How to Choose the Appropriate Heavy-Duty Utility Cart – Types and Comparison

Many factories and industrial shop floors involve the transportation of large products and equipment as part of their daily operations. There are plenty of various types of carts on the market, each with a distinctive purpose and application, serving a broad range of industries and organizations. Industrial utility carts come in many variants and are made of different materials as well. While offices and mailrooms generally use plastic carts, hospitals, shipping, warehouses rely on a heavy-duty utility cart which is usually made of stainless steel to carry the extra load. Whether you're searching for a multi-purpose utility cart or a specific cart built for a particular usage, you can start looking for the best utility cart for your requirements by considering a few factors.

Different types of utility carts

  • Plastic carts- Generally lighter than metal utility carts, plastic utility carts are built of thermoplastic such as polypropylene, which is harder to damage and does not corrode or rust like metal. The maximum weight capacity of plastic utility carts is typically somewhere around 200 and 500 pounds, while a few manufacturers make heavy-duty plastic carts with somewhat higher load capabilities.
  • Metal utility carts- Utility carts made of metal are strong and long-lasting. Many of them have weight capabilities that are significantly greater than those of a plastic cart, with some metal carts capable of supporting loads of up to 5,000 pounds.
  • Wire utility carts- Since dust particles easily travel through wire utility cart shelves, they're easier to maintain and keep clean. Foldable wire-shelf carts can be seen in wire carts along with angled shelves and adjustable-angle shelves.

Metal vs. Plastic utility carts

In the middle of a bustling restaurant or hospital area, most plastic carts are squatter and have larger widths, making them bulky and unsuitable. Metal carts excel across many situations where regular wall shelving is required, as well as where mobility is mandated. A metal utility cart is much more than usually what you'll need to get the work done in most all-purpose situations. They can be utilised in a multitude of individual scenarios for a host of applications because of their simple and efficient design, heavy-duty design, easy manoeuvrability, and small profile.

Things to look for when buying a heavy-duty utility cart

Certain measures need to be taken while transporting large products to ensure that factory floor traffic is appropriately controlled as well as certain mishaps are prevented. Heavy-duty industrial carts are often preferred for transferring heavy-weighted equipment across the worksite to function more effectively. When it comes to heavy-duty carts, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

The amount of load per cart

An industrial utility cart's main purpose is to make carrying huge product loads easier. If a cart's capacity is too limited, it won’t serve the purpose it was meant for in the first place. That is why when selecting a heavy-duty cart the very first step is to determine the weight that it will transport. The load's weight should be verified or estimated while an extra 25 to 30 percent of that weight needs to be added to the first estimate. The extra 30% is to guarantee that the cart may be used safely in diverse conditions. This total weight should then be considered as the key factor while considering the load capacity of your cart.

The condition and layout of the floor

Another key aspect is the environment in which the heavy-duty industrial cart will be operated. This is because the width and, in certain situations, the height of the cart to be handled is determined by the shop floor layout. The state of the floor as well as the load to be transferred are further external factors that we need to consider before investing in a heavy-duty cart. Knowing what kind of conditions your heavy-duty cart will be used in can help you decide what kind of material and coating to use. These factors will also influence the rotating wheels the cart should be using.

Determining the wheels of the cart

To provide the stability and increased mobility required to move goods around the factory floor, heavy-duty carts use casters or swivel wheels. As a result, this supporting structure must be able to carry heavy weights while making carts move along smoothly. 

There are several factors to consider while selecting the right casters for a heavy-duty industrial cart. These include the speed at which the cart would be moving, the estimated load per caster, conditions of the floor and more. As much as it is crucial to know how much weight it will be carrying, the degree of freedom that the swivel wheels can attain, must also be considered while choosing a heavy-duty cart.

Manual vs. power driven 

A further requirement to think about is how the heavy-duty industrial cart will be transported throughout the work premises. Manually moving the cart across the work floor for heavy equipment, such as vehicle components and big assemblies, is somehow impractical. Heavy-duty objects can also be transported using manually propelled carts; however, supporting systems for weight transfer are needed to be built into the design. The amount of the weight to be carried determines whether a power-driven or manually-driven cart should be used.

Extra features for additional support

When it comes to material handling, versatility is key, and the same can be said for heavy-duty industrial carts. The material management processes can benefit from a multifunctional cart fitted with hangers to handle hanging tubes as well as heavy-duty equipment.


Among many types of utility carts, the most adaptable and efficient solution for transferring heavy objects in industrial applications is the heavy-duty utility cart. When handling heavy commodities from one area to another with minimal effort in factories, laboratories, and workshops, there is no alternative for heavy utility carts. Heavy-duty carts are also utilised as mobile storage units in addition to being used as a means of transporting items.

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