How to Choose A Powered Stair Climbing Hand Truck?

Today I will show you how to choose a powered stiar climbing hand truck step by step. Whether you are looking for it for home delivery or for reselling in your local market, this guide will be right for you. If this is a question on the back of your mind, this article will explain everything you need to know.

We all know how hard it can be to transport heavy goods, but things are so much more challenging when you have to get them up a staircase.

It’s back-breaking work…

…But with the right powered stair climber, this can be a thing of the past. 

We’ve worked closely with several moving companies, which is why we know exactly what you need from an electirc hand truck.

If you’re not sure where to get started before choosing a powered stair climber, let’s dive in:

Stair Climber Fundamentals

The first step to finding the right powered stair climbing truck for you is to understand its fundamentals. 

In this section, I want to explain the basics to avoid falling into traps.

What is A Powered Stair Climber?

A powered stair climber is like a standard trolley because they use wheels or tracks to help you transport heavy items.

The significant difference is they have an extra set of rotating wheels or tracks that help you maneuver upstairs… without breaking your back.

Each rotation of the wheel helps the user maneuver a staircase by supporting the load in the most suitable position.

Types of Powered Stair Climber

So you know what a powered stair climber is and what it does, but you might not know there are different variations of stair climbers.

In this section, I’m going to walk you through the different styles so you can make a rational decision:

Powered Tracked Stair Climber

Powered track climbers are among the best in the business. They use continuous tracks at the rear of the lift to help it traverse up and downstairs.

powered tracked stair climber
XSTO CT420 Havey Duty Powered Stair Climbing Trolley

A tracked stair climber can carry the heaviest loads, which can go up to 1,000 KG depending on the model. Currently, the most popular load capacity of powered tracked stair climber is up to 420 KG, like this one.

But what makes this style of stair climber standout is the hydraulic load balance. This enables the load to be kept upright while navigating the staircase. It is usually equipped with auto gravity balance function.

It’s a fantastic feature if you’re moving items with refrigerants or helping disabled people go up the stairs.

To make things better:

They put no weight on the user so that you can navigate stairs with ease.

The main disadvantage with this style of powered stair climber is the speed; they go a lot slower than push arm or stair walkers.

Powered Stair Walker

This stair climbing hand truck is very popular with companies that supply vending machines and arcade machines.

Stair walkers use a long screw thread that extends and retracts the foot of the walker. As the foot spins around, it catches the step to hold the load.

Some stair walkers add the third section so you can manipulate the load up or down from the base. 

Push Arm Electric Hand Truck

XSTO ZW7170EF Powered Stair Climber

It’s one of the most straightforward styles of powered wheeled stair climbers. Push arm electric hand trucks have an arm fitted to the bottom of the truck. As the arm folds out and down, it pushes on the step above and lifts the load up the stairs.

When using the opposite motion, the wheeled stair climber is also able to go down steps with ease. As an added safety feature, they apply a forward-only braking system that stops the arm from rolling off the edge.

Load Capacity

The amount of load your powered stair climber can handle comes down to the style and brand of the machine.

But to give you a rough idea, let’s break it down:

Tracked Stair Climber – Up to 1000 KG

Push Arm Electric Hand Truck – 250 kg

Stair Walker – 150 kg

These weights are average estimations and can vary between manufacturers and models, so make sure you do your research.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Powered Stair Climber

Choosing a suitable powered stair climber is a daunting task if you don’t know what you’re looking for. And this is where this chapter will come in very handy.

I’m going to break down the things you should look out for so you never fall into any traps:

Load Capacity

The load capacity will vary between manufacturers and models, so it’s something you have to keep your eye on.

Before making your decision, you will have to think about the goods you’re going to transport and how heavy they are.

This should be one of the primary purchasing reasons. If the powered hand truck can’t handle the weight effectively, you’re going to run into trouble.

Motor Quality

The motor is heart of the powered stair climbing hand truck. If the motor quality is poor, the chance of it failing becomes higher.

Ideally, you’re looking for a high-quality motor to ensure the stair climber can genrate enough power to handle the load.

Weight And Dimension

The next thing you need to think about is the weight and dimensions of the stair climbing truck. 

Chances are you’ll have to lift the trolley out of the van or lorry, and if it’s too heavy, you’re going to struggle. 

Another thing you should think about is the kind of staircases you’ll be going up and what you’re transporting. Ideally, you want an excellent balance between something that can hold your products securely and easy to maneuver around corners and up staircases. 


Safety should always be a primary concern I mean, that’s why you’re looking at powered stair climbing hand trucks. 

If you want to ensure safety, you should look out for safety certificates from TUV. You can quickly identify them by checking the certificates of the manufacturers.

XSTO stair climber certificates

If your powered stair climbing hand truck features any of these certificates, you can be assured that optimum safety was in mind when they made it.


As with anything electrical or worth a lot of money,you should always check out what the warranty covers.

Unfortunately, things can go wrong at any point, and knowing you’re covered gives you peace of mind.

Ensure you read through the warranty policy carefully,some manufacturers can be slippery with their terms and conditions.

You want to look out for:

  • How long you’re covered for
  • What coverage they provide
  • And the procedure to get a replacement

For example, XTSO offers a 12-month warranty for the whole machine and provides replacement parts from their warehouse.

If everything looks good, you can move on to your final check.


Everyone loves a bargain, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. 

The price will vary depending on the style, quality, maximum load, and brand. The best way to find a deal is to compare around and see what features they offer. 

This way, you can compare different models with the features they offer.

As a base price, you should expect to pay anywhere between $1,000 – $5,000.

Compare The Difference Among Different Brands

Comparing the differences between brands is the key to picking up the best powered stair climbing hand truck.

To do this, you need to think about three things:

  1. Your demand
  2. Your budget
  3. Make a balanced choice between the two

If you keep these three things in mind, there’s no doubt you’ll get a stunning machine. But let’s look into these three factors a bit deeper:

Evaluate Your Demand (Load capacity, Apply Scenario, Cargo Type)

To find the right brand and model, you have to look at three key factors:

Cargo Type – Identify what type of cargo you’re going to be carrying. The thing is:

Different styles and brands work better for refrigerants than others. Knowing what your going to be transporting gives you a head start in the buying game. 

Load Capacity – Have a look at the maximum load the brand/model can handle. Each model can take a different capacity due to size and load.

Compare what each brand has to offer and decided which one fits your needs best. Ideally, it’s better to have a slightly higher load capacity than you actually need.

Apply Scenario – Think about the scenario you will be using your powered stair climbing hand truck. Is it a narrow staircase? Do you have to lift it out the back of the truck?

When you know the answer to these questions, you can start whittling down your choices.

Figure Out Your Budget

Your budget is an important buying factor, you must think carefully about it! The costs can vary significantly from brand to brand, so set a budget and try and keep to it.

There’s no easy way of figuring out what budget you have due to it being so personal; what’s expensive to one company might not be to another.

Make A Balance Based On Your Demand And Budget

This is the essential part of choosing the best stair climbing hand truck for you. Have a look at different brands and see which brands/models suit your demands.

From there, it’s about finding which one match your budget. 

What’s The Best Powered Stair Climber

When looking at the best powered stair climber, you need to consider four factors:

  1. Core Technology – This is the machine’s brain, which means the system must be stable and durable. You should be looking for a company that has an experienced development team. 
  2. Ease Of Use – A suitable trolley should be easy to learn how to use and climb stairs quickly and efficiently—the fewer buttons and complications the trolley has, the better.
  3. Durable Structure – A robust and durable frame is an essential thing to consider. Ideally, a carbon steel frame giving it a strong, reliable, and lightweight body is something you should be looking for.
  4. Versatility – Having a trolley that works in a range of situations is paramount. Being able to carry a large variety of loads can be a real benefit later down the line. 

So, which stair climbing hand trucks do we suggest? 

XSTO is one of the best brands in the business for offering stair climbing solutions. For us, the best in business is the CT070B, CT420, and if you want to save some money, the ZW7170G.


I’m sure you have some questions about powered stair climbing hand trucks, which is why I want to take this time out to answer some of your burning questions:

DO I Need to Keep The Load Balanced?

It depends on the style you choose. Tracked stair climbers automatically level the load, so the operator doesn’t have to. Wheeled stair climbers don’t always have this luxury which means the operator has to keep the load balanced.

How does the lift balance? 

The lift balances the weight by finding the optimum center of gravity. The balance point goes directly through the load center, so the fulcrum point is down towards the lifting feet.

Will it damage the steps?

New models have rubber wheels and a rubber belt to help protect the stairs from any damage. This means the climbing hand truck won’t leave any marks or damage the steps climbing the stairs.

How Long Does The Battery Last?

It depends on how much weight is being carried. The heavier the load, the quicker the battery will die. 

Luckily,  they feature a display that shows you the battery capacity and voltage to know well ahead of time if it’s going to run out.

Now It Turns Out To You

Now I think you have learned how to choose the right powered stair climber for your business or for your own use.

Which style of electric stair climbing hand truck are you going to choose? The heavy duty one or the light load type?

Please let me know in the comment, and I will reply you with the best suggestions with my industry expertise.

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