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How to Use Sack Trucks Safely

For some businesses, sack trucks are the backbone of efficient work. For others, they simply provide a convenient way of moving goods from A to B. No matter how heavily you rely on sack trucks in your workplace, it is very important to know how to operate them safely.

Many workplace injuries occur due to incorrect manual handling, but the good news is that most of these injuries can be avoided. Follow our quick guide on how to use sack trucks safely and avoid unnecessary accidents.

Sack truck

What is a sack truck?

A sack truck can help you to carry heavy weight loads safely, without having to lift the load on to the trolley itself. It can be used in a variety of environments and allows easy transportation across warehouses, shop floors, workshops, and other areas.

When heavy loads need to be carried there is often a risk of injury, especially if you are carrying by hand. Sack trucks are designed to prevent injury from occurring, keeping your business complying with all the relevant health and safety legislation.


See our full range of Sack Trucks here

Quick checklist before use

There are a few essential points that you should check before handling your sack truck. These make up a safety checklist which need to be ticked off before every use.

  • Are the wheels turning correctly? – You should check the tyre pressure, tread and that they are turning correctly without any sticking or resistance. Under- or over-filling your sack truck tyres may lead to a negative impact on the truck’s performance.
  • Is any part of the sack truck broken? - Check the catches, handle, and toe of the sack truck to make sure no part of it is broken as this could compromise your safety when in use.
  • Are you adhering to the specified weight capacity? - Make sure to check the weight limit before you start, ensuring you are not going to overload the sack truck as this risks breaking the truck, your items, or injuring yourself. If you have a load with many parts, double-check whether they need securing.
  • Is the axle working correctly? – Check for signs of bending, rust, or the start of fractures. The axle is a key loadbearing component so making sure it works correctly is vital.
  • Is the toe plate damaged? – If the sack truck has been exposed to an excessive force, you may find damage or wear on the joins and welds. If this is the case, the integrity of the sack truck is compromised and it may be unsuitable for use.
Sack truck

How to use a sack truck: safe loading

Loading your sack truck properly sets great foundations and minimises any problems whilst transporting. To do this, you need to first make sure your load does not exceed the weight limit specified.

Next, you want to stack goods with the heaviest on the bottom and the lightest on the top. This way you can make sure that lighter items do not get crushed and ensure greater stability whilst the truck is in motion.

After your items are stacked, you need to be certain that they are stable. If you find that your items are unsteady you have two options: secure the load with a strap or take two trips to avoid potential accidents.

How to use a sack truck: transportation

Follow our step-by-step instructions for seamless sack truck transportation every time:

  1. Hold the handle of the sack truck securely, ensuring you have a firm and comfortable grip.
  2. Keeping your back straight and legs shoulder-width apart, gently pull the sack truck towards you so that it is resting on the rear wheels.
  3. Now simply push forward and watch how easily the sack truck can be moved from one place to another!

Please note: if you find the sack truck dragging or not moving freely there may be something wrong. Check that you have not exceeded the weight limit and that the type of wheels are suitable for the terrain you are transporting on. Following the checklist above before use can help you to avoid these unfortunate situations.

How to use a sack truck: unloading

When you have reached your destination, unload your sack truck slowly to avoid any damage to goods or injury to yourself.

Lift one box at a time, ensuring that you are lifting by bending you knees and not your back to avoid painful muscle strains.

Our top tips

By following the outlined guidance above, you can rest assured that you are doing everything you can to use your sack truck safely. However even so, there are some top tips to keep in mind to maximise this safety:

  • Ensure the person using the sack truck is equipped with all necessary gear such as high-vis jackets, gloves, and safety boots.
  • Although a sack truck is simple enough to be used by most personnel, having a properly trained user is ideal as this legally protects you in the event of an accident.
  • Make sure no objects on the sack truck are obscuring your view.
  • If you are transporting goods over uneven and rough terrain, make sure you are using the correct sack truck wheels for the surface conditions.

We hope you have found this guide on safe sack truck use to be helpful. You can view our full range of sack trucks here.

If you have any question about sack trucks, or any of our other trucks and trolleys from our website, do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team who will be more than happy to help.


Richard O'Connor's Headshot

Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.

Contact Richard


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