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Dolly Systems, weight considerations, and moving techniques. What you should know.

Updated on August 4, 2015

Dolly Systems should be used

Dolly systems are an asset when moving and you need to ensure that you use them properly. There are many different types of dolly systems available ranging from the 4 wheel dolly to the typical “hand-truck”. In most cases the hand truck will be suitable for carry boxes and smaller furniture. However, you will need to be careful when using these devices on heavier equipment. If you feel any strain in your lower back it means that the weight distribution has not been distributed properly. The primary reason for this is that the object is simply too big. When this occurs you may need to use a larger dolly or a different style. 4 wheel dolly systems are typically used when moving the larger appliances and furniture. Ensure that you cover any areas of the dolly which may scratch or otherwise damage the appliance.

A common sense NOTE

  • Do not put heavy boxes on fragile boxes
  • Do not put large appliances which obscure the view on a dolly
  • Do not use dolly systems on stairs if avoidable
  • Never pull heavy objects towards you when on a dolly

Keep in mind the weight shifts when loading

Once you have gotten all your stuff packaged, you need to take careful consideration as to how you are going to load the vehicle (whether that is a moving truck or a van). When applicable, straps and bungees should be used to limit the movement of larger furniture and appliances. Regardless of how big an object may be or how heavy it may appear, unsecured items will slide around a moving van quickly if not secured.

If you are not able to secure the furniture (for whatever reason) load the heaviest furniture in the back. The reason for this is due to the weight shifting forward when stopping. You do not want a lot of glass or small boxes being crushed if you have to slam on the breaks.

Keep breakable surfaces covered with a quilt or thick blanket and away from moving boxes if possible. A great solution is to wedge mirrors and flat glass objects between mattresses to reduce the risk of breakage.

Weight distribution should always be considered when moving. If you remember that you work large to small and if you use straps and bungees to secure the larger material, you should be fine.

Where is the damage coming from?

Most moving damage comes from what mistake?

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Don't keep it in the Open. Avoid moving with an open trailer

I have covered the proper loading of a moving van or truck as the primary moving vehicle for a reason. Open trailers should be avoided. There are many, many reasons that I could go into about why you should stay away from open trailers, but I will keep the list small.

  1. Open trailers, typically have no support for large items apart from a small railing system which will not stop an appliance from tipping over the edge and into the street.
  2. Open trailers axels are not designed for a large amount of heavy furniture for the most part
  3. If you have anything of value on an open trailer and leave it unattended you might as well post a "please steal me sign".

Keep it off your back

Finally, when you are moving you need to keep in mind that lifting is an exercise. Lift enough boxes and you will find out. When doing your moving workout keep the weight off of your back. Lift with your legs and not your back. Lifting with your back can cause serious injury.You could slip a disk, tear a ligament, tear muscle, get a hernia, sprain the back, or pinch a nerve (just to name a few risks). Worst case scenario, you could lock your back up and paralyze yourself (I have seen it done).

If you need help with moving hire a professional moving service. Where you may argue that a moving service is throwing money out the window, I would argue that a chiropractor is a higher bill. Still the decision is up to you.

How to properly lift with your legs


So to recap:

  1. Use dolly systems to move heavy objects but use common sense to avoid killing yourself or hurting others.
  2. Load moving vans and trucks with the weight distributed to the back.
  3. Secure all items with straps and bungees if you can
  4. Keep away from open trailers (utility trailers) as they are bad for moving
  5. Lift with your legs and not your back.


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