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What are Vehicle Dollies?

Shannon Kietzman
Shannon Kietzman

Vehicle dollies are used to aid in moving vehicles from one location to another. They may be used for automobiles, motorcycles, boats, and other heavy objects. Car rental agencies have had a long association with vehicle dollies, which they use to transport their vehicles from one location to the next without adding mileage or wear and tear to their rental vehicles. Motor homes also utilize vehicle dollies in order to tow a vehicle from behind while traveling.

There are two primary types of vehicle dollies: caster style and tow style. Caster style vehicle dollies are strategically placed under each of the vehicle’s tires. Since vehicle dollies can be used for a multitude of different vehicles, they are available in a variety of sizes. Caster style vehicle dollies with large casters can easily move up to 1,500 pounds (about 454 kg) or more. Special ball-bearing, heavy-duty caster style vehicle dollies are capable of carrying 3,000 to 6,000 pounds (about 907 to 2,721 kg).


Caster style vehicle dollies are made from heavy-duty steel capable of withstanding the weight of the vehicle being carried as well as the pressure placed on them while moving the vehicle. Despite their large size and durability, caster style vehicle dollies make it possible to easily move a vehicle through tight areas that the vehicle would normally be able to fit through.

Tow style vehicle dollies are designed to attach to another vehicle. They bear a close resemblance to a rolling cart, providing for easy mobility when the vehicle is not turned on. These vehicle dollies are widely used to tow items such as automobiles, snowmobiles, and garden tractors. Traditionally, tow style vehicle dollies consisted of two wheels with an attached platform and ramps. The tow style vehicle dolly is still in use, but newer designs are available with swivel plates that guarantee a smoother towing process.

Vehicle dollies are also available with or without a brake system. Careful consideration should be made when determining whether or not to purchase a vehicle dolly with a brake system. If one is purchased without a brake system, it is quite expensive to add one later.

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