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Daniel Schultz
Cart options
on Feb 2, 2012 at 3:38:40 am

Hi all,

It's time to invest in a real cart for lights, stands, cam, tripod, etc. I've got a mix of rifa/arri tunsten lights, stands, handheld cam, tripod, mics, & assorted stuff in various bags.

So here's what I'm deciding between: a heavy-duty line like Magline or Filmtools on one hand, or something a lot less expensive like a Multi-Cart.

My main concerns with Multi-cart is that it would be flimsy and not work as well under duress.

My main concern with heavier options like Filmtools or Magline is that they're too heavy and too big to stash in the back seat of a car or trunk along with all the gear (and also too bulky to store in my apartment). Also, the multi-carts seem to have the ability to expand to different sizes, giving me more flexibility.

In the end, I want something sturdy to carry my stuff, but I want to be able to fit it the car and not be so heavy that I've got one more thing to lug (often a one-person operation). I'm less concerned with the price difference.

Anyone care to offer any well-worn, and much appreciated advice on this? I don't have the opportunity to see any of these in a showroom floor to give a test drive.

One more question: Magline and FilmTools come in "Jr" and "Sr" sizes. I like the large size capacity, but I'm afraid it wouldn't fit in the car, etc. Thoughts?

Thanks!

Dan S.


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Todd Terry
Re: Cart options
on Feb 2, 2012 at 4:18:26 am

Well the Magliners are of course the industry standard, but they're sure not the right choice if you want to get them in the back seat of a car, that's for sure. They're made to fit in vans and grip trucks.

Since you don't have a showroom in your area, do you have a Harbor Freight Tools in your city? They sell lots of carts, folding dollys, convertible handtrucks, etc. You could go eyeball them, take measurements, and all that good stuff. Now, Harbor Freight is not known for the best quality stuff (and never buy a power tool there), but for more hardware-ish stuff they are usually ok. And if you find something that will fit and seems built well enough, it will definitely be a fraction of the price of a Magliner.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: Cart options
on Feb 2, 2012 at 3:58:14 pm

I'm with Terry on this. And BTW, you can buy power tools there, just assume them to be "disposable" for one or two jobs, because their build quality is low.

They do, on the other hand, carry a nice selection of sturdy dollies and aftermarket replacement wheels and stuff.

I've never had the luxury of having a real Magliner: we have to jam our gear in car trunks, back seats, and vans, and sometimes drag it for blocks downtown from parking lot to venue and in and out of elevators. For our needs, Magliners are just too big, heavy and awkward.

We use a 2-position dolly/hand truck that I think came from Menards, with a removeable handle that turns it from vertical to horizontal, just move a kotter key. We bolt plywood to it to make a cargo floor, stack all our stuff on this, and off we go. The ply enables you to add attachment points for bungie cords or a cargo net, if you fancy, but we don't generally bother, we just know how to stack stuff so it stays on.

A modification I made, after seeing what Porta-brace charges for a tripod/light stand holder, was to bolt metal electrical wall boxes to the dolly frames. The tripod feet fit there, and a bungie cord around the cart handle and pan head does the rest. Holds two tripods, or a tripod and an inverted mic stand. Cost: $1.50

The magliner and such have the advantage of a shelf/table on top, and sometimes I miss having that. But not all that often, actually.
There is contraption out there, I think in the markertek catalog, that lets you cantilever a kind of shelf/table off the handles of a dolly cart like ours. Not meant to carry more than I think 25 pounds. You could set up mixers and a monitor on it, I guess.

If I needed a cart to carry a lot of light stands in, I think I would use one of the hand trucks I described, bolt a plastic bin to it, and put a honeycomb of dividers made of cardboard sono-tube into it, storing the stands and rolls of gel vertically.

I also remember a catalog for governemnt and industrial supplies that had all kinds of carts and stuff in it, but I'm blanking on the name right now.


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Bob Cole
Re: Cart options
on Feb 2, 2012 at 2:15:50 pm

You'll like the Rock N Roller line (same as MultiCart?). Folds up relatively small, carries a lot. Inexpensive. Dollar for dollar, the best piece of video production gear I've ever bought.


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Todd Terry
Re: Cart options
on Feb 2, 2012 at 4:10:04 pm

Yeah we have a couple of the RockNroller Multi-carts... I didn't recognize them by name until just now Googling them to realize "Oh, we have some of those."

They do fold up incredibly small, and are dirt cheap to boot. We bought them a few years ago when we had a big corporate client that we were doing industrials for at least a couple of times a month. Their place had very narrow halls, doors, and elevators, and our usual equipment dollys were a tight squeeze.... so we bought the Multi-Carts because they are very narrow.

You wouldn't be able to get away with just one of them as your main equipment conveyance if you have a lot of stuff, but they are indeed quite handy.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: Cart options
on Feb 2, 2012 at 5:16:18 pm

Wow, I'd never seen the rock and roller cart before, yes, it looks good, and even tricked-out, not too expensive, around $300. I like how tightly it all folds down, and the optional shelf. I'm going to suggest it to our engineer, the next time we need a cart, but it may take a while, as, except for replacing wheels, the ones we have seem to last forever.


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Todd Terry
Re: Cart options
on Feb 2, 2012 at 5:54:48 pm

Grrrr.... Mark, I'm stretching my brain as much as I can, but I can't for the life of me remember where we bought our Multi-Carts, but I'm 99% sure it was a store here in town somewhere (as opposed to ordering them). I can tell you with 100% assurance though that they were not nearly that expensive... definitely less than $150, probably less than $100 (a few years ago). If only I could remember where.....

I do see that Office Depot has them (under a different brand, but exactly the same thing even down to the paint and markings) for $220...

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/581329/Advantus-8-Way-Multicart-500-L...

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Bob Cole
Re: Cart options
on Feb 2, 2012 at 6:06:44 pm

I got mine from atscomms.com.


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Rick Wise
Re: Cart options
on Feb 2, 2012 at 6:56:28 pm

B&H has a selection of hand carts at various prices: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ns=p_PRICE_2|0&Ntt=hand+cart&ci=1164&N...

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Cart options
on Feb 3, 2012 at 11:11:28 am

Thanks everyone for all your replies. Seems the multicarts come in various sizes and weight capacities. Maybe that's the cause for price differential? B&H customer reviews are mixed, some loving, and a few claiming shoddy build quality, wobbly, loose handles, etc. I'll check out some of the other options you all mentioned.

Dan S.


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Bob Cole
Re: Cart options
on Feb 3, 2012 at 1:53:04 pm

[Daniel Schultz] "Seems the multicarts come in various sizes and weight capacities."

fwiw, the cart I found most useful was the Rock n Roller 8. Pretty good compromise of size, as it turns out. Bought it in 2005, and the sum total of damage is that it has lost one spring detent that is totally unnecessary anyway.

It is a narrow cart, which is good and bad; if you have irregularly-shaped gear you'll have to bungee or strap it in.

btw - if you airfreight your cart regularly you should get the solid tires; I've never done that and have only had to pump up the tires a handful of times since purchase.


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Cart options
on Feb 3, 2012 at 2:04:56 pm

Really appreciate the specific info, Bob.

My *hope* is to be able to get everything in one load from car to location. figure I'm filling up a back seat with lights, cam, tripod, etc.

So with that in mind, do you think I'd be better off getting the larger one (R12):

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/664498-REG/MultiCart_R12NF_8_in_1_Equ...

Or what they're now calling the R8LP, which I think is the current version of your RockNRoller?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/664495-REG/MultiCart_MULTI_CART_R8LP_...

Thanks again,
Dan

Dan S.


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Bob Cole
Re: Cart options
on Feb 3, 2012 at 2:44:12 pm

Someone reading this thread who doesn't have to take lots of stuff on location will probably think we're crazy to get into this topic so intensely -- but that's because they haven't had to carry lots of stuff!

Both are the same size. Actually, mine looks more like the R12NF, which is more rugged, but I paid less than $150 at ATS Comms, in 2005. (But I got the inflatable tires, which were cheaper.) I don't like the looks of the big tire on the cheaper one - could get hung up on obstacles. Don't know where you are, but I found ATSComms very good to deal with, near Washington, DC. One-man shop, only sells what he uses in production, good prices.

No matter what you get, you'll be glad you did. Don't forget that the cart itself takes up space in your car, and it should always be the last thing you load, so that you can take it out first and load up.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Cart options
on Feb 3, 2012 at 6:28:50 pm

Bigger wheels/tires make it easier to get over things like doorway thresholds or curbs without a huge bump that will throw your load all over the floor or street.

Another essential is a foot-operated brake on at least one wheel, somewhere on the thing. So often I have situations loading and unloading where the cart wants to get away from me and roll down even a mild slope. A foot brake prevents that.


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Cart options
on Feb 4, 2012 at 3:52:15 am

Thanks again for your help. I think I'm going with the R12 Multicart.

Dan S.


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Bob Cole
Re: Cart options
on Feb 4, 2012 at 1:14:46 pm

One last comment, I promise! I wouldn't get this cart if you intend to use shelves. It's just too narrow and potentially tippy, imho, to put valuable stuff up high on it.


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Cart options
on Feb 5, 2012 at 4:11:51 am

Okay, now I'm all confused again.
I was downtown and happened to see some dollies that looked much like magliners (but cheaper knock-offs). The one that looked roughly the same size as the "Jr" model was kind of attractive. I picked it up--heavy, but doable, as far as throwing it in the back of the car or trunk. Size-wise, it looked like it would fit in either the trunk or back seat as well, along with the equipment.

And the heavy more industrial build was very attractive, imagining a smooth, stable ride to transport all my gear, as compared to what I'm assuming the multicart-type options are more loose and flimsy when piled with heavy stuff.

So it made me think maybe I could work with the magliner Jr size and get it in the trunk/backseat.
Am I crazy?

Dan S.


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Dennis Size
Re: Cart options
on Feb 5, 2012 at 6:14:30 am

I assume you are taking your backseat out of the car..... which should provide plenty of room.

DS



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Daniel Schultz
Re: Cart options
on Feb 6, 2012 at 11:34:45 am

Hmmm...Probably won't be taking out back seat. Just combination of trunk and stuff on top of backseat. Most of my stuff makes it in the backseat. Magliner Jr in the trunk?

Dan S.


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Bill Davis
Re: Cart options
on Feb 9, 2012 at 6:02:06 am

Daniel,

If I might, I think you're getting dangerously close to over-thinking this.

It's a cart for your gear. It's not a lifelong commitment. Pick one. The cheaper one if money's tight. The more expensive or durable one if you can afford it.

There is no "business killing" choice here.

One aspect of the "endless information stream" on the internet, is that is that it's really easy to get caught up debating things that are mostly unimportant.

Like the "most professional" cart.

For what its worth.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Cart options
on Feb 9, 2012 at 12:30:51 pm

It's a disease I have, and thanks for calling me on it.
Made my purchase. Done.

Dan S.


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Jon Frost
Re: Cart options
on Apr 9, 2012 at 4:13:44 am

Hi there,

With the variety of projects I work on, many didn't support using a cart... for instance my last project was below decks on a battleship and the man ways are only 28" wide and the stairs were almost vertical. A cart is fine if you have the right sized vehicle to transport it, such as a minivan or a small rental van/truck.

When you are looking to transport lights, C-stands, stingers and the like, remember that you also need to weight each C-stand with an appropriate sand or shot bag. Pretty soon you are talking a few to several hundred pounds, so you want a vehicle that can carry all that weight without a problem.

Try to have PA or friend help out with the logistics of carrying everything and feed and water them well.

Good luck.

Jon Frost


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