Best Car Dolly Review Guide For 2023-2024
Best Car Dolly Review Guide For 2023-2024 – A car dolly is one of those things you don’t think are useful until you need one. It’s best to keep one around packed away in the garage. They make lifting and moving cars around so much easier. And no, it’s not just mechanics who should keep a wheel dolly or auto dolly around.
The best thing about this accessory is how convenient they are. If you have a multi-vehicle garage and need to move cars around, they’ll help you do that. If you’re restoring a vehicle but need to move it so you can reach an area of your garage, a dolly will do that. If one of your vehicles is down and waiting for a repair but you need to move it for whatever reason, an auto dolly will do just that. You get the gist.
Today, we’re bringing you a list of the top best car dollies on the market. We’ve looked at their specs, price, reviews, and a lot more so you don’t have to. You’ll also find in this Best Car Dolly Review Guide For 2023-2024 a buying guide that will show you how to find the best wheel dolly for your needs. Lastly, we have a section of frequently asked questions about these accessories.
Best Car Dolly Buying Guide For 2023-2024:
What Is a Car Dolly?
A car dolly (or auto dolly) is essentially a skate for your vehicle’s tire. They usually come in sets of four, so that every tire is resting on a skate. They have wheels at the bottom, which is what makes them useful. After all, their purpose is to help you move a heavy car or truck around a garage.
Why Should I Buy a Car Dolly?
There’s plenty of reasons why getting a wheel dolly is a good investment. It’s not just mechanic shops that should keep a set around.
First of all, you have freedom of movement. You can move any vehicle—new or old—easily and quickly. You don’t even need anyone’s help, you can do it all by yourself.
Secondly, it’s a great way of making the most of the space you have. With a dolly, you can move a car from one side of the garage to the other. So, if you need to reach a chest of drawers that were being blocked by a car, you can do that.
It’s also handy for people with cars needing repairs. Since the motor isn’t working, you wouldn’t be able to move it if you needed it. These tire skates solve that problem. Plus, you can easily move it so you can work on it.
They’re also useful for car shows. Setting up a room with gorgeous cars can be hard if you need to move them around to improve the layout. If all the vehicles are on dolly wheels, that’s not a problem anymore.
Car Dolly vs. Jack Stand:
A car dolly isn’t a jack stand for one main reason: mobility. Jack stands do what they say they do: stand in place. You can’t move a car or truck that’s lifted using a jack. However, you can move a vehicle that’s on an auto dolly. That’s their whole point!
Car Tow Dolly vs. Car Dolly:
A tow dolly is also not the same thing as a wheel dolly, despite having s similar-sounding name. They’re used to tow cars across relatively short distances. They have two tires under a metal structure where your car is attached to. Then, you connect the tow dolly to another car and can drive off.
A wheel dolly can only be used in smooth, flat surfaces. It can’t be used to tow cars or even move them on the road. Instead, they’re meant to stay inside a dealership, garage, or auto body shop.
Different Types of Car Dollies:
There are two main types of auto dollies. They each have their upsides and downsides. Which one you should get depends entirely on how much you’re willing to spend and how you want to use it.
This is your regular auto dolly. They have a tire skate, four wheels at the bottom, and that’s it. To place a car on one of these pieces you would first need a jack to lift the car. Then, you’d slide the skate under a tire and then lower the vehicle. You’ll need to do this for every wheel.
As you can guess, this is a big disadvantage. It takes time to place a car on the dollies. Because they’re such straightforward pieces, they have a clear advantage: you can find them for much lower prices.
Hydraulic car dollies are where it’s at. They use hydraulic forces to lift the car for you. Thus, they replace a jack, since you won’t be needing them anymore. They still have four wheels and are made of sturdy metal, just like standard dollies.
Their main advantage is the fact that they’re much more convenient and easy to use. At the same time, because they have hydraulic pumps in them, their disadvantage is that they’re much, much more expensive.
Choosing the Best Car Dolly:
This auto dolly buying guide will help you in the search for the perfect product for your vehicle. Look into each dolly’s specs and see what they say about the following features.
This affects how much weight the skates can withstand. You’ll obviously need skates that can support the full weight of your vehicle. Most dollies handle up to 6.000 pounds as a set of four, but not all, so keep an eye out for that.
Another important factor is the width of tires. You need skates that are wide enough to accommodate the tires of your vehicle. Otherwise, your car or truck will be held up precariously and could get damaged as a consequence.
Sturdiness and Durability:
Since vehicles are heavy, you need skates that are made from good-quality durable materials. Look for ones made with reinforced, thick metal plates and galvanized screws and bolts. Ask yourself, “Is this structure going to hold up after months of use with a heavy truck on it?” You need the answer to be yes.
This isn’t a necessity and it’s a feature only a few dollies come with. Some models have brake pedals on each of the four wheels of a skate. When you step on them, they will lock the wheel in place and prevent it from moving around. This is heavy if your garage floor is a bit uneven in some places, but no brake will hold up in ramps, so that’s not even an option.
Ball Bearing Casters:
These are the best skate wheels you can find. They move smoothly at a 360-degree angle with very little pressure. You should keep them oiled throughout the year to make sure they don’t wear down, but they’re usually long-lasting components.
Number of Dollies:
Ideally, you would need a set of four dollies to make things work. It makes it so much easier to move your vehicle around. But a set of two could work just fine, you’d just need to put more effort and force into moving it.
Keep this in mind because some brands (particularly those selling hydraulic dollies) will sell their pieces individually. Thus, if you see a price tag of $200 on hydraulic skates, be aware that you’re not getting a great deal. Those $200 are paying for only one dolly.
It’s also important to choose a brand you can trust. Especially if the product isn’t covered by a warranty plan. Look into the reputation of a manufacturer before you make a final purchase. It’s best to be safe than sorry.
Think of how easy it would be to use the dolly. Would you need a jack to lift and lower the car on the dolly every time you need to use them? Is this something that could bother you in the long run?
Convenience is what will affect which type of auto dolly you want: a standard one or a hydraulic one.
At the same rate, keep your budget in check and be realistic. How much are you willing to spend on a set of tire skates? Will that be worth it? Only you can answer that question, so whip up a budget and don’t go over it. You can still find a good auto dolly for under $100.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How to use a wheel dolly?
If you’re using a standard dolly, you’ll need a jack. First, lift the vehicle you want to mount on the dolly. Second, slide the skate under the wheel and put it in the right position. Lastly, lower the vehicle onto the skate using the jack. Do this for every tire.
Using a hydraulic dolly is much easier. Separate the two metal bars so that they can fit around the lower portion of your car’s tire. Then, step on the hydraulic lever several times until the car is raised by about two inches. Lastly, make sure the vehicle is securely attached to the dolly.
Do I need a car dolly?
Not having a car dolly won’t stop you from living your life. But it can make things harder and less convenient. As with all other car accessories (coolers, bumper guards, blind spot mirrors, etc), they’re not essential, but they make things a lot easier.
How long can you use a car dolly?
Technically, a car or truck can stay on a car dolly indefinitely. The tires won’t wear out because the dolly is built to have a strong, stable, flat surface in contact with the tires.
How to store an auto dolly?
Some come with carrying handles that can be fashioned as hooks or mounting bars. Others have holes drilled in the metal plates so they can be left hanging on a metal rack. But more often than not, you can stack auto dollies and leave them in a corner of the garage or tool shed.
How many auto dolly pairs do I need?
For best results and ease of use, get a set of four dollies. You can get by with two, but it will make moving the car around much harder, which somewhat defeats the purpose.
Can you tow a car using auto dollies?
No, you can’t. You’ll need a car tow dolly to do that.
Can you put a truck on wheel dollies?
Yes, you can. As long as it’s under the weight limit, you can mount on it any vehicle. You could even do it for a boat.
Are car dollies safe to use?
Yes, they are. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and make sure you know how to use a car jack before you place a vehicle on these skates.
Red Hound Auto Premium Auto Tire Skates
The red Hound Auto Premium tire skates come in pretty close and grab the second place. They’re also easy to use, sturdy, and have great reviews online. It was hard picking between first and second place for these helpers!
Each plate is 15 ¾ inches long and 12 inches wide. These are great dimensions, as they are suited for pretty much any vehicle you can think of (boats included).
They also each have their own set of four sturdy ball bearing casters. They move smoothly across even surfaces even when they support the weight of a vehicle on them.
The four-piece set of skates can withstand up to 6.000 pounds. That means each tire can handle 1.500 pounds by itself.
Luckily, you can choose how many dollies you want. You can buy a full set (four skates) or opt for only half (two skates). On top of that, you can choose between red and black dollies.
- 4 Heavy duty Premium double ball bearing vehicle dollies (each with 4 dual bearing swivel casters, with brakes on 2 wheels per dolly)
- Size/Dimensions: Capacity: 1,500 lbs each (6,000 lbs total evenly distributed), plates are 15-3/4″ wide x 12″ long, 3″ diameter wheels
- Radial ball bearing wheel axles for smooth pushing (others don’t have this!)
- Heavy duty powder coated thick diamond plate steel construction, strong polycarbonate surface dual bearing wheel casters; each dolly has a handle for easy carrying and hanging
- Great for shops, garages and showrooms, these dollies allow you to move cars, trucks, trailers, boats, tractors, ATVs, motorcycles, airplanes, furniture, equipment and more
- Weight capacity: 6.000 pounds (or 3 tons)
- Four ball bearing casters per skate
- Made from sturdy materials
- 15 ¾” x 12” plate dimensions
- Flexibility to buy however many dollies you need
- None to point out
Merrick Machine MERM998002 Car Dolly
We’re back to a much more traditional model, which is why it’s also cheaper. They’re also not the best-performing dolly, but they’re still reasonable.
Each of the skates measures 12.7 inches wide and 16.3 inches long. If your vehicle’s tires are around 11 inches wide, this product will work for you. If they’re wider, you’re better off looking for another item.
Cars and trucks up to 6.000 pounds heavy are easily supported by the skates. That should cover the vast majority of vehicles, including boats.
Their main disadvantage is the wheels. They’re not the best by a long shot and don’t slide easily. This can be fixed with a thorough oiling session before you assemble them on the skates, though.
- Allows one person to move a vehicle in any direction (even sideways). Two people are recommended, for the extra set of eyes
- Facilitates shop order and easier, more complete floor cleaning
- 6,000 lbs. capacity on a set of four (1,500 lb. capacity per dolly)
- Free up precious floor space in your shop or garage
- Auto Dollies work with automobiles, trucks, boats, trailers, lawn mowers, jet skis, motorcycles, airplanes, and most heavy vehicles
- Weight capacity: 6.000 pounds (or 3 tons)
- Holds up tires up to 11 inches wide
- Can be hard to move around by one person alone
- The wheels don’t allow for smooth sliding across the floor
OTC Tools 1580 Easy Roller Dolly
The third hydraulic piece on our list is the OTC Tools one. It’s slightly pricy, but since it works using hydraulic forces, we think it’s a fair and reasonable price.
The arms of this dolly are spaced out so that it can lift and hold on to tires that measure up to 12 inches wide. Each roller dolly can also handle 1.500 pounds, meaning a car that weighs up to 6.000 pounds isn’t a problem for a set of four.
You’ll notice the black pedal when you get this item. Push it down over and over again to trigger the hydraulic forces. They’ll pick up the vehicle from the ground and keep it elevated. You don’t need a jack if you have this product.
Again, they’re sold individually. If you want to use them as a full set, you’ll need to buy four of these pieces. That won’t go easy on the budget.
- OTC’s Easy Roller Dollies are a simple and efficient method of moving a disabled vehicle around a shop environment
- Position an easy roller at each wheel of a vehicle weighing up to 6000 pounds then use the foot pedals to activate the hydraulic lift mechanisms
- Within minutes, one individual can easily move the vehicle throughout the garage while protecting the floor from damage
- Features: 1-1/2 ton (1,500 lb) capacity, robust hydraulic system with locking pin, four heavy-duty phenolic casters, and fits tires up to 12 inches wide
- 1 Pack – sold individually, not as a pair
- Weight capacity: 6.000 pounds (or 3 tons)
- Fits tires up to 12” wide
- Has a hydraulic lifting pedal
- May leak hydraulic fluid
- Wheels aren’t the most user-friendly
Sunex Hydraulic Wheel Dolly
Another great hydraulic model is the Sunex wheel dolly. It also has the convenience of not needing a jack but it’s somewhat cheaper than the GoJack model. Yet, it gets the job done perfectly.
When you push the pedal, the hydraulic forces help you lift your vehicle. This replaces a jack and makes your job a lot easier. You can also lift and lower cars and trucks more quickly this way.
Each skate comes with a set of four ball bearing casters. They make moving the unit around less burdensome. On top of that, they have a sturdy built-in carrying handle for easy transportation and storage.
One of the best features is the locking system. Every wheel has a brake pedal. When you push it down, it locks the wheels in place, stopping them from moving or rotating.
Lastly, you can use these dollies on tires that are up to 13 inches wide. Each skate manages up to 1.500 pounds of weight, so a set of four is great for a 6.000-pound vehicle. And don’t forget the price you see ($190) is for one dolly alone—not the complete set!
- Oversized l-shaped foot pedal protect user from jamming toes on wheel
- Sturdy ratcheting design is maintenance free unlike competitive Hydraulic units
- Convenient carrying handle for transportation
- Locking casters on outboard wheels secure vehicle and comply with asme-pald 2014 standards
- Convenient carrying handle into Side for portability
- 1 year warranty
- Weight capacity: 6.000 pounds
- Holds up cars whose tires are up to 13” wide
- Four caster wheels per skate
- Each wheel has a built-in locking pedal
- Works using hydraulic forces to lift cars and trucks
- None to point out
GoJack Hydraulic Model G6313
There’s a reason why the GoJack Hydraulic dolly is so expensive: it’s the best quality your money can buy. They leave the competition behind and would easily take number one on our list if the cost wasn’t one of our criteria.
For starters, the GoJack is the first hydraulic model on our list. That means it replaces a jack. When you place it around your car’s wheels and push down on the pedal, your vehicle is immediately raised. No force needed from you at all.
This unit can handle tires that are up to 13 inches wide. That’s still pretty decent! Most models can only handle tires up to 12 inches wide. The dolly is also built to support up to 6.300 pounds in total.
Lastly, to clear up any confusion, the $200+ price tag you see on Amazon is for one auto dolly only. Meaning if you want a pair, prepare to shell out around $500. The convenience of the hydraulic pedal is what makes it more expensive—and so much more worth it.
- EXTREMELY DURABLE – All steel construction and high level of craftsmanship
- EASY TO USE – Double ball bearing nylon casters make moving vehicle effortless
- FAST & EFFICIENT – Mechanical design and quality components make jacking fast and easy with less strokes
- VERSATILE – Rated for up to 6300 lbs (1575lbs per wheel) and up to 13″ wide tires
- AMERICAN MADE – Designed, Tested, Manufactured, and Proven in the USA since 1984
- Weight capacity: 6.300 pounds (3.15 tons)
- Handles tires up to 13” wide
- Has a built-in hydraulic pedal to raise vehicles
- Sturdy build using high-quality steel
- None to point out
Pushing the car around especially when it’s completely dry on gas is a tedious task. Time is consumed, energy is lost, and backs are broken. But with a handy car dolly, the weight is lifted, quite literally. When we were reviewing different car dollies, we never knew that there could be so much diversity. With that said we hope you found our Best Car Dolly Review Guide For 2023-2024 helpful.