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Published Sep. 20, 2018

A wheel car dolly can be an extremely useful little tool for easily and accurately moving vehicles. It is great for moving vehicles with complete engine or mechanical failure over short distances. It can also be used to move vehicles 360 degrees, even sideways and backwards, with very little effort. That can be useful for manoeuvring them around inside small spaces like an at home garage.

Because of the weight they have to bear, these tools are usually pretty tough and sturdy. Aside from that one similarity though there can be quite a bit of variety in terms of design and price tag from model to model. In this buying guide, we’re going to take a good look at some of the best wheel dolly tools on the market right now, and help you to find the right one to suit your needs and budget.

The Best Car Dolly

There is a lot to like about our first entry, from car supplies manufacturer Red Hound Auto. The most impressive thing to us though is the fact this is a four pack of wheel dollies with a price tag of under a 150 bucks. Before we even get to talking about the other features, we just want to acknowledge what phenomenal value that is.

There is more to these than just the great price tag though. They have a very tough construction that means that each wheel dolly has a weight capacity of 1500 pounds (so 6000 pounds total). That is going to be sufficient weight capacity to move just about any car short of a SUV or a long bed pick up.

Speaking of moving the car, that is incredibly easy thanks to the dual radial ball bearing axles found on every wheel. They are designed to make pushing the car crazy easy, and one person will be able to push a car with relative ease. Simple but effective built in brakes will hold each dolly exactly where you want it to stop. Each dolly has a powder coated, steel construction for a product that should boast a long and useful life span.

Key Features
  • Set of 4
  • 1,500 pound Capacity Per Skate
  • Radial Ball Bearing Wheel Axles
Specification
  • Brand Red Hound Auto
  • Model RED949783

Are you getting Déjà vu, because we kind of are looking at this wheel dolly set from Goplus. They are very similar to the set we just looked at, to the point that it’s almost as if Goplus just forgot to paint these ones red!

Joking aside, that does mean that you are getting a high quality set of tools here, for exactly the same reasons as we went through with the set above. The fact it is a car wheel dolly set of 4 again is also great to see, as you are investing in a complete set.

Apart from lacking the red paint finish, the only real difference between these and the Red Hound Auto set above is in the price tag. Specifically, this set here is going to set you back about 100 bucks more. So yes, they are undoubtedly a very fine set of wheel dollies. But they are not that much better, if at all better really, than the set we looked at above. So we can’t really recommend splashing an extra 100 on a near identical set of dollies. Unless you have a spare 100 burning a hole in your wallet – in which case send it to us instead and we’ll throw it in the office beer fund.

Key Features
  • Set of 4
  • Built in Carry Handle
  • 6000 pound total capacity
Specification
  • Brand Goplus

This tire dolly from WEN comes as a pack of 2 instead of a pack of 4 as we’ve seen with the two offerings above. With a price of under 50 bucks though, they are still good value even if you end up buying a pair of 2 packs.

The construction is pretty similar to what we’ve seen already. The car tire is supported on a sheet of metal that is dipped and cut with a raised diamond pattern for extra grip. Weight capacity is rated at 1500 lbs per dolly, for a total weight capacity of 3000 lbs. The tire plate rests on four 2-1/2 inch casters for easy movement.

There is also a useful carry handle and built in brakes. The black paint is a bit more subtle than the old eye catching red that is often seen on wheel dolly products, though do bear in mind it may make the dollies a little harder to spot in a gloomier garage. There is of course no excuse for poor lighting in any garage!

Key Features
  • 2 Pack
  • 3000 Pound Total Weight
  • 12 x 16 Inch Diamond Plated Surface
Specification
  • Brand WEN
  • Model 73017
  • Weight 28.6 Pounds

Next up we have this set of car dolly tools from Merrick Machine. They have, on the surface at least, a lot of similarities with the product we looked at right at the top of this list. They are after all bright red and come in a pack of 4. They also have an individual weight capacity of 1500 lbs for a total capacity of 6000 lbs.

That’s where the similarities end though. This is a far simpler style of tire dolly. So there is no carry handle for example, and no built in brakes. The wheels and casters are also a little smaller than you will find on some other models. That could make it a bit harder to push a heavier car with the same ease as you will be able with a more premium model.

All in all then, these are certainly a simpler style of design than we will see on other products on this list. For all that though, they are sturdy and reliable and if you want a model without all the bells and whistles this could be the one for you.

Key Features
  • Pack of 4
  • 6000 lbs Total Capacity
  • Very Simple Design
Specification
  • Brand Merrick Machine
  • Model MERM998002
  • Weight 62.3 Pounds

From a very simple wheel dolly, we move straight onto to one of the more complex designs on our list. This product from Omega is packing an awful lot of very clever features and design points. It is also boasting a premium price tag though, with this 2-piece wheel dolly set costing a little over 250 bucks. That’s not cheap, so what are you getting for your money?

Well, versatility is the main plus to this design. Unlike the other products we’ve looked at so far, this set has the ability to hold your car in one of three ways. Firstly of course as a normal wheel dolly. It can also support it by the pinch weld and by the vehicle frame itself for a total of 3 support methods in one dolly. That’s pretty cool, right?

There are even more impressive features to come though. The weight capacity is 2000 lbs per dolly, making this the strongest set we’ve looked at so far. The wheels are huge too, which makes rolling easy. They are even designed to stack neatly on top of each other to save a little space in the garage.

Yes, they are not cheap but you are getting a very premium, high end product for your cash here.

Key Features
  • 4000lbs Total Capacity
  • 3 Ways of Supporting Vehicle
  • Big Wheels
  • Stack for Easy Storage
Specification
  • Brand Omega
  • Model 47020
  • Weight 78 Pounds

First off, big props to Generic for coming up with just about the dullest company name we have ever come across here at Car Bibles. Seriously, how lazy is your marketing department, guys? However, aside from that we have a pretty decent set of lightweight dollies here.

Yes, we did say lightweight so please take note that this wheel dolly set has a total weight capacity of only 4000 lbs, split equally as 1000 lbs per dolly. Folks with larger cars should move on then, but if you own a compact you should stick around. All in all this is a pretty simple design but it does have a few premium features. The fact that the wheels are attached via ball bearing equipped castors is nice to see, and means you can move the car easily in every direction or angle.

They also look pretty nice, with a good metal construction and tough black paint job. Finally they have a very reasonable price tag of a little under 100 bucks. That is great value for a set of 4 dollies, and if you own a smaller car you should certainly consider saving yourself a few bucks and checking these bad boys out.

Key Features
  • 4000 lbs Total Weight Capacity
  • Low Price
  • Ball Bearing Mounted Wheels
Specification
  • Brand Generic

XtremepowerUS are the next manufacturer, showing Generic what a company name should be! This product should frankly come with a free eagle in every box. Apart from the cool company name though, there is not a huge amount to get excited about here.

That’s not to say that this is not a great car wheel dolly set. On the contrary, they are well put together and solid, it’s just there isn’t too much here to set them apart from many of the products that we’ve looked at already on this list. So we have a nice solid tire plate of ¼ inch thick steel, embossed with a raised diamond pattern for grip. The weight capacity is 1500 lbs per dolly, so again pretty similar to what we’ve seen already.

If there is one thing to raise your heart rate a little with this design then it is going to be the wheels. The wheels themselves are 3 inch and made of iron, whilst the castors they are set in boast sleeve mounted ball bearings. To our mind that is about the best wheel design you can find on a tire dolly, so it’s great to see them deployed here.

Key Features
  • 3 Inch Caster Wheels
  • Brake Equipped
  • Thick, Diamond Embossed Tire Plate
Specification
  • Brand XtremepowerUS
  • Model KIT435

We’ll finish up with something a little out of the ordinary here, at least when compared with the previous tire dolly designs we’ve looked at today. This wheel car dolly from OTC is a hydraulic design. What does that mean? Well, it means that instead of a solid tire plate you are getting a pair of rollers attached to a hydraulically powered lifting unit.

That means that you simply lower the rollers to the floor, wheel the dolly up close to your tire and jack it up into the air. Once raised you simply lock the device and voila – your car is up on the dolly ready to be moved. The upside to this design is then quite obviously the convenience factor. If you want your car up in the air quickly and easily and ready to move in a matter of minutes with no additional equipment, well in that case this could be the best wheel dolly set for you.

A wheel dolly jack is though a more complex beast than a simple plate style of design. Whilst this does make them a high capacity tool, it also really kicks up the price tag. This dolly will set you back a bit under 200 bucks for one. That’s right, not a 4 pack, not even a pair – nearly 200 hundred bucks per dolly. Go check how many wheels there are on your car and you can see how this could be quite an expensive investment.

Yes, it is going to put a big dent in your bank account. But if you are looking for a high capacity, well designed and very useful wheel dolly this could be the one for you.

Key Features
  • Built in Hydraulic Lift
  • 1500 lbs Weight Capacity
  • Single Item Only
  • Big Price Tag
Specification
  • Brand OTC Tools
  • Model 1580
  • Weight 45 Pounds

Best Car Dolly Buying Guide & FAQ

That’s our list of the best wheel car dolly tools on the market right now. As we said right up at the top of this article, there is quite a bit of difference in design between all the products offered up by the top manufacturers.

In this next section then we’re going to go over some of the features that you should find in all top quality wheel dolly designs. Bear these features in mind and it should help you to find the right model for you. In addition, we’ll also discuss some of the benefits of these types of products as well as answer some of the most frequently asked questions about wheel car dolly sets.

car wheels

Things to Consider When Buying a Wheel Car Dolly

  • Multipack: Like chips or beer, we recommend looking to buy your car dolly set as a multipack. At the bare minimum you can use two dollies, and then hold the other end of the car up with a jack. That is not recommended though, and it’s far easier to move the car when it is up on 4 dollies. A multipack – whether a pair or a four pack – will usually save you a lot of money compared to buying individual tools.
  • Weight Capacity: Modern cars are heavier than ever, so you must ensure that the wheel dolly set you buy has a weight rating that can take the strain. On the other hand, if yon have a smaller compact size car with a low overall weight, you can save some cash by picking a dolly that has a lower weight capacity – provided of course the weight rating is suitable for your car, irrespective of size.
  • Ball Bearing Castors: The wheels on a dolly are attached by castors, and it is a great idea to find a model with ball bearing mounted castors. They make it easier to push the car in multiple directions, as they will easily rotate on those ball bearing mounts.
  • Brakes: Brakes make it easy to hold the car in one position, so it is worthwhile to pick up a model with some built in braking mechanism of some kind.

Benefits of Using a Wheel Car Dolly

Why invest the money into a car wheel dolly set? For us, there are 3 big advantages here:

  • Maneuver a Car

If you need to move a car in a tight space, a good set of wheel dollies are a God send. They allow you to move the car sideways, backwards and in any direction you need. Not only do they do this, but they make it easy to physically push the car too. A good dolly set will let you push a mid size sedan with one hand (though we recommend you use two!)

  • Make the Most of Space

Depending when it was built, you probably have a 1 or 2 car garage. That sounds good on paper, but as we all know our garages have to serve multiple purposes. As well as storing the car (or cars) you may have the washing machine or deep freeze out there. You may also use it a car workshop and tool storage area. That means space is usually at a premium. A set of car wheel dollies helps you to make the most of the available space by easily maneuvering the car to take advantage of any and all available space.

  • Move a Dead Car Easily

Finally, if you a have project car in the garage that you are working on but which cannot move under it’s own power, popping it up onto a set of wheel dollies makes it far easier to move around. You can also bring it out of the garage to work on in the driveway or roadside that much easier.

Dollies vs Jack Stands

A lot of people wonder if they should buy dollies or jack stands, since both types of tools kind of fulfill the same function. Except though that they don’t. Yes, they are both designed to hold the car up in the air, but for different reasons.

Dollies are designed to raise the car and make it easy to move. Jack stands are very strong and stable and are a much better choice if you want to raise the car to work underneath it.

A well-equipped home garage will then have both a good set of jack stands and dollies.

cars

Types of Wheel Car Dolly

Wheel car dollies will come in two flavors, Strawberry and Chocolate. No wait, we mean standard and hydraulic. Sorry, it’s nearly lunchtime.

  • Standard Wheel Dolly

Standard or wheel plate, there isn’t really a name for this style of wheel dolly design. What we mean here though is a solid piece of metal with some wheels underneath. There can also be extra bells and whistles like brakes and castor wheels. But the basic design stays as a solid plate raised up on some wheels.

  • Hydraulic Wheel Dolly

There is also hydraulic style of wheel dolly designs on the market and they are an altogether more complex beast. They dispense with the simple solid plate for a pair of rollers. These are in turn connected to a strong, foot operated hydraulic unit. So the big pro here is that you can lift the car up without any external equipment, making them far more convenient for everyday use. The downside is that as a more complex tool, that are going to pack a far bigger price tag to pay for all those extra components.

Best Car Dolly FAQ:

This is where you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about that humble but extremely useful tool known as a car dolly.

Q: What is a wheel car dolly?

A wheel car dolly is one of those great little tools that are at the same time a very simple design of tool as well as a pretty complex one. On the simple side, it is essentially a set of skateboards for your car. Which, now we’ve said that our loud, if you actually think about it is pretty cool. They get more complex when you consider the weight they have to carry. As we mentioned above, weight capacity is an important feature and that leads to designs with thick tire plates and specially designed, ball bearing mounted castor wheels. Then there is the hydraulic style of dolly, which is bringing an even more technical design to the table. Whatever their design, their function is clear and simple however. They allow you to move a car easily and accurately over small distances.

Q: Can I store my car on these for long periods of time?

Absolutely. In fact many people buy these types of tools specifically to employ them for long-term storage. People who, for example, have a second vehicle they only use for part of the year – say a sporty convertible they only get out in good weather for example. Throw it up onto a set of wheel dollies and tuck it away in the corner of the garage to keep it safe and out of the way. Once up on the dolly, the car behaves as if it was on the ground, i.e. it simply rests its weight on its tires. That does mean that you should monitor tire pressure over longer-term storage and re-inflate when necessary. But you would need to do that anyway even if the car was stored directly on the ground.

Q: How do I get my car onto these dollies?

The answer to this question is really going to depend on the type of wheel dolly that you have bought. As we discussed above, a hydraulic style of dolly makes it easy to get the car raised up, as this design has all the tools you need built right in to it to get the car up and onto the dolly. As we also pointed out though a hydraulic style of dolly is also very expensive. For that reason, many people will go for a solid plate style of dolly. That’s all well and good, but if you do make that decision, how do you get the car up there? All you need is a good car jack. Use it to lift the car up, position a dolly under each wheel and lower it down. Go to the other end of the car and repeat the process until all 4 wheels are up on their respective dollies. Done. vehicle

Our Top Pick 

Give that good dog a bone because our winning pick is the 4 pack from Red Hound Auto. As we pointed out in our review, this product was just amazingly good value. A car wheel dolly set of 4 is almost always going to offer the best value with these products, but even knowing that they are still the best value out there, even amongst other 4 packs.

But not only was it a great value, but it was also a very well designed set of dollies. They were tough, they were long-lasting, they were simple to use and they made it easy to move the car. There is really not much more you can expect from these products, so that is why they are our top pick.

Sources:

  1. Garage Size Stats – Eyeon Housing
  2. Average Car Weight – NY Times

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