If you are considering purchasing a drum dolly, you came to the right place. I have put hours of research into drum dollies and summarized my findings in this article.
This page provides in depth reviews of the top 5 best drum dollies. It also features a buyer’s guide that includes things you should consider when buying a drum dolly and a FAQ section of the most commonly asked questions.
Whether you are purchasing a dolly for a household project or a full scale industrial operation, this article will provide you with the information you need to make a buying decision.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Drum Dolly?
- 2 Comparison Table
- 3 E.R. Wagner Drum Dolly Review
- 4 Vestil OCTO-55 Drum Dolly Review
- 5 Giant Move CB-Q10 Drum Dolly Review
- 6 Red Hound Auto Drum Dolly Review
- 7 Why You Need a Drum Dolly
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8.1 What are casters?
- 8.2 What is the significance of casters on a drum dolly?
- 8.3 What are polyolefin casters?
- 8.4 How much do 30 and 55 gallon drums full of material weigh?
- 8.5 What is the easiest way to move a drum?
- 8.6 My drum dolly does not have brakes. How do I keep it from rolling when it is parked?
- 8.7 I need a dolly for outdoor use. What is the best option?
- 9 Final Thoughts
What is a Drum Dolly?
A drum dolly is similar to a traditional dolly except it is designed specifically to fit a drum. The basic idea is the same. It is essentially a rolling platform with casters that is designed to carry a drum.
They allow for stable and secure transportation for heavy moving jobs. A drum dolly solves the problem of moving a heavy drum from point A to point B.
This article includes reviews of two types of dollies – cross-brace and solid deck drum dollies.
The most common sizes of drum dollies fit 55 gallon and 30 gallon drums. I have also reviewed a drum dolly that universally fits both a 55 gallon and 30 gallon drum.
What Can You Move with a Drum Dolly?
A drum dolly works well with moving full barrels of water and other materials.
We all know a drum full of water is heavy. It is nearly impossible to move without a dolly. This includes emergency storage water barrels that you may have stored in your garage or basement.
They also work well with rainwater barrels used to collect water from your roof. After the water has been collected, drum dollies make it easy to roll the barrel to another location.
Moving a water barrel may be the most common reason homeowners buy a drum, but is certainly not the only use. Whatever your reason for needing a dolly, it will offer you the flexibility of moving a heavy drum around your garage or shop.
Below is a comparison table of the best drum dollies available.
|E.R. Wagner 2F000249890||E.R. Wagner 2F004378690||Vestil OCTO-55||Giant Move CB-Q10||Red Hound Auto|
|Type||Cross-brace Deck||Cross-brace Deck||Cross-brace Deck||Solid Deck||Cross-brace Deck|
|Drum Size||55 Gallon||55 Gallon||55 Gallon||30 & 55 Gallon||55 Gallon|
|Price||Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon|
|Load Rating (lbs.)||1,000||1,250||2,000||900||1,000|
|Inside Diameter (ID)||23 ⅛”||23 ⅛”||24 ¼”||23 ½"||23 ⅝”|
|Outside Diameter (OD)||23 ½"||23 ½"||26 ¾"||24 ¼"||28 ½"|
|Height||6 ½"||6 ½"||7 ⅞”||6 ½"||6"|
|# of Casters||4||5||8||5||4|
|Caster Material||Polyolefin||Polyolefin||Cast Iron||Polyolefin||Polyolefin|
E.R. Wagner Drum Dolly Review
The best drum dolly in my opinion is manufactured by E.R. Wagner. It is steady, durable, and has a load capacity high enough to transport most common materials stored in drums.
There are two models of this drum dolly I recommend. Both dollies are designed to carry 55 gallon drums.
- Model 2F000249890; 1,000 lbs. load capacity; 4 casters
- Model 2F004378690 ; 1,250 lbs. load capacity; 5 casters
* Both of the links above will take you to the corresponding product page on Amazon where you can further compare and read customer reviews.
The difference between the two drum dollies are the load limits and number of casters. The 1,000 lb. load capacity model has 4 casters, whereas the 1,250 lb. model has 5 casters. Since the 1,250 lb. model has an extra caster, it offers better stability.
The dolly is made of steel and is welded together.
It is powder coated which means the coating is twice as thick as standard paint. As you move the unit around your facility, shop, or garage, the coating is less likely to chip away as it bumps against other items. Rusting should not be an issue for many years.
E.R. Wagner drum dollies are manufactured in the USA. If you are looking for a dolly made in the USA, this is a good one.
The wall is 2.5” high. This is important because the higher the wall, the less likely the barrel is to topple over when operating the drum dolly.
The middle of the dolly has holes drilled where you can add an extra caster if needed. On the 4 caster model you can add a 5th caster. On the 5 caster model you can add a 6th caster. The extra caster is sold separately if you require an additional one.
The casters are made of solid polyolefin. They are on swivels which makes the dolly easy to maneuver. A downside of the unit is the casters do not lock in place.
The dolly is shipped unassembled, but assembly is simple. All you need to do is attach the casters to the body of the dolly. The hardware (nuts and bolts) is included.
If you are purchasing a large volume of drum dollies (1,000 units or more), contact E.R. Wagner directly through their website or by phone at 800-558-5596. The dollies are manufactured in Milwaukee, WI.
Vestil OCTO-55 Drum Dolly Review
The Vestil OCTO-55 is the ultimate drum dolly. If you need a drum dolly that is required to support an extreme amount of weight, this is one of the best dollies you will find.
As its name suggests, it has eight swivel casters. Eight casters allow for ultimate stability and weight support. The eight casters make it very easy to drive and maneuver.
It is rated to carry 2,000 lbs. That is almost double the weight rating of the other dollies reviewed in this article.
It is a professional grade dolly that is intended for industrial use.
I did not make this my top pick due to the retail price and the fact that it is intended for industrial use. The retail price is higher than the other dollies reviewed in this article. It is also “overkill” for most folks who are using a drum dolly for household use such as moving a water barrel.
With that said, the quality is bar none. If you are buying a dolly for use in an industrial setting or otherwise plan on using it for a significant amount of work, this is a good one. I certainly recommend it.
The casters are 4” in diameter. Most drum dollies have casters with a diameter of 3”. The fact that these are 4” matters because it allows for a less bumpy ride, easier turning, and overall easier maneuverability.
The dolly itself weighs 40 lbs. With a dolly this heavy, you know you are getting a quality piece of equipment.
The casters are cast iron which make it very strong and durable. This is another example of its industrial grade features.
Giant Move CB-Q10 Drum Dolly Review
The best plastic drum dolly I have found is the Giant Move CB-Q10.
This drum dolly is perfect for moving a water barrel. Whether you have an emergency water barrel or rainwater barrel, this dolly will allow you to move it with ease.
It has a weight capacity of 900 lbs. This is plenty for household use. This includes water barrels since 55 gallons of water only weighs about 458 lbs.
It is a solid deck drum dolly meaning that the base does not have any gaps in the platform like a cross-brace dolly does. It is a solid sheet of thick plastic.
A key feature of this dolly is that holds both 30 and 55 gallon drums. If you look closely at the product picture, you will see how there is an indentation in the middle of the dolly. A 30 gallon drum fits inside that area. A 55 gallon drum fills up the entire surface area.
It will carry steel, plastic, and fiber drums. Fiber drums work best with this dolly because it is plastic. This is because plastic drum dollies are not as likely to tear fiber drums as metal drum dollies are. There are no sharp edges to cut the fiber material.
Some assembly is required. You will need to attach the casters to the body of the dolly. The hardware required to assemble is provided. This includes bolts, washers, and lock washers.
If you plan on leaving the dolly outside, this one is a good option since it is plastic. Unlike metal dollies, plastic drum dollies will not rust (excluding the casters). If you plan on leaving it outdoors, consider drilling a hole in the bottom for drainage.
Red Hound Auto Drum Dolly Review
If you are looking for a cheap drum dolly, consider the one by Red Hound Auto.
Manufactured from solid steel, Red Hound Auto’s drum dolly is very well built with a cross-brace design.
It holds standard 55 gallon drums that measure up to 23 ⅝” in diameter.
The dolly is supported by four casters. Ideally, I would want to buy one with five casters because the fifth caster offers more stability. However, for an economy model, this one will work well, especially if its use will be limited.
It has an impressive weight capacity. At 1,000 lbs., it features one of the highest weight capacities you will find on a four caster dolly.
The rim is 2” high which secures the drum and helps prevent it from tipping over. This is not as high as the 2.5” rim of my recommended drum dolly by E.R.Wagner.
You can purchase with confidence since the manufacturer offers a limited lifetime warranty.
Overall, if you are looking for an affordable drum dolly to hold your water barrel, this one is a good buy.
Why You Need a Drum Dolly
Consider this scenario. You have a 55 gallon drum filled with emergency water in your garage where you thought was the perfect spot to store it. Some time passes and it needs to be moved. Maybe you are cleaning out your garage, or you need to empty it and refill with a fresh batch. Whatever the case, the problem is it weighs 450+ lbs. How are you going to get it moved?
This is an example where a drum dolly is the perfect solution. Place the barrel on the dolly prior to filling it. After it is full, you can move it around wherever you would like.
Continuing on the topic of water storage barrels, a dolly will keep the barrel off the ground. Some people believe concrete contaminates drinking water. Keeping your emergency water barrel on a drum dolly is a viable solution for keeping the barrel off the floor for long term storage. It also comes in handy when you need to roll it to the edge of your garage or basement to empty stale water and refill with fresh water each year.
A water storage barrel is not the only application where a drum dolly will prove to be useful. Many people use drum dollies to move drums for jobs and projects which include the following.
- Moving a garden tower
- Diesel fuel around your shop
- Garbage can
- Oil drums
What to Consider When Buying a Drum Dolly
As with any purchase, there are a few important considerations you must take into account prior to buying a drum dolly.
Below are a few of the main points.
Number of Casters
The number of casters typically correlates to the weight capacity. Generally speaking, the more casters, the higher the load rating.
A greater number of casters also makes the dolly more stable because the load is more effectively balanced out.
If you will be rolling it on a floor that slopes, consider a dolly with at least 5 casters. This is because the drum is more likely to tip over when rolling on a slightly sloped floor.
Most materials weigh less than the weight capacity of any dolly mentioned in this article. For reference, a 55 gallon barrel of water weighs about 458 lbs. Please see the table in the FAQ section for weights of other materials.
The larger the size of the casters, the more stable the drum dolly will be. Most dollies have casters that are 3” in diameter.
The Vestil OCTO-55 has 4” casters. As a result, it is rated to carry 2,000 lbs. and is much more stable than most other dollies.
There are two primary drum dolly designs: cross-brace and solid deck.
The cross-brace design has two straps intersecting the dolly. The cross-brace design prevents sagging. Warping is also less likely and as a result, the barrel is less likely to tip over.
The solid deck design does not have an open bottom. The bottom is solid. Solid deck dollies are more prone to warp over time.
The primary body construction of drum dollies is steel, aluminum, and cast iron.
The best options are steel and aluminum. Cast iron is not a good option for the body because it tends to crack. The advantage of steel over aluminum is its strength. The primary advantage of aluminum over steel is its light weight.
You will need to evaluate the needs for your project to determine which material is best for you. I prefer steel.
Paint vs. Powder Coating
With all things equal, I like to buy powder coated products. Drum dollies that are powder coated are less likely to chip, fade, scratch, rust, and will typically last many years longer than paint.
On the other hand, painted drum dollies are more prone to scratches and chips with increased use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are casters?
A caster is basically a wheel. It is one wheel out of a set of wheels that swivel. Collectively, the set of casters attach to the base of the drum dolly.
Drum dollies usually have polyolefin, nylon, or cast iron casters.
A common example of casters are the wheels on the bottom of an office chair.
What is the significance of casters on a drum dolly?
Typically, casters on drum dollies are 3” in diameter and 1 ¼” wide. However, some drum dollies, such as the Vestil OCTO-55, have 4” diameter casters. The larger casters offer a smoother drive and more accuracy when maneuvering.
What are polyolefin casters?
Polyolefin is a hard plastic-like material. These casters offer superior resistance to chemicals and work well in wet environments. Polyolefin casters are popular in manufacturing facilities.
How much do 30 and 55 gallon drums full of material weigh?
Below is a table with the weights of various commodities in 1 gallon, 30 gallon, and 55 gallon portions.
|Material||1 Gallon||30 Gallons||55 Gallons|
What is the easiest way to move a drum?
Once the drum is on the dolly you can move it by either guiding it while pushing, or pull it with a rope. There are specially designed straps that are made to pull a dolly, but you can opt for a do it yourself option by using a rope.
My drum dolly does not have brakes. How do I keep it from rolling when it is parked?
Unfortunately, most drum dollies do not have brakes. One work around is turning each of casters in the opposite direction of the slope of your floor. You may also want to put some type of wedge under the casters to help ensure it stays in place.
I need a dolly for outdoor use. What is the best option?
Consider the Giant Move CB-Q10. It is made of plastic and is not as susceptible to rust as a metal dolly. It works great with outdoor water barrels.
I trust I met your expectations in providing a thorough piece of research that assists you in your purchase of a drum dolly.
I am always open to additional questions, comments, or concerns. If there is anything I can assist you with, send me a message and I will be back in touch quickly.
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