Hand Truck wheels haven’t changed a lot over the past 15 years. Most are imported from overseas mostly from China and Taiwan. This has been a huge problem for the consumers for years. There have been many recalls and serious injuries as a result. Pneumatic (air) tires have been notorious for not staying inflated, being wobbly, or the bearings just fail rendering the hand tuck useless. Not all pneumatic hand truck tires are the same. There are two main types of construction for pneumatic wheels. You have 2-ply and 4-ply construction, 2-ply not being as strong as the 4-ply. It’s just like buying a cheap pair of tires for your car compared to a more expensive higher quality tire. Most hand truck manufactures put 2-ply tires on their hand trucks for cost savings leaving the consumer with a “cheap” tire on a nice hand truck. 4-ply tires are more expensive but usually last a very long time. It is worth the money spent to ensure that next time you need to use your hand truck for a move that it will perform and not fail on you when you need it most.
Solid wheels are great! No worries about losing air, blow outs, or wobbling. Solid wheels will usually hold up the lifetime of a hand truck. With one exception being the bearings that can fall out, pop out, or simply break under heavy use. Most bearings can be replaced for a fraction of the cost of an entire new wheel. But they may not always be available. Another solid wheel for hand trucks is the foam wheel. Foam wheels are puncture proof and have the same characteristic as a pneumatic wheel. They have been gaining in popularity for several years because they are maintenance free which means no worries when you go to use your hand truck. You will pay more for foam tires but it is worth the small investment.
Very few consumers read the side walls of a hand truck wheel to see what PLY wheel the are getting. They trust that the hand truck looks good and can hold 800 lbs then the wheels must be great as well. Always, “kick the tires” before purchasing a hand truck.