The Battle Of The Hand Truck
The hand truck is supposed to make one’s life easier. This is especially true for the mobile DJ given the various conditions that one can walk into. From crushed gravel to grass, carpeted surfaces, various humps, bumps, and hills. I personally own two of the most talked-about models, the Rock and Roller R12 and the Gruv Gear Muver 6. Which one reigns supreme? Let’s find out.
I am going to be putting the same equipment on each cart for equal comparison. Let’s see where things come in at.
- 2x Yamaha DXS12 Subwoofers – 73 lbs each
- 4x Yamaha DXR8 Cabinets – 30 lbs each
- 2x Cablephile bags – Avg. 28 lbs each
- Subwoofer poles – 9 lbs total
- TOTAL: 303 lbs
Rock & Roller R12
First up we have the pair that I have owned the longest, the Rock and Roller R12. I ordered my first one in June of 2014 so this would be it’s four year anniversary, while the second one I ordered two years ago. It comes in at a pretty light 33 lbs and has a total capacity of 500 lbs. There is an even larger R18 model that weighs 37 lbs and has a 700 lb capacity.
One of the reasons this is so popular is that is works, quite well. It’s quite compact to fit in most vehicles, it glides pretty effortlessly over virtually any surface to throw at it. But there are some design flaws to consider before buying it.
Breaking Down The Flaws
One of those flaws is its greatest asset. Given it has a lightweight tubular frame, there are points that will ultimately give. One of those points is the front ‘”bar” that holds in the front casters. Over time it starts to give in, creating a negative camber to the tires. The result is that the cart naturally tries to move into a front-facing position during any turning. Now it does not make the cart unusable, but it does make it a bit more difficult to navigate.
And that design issue continues to the handles/arms of the cart. The design is such that where the arms lock into the frame. There aren’t really any points for it to be secured. The result is any resistance that the car encounters there to become an opportunity for the lightweight arms to bend, and bend they will. Now some people simply say that you should never pull, only push. And as long as there is some equipment on the deck that will push against it, there is less chance for it to bend. But let’s face it, you cannot always push.
Now you may think that part of the reason these two issues are happening is I am loading the carts too much. Calculating my heaviest equipment at the time I put on there, there was still a lot of headroom it had before it reached its maximum weight.
Now, this is not to say that this is a bad cart. Far from it. My first cart is 4 years old and has still held up through the rigors of my use. But the design flaws become an issue great enough that I started to seek out a possible alternative to it. That led me to…
Gruv Gear Muver 6 / Krane AMG 750
OK, let’s get this out of the way, this is a heavier cart. Where the R12 comes in at 33 lbs, the Muver 6 weighs a considerable 15 lbs more clocking in at 48 lbs. But that weight turns into a much more substantial cart. Also, because of its design, it does not fold quite as compact as the R12. So if you do want to go this way you’ll need to make a little more space and know it will be a bit heavy to carry around. But the trade-offs pays!
One of those positives is the interlocking handle. It employs a clever design of a notched design plus two spring-loaded screws keep the handles in place. The result is an absolutely solid handle assembly that seems it could withstand some serious load.
Other big positives are having a carpeted deck to help keep things protected. One of the big focal points of the design is the very large center wheels that not only helps to make this have a 0º turning radius. This also helps to distribute the weight more evenly across the frame. And despite having small wheels on the front and back you can still roll through gravel and grass, most likely from the aid of the large center wheels.
An additional point to consider, the Muver 6 has a lot more bolts, nuts, gliding shafts, and other elements that require regular maintenance. Now if you are coming from the Rock and Roller like I was, this is a fairly big change since you don’t have to worry nearly as much with it. But you just need to keep an eye on things with the Muver 6 to make sure things stay in place. A small price to pay for such a solid cart.
And The Winner Is?
Both carts are great. I am going on year 4 with my first Rock and Roller R12, which despite its design issues, is still rolling along. But I have to tip my hat to the Muver 6 / AMG 750. This is one massively solid cart that gets my top pick. Yes it is heavier, yes it takes up more space, and yes it requires a more careful examination to ensure all the parts are in place. But the tradeoff is a far more rugged frame and hopefully even more longevity.