All-terrain wagon purchasing advice: how to choose the right product

  • The most important things in a nutshell
  • A handcart is made of either wood, fabric or metal.
  • A foldable handcart is particularly easy and uncomplicated to store.
  • For trips over uneven terrain, a handcart with pneumatic tyres is recommended, as they have particularly good suspension.
  • The cart should have a load capacity of at least 50 kilograms.
  • With a height-adjustable handle, the handcart can be pulled comfortably by people of different heights.

Practical companions for shopping and outings

If you want to go on a picnic, a Father’s Day trip or an excursion with your children, you often have a lot to transport. Blankets, toys, drinks and provisions can usually fit in the boot without any problems, but as soon as it’s time to go outside, transport becomes a little more complicated. On a short trip, the luggage may still fit into bags or backpacks, but on longer trips with several people, carrying it quickly becomes exhausting. A handcart is therefore a good choice for relaxed trips.

A handcart is equipped with four tyres and usually has a steerable front axle. It is usually pulled, but there are also models that can be pushed. Since there is enough space on the loading area for all kinds of luggage, a handcart can be used for picnics, cabbage or May tours and shopping. It is also suitable for trips to the beach or barbecues. Users benefit from a handcart especially on unpaved roads. A robust model can even accommodate children, so that the handcart can be used as an alternative to a pram. However, children should be at least 12 months old; some manufacturers recommend a minimum age of 18 months.

The most diverse designs

Depending on the purpose for which the handcart is needed, a different model makes sense. The types of handcart differ mainly in terms of material, weight and possible uses.

The classic handcart

The most familiar type of handcart consists of a tubular steel frame with wooden side walls. The tyres are usually inflated. This type of cart is very popular because of its stability and durability. It can usually carry between 100 and 150 kilograms of weight and is therefore equally suitable for transporting luggage and children. Due to its construction, however, such a handcart cannot be disassembled; in addition, it has a high dead weight. It is therefore hardly possible to transport the handcart in a small car, for example to get to the starting point of the excursion.

The foldable handcart

A handcart made of foldable material is called a folding handcart or folding handcart. It has a frame made of metal and walls made of fabric, which is why it is considerably lighter than a classic handcart. The tyres are either wide rubber or narrow hard plastic versions. The biggest advantage is the transportability of the folding trolley. It is easy to fold up, does not take up much storage space and can be carried easily due to its light weight. However, the material of the boller cart is less durable. In addition, a folding dolly has a lower load limit than a classic dolly. Such a handcart is ideal for transporting luggage and other light objects. Children can also be transported in it, depending on their weight.

The tool trolley

The most robust form of handcart is the tool trolley, also known as a transport trolley. It is made entirely of metal and has sturdy pneumatic tyres. It can also be used to transport heavy objects, as its load-bearing capacity is 250 kilograms. Thanks to its flexible front axle, the handcart can be easily manoeuvred through difficult terrain, even with a heavy load. A tool trolley is rather unsuitable for transporting children, as the risk of injury is very high. However, it is ideal for transporting heavy equipment or objects. However, if you want to transport the trolley from one place to another, you might have difficulties because of its bulkiness and dead weight.

Where does the name “Bollerwagen” come from?

Since there were hardly any paved roads in the past, the cart was often pulled fully loaded over cobblestone roads, which produced a loud rumbling sound – also known as boller. This is how the boller wagon got its name. The word bollern originally comes from the Netherlands.

What you should look for when buying

When you buy a handcart, it is not only the type of cart that is important. Its tyres, load capacity, handling and size are also important.

Tyre material

When it comes to the tyres of their handcart, buyers choose between models with plastic, solid rubber and pneumatic tyres. The decision depends on the intended use of the handcart. Inexpensive hand trucks usually have plastic tyres. Although they are quite robust, they are not suitable for travelling on uneven terrain because they do not have any suspension. They are also more difficult to steer than other types of tyres.

Solid tyres are very light and are particularly suitable for touring on paved roads. They can withstand high loads but are difficult to manoeuvre on uneven terrain. They do, however, absorb shocks well. Hand trucks with solid rubber tyres are usually cheaper than models with pneumatic tyres.

If you prefer to use your cart on unpaved terrain, for example on uneven hiking trails, you should choose a model with pneumatic tyres. They absorb shocks and jerky movements and are therefore particularly suitable for transporting children. However, pneumatic tyres need to be patched and replaced more often because they are more susceptible to damage.

Tyre width

The wider the tyres, the easier it is to pull a handcart. Narrow tyres are very manoeuvrable and perfectly adequate for asphalt roads. However, as they quickly get stuck, they are not suitable for uneven terrain. Here, wide tyres with ball bearings are advantageous because they absorb vibrations and thus ensure a smoother ride.

Load capacity

The load limit of the dolly determines how much weight it can carry. It is usually between 50 and 200 kilograms, depending on the type of cart you choose. Depending on the number of children, a load capacity of 50 kilograms is usually sufficient for transporting children. If you want to use a handcart to transport shopping, drinks or picnic accessories, you are better off with a model that can carry 100 to 150 kilograms. For heavy goods such as sand, stones or garden accessories, the handcart should be able to withstand a weight of at least 200 kilograms. Some models even have very high load limits of up to 500 kilograms. This means that particularly heavy items, such as garden tools, can be transported without any problems.


To ensure that the handcart does not cause any problems, it should be easy to handle. To make it easy to manoeuvre, it should have a movable axle and drawbar.


Some hand trucks have one or more parking brakes. This prevents the cart from rolling away when it is parked on uneven surfaces or slopes. A parking brake is a must, especially if children are transported in the handcart. If necessary, it can also be purchased later and mounted on the trolley. Depending on the type of parking brake, it costs between 15 and 50 euros.


Since the trolley is pulled by the handle, it should be particularly sturdy and non-slip. The handle is either made of plastic or padded foam rubber, the choice of material is a matter of preference. It should lie well in the hand and be comfortable to grip even on longer tours.

Ideally, the handle is height-adjustable so that people of different heights can pull it. Some hand trucks have a handlebar that locks when released and thus does not fall to the ground. This is practical because the user does not have to bend down to pick up the handle. Sometimes the handle can also be attached to the front of the pushchair. Some models also have a push bar with which they can be pushed in a similar way to prams.


Many hand trucks are about 80 to 100 centimetres long and about 40 to 50 centimetres wide. How high the handcart is depends on what it is made of and whether it has a roof. If there is little space available for storage, you should opt for a smaller handcart or a foldable model.

Dead weight

A handcart is usually heavily loaded. To ensure that it can still be transported easily, its tare weight should not be too high. However, a high tare weight also makes the trolley more stable, which is why it is a question of weighing things up. Folding trolleys are particularly light: they weigh about 13 to 18 kilograms because they are mostly made of fabric. Equipment trolleys, on the other hand, are very heavy. They weigh up to 30 kilograms, which means a lot of extra weight to pull. If the handcart is also to be pulled by children, a lightweight model with a maximum tare weight of 14 kilograms is recommended.


Most models cost between 50 and 200 euros. Those who want a handcart with a roof usually pay at least 100 euros for it, while simple handcarts without accessories are available for 50 euros. For users who only need the handcart once or rarely and do not have a place to park it, there are models for rent.

Additional features

Although a simple handcart is sufficient for many trips, there are a number of accessories that are quite useful. One of the most popular additional features is a sun and rain canopy. Especially when transporting children, such protection is advantageous. However, the roof should not hang too low. With many models it is already included in the scope of delivery, with others it can be purchased later. In summer, mosquito nets can also be practical to protect children or food from insects.

External pockets are also useful for storage space, as additional luggage can be stowed in them. If children are transported in a buggy, there is hardly any space left. Cooler bags for drinks or drink holders can also be included in the scope of delivery of the handcart.

Some hand carts are equipped with seat belts that can be used to secure children or luggage in the vehicle. For winter, there are snow runners that make the trolley safer in ice and snow. Tours in the dark can be better managed with a handcart with lighting. For this reason, LEDs are standard equipment on many models.

Cleaning the handcart properly

Hand trucks are usually very easy to clean. However, since they are usually used in wind and weather, they quickly become dirty and need to be cleaned. Wetness in particular can damage the materials of the handcart in the long term. Dirt such as sand or soil can be removed with a hand brush. To do this, lay the handcart on its side and sweep the inside thoroughly.

Even stubborn dirt is no problem. The fabric of foldable hand trucks can usually be removed and washed in the washing machine. If this is not the case, the dirt can be removed with soapy water and a fresh cloth. If the handcart is made of wood or metal, its surface can simply be cleaned with a wet cloth. If the tyres squeal, spread some oil on them to get rid of the noise. The tyres and handlebars can be cleaned with a garden hose.

Where is the best place to store the handcart?

Basically, you can store your handcart indoors or outdoors. However, keep in mind that the cart is exposed to the weather outside, which can affect its durability. All parts made of steel and aluminium should be sprayed with a steel protection agent so that they do not rust so quickly. For folding models, a removable fabric is advantageous as it will then not mould. Ideally, you should cover the roller cart with a tarpaulin after use to protect it from the weather. Folding dollies take up less space when stored, but often have to be disassembled first.

Can I also use the roller cart on the road?

Article 24 of the Road Traffic Act stipulates that a handcart may only be used on pavements. If there is no pavement, the handcart must be pulled on the side of the road with oncoming traffic. If you obstruct other pedestrians with a bulky handcart, you must move to the right-hand side of the road. Article 17(5) of the Road Traffic Act also states that there must be clearly visible white, non-blinding lights on the front and rear of the handcart.