COVID-19 Policy & Message

Home//How to Choose the Right Material Handling Carts for Your Life Science Labs

How to Choose the Right Material Handling Carts for Your Life Science Labs

Every little detail in life science labs matters – especially when it comes to the equipment you use.

Today, we want to focus on one piece of equipment in particular: material handling carts.

Many view these service carts as a mode for convenience in life science labs. But they are a crucial component of both efficiency and safety.

In a life science lab, it’s in everyone’s best interests to provide the most ideal equipment. This keeps your workers safe, helps increase efficiency in lab operations, and helps to reduce costs. Material handling carts play a big role in this. Let’s dive into the world of these indispensable tools and guide you through selecting the perfect match for your lab.

Understanding Material Handling Carts

Material handling carts are the workhorses of life sciences labs.

They transport, store, and secure valuable equipment and samples. But not all carts are created equal. The right choice can elevate your lab’s productivity and safety, while the wrong one can lead to inefficiency and hazards.

In an environment where there can be no compromises in precision and care, the right cart makes every other facet of the lab work operate at a higher level. It’s not just about moving items from point A to B; it’s about doing so safely, efficiently, and with the well-being of your team in mind.

5 Key Considerations for Choosing Laboratory Carts

1. Material and Durability

Choose carts made of materials that withstand the lab’s demands. For instance, stainless steel carts are popular for their durability and ease of cleaning, making them ideal for sterile environments.

Moreover, these materials resist corrosion and chemical damage, ensuring longevity in challenging lab conditions. It’s beneficial to look for carts that can handle extreme temperatures if your lab experiences various environmental conditions.

2. Ergonomic Design

An ergonomic design is a core feature in material handling carts – especially ones that see heavy use in the most demanding applications.

It ensures that your team can use the carts without strain or injury, keeping productivity high. Adjustable handles and height options can further customize the cart to fit various users, reducing the risk of repetitive strain injuries.

Additionally, smooth-rolling wheels can make a significant difference in ease of movement, especially in tight spaces.

3. Safety Features

Look for safety features for lab carts, such as locks for drawers and brakes on wheels.

These features protect your valuable lab assets and ensure a safe working environment. Non-slip surfaces and rounded corners can also help prevent accidents, making them essential for maintaining a secure lab environment.

Further, reflective or high-visibility markings on carts enhance safety in low-light conditions, alerting staff to their presence.

4. Storage Capacity

Consider the storage requirements for laboratory needs. You need enough space to accommodate your lab equipment without overcrowding, ensuring everything has its place.

Opt for carts with versatile storage options, such as adjustable shelving and modular compartments, which allow for custom organization that can evolve with your lab’s needs. The ability to expand or modify storage space on the cart can be invaluable during equipment upgrades or changes in workflow.

Selecting the Perfect Cart for Your Lab

For Heavy Loads

Heavy-duty, material bulk handling carts are essential if your lab moves large or heavy equipment. They ensure safety and reduce the risk of damage to valuable lab assets. These carts often come with reinforced structures and high-capacity casters, making them robust enough to handle the heaviest loads without faltering.

For Sensitive Lab Equipment

If your lab deals with sensitive or delicate materials, it’s strongly recommended to use carts designed to protect and secure. Padding, secure latches, and smooth-rolling wheels are must-have features.

Additionally, vibration-dampening materials can be critical for transporting equipment that is sensitive to shock or vibrations, ensuring precision instruments remain calibrated during moves.

For High Traffic Areas

In labs – where space is at a premium – you always need carts that are easy to maneuver. Compact designs and carts with special coatings to resist bumps and scratches are ideal for this. Swivel casters and handles on multiple sides can also enhance maneuverability, allowing for easy navigation through crowded lab spaces.

For Versatility

Look for lab equipment that offers flexibility.

Carts with adjustable shelves or dual levels offer versatility to meet changing lab needs. The ability to easily clean and sterilize these carts makes them suitable for various lab environments, from cleanrooms to biohazard areas.

Making the Right Choice

Selecting the right material handling carts involves understanding your lab’s unique needs. Here are a few steps to guide you:

  1. Assess Your Lab’s Requirements: Consider the types of materials you’ll be handling – the weight, and the necessary safety features. Factor in the environmental conditions of your lab, such as humidity or exposure to chemicals, which could influence the material choice for your carts.
  2. Consult with Your Team: Your workers’ insights can help identify needs you might overlook. Engaging with your team can also create a sense of inclusion and ensure that the chosen solutions meet the practical needs of those who will use them daily.
  3. Research Lab Equipment Suppliers: Look for suppliers with good reviews and a wide range of options for safety products. Evaluate their customer service and support options, as this can be invaluable for maintenance and troubleshooting after your purchase.
  4. Consider Future Needs: Choose carts that can adapt to your lab’s evolving requirements. Selecting carts with modular features or the ability to be upgraded can provide flexibility and save costs in the long term as your lab grows and changes.

There aren’t many one-size-fits-all solutions in life science labs. If you need help, it’s recommended to meet with an expert.


The Role of Suppliers

Choosing a reliable lab equipment supplier is as crucial as selecting the cart itself. Look for suppliers who understand the life science industry and offer customized material handling solutions. A good supplier will help you navigate your options and find the best fit for your lab.

Additionally, a supplier with a broad network can offer competitive prices and quick delivery times, ensuring your lab operations are not disrupted.

Over to You

Material handling carts are critical components of the smooth operation of life science labs.

They offer more than just mobility; they are key to maintaining a safe, efficient, and productive environment. By considering factors like material, design, safety features, and storage capacity, you can choose the right carts that align with your lab’s needs.

The goal is not just to choose any cart but to select the one that brings out the best in your lab’s daily operations. With the right information and a trusted supplier, you can make an informed decision that will benefit your lab for years to come.

At BetterBuilt, we carry a large selection of industrial carts for life science labs – in addition to a range of other products including sanitation, glassware washers & dryers, washing chemicals, automation systems, and more.

Get in touch today for a quote.


BetterBuilt is one of the top manufacturers of vivarium washers such as tunnel washers, cage and rack washers, and cage and bottle washers for life sciences, laboratories, and the healthcare industry. We have a strong reputation for quality, durability, and trust within the scientific community over the years.