We’ve all been there! Well, at least those of use who are obsessive gear hoarders. You need to get all of your toys from your trunk to your client’s office, home, wedding—whatever! You could hang 12 bags off of you until the straps cut off the circulation in you neck or you could make several trips, or put everything you own into a rolling case that weighs more than you and your partner combined, or you could just break down and buy a grip cart, which won’t offer much retail therapy for the dollar, but it will solve your problem.
Over five years ago, I finally gave up on using a Cosco hand truck, ironically from Costco, to move my gear from the car to my onsite locations. The cart I had was great insomuch as it could handle a lot of weight and it was very sturdy, but it didn’t fold up very small at all and it would take up an enormous amount of room in the back of my car. So much room that sometimes I would have to leave it at home in order to fit all the gear that I needed in my car.
About the same time that I upgraded from a sedan to an SUV, I came across the Rock N Roller Multicart Model R8. It was a great solution because it could expand to larger than my existing cart, yet it would only take up a fraction of the space. Over the years I was able to move tons of gear, but I promise it was less than the 500 pounds, the advertised maximum payload, each trip.
I even modified the cart so that I could hang power cables off of one end using a rafter hook; I added a Gripngaff stand bag, and I modified the top accessory shelf so that it could assemble in seconds, rather than balancing it on my knee and attaching four bolts and wing nuts for what seemed like an eternal struggle every time I got to my client’s parking lot. However, the top shelf is a great addition, because you can use it as a table while on location and it will let you stack your gear even higher.
The uprights are moved into place by pulling on a wire, compressing their lower width so that they can slip past two small metal tabs, which then hold them in place.
Over time, the upright handles were leaning way too much and eventually they started popping out of place. while I was pushing my loaded cart causing all of my gear to shift, and my heart to sink, worrying that something was going to fall off and break. I cannot tell you with 100% certainty that this was normal wear and tear, or if it was caused by hanging 70 pounds of light stands off of one end or if it was exacerbated by the shelf modification and a large amount of weight on the top of that shelf. But what I can tell you is after reading several Amazon reviews about the product, many people noted that the cart should be pulled rather than pushed, so that the force you are exerting is absorbed by the chassis, rather than by the two very small tabs. Of course as many reviewers noted, pulling the cart isn’t that practical sense you need to keep an eye on your equipment and I don’t see this suggestion in the documentation that came with the cart.
I can however tell you that after all these years this $200 cart has seen its day. So at the end of 2019, I purchased a RocknRoller Multi-Cart R12STEALTH. It’s called Stealth because everything on the cart is black. The casters and the main wheels are larger than the Rock N Roller Multicart Model R8 and the cart sits a little taller. But these design improvements don’t take up a lot more space when the cart is folded. However I can report that the upright handles sit very snuggly in the tabs and hopefully they will stay that way. Right now there is very little play in the upright handles whereas with the older cart I felt like I was always in danger of creating a parallelogram when pushing the cart into a collapse.
Going forward, I will use this new monochrome cart by pulling it as often as I can and by not using the GripnGaff stand bag without simultaneously using the top shelf, which will reduce the outward force placed on the upright. In addition I will only place the lightest items on top.
Alternatively you could buy a Magliner cart, which cost four times as much and will take up a proportionally larger amount of space in the back of your car. Sure, this might be a slight exaggeration but I doubt it.
When it comes to assembling the RocknRoller Multi-Cart R12STEALTH the directions are not the greatest. The axle comes with two plastic caps over the ends but there is no mention of them in the paperwork or how to remove them. They were stuck on there quite well and I needed to use a pair of pliers to get them off. The only way I knew they belonged there was because I saw several photos of the product without them.
In addition I needed to use a rubber mallet to force one of the 35mm rivet pins through the chassis in order to install a front casters. It didn’t need a lot of force but it was more force when I could wield with my thumbs, whereas the other rivet went right through the other side of the cart with ease.