Help Me Find the Perfect Teacher Cart
November 3, 2011 11:49 AM   Subscribe

I am a teacher who travels to a different school each day of the week (sometimes two). Help me find the perfect folding cart / luggage cart / hand truck system to haul all of my crap around!

I teach beginning band and strings and typically carry a bunch of stuff with me each day. On a given day, I am usually hauling several large books (teacher editions of student method books), usually a number of books or sheet music to hand out to students that day, a small instrument repair kit, a laptop bag, and my lunch. It is not uncommon for me to also be bringing in several instruments.

Currently I'm using one of these, and it hasn't held up well - it is breaking in the front and needs to be replaced soon.

Whatever solution I come up with needs to fit in the trunk of my car. Ideally I can collapse the handle and then just put the whole thing in the trunk (with the books and crap still in it).

Some other teachers use rolling suitcases for this purpose, but I like the cart system because it lets me stack instruments (or other flat things) on top. I'm wondering if either a hand truck + milk crate or granny cart / grocery cart kind of thing would work - either way, it would have to be very sturdy.

So -- any ideas? I'm willing to spend up to about $100 on this, for something that will serve me well for at least a few years.
posted by rossination to Shopping (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My wife uses a similar cart as you have. We got it at Costco, and it's been holding up under punishment for a couple years now. But looking at the reviews on the brand you have, they're pretty negative. There are a number of similar carts that have much higher satisfaction ratings.
posted by rich at 12:08 PM on November 3, 2011

My beginning band teacher friends (who all teach at 7 schools 3x/week- so 4 or 5 schools a day) have milk crates + mini hand trucks, which work fine (the milk crates seem pretty indestructible). They keep bungees in the crate so they can attach thigs securely as needed. My own personal strategy is just a big backpack with laptop compartment and a violin case with shoulder strap so I have hands free for schlepping whatever else.

Unsolicited advice on generally saving space: I have gotten to know the book well enough after teaching for a thousand years that I just bring the piano accompaniment book with me into school. If you are using something gigantic like Standard of Excellence, this saves you about 5 pounds :) You can also ask for a storage shelf or drawer in each room you teach in and keep certain supplies at each school (valve oil, reeds, set of tiny screwdrivers, copies of scores etc.) so that you are hauling less stuff around in general.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:38 PM on November 3, 2011

I immediately thought of Calloway House - my favorite go-to catalog for organizing in the classroom.
They had two that I could find. This one and this one.
I could swear I saw a third one in their catalog, but can't find it on their site, sorry.
posted by NoraCharles at 3:04 PM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think the folding hand cart and a crate is probably the best idea; but if you'd like something all in one, I had one of these beach carts when I lived in an apartment and needed to carry groceries and whatnot in an elevator with my kiddo by the hand. Mine holds up to 100 pounds; I did have to fix one of the wheels with a bolt or a nut from home depot, but it held up pretty well.
posted by lemniskate at 4:05 PM on November 3, 2011

I used one of these when I could not carry groceries-it will take a fair bit of weight and has a metal frame so you "might" be able to stack things on top ( I am not sure how heavy your items would be-I stacked many a thing on it though (max 50 lbs in my use)

Definitely it folds to a small size and the bag liner is removable to carry items
posted by plumberonkarst at 5:59 PM on November 3, 2011

I have a Clax folding trolley and I love it.

It can carry 60 kilograms of stuff. Both the baskets and the trolley fold up, and it's really easy to steer. It's also really well made and sturdy/durable.
posted by Year of meteors at 6:41 PM on November 3, 2011

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