Cinematography Mailing List - CML

Camera Carts

Anyone out there had any luck building their own camera cart? I'd much prefer to design/build one myself than pay $650 for a new magliner. Does anyone know if there's a company out there that sells carts that can be modified (via welding, perhaps?) to make a decent camera cart?

Thanks in advance!

Thomas Burns
2nd AC, Austin/LA

I have found that by the time any mods are done, the prices stay comparable. Buy some plywood and some 1.5" Speedrail pipe (the grips use the 2" for mounts n stuff)and build your own. the Allen key clamps (kee-klamps)make it handy to take it apart again.

Check out or Backstage Equipment (L.A.) for premade...OR check out this page and on the left click on trucks and carts and click on shelved carts. then search for a warehouse supply company in your area to see if they carry those blue carts.

I know a lot of assistants who use those or the Rubbermaid carts.


Mark W Lunn
1st AC, Vancouver

Try they have some great camera carts, in addition to mag-liners.

Joey Julius
Cameraman, Los Angeles

Check out the Rock and Roller cart. I use one to haul around milk crates. I've seen several home made top shelves for this chart.

Dave Winters
DP Los Angeles

Remin Kart a bag, has a large assortment.

Steven Gladstone
New York Based D.P.
East Coast CML List administrator

>Anyone out there had any luck building their own camera cart?

Yes I made my own camera trolley (cart) about 7 years ago. I basically built it without a finite design, it was pretty much all in my head! Not exactly an ideal scenario! After a while, as I was building it, I got stuck without a solution for some mechanical design aspect - I can't quite remember what exactly. It got to the stage where I was so frustrated with my mental block, I almost abandoned the whole project & considered buying a MagLiner.

Looking back I'm really glad I managed to solve my design problem & finish the trolley. I have been punishing the thing for the last 7 years & I must say, it has performed admirably. Apart from the ball bearings in the pneumatic wheels getting caked with mud & sand and becoming very noisy I have been really happy with it.

I started with a standard - high quality, Australian made Refrigerator trolley with pneumatic wheels. It stood 4 feet in height. The company made another model which was - I think - 5 feet, but I decided on the 4 footer for manoeuvrability. My two design parameters I set myself was to make the cart so it could fit through a standard doorway & it had to be modular so I could dismantle it so as to not impact on the floor space in my camera truck, the previous to my current camera truck which had a smaller box. It dismantled into 6 components, trolley, 2 shelves, steering wheels assembly, front & back upright sections, which required about 2½ minutes & no tools to assemble.

I used Kipp levers & retained pins for the assembly & fastening of the components. The camera sits in a Sachtler top which I salvaged from a wrecked fluid 7+7 head at the handle/steering end. Under the clipped in camera I put my front box, a vertical metal plate with 2 screws the same pitch distance as a Panahead or O’Connor and under the front box is the hi-hat. The cart has 2 trays for the equipment. Enough space for lens cases, mag cases etc.

At the opposite end is the tripod kit. Hi & lo legs are positioned inverted on 6" long spigots on a flip down tray - flip down so it can be hung on the door of the truck when disassembled, & the head, either Sachtler , O’Connor or gearbox can clip into an inverted, again, flip down, Sachtler wedge plate. I must say that fully loaded the cart is a beast to wheel around on rough terrain, but it has NEVER let me down.

On a studio floor, it's as easy as pie to move around. In case you wanted to know's made of welded steel. Nowadays I can't be bothered to dismantle it for transport. Plus my current truck is quite a bit larger than my previous, so I can get past the cart in the truck if I had to. I lucked out with the size as I can flip it on its end & easily load the trolley into my truck, solo, without the need of the tail-gate lifter, which I don't have anyway! I have had other assistants ask how much to build them a similar unit .... my answer is "you won't have enough cash to pay for it!".

Angelo Sartore
1st. AC


We designed our own trolley (cart) with all the features we wanted, leg holders, a clip plate to lock the camera and head onto and a couple of drawers for bits and pieces. We took the design to an engineer and with a bit of guidance they knocked one up pretty quickly. It wasn't cheap, approx. $US1,500 but would have been cheaper if we didn't keep going back for modifications.

Everyone says it's the best on set trolley they've seen and I hate going on set without it. I even got ramps made so I can push it into the van.


Earle Dresner
Sydney, Australia

>We designed our own trolley (cart) with all the features we wanted, leg >holders, a clip plate to lock the camera and head onto and a couple of >drawers for bits and pieces.


Are you going to show us the design or perhaps sell it?

More details would be awesome.


Tony Magaletta
1st Assistant Cameraman, Local 600,
Los Angeles CA.

Yes please do fwd images. Video Assist techs also design carts/trolleys and it is always interesting to see development advancements based on regional/ national/ international needs...

M Adler
VAIdigital LLC Detroit

I'll take some stills of it and post them along with some specs. Not for sale, sorry. Belongs to the company.

Wish I could take it with me.


Earle Dresner
Sydney, Australia

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