The Dana Dolly is an updated version of a design used in the film industry for decades. After making similar dollies for years for friends, Mike Hall decided to simplify the design, and modify the components and composition to make the entire system easier to use and more affordable.
The dolly is the product of hundreds of shoots and modifications since the early 1980s, when the cameras were much heavier. We tried a number of different wheels and bearings, and composites, steel, and aluminum before coming up with the combination that we believe is all three: Good, Fast, and Cheap.
The Dana Dolly V2.0 is now made of 6061 Aluminum finished Black to cut down on reflectivity. The bottom of the plate is milled out to cut down on overall weight, while not compromising strength. The triangle trucks are a custom extruded aluminum profile that is patent pending, finished black. The wheels are custom made soft, then turned down to be round within 1/1000 of an inch (thinner than a human hair) to eliminate the “bounce” that normal skateboard wheels give. The turning process also helps keep down the squeak that some dollies experience. We have our bearings specially made to compliment the wheels. The dolly wheels are designed soft to give a very smooth, squeak free move with any size camera, and can be used for today’s SLR’s and full-sized 35mm cameras with no problem. Heavier cameras may require the use of a middle support for longer track moves, and the wheels are not a good fit for any use that would put over 100lbs on 16 wheels.
The dolly now has a 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 threaded hole on each side for accessories such as LED lights or monitors, as well as a 3/8″ through – hole in the middle of each side. The plate measures approximately 14″ long and 10″ wide, and the trucks are just shy of 12″ on center. The plate has a standard Mitchell Mount milled into the center of the dolly plate, with an elongated slot to accompany non-standard adapters. We make three standard sizes of ball-mount adapters: 75mm, 100mm, and 150mm.
The Track Ends are designed to go into any “Junior” or 1 1/8″ receiver. They do work with “Baby” stands, or “C” stand spuds, however we highly recommend using Junior Stands. After a couple of years of making track ends that fit these stands, we determined that baby stands are just too unstable to handle the dolly setup. Most customers use a “Baby Combo” stand to support the track.
The original dollies were made of Wood, then Aluminum, and then we had a composite Dana Dolly. The composite proved too expensive for our purpose, so once again since 2010 the dolly is made from Aluminum..