What is a Mover's Dolly?

Mary McMahon

A mover's dolly is a device which is designed to assist people with the movement of heavy loads and large objects, such as appliances or big furniture items. Many moving companies keep dollies on hand and will rent them out by request, and it is also possible to buy dollies from companies which supply moving materials. In addition to being used for moving homes and offices, mover's dollies are also utilized in big warehouses and other facilities where large objects need to be moved around regularly.

A business might use a mover's dolly when switching office spaces.
A business might use a mover's dolly when switching office spaces.

A classic dolly consists of a low platform mounted to a set of casters. The platform and wheels are reinforced so that the mover's dolly can bear a very heavy load, and the assembly is usually low to the ground to ensure overhead clearance will not be an issue when moving through doorways. There are no handles on the dolly, with users instead pushing the object itself. It is sometimes possible to secure big objects to the dolly with tie downs so that they will not wobble or fall.

Moving a refrigerator can be made easier with the help of a dolly.
Moving a refrigerator can be made easier with the help of a dolly.

Two wheeled versions with a handle which creates an L-shape are sometimes known as “two wheeled dollies” or “hand trucks.” These mover's dollies are designed to take on smaller loads, as a general rule, and many of them fold up so that they can be easily transported and stored when they are not in use. Hand trucks are especially common in facilities where packages are handled, as they can be used to efficiently and rapidly move large and cumbersome boxes around.

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There are some safety considerations to keep in mind when using a mover's dolly. It is important not to overload the dolly and most dollies have weight limits printed on the platform for reference for this very reason. It also inadvisable to leave objects on dollies while they are trucked or shipped, as they can move and potentially damage other objects being transported at the same time. Tie downs should be used when moving large or fragile items and people should be cautious when moving a dolly across elevation changes or bumps.

It is also important to maintain a mover's dolly appropriately so that it will be in good shape when someone has cause to use it. Periodically, the casters should be removed, broken down, wiped clean, and oiled so that they will move smoothly. If the dolly has brakes, these should be checked at the same time to confirm that they are in good working order. If a mover's dolly is used on wet or dirty surfaces, it should be sprayed clean and dried so that the moisture and dirt do not damage the casters.

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