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#1 Wesley Garrison

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 09:52 AM

I finished on a shoot last week and we used some Matthews Tube track and it was pretty nice. As I was working throughout the week I started wondering what other track is out there. For round track I know of American, Matthews, and Norms but are there any others? What are peoples experiences with these tracks, does one have obscene amounts of flex? Does one company have better connecting joints? How do they hold up against nicks?

Also, the dolly grip told me about three other types: GI track, Filmair, and Cadillac. He called them I-beam tracks and said they were easier to level than the track we were using. Are there more companies that make these types of track? What do people like using? I have a couple projects coming up in the future with a good amount of dolly work (both skateboard and hydrauliuc boom with a jib) and I figured I'd start asking questions now.

-Thanks in advance,
Wesley
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#2 David Rakoczy

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 02:35 PM

I own Cadillac Track.... 10ft'ers... LOVE THEM!!!!!! :wub: ... much better than true 'I-Beam'.... call Per Petterson 626-676-7873. ;)
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#3 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 01:02 AM

Never used Cadillac track. I have never used GI track either, but heard very good things about them. Filmair track is good, but may not be in great shape if it has been handled badly in the past. I use Panther or GFM Precision stainless steel track and find them to be very good although a LOT heavier than the filmair track. I am not a fan of Matthews track.

Cheers

Sanjay Sami
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#4 Wesley Garrison

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 07:12 AM

I am not a fan of Matthews track.

Cheers

Sanjay Sami
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Sanjay, is there a round track that you have used and liked such as American or Norms? We have some interior skateboard dolly shots that I think would be simpler using the lighter track. Also thanks for the point towards GFM, I'll definately check them out.

Best regards,
Wesley
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#5 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 10:23 AM

Sanjay, is there a round track that you have used and liked such as American or Norms? We have some interior skateboard dolly shots that I think would be simpler using the lighter track. Also thanks for the point towards GFM, I'll definately check them out.

Best regards,
Wesley


By round track do you mean a circle? If so, all the major manufacturers including Panther, GFM, Filmair etc all make them. They are all good. I have never used Norms or American. There is also a manufacturer called Solid Grip Systems, based in Amsterdam. The owner Onno visits this site, maybe he could suggest something.

David, do you know where I could get a picture of Cadillac track?

Cheers

Sanjay Sami
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#6 Onno Perdijk

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 05:05 PM

Hello Wesley,

I am the manufacturer of BarTrack, so I am biased in replying. :)

When choosing track there is a balance in weight, price, durability, compact size, joint-quality and lots more.

When choosing track for rent it is mostly a choice of what is available, compact and quality

For purchase you need to consider the balance of all. Most people stick to brand they have bought previously. For owner/operator you can choose the brand which need to be handled with care, for rental you can make the calculations and buy the foolproof-steel-rough-football-player-brand which will last for ever with a low quality or go for the higher standards brands and demand for regularly exchange.

15 years ago I bought 50 ft of egripment-track (comparative with Matthews) and later on some more and some curves. 9 years ago I changed to BarTrack since they where local fabricated and of a much higher quality. Also the availability of different sizes of the curved track convinced me completely. Later on the former owner of BarTrack died and I continued his business.

I manufacture my track at a higher standard out of aluminum. most of the tracks I bought 9 years ago are reaching their ends and I have never been polite for them!

With regards to flex: If people sell their tracks as cranetrack as well, your good to go for a dollytrack! It all depends on the design of the tube. I know that the flex of a design with just a round tubing is tremendous. When they did some welding on a round tube the size and diameter of the tube will be distorted. An I-beam profile is very good when extruded and not welded, but might have a sideways-flex when used in a sideways-force like swinging a heavy-loaded crane sideways...

Hopefully this shines a light on your post and answers some of your questions.

Good luck,

Onno
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#7 Darryl Richard Humber

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 02:44 PM

I finished on a shoot last week and we used some Matthews Tube track and it was pretty nice. As I was working throughout the week I started wondering what other track is out there. For round track I know of American, Matthews, and Norms but are there any others? What are peoples experiences with these tracks, does one have obscene amounts of flex? Does one company have better connecting joints? How do they hold up against nicks?

Also, the dolly grip told me about three other types: GI track, Filmair, and Cadillac. He called them I-beam tracks and said they were easier to level than the track we were using. Are there more companies that make these types of track? What do people like using? I have a couple projects coming up in the future with a good amount of dolly work (both skateboard and hydrauliuc boom with a jib) and I figured I'd start asking questions now.

-Thanks in advance,
Wesley

Hi Wesley, first of all, I know Sanjay and Onno, and as a Dolly Grip of almost 20 years I can tell you that they know what they are talking about. Cadillac track, as David says, also has a good reputation, although I have never personally used it. Basic American steel track is fine. It's old school workhorse dolly track and will be fine for most applications. Most production these days goes with an I-Beam design ala Filmair or GI Track. I don't know that I would call it easier to level. Level is level and generally you are talking about ease of wedging which tends to be slightly more tedious with IBeam track, though not always.I've used both GI and Filmair and they are excellent. GI track is a little different in design in that it incorporates a PVC cap that fits over the rail that is easily replaced in case of damage etc. and it gives an excellent ride. Keep in mind that with tighter lenses (300mm etc), aluminum track such as Filmair track does have more flex so it may take a little more wedging for support but works great. You can't go wrong following any of these guy's advice. Whatever you settle on, when you get it, lay it all out and level it right off the bat and roll on it to ensure that it lays true. I've had problems in the past with steel track that was brand new but was "bowed" to the point that it was almost unusable.
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#8 Wesley Garrison

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Posted 09 July 2009 - 12:51 PM

Thanks so much more all the information guys. This gives me a lot to consider before production and I definately think I can make a little more informed decision. I really appreciate all the input.

Thanks,
Wesley
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery