A few weeks ago, Lisa and I are heading to a commercial shoot. We’re stressing, because we don’t know what the location is going to look like, and we’ve got just 30 minutes to light everything before the talent arrives. I’m pushing our folding cart across Second Avenue, piled with plastic bins. And I hit a bump. The bins and their contents end up in the middle of the street.
Luckily, we had time to scoop everything up before the light changed. But this embarrassing and potentially dangerous scenario woke us to the reality that we’re either packing too much shit or it’s time to pack it properly. So the hunt began for the perfect cart.
Requirements: It has to fold down to fit in the back of my Nissan Leaf – but have big-assed, bump-taming, curb-mounting wheels. It’s gotta have stays on both sides, to prevent load shifting while in motion. Ideally, it should adjust to fit one or two bins, all the way up to big enough to handle my 50″ golf case, which I use to carry tripod, light stands, and c-stands to shoots.
I started my search online, where I discovered that good carts don’t come cheap. I found a couple amazing ones at filmtools.com, but a thousand bucks is more than I want to spend, and most of their carts look like you could use them to perform surgery on a horse. I need a cart without a horse. I also didn’t like the hand-truck convertible carts – I want a proper cart that’s born to be a cart and nothing but a cart. We spent hours scouring the web for something perfect, and came up empty.
But today I was at Glazers here in Seattle, picking up a part for an upcoming shoot. I see this. “Tell me you sell this,” I said to the sales guy. “Why, yes, in fact, we’ve got a bunch of them in the back. This way.” He led me to back of shop, where a stack of cardboard boxes of varying sizes piled with carts. I didn’t even ask how much until the cashier told me $250. Deal.
So here you have it: the perfect cart. It’s called Multi-Cart, and I got the big one, the R12. They make some smaller ones which look pretty sexy too. But this one? Mine.
As you can see from the wheel detail shot below, there is a small amount of semi-permanent assembly required: you have to bend cotter pins around the axel to attach the wheels, which means you can’t get the cart to lie flatter than 12″ deep. Too bad there isn’t a way to quick-release the wheels, because then the cart would pack down even smaller for transport. It’s also not exactly light weight at just over 30 pounds. But I really like the quick adjustment, and folding uprights. And it’s smoooooooth rolling.
I just learned about another cart that looks to be damn near perfect, and slightly more portable than the one I have: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/766276-REG/Gruv_Gear_V_CART_SOLO_V_Cart_Solo.html
The Gruv Gear cart is also 7 pounds lighter than the Multi-Cart that I have. Looks promising indeed.
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