Your Move: Gear That Makes Loading & Hauling Easier
Your move. It might be across town with a load of boxes for your new place. It might be up the stairs hauling a new mattress and box spring, or down the street hauling some extra mulch to the neighbors. Loading up the roof with skis and sleds in the winter, hitching up the boat to hit the lake in the summer.
Your move. It's gonna be top notch terrific when you're done, but while you're doing it, while the loading and hauling are happening, it might a be a mite rough. It might mightily suck.
So here's some stuff to help you out. Here are my picks for some gear that makes loading and hauling easier.
UpCart - Stair-Climbing Folding Hand Truck
While not intended for moving mega-heavy items, such as a slab of marble or sumo wrestling champion Kotoshogiku Kazuhiro, the UpCart can ease the pain of rolling your 200-pound refrigerator up the winding staircase to your new 3rd floor apartment unit, or help haul a stack of boxes and awkwardly-shaped items that would be too cumbersome to carry by hand.
UpCart design begins with a rotating 3-wheel chassis that ensures 4 cart wheels are in contact with the ground at all times. This is both to improve stability during use and to enable the UpCart to walk up stairs and scurry over curbs and other obstacles. An adjustable handle further assists with cart maneuverability, and the aluminum alloy modular frame collapses in a second and self-locks when your duty is done.
Jeri-Rigg your whole life with this multi-functional tie-down / anchor point / attachment point / strap straight outta Chassell, Michigan. The Jeri-Rigg system pairs with securing tools such as bungee cords, tie-down straps, lanyards, ropes, netting, carabiners, webbing straps, chains, or anything else you can stick through its end loop bullseye. The Jeri-Rigg itself then wraps and secures around a similarly long list of structural objects.
The Reel-Quik Hitch
Hitchrific designed their Reel-Quick Hitch to eliminate the Rumpelstiltskin effect from your trailer hookup efforts: no more bulging eyes, no more swearing, and no more frustration so extreme so you stomp yourself right through the earth and disappear in a fiery rage. The extendable hitching system makes it possible to get your trailer hooked up the first time, every time. And without the back and shoulder strain of trying to finagle your equipment those last few inches into place.
Makita Power-Assisted Flat Dolly
Make-ita like you're strong as an ox with a little help from the Makita Power-Assisted Flat Dolly. You can load up your cart heavier, and pull it farther thanks to this big boy's Makita-built BL Brushless Motor, and your choice of one or a pair of 18V LXT batteries. The motor has enough fire to carry up to 275 pounds of material, and a single 6-amp-hour battery will get you up to 60 minutes of haul time under load (about 1 mile). Add a second to double the run.
LoadHandler Pickup Truck Unloader
The LoadHandler is a truck bed unloader for DIYers who don't want do-it-yourself to turn into D'oh! I yanked my back all funny.
To turn your pickup truck into a dump truck, choose from mid-size and full-size truck LoadHandler models, and run through a seemingly easy install process with adjustable brackets and a drag sheet. The brackets belt onto tailgates 50" to 59" (mid) and 60" to 69" wide and up to 4" thick without the need to weld, cut, or drill.
Once the drag sheet is in place, you can pile in your rock, firewood, soil, or mulch, and use the LoadHandler crank system and roller bar to dump it back out in around 30 seconds.
Muscle Suit Every - Exoskeleton for Heavy Lifting
The Muscle Suit Every is a soft-fit brace designed to help wearers lift and carry heavy objects. Using an air pump and pressure system instead of batteries or motors, the exoskeleton reduces the feel of lifted objects' mass by up to -25.5 kilogram-force. The technology - "pneumatic artificial muscle technology" - isn't new, but this application endeavors to make it more readily available for commercial / industrial, as well as home use.
The Muscle Suit Every's air pump is located and activated at the waist, so wearers can fill it easily, as well as stabilize their strength at the core, and maintain support for the back and thighs as they lift and move heavy loads.
Shoulder Dolly Moving Straps
These Shoulder Dolly Moving Straps probably would have made my move from my mama's house to She-Ra: Princess of Power's condo a few years ago way easier. She-Ra's got, like, 4 inches on Mama, which made hauling big, awkward stuff like my dresser and mattress really uneven, and frustrating for them. Not to mention me trying to direct the process.
Shoulder Dolly straps are adjustable, though, so they can easily accommodate differences in movers' heights. The way they leverage your big leg and torso muscles over those in your back and arms during use means you can lift heavier items with less chance of strain too. In fact, the Shoulder Dolly fits like a harness over your body, and a ledge under the item you're moving, creating a balanced, stable configuration that allows you to move with your hands and arms free to open doors and grab support structures. Heavy-duty webbed straps have an 800-pound load-bearing capacity.
Grocery Gripps Carrier
Grocery Gripps are nylon webbing straps that consolidate bags and redistribute their carrying weight out of your hands. They are recommended by 1 out of 1 Harry Connick Juniors! (He reviewed Grocery Gripps as "Worth the Hype!" on his talk show.)
Thread your Gripp through a slew of individual plastic, canvas, or other bags and enjoy over 200 pounds of tensile strength condensed into a single handle you can loop through your hand and/or sling over your shoulder. Your load won't end up lighter, but a Grocery Gripp should give you better leverage and more options for carrying it, so the overall schlepping process will seem like less of a pain in the bunghole.
HandiRack Universal Inflatable Vehicle Roof Rack
A vehicle roof rack that deflates and stuffs into a sack small enough to get lost under my car seat? That sounds Handi. The HandiRack is an inflatable and expandable set of rooftop "bars" that secures to most cars, trucks, and SUVs. They're rated to carry up to 180 pounds of sporting goods, camping gear, luggage, furniture, and ladders.
Like the Stag Rack with its suction cup attachment, the HandRack is an easy on / easy off roof rack that leaves behind no scratches on dents on your vehicle. The pair of HandiRack tubes are made of tough nylon, with 5 x D-ring anchor points to secure them. Depending on the size of your vehicle, you can increase or decrease the distance between the tubes during setup, and HandiRack says regardless of placement, they will spread your cargo load evenly across the rooftop.
TReGo Detachable Front Wheel Bike Trolley
When I need to haul a load I grab a trolley. When I need to haul myself I get on a bike. When I need to haul both I buy a TReGo. At least that's what the German company that makes this detachable front wheel bike trolley hopes I, and anyone else who visits their online store, do.
Despite its decidedly dysfunctional spelling, TReGo says it's a highly functional, and multi-functional hand truck that fast connects to / disconnects from the front of your existing bicycle. TReGo has patented a FAST-Connector device that replaces your bike's single front wheel, and serves as the latch point for the 2-wheeled trolley. (Bonus: TReGo turns your bike into an adult tricycle!) Installing the FAST-Connector requires no bike modifications, and using it requires no tools.