Transporting a hot water heater can be done safely without damaging the tank. It must be kept upright at all times to avoid damage to the internal liner. Damaging this liner will generally ruin the whole unit. Depending on the size of the tank, you may need help to move it properly without damage. It should be securely strapped into an appropriate vehicle when in transport so it cannot move.
Use the hand truck or dolly to move the hot water heater from the house to the truck, keeping it upright at all times. Load the hot water heater into the back of the truck carefully, keeping it upright and lifting it from the bottom into the truck.
Place the heater into a back corner or wherever it is easiest on your vehicle to strap it securely. Continue to keep it upright and avoid any impact with anything else in the truck.
Tightly strap the heater to this area with the ratcheting straps by putting one toward the top and one near the bottom of the unit. Apply more straps as needed for a larger heater and pull on these straps with sufficient force to ensure the unit is secure.
Drive a short distance, stop the vehicle and inspect the heater to ensure the straps have not loosened and the unit has not moved. Drive carefully to the new location.
Carefully unstrap the unit and move it to the back of the vehicle, always keeping it upright. Unload the unit carefully, supporting it from the bottom.
Use the dolly or hand truck to move the heater to its new location, always keeping it upright.