Flatbed trolley

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A flatbed trolley a common form of freight transport in distribution environments, for moving bulk loads. Trolleys can aid in reducing effort required to move a load by allowing the user to pull or push instead of lift and carry. [1] A very simple design offers a basic flat platform with four casters and a fixed handle which is used to either push or pull the platform with the load on the platform. Without a flat surface it becomes an open frame trolley and without a handle it is a bogie or dolly. [2]


A flatbed trolley is also sometimes called a dray, but the term dray is also used to refer to a truck with no sides. [3]


The frame is usually fabricated steel. The primary flatbed surface can be constructed from wooden boards, plastic, steel or mesh. Flatbed casters can vary dramatically, made of solid rubber, air filled pneumatic or cast iron. The caster is generally the component on the flatbed trolley that limits the safe working capacity.


There are many types of specialised trolleys, including:

Piano trolley

A piano trolley or piano dolly is a two- or four-wheeled trolley featuring a stronger-than-usual frame. [4] They are typically measuring approximately 50 to 80 cm (19+58 to 31+12 in) long and are used by removals companies for moving pianos. The piano trolley is placed under the centre of mass of the piano and allows it to be turned on its axis to manoeuvre round a building. By placing the trolley at one end of the instrument, stairs may be negotiated. In tight spaces the piano may be turned on end and rested on the trolley. Typical features include solid rubber tyres, very strong construction, and thick rubber bumpers along the top and on the ends. Before a piano trolley can be used to move a grand piano, the piano must be protected by a piano shoe, a wooden frame which protects the polished surface and provides additional strength for the sides.

U-boat trolley

A U-boat trolley is used to move and stock goods by retailers such as grocery stores, and has two high handles on opposite ends of a thin flatbed.

Balance trolley

Balance trolleys often have wheels mounted on a central axle to create a pivot point, operating in a similar fashion to a seesaw. These centrally mounted wheels allow the operator to rotate the trolley on a central axis, providing a turning circle no longer than the length of the trolley.

Turntable trolley

The trolley shown below is termed a turntable trolley due to its steering mechanism. Unlike a flatbed trolley that is mounted on castors, turntable trolleys are mounted on solid axles which allows a much higher load capacity. The rear axles are fixed to the chassis, and the front wheels are attached to a steering mechanism that allows the trolley to be turned when moved.

Remote controlled or autonomous trolley

Modern factory systems commonly track individual trolleys digitally to facilitate automated bills of lading; automated systems may have remotely operated or autonomous trolleys for transport during storage and access. [5]

See also

Related Research Articles

Bogie Chassis for wheels and suspension under railroad cars or large trucks

A bogie is a chassis or framework that carries a wheelset, attached to a vehicle—a modular subassembly of wheels and axles. Bogies take various forms in various modes of transport. A bogie may remain normally attached or be quickly detachable ; it may contain a suspension within it, or be solid and in turn be suspended ; it may be mounted on a swivel, as traditionally on a railway carriage or locomotive, additionally jointed and sprung, or held in place by other means.

Trolley may refer to:

Cart Simple two wheeled vehicle for animal drawn transport

A cart or dray is a vehicle designed for transport, using two wheels and normally pulled by one or a pair of draught animals. A handcart is pulled or pushed by one or more people.

Caster Undriven wheel that is designed to be attached to the bottom of a larger object

A caster is an undriven wheel that is designed to be attached to the bottom of a larger object to enable that object to be moved.

Trailer (vehicle) Towed cargo vehicle

A trailer is an unpowered vehicle towed by a powered vehicle. It is commonly used for the transport of goods and materials.

Tow truck Truck used to move disabled, improperly parked, impounded, or otherwise indisposed motor vehicles

A tow truck is a truck used to move disabled, improperly parked, impounded, or otherwise indisposed motor vehicles. This may involve recovering a vehicle damaged in an accident, returning one to a drivable surface in a mishap or inclement weather, or towing or transporting one via flatbed to a repair shop or other location.

Flatcar Type of railroad car for transporting large objects, containers, or machinery

A flatcar (US) is a piece of rolling stock that consists of an open, flat deck mounted on a pair of trucks (US) or bogies (UK), one at each end containing four or six wheels. Occasionally, flat cars designed to carry extra heavy or extra large loads are mounted on a pair of bogies under each end. The deck of the car can be wood or steel, and the sides of the deck can include pockets for stakes or tie-down points to secure loads. Flatcars designed for carrying machinery have sliding chain assemblies recessed in the deck.

Camera dolly Wheeled cart or similar device used in filmmaking and television production

A camera dolly is a wheeled cart or similar device used in filmmaking and television production to create smooth horizontal camera movements. The camera is mounted to the dolly and the camera operator and focus puller or camera assistant usually ride on the dolly to push the dolly back and forth. The camera dolly is generally used to produce images which involve moving the camera toward or away from a subject while a take is being recorded, a technique known as a "dolly shot." The dolly grip is the dedicated technician trained to operate the dolly by manually pushing it back and forth.

Toy wagon

A toy wagon has the same structure as the traditional, larger wagon, but is much smaller and has an open top. An average wagon is able to seat one child, and is generally propelled by human power through a handle at the front. Some famous brands are Radio Flyer, Little Tikes, Red Rider, Northern Tool and Equipment, Lowe's, Cardinal, and Speedway Express.

Hand truck L-shaped box-moving handcart

A hand truck, also known as a hand trolley, dolly, stack truck, trundler, box cart, sack barrow, cart, sack truck, two wheeler, or bag barrow, is an L-shaped box-moving handcart with handles at one end, wheels at the base, with a small ledge to set objects on, flat against the floor when the hand-truck is upright. The objects to be moved are tilted forward, the ledge is inserted underneath them, and the objects allowed to tilt back and rest on the ledge. The truck and objects are then tilted backward until the weight is balanced over the wheels, making otherwise bulky and heavy objects easier to move. It is a first-class lever.

Horse-drawn vehicle Vehicle pulled by horse; mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses

A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses. These vehicles typically had two or four wheels and were used to carry passengers and/or a load. They were once common worldwide, but they have mostly been replaced by automobiles and other forms of self-propelled transport.

Dolly (trailer)

A dolly is an unpowered vehicle designed for connection to a tractor unit, truck or prime mover vehicle with strong traction power.

Semi-trailer Trailer vehicle without a front axle

A semi-trailer is a trailer without a front axle. In the United States, the term is also used to refer to the combination of a truck and a semi-trailer; a tractor-trailer.

Ground support equipment

Ground support equipment (GSE) is the support equipment found at an airport, usually on the apron, the servicing area by the terminal. This equipment is used to service the aircraft between flights. As the name suggests, ground support equipment is there to support the operations of aircraft whilst on the ground. The role of this equipment generally involves ground power operations, aircraft mobility, and cargo/passenger loading operations.

Flatbed truck

A flatbed truck is a type of truck which can be either articulated or rigid. As the name suggests, its bodywork is just an entirely flat, level 'bed' with no sides or roof. This allows for quick and easy loading of goods, and consequently they are used to transport heavy loads that are not delicate or vulnerable to rain, and also for abnormal loads that require more space than is available on a closed body.


A stairclimber is a type of trolley fitted with rotating wheels or tracks so that it can be pushed or pulled up or down steps or a stairway. Stairclimbers can be manual or battery-powered, and are commonly found in wheel, track, push arm or walker variants.

Material handling equipment (MHE) is mechanical equipment used for the movement, storage, control, and protection of materials, goods and products throughout the process of manufacturing, distribution, consumption, and disposal. The different types of handling equipment can be classified into four major categories: transport equipment, positioning equipment, unit load formation equipment, and storage equipment.

A specialized set of jargon describe the tools, equipment, and employment sectors used in the trucking industry in the United States. Some terms may be used within other English-speaking countries, or within the freight industry in general. For example, shore power is a term borrowed from shipping terminology, in which electrical power is transferred from shore to ship, instead of the ship relying upon idling its engines. Drawing power from land lines is more efficient than engine idling and eliminates localized air pollution. Another borrowed term is "landing gear", which refers to the legs which support the front end of a semi-trailer when it is not connected to a semi-truck. Some nicknames are obvious wordplay, such as "portable parking lot", in reference to a truck that carries automobiles.

Tank transporter

A tank transporter is a combination of a heavy tractor unit and a mating full trailer or semi-trailer, used for transporting tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles. Some also function as tank recovery vehicles, the tractors of which may be armoured for protection in combat conditions.

Lowboy (trailer)

A lowboy is a semi-trailer with two drops in deck height: one right after the gooseneck and one right before the wheels. This allows the deck to be extremely low compared with other trailers. It offers the ability to carry legal loads up to 12 ft (3.66 m) tall, which other trailers cannot. Lowboys are used to haul heavy equipment such as bulldozers and large industrial equipment.


  1. "RAPP tool – pushing and pulling loads'". www.hse.gov.uk. Retrieved 2021-05-17.
  2. Fazio, Larry (July 23, 2000), Stage manager: the professional experience, Focal Press, p. 303, ISBN   978-0-240-80410-1
  3. "Dray". Lexico Dictionaries English. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  4. "Dolly facilitates piano moving", Popular Mechanics, Hearst Magazines, 49.3: 524, 1928, ISSN   0032-4558
  5. Kendall, Kenneth E.; Kendall, Julie E. (2008), Systems analysis and design (7 ed.), Pearson/Prentice Hall, ISBN   978-0-13-224085-7