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Need Help With Motor Selection for Project

I am trying to customize a standard hand truck with an electric motor to assist with move 600-800lbs on and off trailer ramp - from curbside thru the customers yard, (grass, dirt, mud, slope). We have tried using winch motors but they are too slow and  too loud. Any suggestions on the right combination of gear ratio, speed, torque capability, battery capacity/length of use, would be greatly appreciated. I am currently using a 48 tooth sprocket on 1" axle with a #40 chain 1/2" pitch x 5/16" with. 

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We can help with that. So we can run some gear ratio calculations could you please let us know what is the diameter of the hand truck's tires are?

We are using standard Golf Cart Tires so I believe they are 17in. Thanks for your help!

Correction the tire size are 11inch

Sorry for the late reply. I ran a top speed and gear ratio calculation and found that with our MOT-36600G gear motor the top speed would be 3.28 miles per hour. This top speed would be on flat ground and it would slow down a little when going uphill.


This size of motor is capable of powering and electric scooter or bike up to 25 MPH so when geared down to 3.28 MPH it will have a tremendous amount of torque.

The sprocket on this motor is for #40 chain like you are already using. We can make a kit with a motor, controller, throttle, batteries, charger, etc. if you would like. Do you want for the hand truck to have forward and reverse or only forward?

Hello and thanks for getting back to me on this.

To answer your question, YES, I'd like for it to go forward and reverse. We have also decided since posting to use golf cart size tires (18in  tire hight).  If you can put a kit together for me, that would be awesome. 



Just wanted to make sure that this setup will be strong enough to move 1000lbs max....???

That depends on the motor's power (Watts), gear ratio (speed), and incline of the ramp (grade degrees). We have an online grade/power calculator that uses an engineering formula to figure out how much weight a brushed DC electric motor can pull up a hill on a wheeled vehicle. Here are calculations for a 650 Watt and 1000 Watt motor.

We now have 48 Volt 1000 Watt gear motors so if you need to use a 1000 Watt motor instead of a 650 Watt motor then we have one to include with the kit. 


0 degrees is flat ground and 90 degrees is straight up. Here is a chart that shows what different grade degrees look like.


The trailers ramp's degree of grade (incline) will need to be determined. We have an online calculator for determining grade degrees at this link:

Please let us know the trailer ramp's grade degree and the size of motor that you would like to use and then we can run some gear ratio calculations based off of that data and go ahead and make a link for the kit.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Ok... wow you guys think of everything. I'd say nothing more than 30 degrees just to be on the safe side. So lets go ahead with the 1000 watt setup. Thanks for all your help.

Let me know what package to get? 


I was reviewing our previous posts and for a 30 degrees incline with 1000 pounds and a 1000 Watt motor, we need to create a drivetrain for a 1 MPH top speed.

I am getting a top speed of 5.6 MPH with the MOT-481000PL 1000 Watt gear motor, 48 tooth axle sprocket, and 18" wheels. This would be a good gear ratio for a 1000 pound load on a 6 degrees incline, but not for a 30 degrees incline.


For a 1 MPH top speed a 275 tooth axle sprocket would be needed, however, a 275 tooth axle sprocket would have a diameter of 44 inches so it would not work with an 18" wheel.

So a jackshaft would need to be used in order to get a gear ratio for a 1 MPH top speed. Here is a gear ratio calculation with a jackshaft that produces a 1 MPH top speed.


We can make a kit with everything up to the motor and from there on you would need to source the jackshaft and jackshaft sprockets from a go-kart parts store.

I don't think that we have discussed battery size yet. A 48 Volt 1000 Watt controller can demand 30 Amps during peak loads. A minimum battery pack size of 48 Volts 15Ah is recommended for this amount of demand. This size of a battery pack is estimated to provide 45 minutes of run-time.

Are 45 minutes of run-time enough?

What type of throttle would you like the kit to have? (twist throttle or thumb throttle)

Will toggle switches be okay for the power and reverse switches?

Hello Boss,

Is there a setup that will still provide a walking speed of 3-4 mph while being able to do 30% trailer ramp gates? The 1000lbs would be the absolute max and not necessarily the norm in terms of the standard weight of items being moved. Id say the average weight would be more along the lines of 300-600lbs but I still would like it to be able to function in those extreme situations when we do go over the 800lbs mark which isn't often. As for the battery the bigger the better.  I would like some sort of thumb throttle and toggle switches will work for power and revers switches.


According to our calculations, it would take a 3000 Watt motor to move a 1000 pound load up a 30 degrees incline at 3 MPH, and a 4000 Watt motor to move a 1000 pound load up a 30 degrees incline at 4 MPH.

This amount of motor power could be accomplished either with multiple 1000 Watt motors or with a single 3000 or 4000 Watt motor. The largest gear motor that we carry is 1000 Watts so that is the limit of motor size which we can provide.

If human power could be added to the hand truck along with the electric motor's power then that would change the equation. For example, if the cart had a 1000 Watt motor and 3 MPH top speed gearing, then the motor would pull 350 pounds up the 30 degrees incline and the remaining 650 pounds could be pushed or pulled up the incline with human power. 

Or if the hand truck had two 1000 Watt motors and 3 MPH top speed gearing then the motor would pull 700 pounds up the 30 degrees incline and the remaining 300 pounds could be pushed or pulled up the incline with human power. 

We list dimensions of our batteries on the following pages so you can determine what the largest size batteries are that will fit into the space available on the hand truck for the battery pack:

A thumb throttle and toggle switches can be included with the kit.

Please let us know your thoughts on all of this and then we can take it from there.

Battery size is not an issue, so which ever one works the best to get the most use from battery life is the one I'll take. As for motors, lets go with the one 1000 watt motor setup for now and later if we need to go with the dual motor situation we can add that to our design. 

Thanks again for all your input.

The largest batteries we have are 135Ah (13-3/8" long x 6-7/8" wide x 11-1/8" high) which weigh 90 pounds each, however, I do not think that you would like to add 360 pounds of batteries onto the hand truck or need it to have 10 hours of run-time per day.

The smallest batteries that will work with a 1000 Watt motor are 15Ah (6" long x 3-7/8" wide x 3-3/4" high) and weigh 8.5 pounds each. They would create a 34 pound battery pack which would provide around 1 hour of run time.

We have 22Ah (7-1/8" long x 3" wide x 6-5/8" high) batteries which weigh 13 pounds each (52 pounds total) and would provide around 1.5 hours of run-time.

We have 35Ah batteries (7.70" long x 5.12" wide x 6.26" high) that weigh 24 pounds each (96 pounds total) and would provide around 2.5 hours of run-time.

We also have batteries between 35Ah and 135Ah if you need more than 2.5 hours of run-time.

These run-times are estimates and they may be longer if the hand truck is used on primarily flat terrain, or shorter if the hand truck is continuously used on hilly terrain.

Since this is your project I do not feel comfortable choosing the battery size for it and think it would be best if you were the one to make the battery size decision.


Please let me know if you have any questions.

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