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Dana Dolly Maintenance

dana dolly dolly kit rental maintenance

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#1 Dustin Bloodgood

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 09:28 PM

First time poster here.

 

I just purchased a Dana Dolly rental kit (dana dolly, travel case, two lowboy combos, 5' of EMT track, and a Benro fluid tripod head). It's my first big purchase and I'm renting it out for the first time for an indie short film. It cost me $1,900 total and my plan is to rent it out enough to make money off of it, and eventually have it be passive income. 

 

If anyone has any tips for renting it out as far as websites to list it on, or any other ideas to expand my market, I'd greatly appreciate it. I plan on renting it for $100 a day. I live in the DC area, so if you feel like sharing what rental prices would look like in your area that would be great as well.

 

My main concern is keeping it in the best condition that I can so that I'll be able to rent it out over the course of a few years, if it's not made obsolete by something else. What would you recommend for keeping all of my gear in good condition?

 

 


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#2 rob norton

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Posted 03 April 2017 - 03:22 AM

First time poster here too.

 

I have the same DD rental kit. The dolly is pretty easy to maintain. The track ends will take a beating, there's not much you can do on that front.  I'd say the biggest thing is to prevent any rust rather than dealing with it after the fact. This will most likely occur on your stands and and the bolts/nuts of the track ends. I clean and spray WD-40 on the bolts/nuts if they're a little stiff. Assume that your system will be used in precarious situations in the field. With the stands, if they've been in the ocean or other suspect bodies of water, the users should hose them down as soon as they can. I'm no expert but I've wiped the stands down with methylated spirits (I think it's called denatured alcohol in the US) after they've spent time in saltwater/sand (extend the rocky mountain leg too).

 

If you're concerned about the wheels tell them they can only use the dolly on track and not directly on anything else. I've hired mine out and had no problems - it's one of those things that sort of goes without saying then someone will try a move on the road with gravel on it (which of course won't work either). Make sure they don't lose the washer that goes underneath for mounting, have and include spares, or get the newer "semi-permanent" bowls and attach the appropriate one before it goes out.


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#3 Matthew Kane

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 11:18 AM

Label everything and check through the kit when it's returned. Let your clients know immediately if something is missing, and that the replacement cost of the missing item will be on the invoice (this also gives them a chance to find it in case it was just mislaid).

 

Consider subrenting the kit through a local rental house. In my experience, people don't go hunting online to find a single piece of equipment--they'll want to rent their dolly from the same place they're getting lighting equipment or camera gear. Dana dollies are common enough that most cities with a rental shop can source them.

 

Usually rental houses will take 10-30% of the rental fee, and pay you the rest. This also saves you the hassle of billing, processing credit cards, etc.

 

Keeping the wheels clean is the most important part. Don't set rubber skate wheels on the ground. Everything else is pretty sturdy. Consider setting aside some money for replacement parts--as far as I know, no one has yet figured out a formula to stop people from abusing rental equipment.

 

I've been told silicon lubricant is the thing to use for stands. Some people use a short tripod case to carry the stands and protect them from dirt and moisture.


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#4 Mike Hall

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 01:30 AM

Hi Dustin, it's Mike from the Dana Dolly.

 

We use sealed bearings with a heavy grease that should last for a long time, so the bearings probably shouldn't need anything sprayed on them. If you want to use something, probably either a Silicone Grease (tube not spray) or 3in1 oil is best, I would stay away from drying agents like WD40 and basically, as a rule, Never use Silicone spray on dollies of any kind. Eventually it starts to give a coating on the pipe that will squeak, and that goes for dollies all the way up to Fishers.  Good on stands, not on dollies.  The fasteners are Stainless, Nylon, and Aluminum, so they shouldn't rust.

 

I use Pledge spray with a rag on the rails if they get dusty (I live in Arizona, everything gets dusty).

 

We sometimes have people that use baby powder on the wheels, and if that cakes up, I usually take all the wheels apart (bearings and spacers out) and wash them with Dawn dish wash.

 

I hope this helps, if you do develop a squeak (like if a customer uses Silicone Spray on the wheels and it dries the bearings), you can send us the triangles and we'll take apart the wheels and replace the bearings for a charge, email us for whatever that is currently, or if you have any questions, we're happy to help. You can also use regular ABEC 7 or 9 skateboard bearings, however you'll find that they have a lot more play than the ones we have made.

 

Thanks very much,

Mike Hall

www.danadolly.com


Edited by Mike Hall, 21 September 2017 - 01:32 AM.

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