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Technical Skates for moving cars

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by donno, Nov 4, 2020.

  1. Stooge
    Joined: Sep 9, 2015
    Posts: 428


    I have a sets of the diamondplate 1500lb HF ones under my '37 Century, straight 8. They were really good when it was just a body on a chassis, a little less good when it was a just a chassis with an engine, but now that its chassis, body, (minus front sheet metal) and engine, they're prety uncooperative when trying to move it around on a smooth concrete floor. Theres still a good amount of weight that will be added to the car before its done, so i might be looking for a heavier duty set or some casters with better wheels to replace the current ones. I have another set under an OT c10 truck and they've been fine
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  2. the harbor freight units seem to work fine for me. I was able to move a '53 lincoln around on my own.(4600lbs, up a sloped driveway)
  3. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,940

    from California

    I have to wonder what the definition of "fine" is for the people who think HF works "fine".

    HF rollers are good if you want to store a car right up against the wall and leave it there for a long time. they don't roll for shit. I have 8 of them from when I had more cars at my place.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
    texasred likes this.
  4. ken bogren
    Joined: Jul 6, 2010
    Posts: 751

    ken bogren

    I bought my brother a set of GoJack "style" dollies from Northern Tool a 10-11 years ago. They work great with a large with a large mid-70s Lincoln. I've borrowed them a few times to move my 63 Falcon and I can turn it 360 in a small two car garage with no trouble and not much effort. I think I paid about $400.00 for the set of 4 on sale.

    I have a set of these HF units for the Falcon, work ok, but not great at changing direction.

    I have a set similar to these but with 4 bolts for each caster under my 61 f100, they work ok, but a little hard to change direction. I think I bought these at O'Reilly. Still both sets work well enough for most needs.

    Lil32 likes this.
  5. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 4,188


    The best ones in the world are NMW but unfortunately they have been out of business now for a good number of years. So I'm no help.

    Lil32, kidcampbell71 and williebill like this.
  6. I made some. Good casters are key. These will roll a 2 ton truck with ease...

  7. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 414

    bill gruendeman

    I made some also and would agree good casters are key. I got some used very heavy duty machine casters, they work great
  8. J53
    Joined: Aug 8, 2005
    Posts: 233

    from WI

    For those of you who have swapped casters on the HF variety or built your own- What do you recommend for “good” casters? I’ve got the 4-bolt HF skates and I can move them around pretty easy until I put a car on them.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  9. I get my casters here. The ones I used are rated for 750 lbs each. That might be overkill, depending on your use....but I tend to overbuild everything.
  10. Bullit68
    Joined: Sep 16, 2009
    Posts: 113

    from Verona, PA

    I have a dozen of these, have cars I move around easily. Have had engines and transmissions on them too. I use them for all kinds of stuff in the garage!
  11. Try cleaning all the oil and grease off, then give them a squirt of graphite. Oily little wheels tend to pick up grit and crud easily. (Ask any skateboarder!).
    It looks like the same chinese crap is sold all over the world under different brands.
    The set I bought (with the built-in lifting jack) had large black rollers which contact the tyres. Of course they broke (under the weight of a '56 Chevy, not that much really), but a length of PVC pipe was the right diameter to slip over the cracked originals. Also, they tend to spill their guts out of the seal if left "pumped up" for a long time. I pump them up, then let them down to the mechanical stop pin once in position, so the hydraulics are not under pressure all the time.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  12. bobscogin
    Joined: Feb 8, 2007
    Posts: 1,761


    I, and expect I'm not alone, evaluate the performance of Harbor Freight tools within the context of their cost. It's a cost/performance ratio thing, so when somebody says something "works fine", it means fine for it's price point. It's a matter of expectations.
  13. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,274


    Like others have said, the casters are the weak point on most all of these, regardless of their price and who they came from. They main issues are:
    - Caster mounting style (single post mount versus 3 or 4 bolts per caster)
    - Caster bearing quality (in the turning / mounting surface and in wheel rotation)
    - Caster diameter (up to a point, larger diameter is better for less rolling resistance)
    - Dolly structure: If it flexes much, the caster mounts move off of vertical which increase caster turning resistance
  14. Buddy Palumbo
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,870

    Buddy Palumbo

    I have used several different Harbor Freight ones, they work well for the price. I'd recommend the Go-Jack style ones from Eastwood - they're fantastic. They're hydraulic, have really nice rollers and are well made. We use them at our shop all the time. Worth every dollar.
    olscrounger and texasred like this.
  15. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,751


    Same here. The bottom line is that if the floor of your garage sucks, you're going to have a hard time rolling anything around regardless of the quality of the dollies. Uneven concrete, big expansion joints, rough finish, plus debris is going to make any set of dollies problematic.

    I took the time and expense to grind my floor and put an epoxy coating down. I can roll complete, full-sized cars around the shop by myself, albeit with some strength and effort. It is 2+ tons after all.
    1934coupe and LAROKE like this.
  16. texasred
    Joined: Dec 3, 2008
    Posts: 1,082

    from Houston

    I have the 1500# from HF they worked "fine" with a 10 ton wench, larger better casters from Northern Tools solved the problem. Today I would buy the go jacks
    49ratfink likes this.
  17. My definition of “fine” means that they did the job I bought them for. I had 4 cars packed into my old garage, and had to play tetris any time I wanted to move anything. I was able to move any of the cars, by myself, with the HF skates. I had planned on using them to move the car trailer into a corner of the new garage, but my trailer backing skills have improved exponentially, so it wasn’t needed. :)
  18. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,940

    from California

    you could move your cars around for free with your floor jack and some muscle. so lets take your logic to the next step and not buy these things at all. a floor jack will work "fine".
    TagMan and texasred like this.
  19. And you can pound a screw in with a hammer (just ask my wife...that’s how she does it), but it is easier when you use the proper tool for the proper job.
    Jibs and stanlow69 like this.
  20. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,680

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    I've been rolling my t bucket around on 4 of the HF wooden furniture dollies, they work great for it. oddly, the front end rolls easier than the rear even
    blowby and Just Gary like this.
  21. turdmagnet
    Joined: May 19, 2008
    Posts: 382


    I built a set of 4 using casters off of 45gal drum carts we were scrapping out at work. Each wheel is 2x4, full ball bearing and rated for 750lbs each (3000lbs per skate). Definitely over kill for car dollies but work great. Almost too great - just leaning on the car will cause it to roll (into a stack of tubing causing minor fender issues - dammit). When putting the car away for the winter use these under the control arms and rear axle to slide the car out of the way, then 2 old screw jacks on the frame to keep it in place.

    Sent from my SM-T560NU using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  22. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 463


    Lot of you are car builders and have the capability to build you own Save the money.... Gene
    Ace61 likes this.
  23. Have you got a brand or part number? Thanks!
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  24. TrailerTrashToo
    Joined: Jun 20, 2018
    Posts: 774


    Surplus Center sells mostly surplus stock, the inventory changes.
  25. Ok, thank you.
    TrailerTrashToo likes this.
  26. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 4,085

    from Ok

    I have both of the HF units. One set I bought and switched the casters for good ones, made them better. The others were given to me. No way I would buy them again. If the Titans are $100 each, and there is a somewhat local dealer, then I will buy some. When I was 50 moving a car on the HF’s was doable, now at 75 not so.
    TagMan and kidcampbell71 like this.
  27. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,846

    from illinois

    Fine means your young & strong & your garage floor is smooth , flat & level with no expansion joints , crappy is , your old , weak & your garage floor has pits , divots & wide uneven expansion joints & level is an unobtainable ideal !
  28. kabinenroller
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 545


    Here is where I purchased my Titan units:!/listing/Titan/5a779bb7bd8233185feb50dc
    I was able to drive there and pick them up, I am sure they would ship them also.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  29. Most useless tools I ever had. The casters never wanted to swing around the way you wanted the car to go.
  30. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,178


    I have 4 of the HF ones and use them now and then but not much. 1 pair is now bolted under a BIG horizontal band saw a good friend gave me and is sitting outside. I have also used them for rolling engines around. Never had issues using them under cars and yes, I have used them for cars. Yesterday my son in law asked me if he could borrow a pair as then needed to move in a cast iron bath tub! Boss decided to just go buy some. Haven't heard the end story yet.


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