Are you shopping for a handcart? It pays to know what you'll use the hauling equipment for beforehand, as there's a variety of them to choose from. From carrying piles of soil to pushing along beer cases to ferrying luggage, there's always a handcart that's better suited for your needs.
No two types of handcarts are the same. For instance, a heavy-duty platform truck will do very well hauling thick, wooden dining tables, while even the best industrial hand truck will probably have a hard time with the same materials. When loading crates of water bottles, on the other hand, the same hand truck will likely provide more convenience than the former.
Also, top-end handcarts intended for commercial environments and ultra-heavy loads (up to 3,500 lbs, in some cases) can be very expensive. If all you need is something to help you carry your plants and sacks of supplies when rearranging your garden once every two years, buying a $400 equipment may not necessarily be the best idea.
The following are some common types of handcarts you're likely to find when shopping for one:
Wheelbarrow: This handcart usually has two handles and is pushed along using one or more wheels. Also called a lawn cart, this is widely used in gardens and backyards.
Hand Truck: A staple in many warehouses, this type of handcart has a ledge at the bottom that is flanked by two low wheels. It has a long upright body with handles at the top and is usually pushed along at an angle. It's also referred to as a hand trolley.
Platform Truck: Designed for heavy-duty pushing and pulling, this type of handcart is characterized by a large open platform that runs on (typically) four wheels.
Toy Cart: Designed for kids, this handcart variant is characterized by a bathtub-style platform, often made of hard plastic in bold colors. It's usually built for low weights, such as toys or a zoo of pet rocks.
Shopping Cart: A very specific type of handcart, this consists of a basket over a structure with three or more wheels, designed for carrying small pieces of goods.
Service Cart: Used primarily for food services, such as restaurants and catering, these handcarts are characterized by a racked platform. Also known as shelved carts or rack carts, they're not designed for heavy-duty lifting, but they should prove extremely useful for separating loads into compartments, as is necessary when serving food and other similar fare.
There are many more types of handcarts apart from what we covered here. If you're shopping for one, make sure you know what your intended uses are. Similarly, always ask for advice from salesclerks (or, at the least, do your research) before buying one, so you can pick out something that's well-suited for your purposes.