.
  • Many varieties are available, so you’ll benefit from the convenience of finding one meeting your specific needs. 

Sack truck components

Understanding sack truck components is important for using one correctly and for finding one with the right specifications for your needs, as varying features and materials offer different functionality.

Let’s explore each sack truck component in more detail to help you understand how one works and to assist you in selecting the right model for your workplace.

Back frame

The back frame connects the footplate ledge and the handles at the top of the sack truck. It also supports the items you’re transporting, making it perhaps the most important aspect of the sack truck.

Back frames come in different styles:

  • Curved: Most beneficial for carrying drums, cylinders and rolls — i.e. anything with curvature requiring support.


  • Keg: Specialised for the drinks industry. The curved frame ensures kegs don’t roll, and a clamp adds additional safety.
  • Mesh: Ideal for smaller items, the meshed back prevents anything from falling out the back.
  • Lattice: This offers extra strength for heavier items.




The footplate is the lower ledge of the sack truck used to support and lift the load from underneath.

When choosing a footplate, it’s important to consider the type of load you’re carrying. The larger the load, the larger the footplate you’ll need to scoop and lift the item.


Different handle options are available to suit different load types. Here are some of the most common:

  • H handle: Two handles are placed on each side at the top of the back frame. H handles are covered with rubber grips for extra security and comfort.



Alt text: Sack truck guide; a blue sack truck with H handle components

  • U handle: Instead of handles, a single bar is provided, allowing the operator to hold the sack truck with one hand if need be. This is advantageous for opening doors without losing balance.



  • P handle: This looks like a U handle but with the addition of an extra bar looping from the top in a P shape. This helps with transporting tall loads: if the goods rise above the U bar, the P handle can be gripped instead.



  • N handle: This combines a H and U handle. Rubber-grip H handles are found on either side of the sack truck and a central U bar connects the two in between. As a result, you’re offered both the ergonomics of the handles and the manoeuvrability benefits of the bar.
  • A handle: This is an N handle but taller. As the bar extends higher, you have better support for tall loads. Meanwhile, the rubber-grip H handles allow you a comfortable and firm grip on either side of the sack truck.



The type of wheel and its strength alters sack truck performance. Buying cheaply-made sack trucks with wheels made from poor-quality materials could lead to breakages. Choosing an appropriate and quality option is essential for safety and equipment longevity.

Here are the different wheel types available:

  • Pneumatic (PN) wheels: These are pressurised wheels filled with air. They’re best for riding smoothly over uneven terrain.
  • Polyurethane puncture-proof (PU) wheels: Instead of filling the tyre with air, PU wheels are solid, bypassing any risk of puncturing. They're suitable for smooth, flat terrain.


Sack trucks are generally available in either steel or aluminium:

  • Steel is strong and durable. It’s more appropriate for heavy loads.
  • Aluminium is more lightweight making it easy to manoeuvre and carry. It’s also rust-resistant so will last for a long time. However, as a more lightweight option, it’s less appropriate for heavy loads.


Extra features

Some sack trucks also feature additional extras to assist with specialised lifting, transport and other functionalities.

Here are a few examples:

  • Folding footplates: This flattens the sack truck for easy, compact storage when it’s not in use.


  • Tri-star wheels: Three wheels are positioned on each side, allowing the sack truck and its contents to be pulled upstairs.


  • Multi-purpose sack trucks: Some sack trucks offer multiple functionalities. For example, our Step-A-Trucks double up as both sack trucks and step ladders.


How do you use a sack truck safely?

Abiding by health and safety legislation is essential in all workplaces to avoid employee injuries. Using sack trucks safely also avoids damage to stock and supplies.

Make sure all employees understand how to operate sack trucks responsibly by following the below guidance.

Step 1) Check the sack truck is safe to use and that you have the correct equipment


Here’s a checklist you can use to ensure your sack truck is safe to use:


Sack Truck Safety Checklist


Is the tyre pressure at the level stated on the wheels (usually 30psi)?

Are the wheels turning fully?

Are the wheels suitable for the terrain?

Are axles free of bending, rust or fractures?


Are the handles/bar intact?


Is the footplate intact?

Is there wear on the joints or welds?

Assess all the checklist items to ensure your sack truck is in good working order before you use it. This is paramount to avoid any health and safety breaches. If any of the checklist items are compromised, you may need a different sack truck.

Step 2) Safely add the correct load

Place or scoop the load onto the sack truck’s lower ledge. 

To do this safely, consider the following:

  • What weight is the load? Piling on a load beyond the sack truck’s capacity may lead to accidents. Check how much weight the sack truck can carry before you load it. 
  • How high is the load you’re transporting? As sack trucks position items in front of the user, it’s crucial to ensure the load isn’t too high and obstructing their view.
  • Which item is heaviest? Heavier items should be stacked at the bottom and lighter items at the top to avoid anything being crushed.
  • Is the load secure? Always be sure that goods are secure and that nothing is likely to topple off in transit. Remember that it’s always safer to take multiple trips than to move unsteady contents.

Step 3) Tilt the sack truck at an angle

Once the load is placed and secure, tilt the sack truck:

  1. Firmly grip the handles/bar.
  2. With a straight back and your legs shoulder-width apart, gently tilt the sack truck towards you to rest upon its wheels.
  3. You can now push to move the sack truck with ease.


Step 4) Move the sack truck safely

When transporting the sack truck from A to B, it’s important to do so safely:

  • Keep your eye on your surroundings and be aware of any hazards and other people. You should always be able to see ahead of you over the load.
  • Always push a sack truck, don’t pull it.
  • Keep the wheels of the sack truck away from any platform edges.
  • If going downhill, use two hands and maintain full control of the sack truck rather than letting it pull you.
  • Get assistance from another person if extra force is required, for instance, if you’re going over bumpy or uneven terrain. 

Step 5) Unload the sack truck

Once you’ve arrived at your destination, it’s time to unload the sack truck. To do this without causing damage or injury, pay attention to the following:

  • Lift one item off at a time.
  • Always keep a straight back when lifting items to avoid muscle strain. Crouch down by bending your knees, but never bend your back. 

Where can you buy a sack truck?

You can easily buy sack trucks online at Barriers Direct. We offer free UK deliveries on sack trucks of different varieties, including folding sack trucks for effective storage, aluminium sack trucks for lightweight items, P-handle sack trucks for one-handed operation and many more.

If you’re buying for a large warehouse, factory or otherwise, you’ll find bulk discount offers, making stocking your business with the number of sack trucks you need as cost-effective as possible.

Browse the full range of sack trucks and trolleys at Barriers Direct.


By Barriers Direct on 22/03/2023

Proud suppliers to