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10 Tips for Safely Using a Dolly

As a caterer, having the ability to transport a complete list of food and equipment from the central kitchen to your event is key to your success. Often times in the rush of things we grab the nearest product with wheels on it and start loading, piling as much as possible thinking it’s the smart way to save time and the number of trips needed.

But did you know that heavy physical work requiring bending and twisting and improper lifting contribute to back and neck injuries? According to OSHA, back disorders are one of the leading causes of disability for people in their working years, leading to pain, loss of productivity, not to mention being an economic burden on our compensation systems.

So why put yourself at risk? Learn the proper technique to transport goods safely!


  1. Before loading the dolly, perform a quick visual check to make sure that nothing could pose a hazard—no casters are loose, etc.
  2. When loading the dolly, use your knees rather than your back or arms to lift. Remember that even a small front-loading carrier that is loaded with food can be quite heavy so ask for help lifting. Use the molded-in ergonomic handles on either side for a 2-person lift.
  3. Put heavier objects on the bottom, balancing the load over the axles. This prevents tipping if the load is off-center. Cambro carriers and dollies are designed to be used together as products stay safely on the dolly while doors can still swing open fully.
  4. Although all Camdollies are designed with molded-in edges/lips around the perimeter to keep carriers from falling off, make sure that nothing hangs over the edges.
  5. Be sure to strap down all carriers onto the dolly before use. Cambro has straps and harnesses of varying lengths with buckles to safely secure your carriers to the dolly.
  6. Make sure that your loads are low enough to see over. We recommend a maximum height of not more than 5 ft.
  7. Push loads rather than pulling them, keeping knees slightly bent and your back straight.
  8. Stop at corners and doorways and look before pushing forward.
  9. Avoid walking backwards, unless you need to maneuver in a tight space. Even so, Camdollies, with their swivel casters make this challenge a cinch!
  10. Even though it may seem fun, never ride the dollies or use them for purposes other than intended!

Use these as guidelines and seek proper ergonomic practices from OSHA or other credited organizations for best results.

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