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How Efficient is the Harper Convertible Hand Truck? A Tested Review

Sometimes, the only way to move a heavy item is with a hand truck or a dolly. Find out what happened when I tested a model that claims to be both.
Glenda Taylor Avatar
A person using the Harper Convertible Hand Truck to move a heavy 5-gallon bucket.

Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

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I tried out the Harper convertible hand truck during a comprehensive hands-on test to determine the best folding hand trucks, and it ended up taking top honors in the lineup. Hand trucks (wheeled devices for moving heavy or bulky items) are essential tools—and not just for moving companies. Anyone who needs to move an item they can’t carry comfortably can benefit from a good hand truck.

The Harper hand truck does double duty as a dolly; all I had to do was fold the back side down, and a second set of wheels kicked in, transforming the vertical hand truck into a 4-wheel cart. I loaded up the Harper with an assortment of heavy items and then noted how well it rolled and whether it could support the weight. Ahead, find out what I liked about this hand truck, what I didn’t like, and whether it’s the right tool for your moving needs. 

Harper Trucks 700-Pound-Capacity Convertible Hand Truck: At a Glance

Rating: 4.75/5

The Best Folding Hand Trucks Review
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

SPECS

  • Type: Convertible/folding hand truck
  • Load capacity: 600 pounds (2 wheel), 700 pounds (cart)
  • Frame material: Glass-filled nylon
  • Weight: 26 pounds 

PROS

  • Easily converts from 2-wheel hand truck to a 4-wheel dolly
  • Made from glass-filled nylon; designed to hold up to 700 pounds in cart mode
  • Solid rubber wheels will never go flat and offer maximum traction
  • Large 10-inch wheels make it easy to go up and down stairs without scraping

CONS

  • Might bog down a bit when pulled in dense grass 
  • Foot shelf is just 7 inches deep; it may not support items with a larger footprint

Get the Harper Trucks convertible hand truck at:

What is the Harper convertible hand truck?

This popular moving tool transforms from a 2-wheel Harper hand truck to a 4-wheel Harper dolly by removing the handle, folding the base down, and then reinserting the handle on the top side for pulling the cart on all four wheels. 

The hand truck came fully assembled—there was nothing to install or attach. This is a relatively lightweight hand truck, weighing just 26 pounds, so I could lift it easily to the back of the truck bed to transport it from site to site. Harper claims it can hold up to 600 pounds in the upright position and up to 700 pounds in dolly mode.

Its frame is made from injection-molded glass-filled nylon. I’ve never used a nylon hand cart before, and initially, I worried it wouldn’t be as strong as one with a steel frame, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was solid and robust.

The hand truck features two large 10-inch solid rubber wheels at its base and two 5-inch caster wheels at the top. The bright yellow handle is made from steel, and it’s easy to change from one configuration to the other via quick clips that hold it in place. 

The Harper Convertible Hand Truck holding three big bags of potting soil during testing.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Conversion and Capacity

I found the conversion aspect of the Harper hand truck especially handy. Quality hand trucks are great for moving tall and narrow items, but if an item has a wide footprint—such as the large bags of mulch and potting mix I was moving—the narrow shelf of the hand truck (in this case, 19 inches long by 7 inches wide) doesn’t quite offer enough room to hold the items. 

By removing the yellow handle, folding the base down, and inserting the handle on the topside, I could load several bags on the hand cart and pull it where I wanted to go—it made a great garden cart. When I wanted to move a heavy pot up some porch stairs, I reversed the process and returned the unit to its upright position. 

The Harper Convertible Hand Truck in use moving a huge pot during testing.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Build Quality

One of the standout features of the Harper hand truck is its durable construction. I was impressed with how much weight it would hold. While I couldn’t find 700 pounds of items to load on it, I did load about 400 pounds, and its nylon frame held firm with no sag or drag. In addition, the wheels and axles didn’t seem fazed by the weight—they rolled smoothly and easily.

I’m a big fan of the hand truck’s solid rubber tires because they’re always ready to go; they never need to be aired up, plus they got excellent traction in my tests.

From what I could tell from inspections, the Harper hand truck is built to last, but just to be sure, I did a little research on the qualities of a glass-filled nylon frame. I found it has superior tensile strength and enhanced stability. It is also designed to resist ultraviolet damage. I’ve used some lightweight aluminum carts in the past that warped under heavy weight, but so far, the Harper hand truck seems to be more durable. 

A person locking the Harper Convertible Hand Truck in place during testing.
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Maneuverability and Ease of Use

With this hand truck, moving heavy items around is a snap. The 10-inch tires were large enough to keep the backside of the unit from scraping on stairs when I pulled it up or rolled it down. Hand trucks with smaller wheels are challenging to take up stairs without scraping the steps or needing to lift them up each stair. 

In dolly mode, the handle attaches to the caster wheel end, which makes it easy to turn the dolly around and pull or push it in any direction. I found that it rolled smoothly on pavement and sort of smoothly on gravel. It tended to bog down a bit in grass, but that’s to be expected.

A tape measure on the foot shelf of the Harper Convertible Hand Truck reading 7".
Photo: Glenda Taylor for Bob Vila

Should you buy the Harper convertible hand truck?

The Harper hand truck is a well-designed and reliable option for anyone who needs the versatility of both a hand truck and a dolly cart. It converts quickly and easily via clips that hold the handle in place. 

Maneuverability is excellent on hard, flat surfaces. Still, it could be better on dense lawns, so if you frequently move heavy items over grass or rough terrains, a designated cart-type dolly with larger wheels might be a better option. 

This is a good pick if you’re looking to move items up or down steps and stairs in vertical mode because the 10-inch rubber wheels are large enough to keep the base from scraping the steps—and they offer great traction. Depending on where you buy it, the Harper hand truck runs from about $135 to $170, which is competitive with similar models. 

In an upright position, the tool measures 19 inches long by 19 inches wide by 50 inches tall, so it can stow away in a moderately small spot. Its light weight (26 pounds) makes it easy to lift and transport. You may never have something that weighs 700 pounds to tote around, but the Harper hand truck is a good and durable choice for less heavy items as well. 

Where to Buy the Harper Convertible Hand Truck

Get the Harper Trucks convertible hand truck at:

Meet the Tester

Glenda Taylor is a product tester and writer specializing in the construction, remodeling, and real estate industries. She and her husband own a general contracting company, and Taylor is experienced in both residential and commercial building applications. She tests a wide range of power tools as well as other home improvement, household, and lawn-and-garden products.

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Glenda Taylor

Staff Writer

Glenda Taylor is a BobVila.com staff writer with a background in the residential remodeling, home building, and home improvement industries. She started writing for BobVila.com in 2016 and covers a range of topics, including construction methods, code compliance, tool use, and the latest news in the housing and real estate industries. 

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