Trolley vs Dolly: Understanding the Differences

Trolley vs Dolly: Understanding the Differences

When it comes to transporting heavy items, trolleys and dollies are two commonly used tools. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are important differences between the two that make them suitable for different purposes.

Today, we will explore the world of trolleys and dollies, and help you understand their differences so you can choose the right one for your needs.


What is a Trolley?

A trolley, also known as a hand truck or sack truck, is a wheeled device with handles on either side that allows you to easily move heavy objects from one place to another. It typically has two large wheels at the back and two smaller wheels at the front, making it easy to manoeuver even in tight spaces.

Trolleys come in various sizes and shapes, with some having a flat base for carrying boxes or other items, while others have a curved base specifically designed for transporting cylindrical objects like barrels or drums. Some trolleys also come equipped with straps or hooks to secure the load during transportation.


Uses of Trolley

Trolleys are commonly used in warehouses, factories, retail stores, and construction sites for moving heavy items such as boxes, furniture, appliances, and equipment. They are also useful for transporting goods in the shipping and delivery industries.


Advantages of Trolley

  • Easily portable: Trolleys are lightweight and can be easily folded or disassembled for convenient storage and transportation.
  • Manoeuvrability: The large wheels and handles make it easy to navigate through different surfaces, including rough terrain.
  • Trolleys are designed to handle heavy loads, making them ideal for transporting bulky items without straining the user.


What is a Dolly?

A dolly, also known as a hand cart or platform truck, is a flat device with four wheels that can carry large and bulky items. Unlike trolleys, dollies do not have handles, but instead rely on the user to push or pull it from behind.

They come in various sizes, with some having a single platform, while others have multiple levels for carrying different items.


Uses of Dolly

Dollies are commonly used in warehouses, retail stores, and moving companies for transporting heavy and bulky items such as furniture, appliances, and boxes. They are also useful in industries that require manual handling of goods, such as event planning and catering.


Advantages of Dolly

  • Versatility: Dollies can come in different sizes and shapes, making them suitable for a wide range of items.
  • Stability: With four wheels, dollies offer more stability compared to trolleys, especially when transporting large and heavy items.
  • Larger capacity: Dollies are designed to carry heavier loads than trolleys, making them ideal for moving furniture or other bulky items.


Key Differences between Trolley and Dolly

1) Design

The most obvious difference between trolleys and dollies is their design.

Trolleys have handles for pushing or pulling, while dollies do not. This allows trolleys to navigate through tight spaces more easily, while dollies are better suited for transporting larger and bulkier items.


2) Load Capacity

Trolleys and dollies also differ in their load capacities. Trolleys typically have a smaller load capacity, while dollies can handle heavier loads.

This is because trolleys rely on the user’s strength to move the load, while dollies have four wheels that evenly distribute the weight.


3) Maneuverability

Due to their design and smaller size, trolleys are more manoeuvrable than dollies. They can be easily turned and moved in different directions, making them ideal for navigating through narrow spaces or around obstacles.

On the other hand, due to their larger size and bulkier design, dollies are not as manoeuvrable and require more space to turn or change direction.



In conclusion, while trolleys and dollies may have similar functions, they are designed for different purposes and have distinct advantages. Trolleys are great for moving smaller and lighter items in tight spaces, while dollies excel at transporting larger and heavier loads.

Understanding these differences will help you choose the right tool for your specific transportation needs. So next time you need to move something heavy, consider whether a trolley or dolly would be the most suitable option.


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