Sack Truck Buyers’ Guide
We understand that ultimately you just want to purchase a sack truck that does the job intended. You want it to last the test of time, be lightweight and be capable of carrying the weight you require. We also know however that each variation of our AluTruk range is designed with the user and their requirements in mind.
This guide will hopefully explain some of the sack truck options we can offer, so you can really get a feel for which design would suit your needs best.
Sack Truck options – Steel vs Aluminium
There are a few good reasons we solely focus on the manufacture of our own aluminium style sack trucks – more commonly known as the AluTruk range – rather than suppling tubular steel trucks.
We pride ourselves on the quality in detail. This is not to say all steel sack trucks are low quality, in fact manufactured correctly some can be made to a high standard but – due to the nature of steel – they are generally much heavier than an aluminium style sack barrow. This makes them harder to manoeuvre. A classic example is where they are stowed on a vehicle to be regularly used then – due to the lift required to get them on and off the lorry – this poses a real risk of injury.
With aluminium sack trucks being lighter they also become more agile when under load making them ideal for delivery drivers with multiple drop points. Being lighter they also adhere to many of our customers health and safety standards.
Our AluTruk sack trucks are tested and certified to a max load of 300kg and are almost weld free – meaning much fewer potential points of weakness . Being modular is a major positive as you are easily able to replace individual parts whereas on many steel sack trucks a broken weld effectively ends the life of the sack truck. Although Aluminium is a more expensive product we believe it to be well worth the investment if you are looking for a longer standing and more durable product.
Sack Truck Wheels – Puncture Proof or Pneumatic Tyres?
Tyres / wheels are generally one of the biggest problem areas we are told about by new customers who have purchased many different trucks from many sack truck suppliers. We are constantly told of their frustrations caused by;
- punctures due to low quality inner tubes on Pneumatic wheels
- bearing collapse due to incorrect tolerances between bearing and the axle
- a general difficulty to push trucks whilst under load
As standard we aim to offer our customers our most popular and reliable wheel type which is a 260mm Puncture Proof tyre on steel centre.
This tyre is Polyurethane filled at 1500 grammes content to eliminate compression when under load. The tread of the tyre is crowned therefore under load minimal contact with the surface makes the truck easy to manoeuvre. Furthermore we use the highest quality bearings that sit flush on the axle – for greater efficiency – and these bearings are provided with a lifetime guarantee!
We do also offer a Pneumatic style wheel using the same bearings with lifetime guarantee and crowned tread. We use a 6ply tyre for additional durability. The primary benefit of a high quality pneumatic wheel is their natural ‘give’ over rough surfaces such as grass or gravel. The rim we use is three piece meaning that if a new tyre / inner tube is required then it can be easily replaced.
Sack Truck Footplates – Fixed or Folding?
The type of sack truck footplate you opt for comes down to how the truck is most likely to be used. As standard we offer four variants of footplate, all different in size.
The footplate is the loading point of the sack truck – so it is important the correct design is chosen for your application.
Three of our four AluTruk foot plates can be made folding and all can be fixed but what’s the difference?
A fixed footplate is set in place, will not move and will always be ready to use instantly. This is extremely beneficial for use in warehouses or around the yard when you have multiple movements to make for a particular task. In addition the fact that there are fewer moveable parts will naturally improve the durability of the sack barrow.
A folding plate is advantageous if sack truck storage space is limited. For example if the truck is used predominantly out on the delivery vans then stowing it correctly and safely becomes important. A folding plate will allow the user to sit the sack truck flush against the side of the vehicle – some of our customers have a locking system or even a specially designed shoot on the under carriage of their vans for storage. With a fixed plate this limits storability options. When choosing a footplate design it is important to ask yourself the question ‘Do we have difficulty with storage?’ If the answer is yes then consider a folding plate, if no maybe fixed will suffice!
Sack Truck Mainframe options
The mainframe choices are purely designed around the application they are needed for. All our sack trucks are manufactured with high quality aluminium uprights and the cross members themselves are interchangeable.
As a standard we supply the uprights with three cross members creating our MFK frame, upgrade this to the MFL for a centre strip which is beneficial for carrying smaller boxes or parcels.
We also manufacture frames with a curved back, perfect for cylinder shape objects such as gas or water bottles or beer kegs.
For larger items such as flat pack furniture or for the taller users, we offer the MFKT frame which increases the overall height of the truck by 280mm. Overall the frame design most certainly comes down the application. If you are unsure what is best suited then feel free to get in touch!
Sack Truck Handles
We offer many different handle configurations all of which are as strong as each other but each have their own benefits.
Handle design is mostly on preference of the user. Some prefer the twin double grip handles while others prefer the more popular P-Handle design. Some handles such as the H25 (considered our most popular model) have knuckle guards for hand protection and also have a high loop to give support for taller loads.
For white goods delivery consider our H21B handles as they have a lower loop which, on request can be inverted allowing the user to maintain control of the product when tilting.
Sack Truck Optional Extras
Once the general specification of the truck is designed, you may wish to consider adding some optional extras. Below are a few options we offer and their uses. Follow the links for more detail or simply call us.
- Stair Glides – Cast aluminium with replaceable plastic strips with a weight of 1kg per pair. Stair glides are perfect if out delivering and regularly having to negotiate small kerbs / thresholds. If you are going up flights of stairs on a regular basis you may wish to look at our stair skid and handle combination. These may not be required for use over flat surfaces such as in warehouses.
- Wheel guards – Wheel guards have two very beneficial uses. Firstly they give the load more stability as they provide a larger surface area when the load is reclined. They also protect goods against spray back in wet conditions. Wheel guards are of use to many and are widely recommended.
- Tote / Keg hooks – The tote hook and keg hook have similar uses with the overall aim being to secure the load to the sack truck. The tote hook is designed for our home shopping trucks and is supplied to many companies such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and more whilst the keg hook is designed to carry beer kegs and is generally used with the curved MFN / MFNS framed due to the shape of the kegs themselves. For products packed in boxes these extras are not likely to be required however for specific products they can be invaluable!
- Load Assist Plate – The load assist plate is fitted through the stair glides although we are now able to supply if stair glides are not required by fitting through the axle brackets. The aim of the load assist plate is to provide a tilt assist. Whilst tilting the user would simply step on the plate using their own foot to help recline the load back. A good health and safety feature as it prevents strain / injury.
- Frame extension – Maybe you are carrying taller loads that need some additional support? The frame extension could be the answer. It provides an extra height of 300mm and is easy to retro fit on existing sack trucks. Be aware that it is only compatible with some of our handle configurations. If you are looking at a handle that is not compatible then maybe the MFKT frame could be considered as an alternative to give the additional height.
Finally – Design your own Sack Truck using Design Online!
Now that you are more familiar with all the various sack truck types and options available why not design your own AluTruk to meet exactly your specific requirements?
We provide a design online capability to really help with designing your AluTruk! The design online option takes you through a step by step process allowing you to see the sack truck built in CAD format before you make a purchase.
You can add the optional extras, fit your preferred footplate and make choices on wheel and handle options.
As well as showing an image of the sack truck you have created, it also provides you with an instant price for the designed specification!
If at the end of this you are still have questions or concerns about which sack truck will best fit your needs then please just contact us – we are here to help and our sales team would be delighted to assist!