1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Best Dolly to Buy for moving pins?

Discussion in 'General Pinball Chat' started by CJBob, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. CJBob

    CJBob Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    Mississauga
    I looked through old posts and found good advice on moving pins. I've got 2 coming soon, hopefully in time for Christmas (come on Santa)

    I've only got room for a couple in my basement so I can imagine trading and swapping them out every so often so I'm looking for specific advice on buying the best dolly for the job. It's straight down to my basement, 6 carpeted stairs. The rest of the trip is flat with only 2 lifts over the patio door opening and the garage (man) door opening.

    I'd rather spend a few extra dollars and get the right dolly than drop or damage one or hurt my back.

    I see there are 'lifts' than you slide under the machine but aren't these a problem on stairs?

    Thanks.
     
    #1
  2. mwong168

    mwong168 Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    6,228
    Likes Received:
    929
    Location:
    Toronto
    I think an appliance dolly would be your best bet as long as you don't need to go off solid surfaces such as your lawn or backyard. This style seems to be most popular and has worked well for many people. It also comes with built in wratcheting strap which can be very finicky to operate. This isn't a dealer breaker as straps can be bought separately in 5-6 packs even from the Dollarstore. I don't know the quality but most of this stuff is MADE IN CHINA by my cousins anyways.

    Hand Trolley - $99

    [​IMG]
    http://www.rona.ca/en/hand-trolley-50025037

    550 lb Appliance Hand Truck - $119.99

    [​IMG]
    http://www.princessauto.com/en/detail/5 ... -p8095937e

    A few guys like Drano, Warlock and meegis took advantage of Canadian Tire's Black Friday sale last week for this 3-in-1 Aluminum Hand Truck for $99.99. I'm not sure how much utility there is for the other configurations or how this performs pulling pins up/down stairs. I just know dollies like this with rubber tires are easier to pull on grass, non hard or smooth surfaces. The problem is because the tires are bigger it could be more difficult to navigate around stair corners or tight landings.

    [​IMG]
    http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/alumi ... 0527p.html
     
    #2
  3. mwong168

    mwong168 Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    6,228
    Likes Received:
    929
    Location:
    Toronto
    If you can afford the few extra dollars there is the Cadillac of all dollies... the Escalera Stair Climber :cool:

    [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O_IbUq8jME[/youtube]
     
    #3
  4. meegis

    meegis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Woodbridge
    Ive always used pneumatic tires. I like them because they arent as rough on hard floors like tile and wood.

    Totally up to you.

    The best benefit of the appliance dolly is the back of the posts have the stair angle helpers/protectors.


    So really, its based on where you will be using it most (as wong pointed out)

    My old dolly (before the one pictured above):

    [​IMG]
     
    #4
  5. mwong168

    mwong168 Administrator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2012
    Messages:
    6,228
    Likes Received:
    929
    Location:
    Toronto
    I don't know if these are a benefit as some people I have talked to told me these chewed up the end of their stairs depending on the angle you use these. I don't have the luxury of using a dolly at my house :cry:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The things we all do for this hobby and big thanks to my brother in-law Keith who has come through for me numerous times over the years. It isn't not as bad as it looks, him and I can wrestle a pin down in under a minute usually by hand.
     
    #5
  6. dr.nybble

    dr.nybble New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ottawa
    I have one with the stair climber feature like the first ones shown. Then you can smoothly lower it down stairs with no jolts.

    I can move pins myself with it ( well move them in anyways, none have left so far!)

    Having a piece of plywood as a ramp to get over thresholds is handy especially if the dolly has small wheels.
     
    #6
  7. CJBob

    CJBob Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    Mississauga
    Thanks everyone, the stairs are my biggest concern so I think I'll go with the stair climbing thingy this week.

    I played for nearly 2 hours last night at the Church of the Silver Ball and I can't wait until I can play at home.
     
    #7
  8. FastEd

    FastEd Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2014
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Toronto
    I bought the appliance dolly with the stair climber feature from Home Depot and very happy with it. The dolly itself is quite heavy. I have hardwood on the stairs and this dolly does not leave a mark. One thing I learned though is that, the wheel on these picked up some ice melter that I had put down. These then left some marks on the floor. So, make sure when you're moving pins in the winter. Wipe down the wheels, once inside.
     
    #8
  9. meegis

    meegis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Woodbridge
    An easy way to combat this issue is to slide games over hard floors.

    Once a game is in my front door, I stand it up on a thick (soft) blanket, and it glides right through the house.

    You can see the blankets in this photo:

    [​IMG]
     
    #9
  10. meegis

    meegis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    1,120
    Likes Received:
    76
    Location:
    Woodbridge
    If you put one machine on the blanket, then just slide them together and its super easy.
     
    #10
  11. websherpa

    websherpa Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Waterdown, ON
    I've moved a lot of machines and an appliance dolly like the one illustrated at Princess Auto with the one-crank tightener is the one you want. It is easier to tighten / loosen the strap (which needs to be snug but not overtight - loose or too tight can damage soft rails) and more reliable in the long term (the ratchets eventually wear down).

    The appliance dolly's most important feature is the stair gliders at the back which are fan belts in a track (like little tractor belts). That lets you slide the load up or down each stair edge without the "bump" or hard pull that a hand truck with pneumatic wheels would need.

    If the load is really heavy and the stair treads are soft wood, then they can scratch or put black marks on the tread bullnoses. In those cases I tend to use a large cloth under the dolly (which has it's own hazards).

    Sometimes I keep the pin attached to the dolly and tilt the whole thing back into my truck (which slides in really easily).

    Appliance dollies also are quite maneuverable because of the small solid tires, which makes negotiating corners (even going around stair landings) easier in many cases where you don't have a helper.

    If you buy a cheaper made by our cousins from China version (which is most of them), do yourself a favour and trade out the belts for quality replacements. Often the originals disintegrate quickly, leave black rubber marks and break easily. Check that the tractor works smoothly and lubricate with silicone lube if necessary.

    It's handy to also have a hand truck dolly around with pneumatic tires (or large solid rubber tires) for moving pins outdoors on dirt/grass for sure. But for indoors and downstairs nothing beats or is safer than the appliance dolly (assuming no one could afford a motorized stair climber for two pins - and they're often too large and heavy for home use anyway). There are appliance dollies with a kick out stand at the back, that is meant to be able to keep a large object steady while tilted backwards so it doesn't fall back on to the operator.

    "Aluminum Dolly" - hmmm.... the back tilt wheels position would make it easier to glide on a solid surface, but the large wheels will make it less manoeuvrable in tight spaces, and aluminum (although rated for 800-1000 lbs) is a questionable material for longevity IMHO (I have an aluminum truck for my tools and mobile supplies that wouldn't hold a pin - but I haven't experienced this larger dolly so it might be stronger than I am thinking). Aluminum would be a benefit though as the steel ones add 70-80 lbs to the load you are hauling up stairs.
     
    #11
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  12. websherpa

    websherpa Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Waterdown, ON
    Some other quick tips for appliance dollies and moving pins:

    if you tighten a strap and the buckle is up against a cabinet, it WILL scratch the cabinet unless you wrap the loose end of the strap around the buckle so as to cushion it away from the cabinet.

    Some people poo poo straps in a hurry, however even with a hand truck, a solid strap or cargo cord is a God send if your load shifts as it will tend to keep a load that is leaning away from the back of the dolly from dumping forward.

    If I have one, I like a helper at the bottom of the dolly to help steady a load (either up or down stairs), or to help lift the load a touch over structural curbs. HOWEVER, be very aware that sometimes a pinball cabinet will ride up a dolly (particularly if a helper lifts on the cabinet and not on the dolly bottom) and when you hit a bump or head over the edge of a top stair, the load can suddenly shift down on to the dolly's footing. Fingers beware!

    Do not let an amateur "dead man" carry a pin without warning them NOT to slide their hands along the bottom edge of a cabinet. Usually the plywood cabinets have great big slivers and I've seen a 3 inch one get embedded in the hand of a "helper" that required a trip to emergency to remove and stitches.

    Gloves come in handy for this and I find they let me lift and handle weights or edges that would otherwise be painful particularly if held up for a while.

    The one way I saw a floor really get wrecked was when a pin was at the top of the stairs, on its "glider feet" on the back and the owner (not me) started shifting the pin to slide it and forgot that one of the "gliders" was warn down to its nail... yikes, it was a nice hardwood and I'd never seen a wife hyperventilate so much before.
     
    #12
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  13. CJBob

    CJBob Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    Mississauga
    Awesome advice everyone, thanks. I have a dolly on order to be delivered to my local small Rona store where a friend gets a 15% discount. I spent the weekend moving one of those home gyms with multiple stations from the man cave to the furnace room. There is now a perfect spot just waiting for 2 pins...and waiting...and waiting...
     
    #13
  14. singlezero

    singlezero Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    260
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Orillia ontario
    #14
  15. monty

    monty Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Ottawa
    #15
  16. tim.sanderson

    tim.sanderson Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Messages:
    989
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON, Canada
    +1 on the appliance dolly, especially if you have a stairwell as tight as mine. Warlock picked up my RG the other day, and with the head off, the machine went up the stairs in under a minute. I'm definitely going to pick one up.
     
    #16
  17. JohnJN

    JohnJN New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Toronto
    Hey All,

    I realize this is an old thread but wanted to check in regarding peoples experiences with stair-climbing carts - I'm looking to purchase one and the home depot website seems to have one with the ability to climb stairs, but it doesn't seem to have the same 'down the stairs' capability of the Escalera (the cadillac, I know) -- anyone have any experience with newer dolly's they might recommend?
     
    #17
  18. goodmanners

    goodmanners Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Mississauga
    I have a Power Mate - I bought it here in Toronto. The L1 model.
    They are not cheap - but I just loaded 16 pins out of my basement - drove to Edmonton through a freak snowstorm with the Powermate strapped to the trailer - and unloaded into another basement - all on one charge. I was impressed. It lets you balance the pins on the cart by lowering the wheels. Moving all my pins would have been impossible without it.

    https://www.powermate.info/powermate_handtruck_l-1

    It moves using a screw mechanism. I like it better than the Escalera - it seems more stable to me. I used an Escalera in the past but hated the way the weight shifted as I moved the pins.
     
    #18
    JohnJN likes this.
  19. JohnJN

    JohnJN New Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Toronto

    Thank you sir! I shall look into the power mate.
     
    #19
  20. goodmanners

    goodmanners Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Mississauga
    The Power Mate was around $3K including tax - the L-1 model. Roughly the same ballpark as an Escalara but again I liked the way it operated. You can stabilize/balance the pin and even let it rest while on the stairs. You hook onto the pin and strap it, then raise the wheels a bit and tip it back so it rests at an angle perfectly balanced. You can lift pins from the ground onto the truck tailgate. You can quickly lift pins over height differences like a door jamb.

    It's made in Canada if you care about that - bought mine here in Toronto direct from the dealer.

    I had hip surgery in November and 2 weeks after I moved a pin from my garage up 5 steps and into the house. Not smart I know but if you are patient there is almost no muscling of the pin required. You let gravity and the climber do all the work.

    https://i.imgur.com/SWINi6z.jpg

    They are heavy. They are a bit clunky. But they are a back saver.

    My .02
     
    #20

Share This Page