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Moving heavy items such as boxes, furniture or appliances can add to the stress and strain of a move. It can also be dangerous to lift a heavy item incorrectly. You, someone else or the item itself could be hurt in the process.

Here we consider how to use a moving trolley in various circumstances, to simplify a move and protect your back.

Using a trolley to move boxes

A moving trolley – also called a dolly – is ideal for moving boxes. It saves time by letting you move multiple, stacked boxes in one go, without taking their weight yourself.

Tips for using a moving trolley to move boxes are to:

  • stack the boxes from largest up to smallest
  • ensure that the top box rests against the back of the trolley so it won’t fall once you tilt the trolley
  • if the load is unstable or could topple, use moving straps to secure the boxes
  • apply downward force on the top box to keep any of the boxes from sliding out
  • tilt the trolley and place a foot on the bar at the back to keep it at the appropriate angle
  • ensure that the top of the stack won’t obstruct your line of vision.

Using a trolley to move furniture

A moving trolley is designed to move items within a certain size range. Before moving any large or heavy item, make sure you have the right equipment.

A standard moving trolley, like the type we rent at Ecobox, generally has a maximum weight capacity of 150 kilograms.

It’s useful for moving smaller items of furniture, such as bookshelves, bedside tables and smaller chests of drawers. It’s also excellent for moving a steel safe.

Tips on how to use a moving trolley to move furniture:

  • wrap wooden furniture with furniture pads to protect it from scratches
  • items such as desks are easier to move if you stand them on end
  • turn items of furniture with legs upside down, to protect the legs
  • use moving straps to secure the furniture to the trolley’s upright support
  • as for boxes, make sure you can see ahead properly before moving the trolley.

Using a trolley to move appliances

A moving trolley is especially useful for moving large appliances. However, make sure you have someone to help you lift any large appliance onto a trolley.

Also ensure that the appliance doesn’t exceed the maximum size or weight that the trolley is designed to bear.

Load a washing machine, dryer or  refrigerator with the back facing you to maintain safe weight distribution and avoid scratching visible surfaces.

Also, keep wires, plugs and hoses off the floor to prevent tripping. For example, tape electrical cords to the rear of the appliance and snake hoses into the machine.

Basic guidelines for using a moving trolley safely

No matter what you use a trolley to move, it’s important to follow certain safety guidelines.

These are mostly a matter of common sense. For example:

  • ensure any load is balanced
  • if there’s a danger of toppling, secure the load – for example, using straps
  • don’t exceed the trolley’s maximum weight capacity
  • before moving a trolley, check the path ahead and remove any obstacles, like cables or clutter
  • make sure your vision isn’t obstructed
  • walk slowly
  • approach small bumps head on, with the wheels straight (not at an angle).

Also, when lifting an item onto or off a trolley, use proper lifting technique. Keep your back straight, your feet apart, your elbows close to your body and your knees bent.

Last but not least, get help with heavier items – or leave them to a professional mover. It’s not worth pulling a muscle (or worse)!

How to use a moving trolley on stairs

When going up stairs, walk backwards. Holding the trolley handles firmly, tilt the trolley slightly towards you. Then pull the trolley up one stair at a time.

When going down stairs, walk forwards, lowering the trolley down one stair at a time. Don’t tip the trolley too far back, or you may create too much forward momentum.

Approach each step head on, rather than at an angle, to prevent sideways tipping of the load.

Slow and steady is best. Keep your back straight and your knees slightly bent. And when necessary, rest between steps.

Renting a moving trolley from Ecobox

About to undertake a home or office move? You can rent a moving trolley from Ecobox for just R150 (including VAT) per week. We’ll deliver it to your doorstep and collect it again after you’ve moved. We also offer eco-friendly moving boxes for rent, as well as cardboard boxes and packing materials.

Contact us for more information to rent a moving trolley in Cape Town, Johannesburg or Pretoria, or get started now.