Saturday, September 29, 2007
A lot of times I get asked, as I change out dolly wheels, how I know which wheels to use (for some reason this question particularly fascinates extras). For years, I've always put the pneumatics on at the beginning of a show and left them on for the entire run (on Hybrids and Peewees). They work on track just as well and also are generally preferred for dance floor work. Lately, especially with the advent of medium soft wheels from Chapman, I've begun to rethink my approach. I've noticed that the medium softs seem to work just as well on dance floor and don't have the shimmy that air filled tires sometimes have. Air tires will also shimmy and rock on skateboard wheels sometimes and this makes me nutso. Pneumatics do roll easier over rough terrain, gravel, cables etc. So it's kind of a damned if you do proposition. Also, the Peewee won't steer with the pneumatics on and the outriggers closed up. Generally on a Hustler, you replace all the outside tires with pneumatics and to go on track you put the dolly in crab and turn the wheels 180 degrees to expose the track wheels. This is still probably the best set-up for the Hustler because I don't think the design of the track wheels lends itself to dance floor work very well. Really, it's up to you and what you're happy with. By the way, the "soft compound tires" are a nightmare. If you're in one interior location for the whole show, they are probably fine, but they do get chewed up very easily and aren't suitable for exterior work. A DP once made me use them on a tv movie and I told him I wouldn't have time to change them between every location and they would end up buying them, but we did it anyway and at the end of the job I returned a set of ground up hamburger. Oh well, I'm just a dumb ole Dolly Grip, what do I know?