I’ve used a lot of carts over the years to transport my gear from my truck to the location. I finally found one that handles it all better than the rest.
It’s the RockNRoller R12 Multi-Cart. It does everything most other carts do, only it does it all and does it well.
I started out with a Home Depot convertible hand truck.
It does the job decently, and it’s cheap at around US$90. The handle pulls out and it can be re-inserted at a 90-degree angle, with small casters that makes for a good cart for well-paved or even carpeted surfaces. It also takes up quite a bit of room in my SUV, because of the length and the pneumatic tire on one side and welded plate on the other. It sits in there, but not in a really efficient way.
I’ve rented Magliner Gemini hand trucks.
They’re the industry standard. They suffer from the same problem as the Home Depot version, in terms of the space they take up. In a full-sized van, there’s no issue. But in a car or SUV, they are long and tall, hard to pack around. And you really want them on top, so you can take them out first and start loading onto them.
The Magliner is a wonderfully-built, extremely versatile cart, same small caster situation as the Home Depot truck, but with so many more great accessories. Just not able to go off-road with the small, hard casters. They’re also really pricey, at around $600 without accessories.
Then another photographer told me about the RockNRoller R12. It folds to the size of a small furniture dolly, flat on top with just the large, pneumatic tires underneath. It folds out to an amazing 51 inches. With the big tires, it can easily go off-roading. I do a lot of location portrait, lifestyle and action shots. More often than not, in remote locations. That’s why I love my 4×4 SUV and a cart that carries the stuff the rest of the way.
At 36 lbs, it’s 7lbs lighter than the Magliner. At around US$200, it’s 1/3 of the price, too. It’s got such a tiny footprint when fully folded, no blocked rear vision, easily stacks on top of other things, it’s just perfect for the location photographer who needs to carry a variety of gear on a very versatile, not-too-expensive, well-made cart. The company has accessories for everything, from shelves to laptop shelves to headphone hangars to… whatever.
It carries what I need, fits where I want it to, even rugged and compact enough to ship or come with us on the plane. It’s even helped a friend move! It may not be one of Oprah’s favorite things, but it definitely is one of mine.