Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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TV on a handtruck

You are working as a staff person on the call-in internet program “Ask Dr. Science.” The following e-mail message comes in and needs a quick answer.

My wife just called me at the office and asked the following question. We had a large computer monitor delivered to her home office this morning. The delivery person was kind enough to put the box on our hand truck (see attached picture) but he put it on while the truck was lying flat. My wife has some back problems and doesn't want to have to exert more than 50 pounds of force. The monitor in its box weighs about 85 pounds. She's having a business meeting at the house later and would like to get the box out of the front room. What I want to know is, can she stand the truck upright safely without hurting her back?
A schematic diagram of the hand truck with the box on it is shown below. Is it safe for his wife to pull the handtruck upright so she can roll the box into the backroom? Be sure to explain why you think so.

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Page last modified October 11, 2002: R09