So you need to move your car around in the garage, but there’s not enough room? Or maybe it was in an accident and lost a wheel? Need to move more than one car without having to go get all the keys? In that case, you’ll need car dollies, which are the best way to move any car inside your garage, even if a wheel is in the way or the whole front end is missing! Car dollies that are good for garages are easy to store, simple to use, and not too expensive. You can’t get around it; they could save your life someday (or at least make your day a whole lot easier).

Car dollies are a lot like skateboards, but they are made for your car. So, they give you full freedom of movement, which means you can turn your car 360 degrees if you want to. They are also a great choice if you are building a car from scratch and don’t have an engine or subframe yet.

If you think you can use a dolly set yourself, which I’m sure you can if you like to do things yourself, here are the seven best car dollies you can buy right now. We’ve looked at them in detail and put together a full buying guide to help you find car dollies that fit your needs and budget.

Best Car Dollies to Move any Vehicle Around Your Garage

1. WEN 73017T Vehicle Dollies

WEN Car Dollies

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The WEN 73017T is a good choice if you want a pair of inexpensive dollies that can carry a lot of weight. Even though it looks simple at first glance, it has everything you could want in a heavy-duty car dolly.

First, there’s a diamond-shaped steel plate that’s thick and easy to grip. It can hold up to 1,500 lbs. (3,000 pounds for the pair), so it can carry any normal car and SUV. To put them under the wheels, you’ll need to jack up the car first. (If you’re looking for hydraulic dollies that can jack up a car, we’ll talk about that below.)

Still, WEN’s dolly can do a few other things. Notably, the chassis is held up by four 2.5-inch swiveling casters, two of which have built-in brakes to stop the dollies when needed. The casters are made of forged steel, which is almost impossible to break with normal use. But the wheels are kind of small and can be hard to turn when there’s a lot of weight on them. This means you’ll have to keep your floor clean because smaller casters will get stuck on small pebbles and rocks, but they work fine on dust and dirt.

Still, most weekend DIYers who only use dollies occasionally should be fine with this one. It’s very powerful for the price and doesn’t lack any important features. It also comes with a nice 2-year warranty.

What’s Important

Lifting mechanism: Standard

Wheel is where it goes.

Set quantity: 2

  • Each dolly can carry up to 1500 lbs.
  • 16.0″ x 12.0″ diamond steel plate surface
  • 2.5-inch steel wheels that can turn and have brakes built in
  • Handle for carrying
  • Warranty for 2 years

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Strong steel casters
  • For the price, it can hold a lot of weight.

Cons

  • The wheels could be larger.

2. OTC Tools 1580 Stinger Easy Roller

OTC

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The single-pack OTC Tools 1580 is one of the easiest dollies to use. This is because it has a hydraulic system. It has a hydraulic foot pedal that lets you lift the tire in a few seconds without a jack. This makes the process easier and saves time, especially if you have to move more than one car at once (or if you need to move cars without having the keys).

This car dolly’s all-in-one design isn’t just a gimmick, though, because it’s still made for heavy-duty use (OTC doesn’t make cheap stuff). It can hold up to 1,500 pounds. and can hold tires that are 12 inches wide (where are not talking about the tire size here but really just the opening of the jaw mechanics). Also, it has four phenolic casters that are 4.0 inches in diameter and can turn 360 degrees. They roll smoothly without damaging the floor.

Even though it is strong and easy to use, there are a few small problems with it. The tire of the car will rest on two support beams instead of a solid platform, so you have to be a little more careful when using them. Also, since this model doesn’t have locking casters, you shouldn’t use it on surfaces that aren’t even.

The pros here are much more important than the cons. And if you want a hydraulic dolly, you should put the OTC Tools 1580 at the top of your list. Just make sure to get at least two single packs if you’re just starting out. Obviously, you’ll need 4 keys to move a car for which you don’t have the keys.

What’s Important

Lifting mechanism: Hydraulic

Wheel is where it goes.

Set quantity: 1

  • Each dolly can carry up to 1500 lbs.
  • Max tire width: 12.0″
  • phenolic wheels that can turn and are 4 inches in diameter
  • Pin that locks the hydraulic foot pedal
  • Warranty for 2 years

Pros

  • Easy to install and use, and no extra tools are needed.
  • Phenolic wheels made to keep the floor from getting damaged

Cons

  • No brakes

3. Pentagon Tools 5051 Premium Tire Skates

Pentagon Car Dollies

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The Pentagon Tools 5051 is a lot like the WEN 73017T that was just talked about. It is the same size and shape as the WEN plate and is made of the same steel with a diamond-patterned surface. Even the amount of weight they can hold is the same: 1500 lbs. per dolly. Still, there are a few differences that are well worth the extra couple of bucks.

First, the Pentagon Tools 5051 comes in a pack of four instead of two, giving you a total of 6000 lbs. from the start, it was a good dolly set. Also, the set is painted bright red, which makes it stand out and makes it less likely that someone will trip over it. The forged steel casters are also bigger (3 inches instead of 2.5 inches), which makes them easier to move on floors that are dirty or rough.

But keep in mind that even though the prices are the same, this one doesn’t come with any kind of warranty. Still, if you like bigger wheels and red paint, these are a great choice. Plus, there’s not much that can break on car dollies, so the fact that they don’t come with a guarantee isn’t that big of a deal. If a caster broke, it would be easy to get a new one (having to send them back under warranty would probably be a bigger hassle anyway).

What’s Important

Lifting mechanism: Standard

Wheel is where it goes.

Set quantity: 4

  • Each dolly can carry up to 1500 lbs.
  • 16.0″ x 12.0″ diamond steel plate surface
  • 3.0″ steel wheels that can turn and have brakes built in
  • Handle for carrying

Pros

  • The price for a pack of four is fair.
  • Robust steel casters
  • On the floor, the bright red color stands out more.

Cons

  • No promise

4. Eastwood 30551 Hydraulic Wheel Dolly

Eastwood

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Even though the Eastwood 30551 and OTC Tools 1580 are similar in many ways (such as shape, size, maximum tire width, and how they are used), there are a few things that make this one a real heavy-duty hydraulic model.

So you can get started right away, the Eastwood 30551 is sold in pairs instead of single packs. Also, if you live in an area with extreme weather, you’ll be glad to know that Eastwood’s 4.0-inch casters are made of nylon and can withstand solvents, extreme temperature changes, and even corrosive environments. Also, you can get a storage rack for them so you can put them away neatly when you’re not using them.

Minor problems include casters that don’t have brakes and a slightly lower weight of 1300 lbs. capacity, the least of all of these (yet still sufficient for most). Given how much it cost, the warranty could have been longer as well. Even so, it’s still one of the most durable hydraulic car dollies on the market and a great alternative to OTC Tools’ model for people who live in places with harsh winters.

What’s Important

Lifting mechanism: Hydraulic

Wheel is where it goes.

Set quantity: 2

  • Each dolly can carry up to 1300 lbs.
  • Max tire width: 12.0″
  • 4.0″ nylon wheels that can turn
  • Pin that locks the hydraulic foot pedal
  • Warranty for 1 year

Pros

  • Easy to use, and you don’t need any extra tools.
  • Large casters made of heavy-duty nylon
  • A storage rack can be added as an extra.

Cons

  • No brakes

5. Omega 47020 3-in-1 Car Dolly Set

Omega Car Dollies

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You don’t have to worry about your car not sitting right if it doesn’t have wheels if you have the Omega 47020. In fact, this pair of dollies is made in a way that makes it possible to mount them on the tires, the frame, or the pinch weld under the rockers (the dedicated lifting points for a floor jack).

In its basic form, the wheel is held in place by a steel plate. But each dolly also has a saddle adapter that clamps to the frame or under the rocker panels and can be taken off. So, this pair is much more useful, especially if you are working on a project car or fixing up a wrecked car.

With the saddle attachment, the dolly can reach a maximum height of almost 15 inches off the ground. This makes it easier to get to the undercarriage. The strength of the adapter’s arm is ensured by a strong locking pin and a 2000-lb. score chassis (one of the highest on this list). The big, heavy-duty swiveling casters are 4.0 inches in diameter and have built-in brakes.

Of course, all those bells and whistles cost money, and this innovative dolly set costs a lot. And, just like the last model, the warranty could have been a little better. No matter what, its flexibility and durability are more than enough to make up for the price. So, the Omega 47020 should be your first choice if you want a set of car dollies with more mounting points and more weight capacity than most.

What’s Important

Lifting mechanism: Standard

Wheel, pinch weld, or frame are all good places to mount.

Set quantity: 2

  • Each dolly can carry up to 2,000 lbs.
  • 20.5″ x 13.9″ steel plate
  • 4.0″ swiveling casters with built-in brakes
  • saddle adapters for pinch weld and frame that are built in
  • With the saddle adapter, the height is 14.9′′
  • Warranty for 1 year

Pros

  • Several ways to use
  • able to carry a lot
  • Can lift a car with no wheels on it.
  • Stackable

Cons

  • Not a good deal for the price.

6. OTC Tools 1572 Car Dolly

OTC

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The second model of OTC Tools on this list is just as special as the first. It has a unique design that is protected by a patent. The car dolly clamps directly onto the pinch welds. It also comes in pairs, and each one can hold a whopping 1800 lbs. capacity.

The pinch weld is a good place to mount because it can hold a wide range of vehicles, even if they are broken and don’t have wheels. Even better, the part of the steel saddle that touches the pinch weld is foamed, so it fits better and protects the pinch weld from getting bent or scratched.

The saddle can be moved up to 14 inches off the ground, which makes it easy to get to the undercarriage. Instead of having four wheels, each dolly has three polypropylene wheels that are 5.0 inches in diameter and are resistant to chemicals. Also, the wheels are strong and well-balanced, so you shouldn’t worry about the fact that there isn’t an extra one here.

Still, not having brakes could be a problem for some, especially when working on uneven surfaces. There is no other brand that makes a dolly like this, but the price isn’t exactly cheap. But even so, OTC has done a great job of making a compact car dolly that works for all cars without sacrificing strength.

So, if you want a sturdy but small dolly set, the OTC Tools 1572 is just what you need. Or maybe you’re a mechanic who replaces a lot of suspensions and has to move cars around while waiting for parts to come in? This is an easy choice.

What’s Important

Lifting mechanism: Standard

Pinch weld is the mounting point.

Set quantity: 2

  • Each dolly can carry up to 1800 pounds.
  • Height can be changed from 9.0″ to 14.0″
  • swiveling polypropylene casters of 5 inches
  • Foamed saddle
  • Guarantee for life

Pros

  • able to carry a lot
  • Can lift a car with no wheels on it.
  • The padded saddle keeps the pinch weld from getting bent or scratched.
  • Compact design
  • A great deal on a warranty

Cons

  • No brakes
  • A bit more expensive

7. DJS Fabrication DJS-00115-4 Mobile Dolly Station

Djs Fabrications Car Dollies

  Get it now on Amazon.com

The DJS Fabrication Mobile Dolly Station is a car dolly set that is over-engineered, but not in a bad way. It has a steel frame that can hold up to 4000 lbs., making it the strongest dolly on this list. each, so you could easily mount anything from a small Miata to a Ford F-150.

The set comes in a pack of four, along with the mobile docking station. If you only need one or two units, you can also buy a single pack. Still, no matter which package you choose, each dolly comes with three saddle adapters that have a protective coating and can be mounted in different places. So, in addition to the standard wheel mount, the vehicle can also be held tightly by the frame, pinch weld, or even the wheel lugs, depending on which adapter you use.

DJS didn’t stop there, though. They also added heavy-duty, 6.0-inch urethane casters with brakes built right in. These casters with a convex shape have great grip and are much easier to move. Because the wheels have needle bearings, they are easier to move on an uneven garage floor and will last much longer than most.

In short, DJS may have made the most versatile car dolly ever, one that can move just about anything. This is probably the best car dolly set you can get, as long as you can pay the high price.

What’s Important

Lifting mechanism: Standard

Wheel, wheel lugs, pinch weld, or frame are all good places to mount.

Set quantity: 4

  • Each dolly can carry up to 4000 lbs.
  • 22.0″ x 17.0″ steel frame
  • 6″ urethane wheels with brakes built in
  • There are adapters for the pinch weld, frame, and wheel hub built into the saddle.
  • The frame is covered for life, and the wheels are covered for 5 years.

Pros

  • Extremely heavy weight limit
  • Location of the universal mount
  • Large and powerful wheels
  • Docking stations are useful for keeping things in order.
  • Also sold in individual pieces
  • Rich guarantee

Cons

  • Steep price

How to Buy: Things to Think About When Buying Car Dollies

As you may have guessed, there are different kinds and styles of car dollies. So, to help you pick the right one, I’ve put together a list of some things you might want to think about when shopping for car dollies.

Lifting Mechanism: Standard vs. Hydraulic

Car dollies can be either standard or hydraulic, based on how they lift cars.

Manual dollies need you to jack up the car before you can slide them under. This isn’t a big deal, but it could be an issue in some situations. It’s the most common kind, so if you want a cheaper set, you should go with this one. Standard models are fine for occasional users who want a strong dolly set for their own use.

Hydraulic dollies, on the other hand, have a hydraulic system built in that can lift the car without any other tools. Then, it’s much easier and takes less time to put a dolly under a car. This is great for mechanics who have to lift a lot of cars every day or for your next day at the race track. A set of hydraulic dollies, on the other hand, tends to be more expensive and less reliable over time.

Where Mount Is

Not all dollies are made to fit under the tire. The more versatile ones have a saddle to hold the vehicle by the frame or pinch weld.

If you want to move a car with its wheels on, you can get a dollie with wheels attached. But if you want to use them for a project or a wrecked car with no wheels, you should get ones with a saddle that clamps directly to the frame/pinch weld. Keep the frame mounts on project cars that will be on the dollies for a long time.

But some modern dollies, like the Omega 47020 and the DJS Fabrication Mobile Dolly Station, come with more than one mount adaptor so they can be used for a wider range of tasks.

Capacity for Weight

The rated weight capacity of a complete dolly set (4-pack) should be able to hold the weight of the whole car. For personal use, you just need to think about how much your car weighs. But if you need dollies for a repair shop or a showroom, you might want ones that can hold more weight and a wider range of vehicles.

The average weight of a car, SUV, or truck is between 2,000 and 6,000 lbs. Since a dolly only holds one wheel, it should be able to hold at least a quarter of the weight of the car. So, the safest choice would be to get a dolly that can carry at least 1500 lbs. All four of them together could hold a weight of 6000 lbs. vehicle.

No need to say that you shouldn’t use a dolly on a vehicle that weighs more than it can handle to avoid an accident. Before you move your car, you should always check its curb weight. You can find this information in your owner’s manual or on a tag on the driver door jamb.

Size and Material of the Chassis

To carry such a huge weight, you need a dolly that is built to last. So, make sure that the model you want is made of something strong, like steel. Powder coating is a nice plus because it prevents rust, which makes the product last a lot longer.

When looking for a dolly that attaches to the wheel, you should also think about how big the plate or frame is. Make sure it goes all the way across the width of the tire, which is 12 inches. Also, it’s best if the plate has a diamond pattern to make it easier to hold, like the ones on the WEN 73017T and Pentagon Tools 5051 we talked about earlier.

Dollies that attach to the frame or pinch welds of a car should come with a strong metal saddle/saddle adapter. Make sure the arm is strong and that the saddle fits well on the clamping point. Even better is if the top is made of foam to keep the pinch weld or frame from getting scratched or bent. Also, look for a set that can lift your car to a good height, like the OTC Tools 1572, whose saddle height can be adjusted from 9 to 14 inches from the ground.

Wheels and Stops

The casters on a dolly are one of the most important parts. Usually, there are four of them, and each one is bolted to the chassis with a caster plate. Make sure that all the bolts are as tight as they can be so that the casters don’t just fall off.

Also, these wheels come in a few different materials, but steel, nylon, and phenolic are the most common ones. You can’t go wrong with any of these because they are all long-lasting, resistant to chemicals and oil, and can keep the floor from getting damaged. Also, not having wheel brakes isn’t a deal-breaker, but they do make the car more stable, especially in garages with uneven floors.

It’s important to remember that casters don’t last forever. How soon they break depends on how often and carefully you use the dolly. Getting a replacement caster is usually possible and probably won’t cost too much.

Set the amount

Car dollies are often sold in packs of two, four, or just one. Most of the time, you’ll need two dollies to move the car, so it doesn’t make much sense to buy just one. So, the best choice is either the 2-pack or the 4-pack.

With a 2-pack, you can lift the front or back wheels to turn the car. But if you want to move in any direction, you’ll need a 4-pack.

Still, most manufacturers still sell dollies in single packs, in case you break one and need a replacement. It’s also useful if you need to move a car with only one missing or stuck wheel, which is a smart short-term fix.

Questions People Usually Ask (FAQs)

How do you use a car dolly?

Car dollies are mostly used to move cars in tight spaces or when there is no other way to move them. They also help you clear out some space in your garage so you can use it for your DIY projects or to fit more cars. Some people also use them to move heavy parts of cars or furniture over short distances.

They are also used every day in workshops to move cars out of the way. They are especially useful when trying to move a car without the keys. Have a car with no front end, and the dealer just told you the new clutch won’t be here for a week? Just put two dollies under it, and at least you can move the car out of the bay and do something else while you wait.

Car dollies are also used in car showrooms and museums to help set up the cars on display. Overall, car dollies can be used for a lot of different things, and if you’re here, you probably need some.

Are car dollies safe?

When used right, car dollies are safe. But you should always be careful when installing them and never try to move a car that weighs more than the limit. When moving a car on dollies, you should always have a partner or someone to watch out for you.

Also, if you put dollies under the wheels, don’t push too hard on the car or it might slide off the dolly (hence why pinch weld clamps are much safer).

It’s also important to store them right when you’re not using them. If you leave car dollies in the middle of the garage without thinking, they could cause you to trip or fall. So, stack them in a corner or hang them on a wall with a garage pegboard to clear up space and keep people from getting hurt.

Can I move a car on the road with the help of car dollies?

Not even close. The car dollies we’re talking about here have small wheels that can only be used indoors, over short distances, and at a walking pace. To move a car on the road, you’ll need a full-size tow dolly with the right wheels and tires for higher speeds on the road.

Verdict

Even though there are a lot of great car dollies on the market, you usually only have to choose between a standard or hydraulic unit. The basic WEN 73017T is a pretty good choice if you want a standard model. It’s cheap, easy to hold on to, and can hold more than enough weight.

But if you want something more durable and flexible, the Omega 47020 is the best choice. It can hold more weight than most and comes with adapters so it will fit most bikes. You can also get the DJS Fabrication Mobile Dolly Station, which is the best dolly set money can buy.

On the other hand, you can’t go wrong with either the OTC Tools 1580 or the Eastwood 30551 if you want to get things done quickly with a hydraulic dolly. Still, keep in mind what you need and choose a set that meets those needs. In short, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on something you’ll only use once a year, but you should be ready to spend a little more if you’ll be using them 40 hours a week in the shop. Plus, when it comes to tools, going cheap is almost never a good idea.

Categories: Automotive

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