Truss Dolly

egilson1

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Location
Boston, MA
One version we use is something we made ourselves. (see picture)

1" angle on either side of a 3/4" by 20" tube with caster plates. all welded together. they can be used unstrapped for loading and unloading. Don't tip over. Very affordable.
 

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egilson1

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Location
Boston, MA
You can load these with one person. With 12" truss we do (2) sticks side by side. Once you get those two on you can push the stack around without strapping it. Then once the stack is full, we throw a ratchet strap on each dolly. We choke one hook around the angle and truss, then go up and through the top pair of truss. Then back down and choked on the other angle and bottom truss. This locks the dolly onto the truss and then can be rolled over almost anything, including cable ramps, dock plates, electricians..........

Ethan
 

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porkchop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Location
Vegas
The three strategies I've seen on tours are the small clamp on dolly's like what was pictured and I imagine are similar to the roller skate dollies that you are talking about, permanent wheels on the truss, and a large flat cart for the truss.
The small dollies are convenient for rolling over uneven surfaces and cable ramps, can be dealt with by only a single person, and are easily stored while the truss is in use. Their drawback is that only a few sticks can be transported safely with each set of dollies.
Permanent wheels have many of the same pros with the addition that when the truss has wheels they can become the wheels that other items can travel on top of. This method was used very extensively by a previous employer of mine that liked to build their sets out of truss covered in awkward, heavy, and inconstantly shaped foam pieces. This method also has the added cons that the wheels can be ugly and inconvenient for hanging fixtures around. This is usually fixed by flipping the truss so the wheels a re up when in use, but you would have to make sure with your truss manufacturer that the truss can be used like this.
The last method I've seen is one large flat cart (usually with a single very strong wall on the shorter dimension to act as a push plate). When built as a 4'x10' cart these can be very heavy when piled high with truss and require several people or mechanical help to move. On the bright side you can permanently install your ratchet straps to prevent them from walking away during the gig and can easily transport 12 or even 16 sticks on a single rolling unit making it very space efficient in the truck pack. This design requires the most planning, they would not be fun or safe to roll down steep ramps without a forklift or tractor taking the weight, but it sure does allow you to transport a lot of truss in one go.
 

josh88

Remarkably Tired.
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Location
Ypsilanti, Michigan
When we send shows out that are using our truss we definitely just send it out strapped on one of our standard 4x8 steel decks on wheels. Its usually our crew with some local help and it seems to work fine for us.
 

icewolf08

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Location
Lititz, PA
We ship truss a variety of ways depending on the application. For box truss, we have simple box tube with casters on one side and half-couplers on the other other. They can either live attached to the truss, or be taken off before flying.
 

DenGas144

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Location
Westchester
The three strategies I've seen on tours are the small clamp on dolly's like what was pictured and I imagine are similar to the roller skate dollies that you are talking about, permanent wheels on the truss, and a large flat cart for the truss.
The small dollies are convenient for rolling over uneven surfaces and cable ramps, can be dealt with by only a single person, and are easily stored while the truss is in use. Their drawback is that only a few sticks can be transported safely with each set of dollies.
Permanent wheels have many of the same pros with the addition that when the truss has wheels they can become the wheels that other items can travel on top of. This method was used very extensively by a previous employer of mine that liked to build their sets out of truss covered in awkward, heavy, and inconstantly shaped foam pieces. This method also has the added cons that the wheels can be ugly and inconvenient for hanging fixtures around. This is usually fixed by flipping the truss so the wheels a re up when in use, but you would have to make sure with your truss manufacturer that the truss can be used like this.
The last method I've seen is one large flat cart (usually with a single very strong wall on the shorter dimension to act as a push plate). When built as a 4'x10' cart these can be very heavy when piled high with truss and require several people or mechanical help to move. On the bright side you can permanently install your ratchet straps to prevent them from walking away during the gig and can easily transport 12 or even 16 sticks on a single rolling unit making it very space efficient in the truck pack. This design requires the most planning, they would not be fun or safe to roll down steep ramps without a forklift or tractor taking the weight, but it sure does allow you to transport a lot of truss in one go.
Thanks for the great input and nice detail! You really gave some great pros and, in my opinion, some cons to each method. I am leaning towards the small dollies and attaching the ratchet straps permanently. For our application we rarely transport more than 9 sticks of 12"x12" box truss. Thanks!

We ship truss a variety of ways depending on the application. For box truss, we have simple box tube with casters on one side and half-couplers on the other other. They can either live attached to the truss, or be taken off before flying.
Appreciate the reply!
 

MikeJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Location
Here and There
We use a similar dolly to the one in the first post, built in-house. Ours just have a slot to cradle the 2" ladder on the bottom. The only caveat is having truss from different manufacturers that have a different number of horizontals on the bottom, so you have to put two that match on the bottom of the cart. It's 2' square and has 4 swivel casters(we do the same style for 20.5"). I HATE any dolly that only has 2 wheels and cannot stand on its own. They are a PITA to load the first stick. Our square dolly also can stack on top of each other for storage is you rotate them 45 degrees. I have rented truss from other companies using lots of different dollies, and none seem to offer any real advantage over our plywood and wheels.