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A logistics classic celebrates its birthday

The EXPRESSO hand truck has been setting standards in handling technology for 70 years.

Few manual transport devices are as widely used in logistics as the EXPRESSO hand truck. As a safe and ergonomic solution for transporting cardboard boxes, beverage crates, barrels or storage boxes, it has proven itself in the supply chains of many industries worldwide. The basis for its development into a product classics and German standard was laid by the entrepreneur August Manss with a patent application in July 1953. Read here how EXPRESSO has managed to reinvent the hand truck as a versatile modular system ever since.

When the engineer and company founder August Manss applied for a patent in July 1953 for “a transport trolley (…) that can be used simultaneously as a hand truck (…) and as a stacking trolley”, he laid the foundation for an exemplary success story in the field of manual handling technology. Today – 70 years later – the EXPRESSO hand truck is not only a globally sought-after piece of transport equipment, but also an established product classics in the company’s portfolio. It is used millions of times and is currently even listed as the German standard in the brands of the century. A decisive factor in the continuing success of the hand truck is its further development into a modular system, from which new customer-, sector- and country-specific hand truck solutions can be generated again and again. “In addition to the high-quality workmanship, durability and reliability, this versatility and adaptability is undoubtedly one of the most important competitive advantages of our hand truck today,” says Karsten Grötecke, who heads the business unit Manual Handling Equipment at EXPRESSO.

Skids for stair transport

Initially, according to the patent specification, it was above all the new, particularly large runners that offered the user a decisive added value and handling advantage. This allowed the hand truck to “slide over stairs during transport”. As early as 1967, the EXPRESSO engineers developed the first aluminum modular system, which has been consistently expanded to this day and now offers design scope for more than 2,000 different hand truck variants. Thanks to this high degree of flexibility, the EXPRESSO hand truck has proven itself in countless applications in the food and beverage industry, for courier and parcel services and in intralogistics. In many vehicle fleets, it is part of the vehicle service equipment. EXPRESSO has also added a wide range of accessories to the modular system, which can be used to quickly adapt any standard hand truck to special handling or transport tasks. For example, a folding water bottle attachment can be used to accommodate round, square and triangular 20-litre bottles, and a height-adjustable hook can be attached to transport returnable KEG drums of different sizes.

Quality Made in Germany

From the very beginning, the EXPRESSO hand truck was designed as a quality product made in Germany. This applies to all aspects of material selection, construction and assembly. As a result, this transport device has been able to assert itself on the market as a durable and sustainable product for seven decades. The spare parts promise that EXPRESSO makes to its customers as a premium manufacturer has played a major part in this: Every single part of the hand truck can be ordered as a spare part – today quickly via the company’s web shop. “With our original spare parts and guidance from the DIY videos on our YouTube channel, users can make even a 30-year-old hand truck fit again,” explains Karsten Grötecke. The worn sliding skids on an EXPRESSO hand truck are also very easy to replace thanks to a clip system. The red strip on the integrated wear indicator shows the right time to do this.

On the road to the future

Expanding the modular system, extending the range of services and continuing the high-quality standard are the three cornerstones for the further development of the EXPRESSO hand truck. Karsten Grötecke leaves no doubt that he and his team will succeed in taking the hand truck into the next decade of its product life cycle: “As we always attach great importance to an intensive exchange with our customers, users and sales partners, we are constantly receiving suggestions for technical optimisations, additional modular modules or new accessories. These innovative impulses and their rapid implementation in our engineering are the guarantee that our hand truck will continue to prove itself as a reliable, versatile and also extremely economical means of transport in the future.”

  • Cardboard boxes, beverage crates, barrels, storage boxes and much more: EXPRESSO hand trucks have been proving their worth as manual transport equipment in the supply chains of many industries for 70 years now.
  • 2,000 variants and more: an important factor in the success of the EXPRESSO hand truck is the further development of the product into a modular system from which customised and industry-specific hand truck solutions can be generated.
  • Material selection, construction, assembly: From the very beginning, the EXPRESSO hand truck was designed as a quality product made in Germany.
  • Guaranteed: Every single part of an EXPRESSO hand truck can also be ordered as a spare part – for example via the company’s web shop.
  • Foldable lifting and lowering system with workbench and hand truck function: the new MobiBench from EXPRESSO.