What is a Panel Cart?

Sara Schmidt

A panel cart, also known as a utility cart, tool cart, or service cart, is a wheeled industrial vehicle, or handtruck, that is used to transport large materials. These may include lumber, carpet, panels, sheet rock, plywood, doors, folding tables, and any other large items. They may be found at various home improvement stores, hardware stores, warehouses, and lumberyards.

A panel cart may be used to transport plywood.
A panel cart may be used to transport plywood.

Typically made out of steel, panel carts usually arrive fully assembled, and can be used immediately. Should a panel cart require assembly, it is usually accompanied by a set of instructions. Most contain heavy-duty, upright support rails that can often be adjusted to accommodate various sized equipment and materials. Some panel carts even feature attachments, such as removable plastic buckets for carrying tools and other small items, or multiple tiers to carry different materials.

Panel carts also usually feature polyurethane casters, or mounted compound wheels, which can either swivel or remain rigid. A standard panel cart usually features a set of four of these casters, including one stationary pair and one movable pair. Larger carts, however, may require additional wheels.

When transporting large materials through small or narrow spaces, a worker may opt to use a handheld, adjustable panel cart. A nesting panel cart can be stored in small spaces, and features multiple shelves for carting various objects. A heavy duty panel cart is useful in toting large, heavy items, and, upon rail removal, it may also be used as a platform truck to transport bulkier over-sized loads. When moving multiple large, flat items, a vertical panel cart may prove to be useful, as it contains various rails to separate materials.

Warranties on panel carts may vary, though a year of full workability is often guaranteed upon purchase. Built to sustain heavy wear and multiple uses, panel carts are generally considered to be hardy equipment. If cared for, a cart should be able to last a lengthy amount of time. Prices for these vehicles vary, depending upon the size and specialty of the cart. Heavy duty panel carts typically cost more than standard versions.

Some industrial workers even opt to fashion their own panel carts out of wood or other materials to save on costs. Workers may even opt to modify carts they have purchased in order to accommodate for specific needs and functions. Panel carts may also be rented for use if needed.

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