How Does a Car Wheel Dolly Compare to a Car Jack?
If you"ve ever caught a flat on the road, you probably already know what a car jack looks like, where it"s located in your car and how to use it. In fact, most of us went through a fairly rough learning experience the first time we used a car jack.
We were not expecting to use it. Most of us would just be driving down the road and all of a sudden a wheel pops. You start to freak out and then you pull over to the side. You look for the car jack and you raise your car so you can swap your wheel with a spare tire. Pretty straightforward stuff.
A lot of people are familiar with car jacks, but when the phrase “car wheel dolly" is mentioned, most people draw a blank. Personally, I prefer a car wheel dolly in my garage. This is a piece of car repair equipment that is designed to not only jack up your car so you can access the space underneath it, it also gives you tremendous mobility. What it does is it cradles the wheel of your car or a certain portion of your car so you can raise it and it has wheels underneath it, so you can actually move the car around.
There are many prank shows that installed a car dolly underneath parked cars to prank the owners of the cars. They would come back to where they parked, and lo and behold, the car is missing so they start to freak out. One hell of a prank, right?
Anyway, a car wheel dolly is quite maneuverable if you are going to be doing work in your garage and you want maximum mobility. In fact, mobility is its primary selling point. You can fit many cars in a fairly tight space with this nifty device. You don’t have that option with a standard car jack. Given its design, you better hope that you can fit as many stationary cars in your fixed space with a car jack.
With that said, it"s easy to think that once you"ve seen one car wheel dolly, you"ve pretty much seen them all. This is absolutely not true. Just like with any kind of car equipment, whether for repair or for aesthetic purposes, there are many different variations out there. There are many different models depending on the particular context of your usage, as well as the type of work you want to do on your car.
Keep these differences in mind as I describe the different types of car wheel dollies on the market.
Car Tow Dolly
A car tow dolly is a unit that is designed primarily for car towing. For some reason or another, it may not be a good idea to tow a car directly. Meaning, you attach a hitch and a frame and you pull the car slightly upwards so you can tow it some distance. Maybe there are problems with the wheels, maybe there are problems with road conditions. Whatever the particular issue is, the typical way of towing a car is simply not possible. Enter this type of dolly.
The great thing about a dolly made for car towing is that all four wheels are engaged and you tow the car in a fairly flat or even level. This is very important because sometimes, depending on the terrain you"re dealing with, as well as the weather conditions, towing a car normally might actually create more problems than it solves, When you use a dolly that is fairly flat and level, you only need to pull gently and this can lead to a smoother towing experience.
Stehl Tow Dolly
A Stehl tow dolly is a specialized dolly that is very similar to a typical truck tow setup. If your car breaks down on the road, AAA, if you"re in the United States, would send out a tow truck and normally, they would attach some sort of jacket or frame to your car to tow it. However, if your car is too big or you drive a certain type of pickup truck, it may make more sense to use a Stehl tow dolly. This is just a specialized form of equipment to ensure smooth towing depending on vehicle.
Two Wheel Dolly
A two-wheel dolly is a dolly that uses two wheels instead of four. In other words, this is a fairly lightweight, normal use dolly. Also, it uses one frame instead of four-frame or four independent frames for each wheel. Normally, when you use this type of unit, you"re just putting the dolly on the rear wheels and you"re raising the vehicle a few inches above the ground.
Generic Vehicle Dolly
A generic vehicle dolly is designed to service a wide range of vehicles. Whether we"re talking about a boat, a motorcycle or a car or pickup truck, a generic vehicle dolly can do the job. Now, keep in mind that it might not create a snug fit, it may not be the smoothest option, but its versatility ensures that the job gets done.
Heavy Duty Car Dolly
A heavy duty car dolly or a heavyweight dolly is a unit that"s used to tow or move around very heavy vehicles. While most cars tend to range within a certain weight range, there are certain vehicles that, while designed as regular consumer vehicles, tend to weigh a lot. We"re not talking about Humvees here or SUVs. We"re talking about heavy sedans.
A heavy duty car dolly makes quick work towing and moving around such vehicles. However, even if this unit was to be used on an SUV, they would be up to the job. They might not do an optimal job, but they would do a good enough job.
Keep the discussion above in mind if you"re still torn between using a car jack or a car wheel dolly. Both these options have their own fair share of advantages and disadvantages. It really all boils down to your specific use and the context of your use.
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