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I've always had trouble with the term "dolly." It's just far too wimpy of a word for a tool that enables you to move 500 pounds of equipment with ease. I've always gravitated toward the term "hand truck." The manufacturer Multicart went one step further by naming their dolly products "Rock N Rollers." It doesn't matter if you're a photographer, videographer, a lighting tech or an audio nerd; a good cart will improve your quality of life.
If you shop at B&H, chances are you have an affinity for production equipment. When it comes time to use your gear outside of the house, you'll find that your cases and bags can be very cumbersome to move from point A to point B when you're carrying more than one. When I travel to audio jobs, I often bring a Pelican case, my BoomTube, and one or two backpacks. When you have to be on set at 6:30AM, it can be a real drag to lug all of that stuff around without a little help.
Carts still come in handy even when you leave all of your production gear at home. A Rock N Roller can really make it easier to haul luggage out to your vehicle when you're loading up the car for a weekend getaway. When you spot a nice piece of furniture on the street that someone has left behind on moving day, you can grab your cart and claim it.
I recently picked up an R2 Micro MultiCart to schlep my stuff around. Because my apartment is so small, the R2 Micro made the most sense because it's the smallest of the Rock N Roller range. It was fairly easy to assemble out of the box. My Leatherman came in handy when I was putting the wheels on, but I needed an additional wrench or two to get the job done properly.
The first time I tried to raise and lower the sides of the Rock N Roller was a little odd. You need to press a thick wire near the ends of the cart to release and engage spring-loaded pins. This allows you to open and lock the sides of the cart. The same thing happened when I tired to extend and collapse the frame for the first time. I had to do it once or twice to get the hang of it, but adjusting the cart in the future will be second-nature.
The ability to manipulate the cart like this makes the Rock N Roller an extremely versatile piece of equipment. Beyond just being a "dolly," the Rock N Roller transforms into eight different configurations to suit various needs. You can transport everything from lumber to large Arri lighting kits, and fold it up for storage when you're done.
Professional location sound people in video and film often utilize Rock N Roller carts for their mobile audio setups. Not only does the cart transport all of their gear to the shoot, but it becomes their central workstation when they're on set. With the addition of key accessories like detachable shelves, solid decks, and multi-clamps, your Rock N Roller can be customized to suit your needs.
Even though my relationship with the MultiCart R2 Micro has just begun, I feel it's safe to say that the Rock N Roller series is comprised of outstanding products with an excellent and multifunctional design. It may be marketed towards musicians by name, but this is a tool that's useful for just about everyone.
Did a cart or a hand truck ever save the day for you? What's the oddest thing you ended transporting with your cart? Do you use the word "dolly?" If you'd like to share some cart and equipment-transport tips, we'd love to hear about it in the comments section!