These tools are a lifesaver when restoring, repairing, and maneuvering a car or truck.
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Car dollies, also known as car skates, are handy tools if you need to move a vehicle around a garage or other space without turning the engine on. They’re a convenient option if you are storing your vehicle for a long period of time, repairing it, or restoring it, or if you’re working in a tight space.
These devices raise the vehicle a few inches off the ground and feature caster-like wheels that enable you to push or turn the vehicle into a certain position, either to get it out of the way or to work on it. You can even rotate a vehicle 360-degrees around if you need to. Some types of dollies are even designed so you can use them to change tires. Excellent for project cars or disabled vehicles, the best car dollies are heavy duty, easy to use, and are an effective way to move a car without too much fuss.
Wen Vehicle Dollies with Brakes
Pittsburgh Automotive Vehicle Dollies
Daytona Ultra-Mobile Self-Loading Dolly
I took several factors into consideration when choosing the best car dollies. I focused on well-known brands with a reputation for producing high-quality tools. I chose products that are easy to use and do an effective job of moving vehicles around a garage or storage space without too much effort. I included different types of dollies to suit different types of needs, and I featured brands in a variety of prices to suit a wide range of budgets. For more information on The Drive‘s methodology, go here.
The Wen Vehicle Dollies are a great value. Two dollies are included in the package, and they each accommodate up to 1,500 pounds. The 2-1/2-inch swiveling casters with ball bearings provide multidirectional movement for maneuverability. If you push the vehicle sideways, for example, you cannot get the wheels to rotate to change direction.
The dollies also have brakes to keep them firmly in position, and the 16- by 12-inch diamond-plated surface dips in the center to better grip the tire. They lift wheels 2 1/2 inches off the ground and include carrying handles for portability. The manufacturer also includes a two-year warranty should you experience any issues. If the ground or garage floor isn’t very smooth, however, it can be difficult to move heavy vehicles.
Whether you want to move around a vehicle, riding lawn mower, or Harley-Davidson trike, these dollies will get the job done. Sold in packs of two, they are made of heavy-duty steel and are quite maneuverable under the weight of a vehicle. Each dolly accommodates up to 1,500 pounds and features four three-inch swivel casters, two of which are locking. They are rust resistant, have a no-slip diamond tread.
However, the garage surface must be smooth and free of debris such as dirt or sand; otherwise, it can be difficult to move the vehicle. Also, you may have to angle the vehicle forward and back a few times to maneuver it properly into position because the casters can only turn so much.
While this dolly costs a bit more than some of the others on our list and just one is included in the package, it’s worth the investment. In addition to moving vehicles, many people use these dollies for changing/rotating tires. It enables you to remove the wheel off the lugs and put a new wheel on to avoid a lot of lifting. No jack is required.
What sets this dolly apart from some others is that it’s slightly larger to accommodate tires up to 34 inches high by 11 inches wide. The dolly lifts up to 1,300 pounds and has 3.91-inch swivel casters and twin rollers. It also has a foot-pedal ratchet system that allows you to position and adjust equipment. Once in place, you can move your car or trike very easily. These dollies are heavy (35.48 pounds), however, and the storage rack must be purchased separately.
Best Adjustment Range
This dolly from Sunex Tools is a good option if you want a product that accommodates wheel sizes up to 12.8 inches wide. It opens up to 28 inches, features four polypropylene casters, and is easy to assemble. The dolly features a foot-pedal ratchet system for convenience and can accommodate up to 1,500 pounds.
The dolly also has locking casters for safety and a built-in handle that makes it easier to transport. One downside is that it may not roll as smoothly as some rival brands. Also, it’s a little pricey compared to some other options.
Easiest to Use
While this set of two dollies has a lower weight capacity, it’s easy to use. It comes with carrying handles for portability and are easy to set up and simple to use when moving a vehicle around a smooth garage floor.
These dollies have a jack handle that provides plenty of leverage with a latch at the base of the handle that flips up or down to raise or lower the device. It’s also easy to roll a car on these dollies. Made of steel, they come with heavy-duty 3.5-inch ball-bearing casters and a ratchet foot pedal for operation.The biggest downside is that they have a 1,250-pound weight capacity, while many competitors have 1,500-pound weight capacities.
The best features about these tire skates is that four are included in the package, they’re not too heavy, and they have handles that make them easy to carry and store in your garage. Made of powder-coated, rust-resistant steel with anti-slip, diamond-shaped treads, the dollies have 16- by 11.7-inch platforms with three-inch swivel casters.
They support a total of 6,000 pounds and are designed to easily move medium to heavy vehicles. The recessed center of these skates keeps tires firmly in place, and the locking mechanism keeps them from moving around the ground. However, the casters are slightly small and narrow, so they can be a little difficult to maneuver compared to some other brands.
Most User Friendly
If you have to move a vehicle by yourself, a set of these dollies can help you do it. Each one includes a built-in jack that enables you to lift up to 1,250 pounds per dolly or a total of 5,000 pounds with four dollies. These skates are well made and do a good job of moving a vehicle or other gear around the garage.
The heavy-duty steel dolly features four-inch swivel casters, a carrying handle, and is foldable, which makes it easier to store. Tires up to 32 inches in diameter and 9 inches wide are compatible. It also features a ratcheting food pedal, providing hands-free operation. One downside is that there are no wheel locks to keep the dollies firmly in place. Also, when used with larger tires, the lever may rub the sidewall.
The best car dollies are the Wen Vehicle Dollies. They are relatively affordable and are made by a company based in Elgin, Illinois. The dollies feature heavy-duty construction and include brakes that lock them into position. For a slightly more budget-friendly selection, consider the Pittsburgh Automotive Vehicle Dollies.
When we start shopping for tools and products, we never overlook the secondhand market. In fact, it’s usually the first place I look. Whether you’re scrolling through Amazon’s Renewed section, eBay for car parts or tools, or flipping through the pages of Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, you have hundreds of thousands of used tools, parts, and gear ready to be shipped to your doorstep. Refurbished to like-new status, they’ll be willing to give you many more years of faithful service all while saving you money.
If those options don’t have what you need, your local salvage yard is great, while swap meets are a great resource you should tap. Just Google either and head on down.
Standard dollies are fairly basic in their construction and require users to jack up the vehicle in order to put them in place. They tend to be cheaper than their hydraulic dolly counterparts. Hydraulic dollies have a pedal and built-in jack that raises the vehicle, so you don’t need a separate jack.
Different brands of dollies accommodate different amounts of weight. Make sure to check the weight of your vehicle to determine if the dollies you’re thinking about purchasing can safely lift it off the ground. For example, some brands may accommodate 1,250 pounds per dolly or 1,500 pounds. Products that are more heavy duty are more likely to cost more.
In general, you have to invest a little money if you want a pair of reliable car dollies. Less expensive options tend to be sold in pairs, although some are sold singularly. The cheapest dollies are standard in design and require the use of a jack in order to raise a vehicle onto them. You can find some sets of four standard dollies for under $200, but many cost around $300.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
A: If you’re not going to use the dollies very often, a standard set should work just fine, and they’re less expensive. However, if you plan on regularly moving one or more vehicles around your garage or property, hydraulic dollies make the task a bit easier.
A: Yes. Many classic car owners use dollies when storing their vehicles for the winter. A high-quality set will be able to comfortably support a vehicle for long periods of time.
A: You need to use a jack if you have standard dollies. Simply jack up the vehicle, slide the dolly under the wheel, and then lower the vehicle into place. Hydraulic dollies don’t require a jack because they have a pedal ratcheting system that does the same job.
Car dollies are as safe as any other piece of shop equipment. They’re completely safe until you act with negligence. As long as you understand and respect the weight that they’re supporting, you shouldn’t have any trouble.
They work by holding the wheels up on a platform with casters below. This makes it easy to move the car in any direction you need to around the shop. The caster wheels can be locked to prevent them from moving when you need the car stationary.
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
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These tools are a lifesaver when restoring, repairing, and maneuvering a car or truck.