Wheels vs. Standing Dock
If you own a dock and you like to install and remove the dock by yourself you may have tried thinking of ways to make it easier on yourself. You be thinking that if your dock had wheels then it would be a breeze to take in and out every season. This can definitely be true for some waterfronts but for others it could be complicating things a little bit. To see just why this is the case with certain waterfronts let's go over the details of wheel-in dock.
ShoreMaster wheel kits come in four different sizes: super shallow, shallow, standard, and deep. These options range from 3' - 9' in height. They are all aluminum in construction with the exception of the stainless steel adjustment screw which allows easy adjustment of each leg individually. The adjustment allows for easy adjustment from the top of the dock without having to get into the water. This is not only good for installation but for fluctuating water levels throughout the season as well. The ability for them to adjust individually allows you to get the dock perfectly level for any lake bottom, whereas many brands have a crank system that adjusts two wheels at once leaving the dock un-level since virtually no lake bottom is level by itself. Individual adjustment avoids having to stick rocks or other shims under the wheel to make the dock level or stable.
The wheel kit uses a molded polyethylene wheel which has holes along the side to allow them to fill up with water. This increases the stability of the dock as well as allowing the user to float the dock most, if not all, of the way to the desired position before the tire fills with water. Combine this with removing the panels from the dock then installation and removal becomes much easier.
Wheel kits are available on TS9 and RS7 sections of ShoreMaster dock. These sections are available in 16' lengths and these sections are strong enough to support 2 connected sections at a time with wheel kits at the end. This allows wheel kits to be installed every other section of dock decreases weight, cost, and hassle when installing or removing the dock. Every 32' unit of wheel-in dock can be picked up at the shore end and pulled in with ease with even two people. If you would like a platform at the end of the dock for furniture or any other purpose, one pair of wheel kits can support up to 12' width of dock while keeping the ability to be wheeled in and out every season.
Where Wheel-In Works Well
A waterfront that has a gentle slope and plenty of room to maneuver 32' of dock at a time is the ideal scenario. However many people may not have the ideal situation at their waterfront but wheel-in dock still may be a good option. 32' sections can still be separated in order to deal with only 16' at a time which can also help with saving on storage space.
If you have the capability at your waterfront to pull the entire dock out at once, caterpillar clips and a tow hitch can be installed. This allows the dock to be pulled out with your vehicle and even an atv. If you plan on removing more than 32' of dock at once it is highly recommended that the panels be removed to make removal many times easier.
Lake bottoms that have small to medium sized rocks or have a bottom that is sandy or firm are great for wheel-in dock. Wheel-in dock is also good for areas of fluctuating water level as the adjustment can be made from the top of the dock.
And Where It Doesn't
More often than not people have a waterfront that is less than ideal for a wheel-in dock system. One big factor when considering a wheel-in dock is what kind of incline your shoreline has into the water. Extremely steep ledges and giant rocks are going to turn a wheel-in dock into more of a hassle than standing dock. Bottoms that consist of heavy muck can also cause problems when removing the dock in the fall.
Seawalls can cause problems depending upon how high they are from the water. As mentioned before the wheels fill with water making them significantly heavier which is good for stability but not good for having to lift it up onto a seawall. You do have the option of letting the wheels drain for a few minutes, however even then the wheel do not provide a good hand hold and still may be more difficult to remove than standing dock.
If your dock needs to be stored up a steep hill or cliff that involves carrying it up stairs then perhaps wheel-in dock might not be the best option. ShoreMaster standing dock can have its legs easily removed and carried up stairs with ease. The wheel kits are not as easily removable and do add additional weight to the dock.
If you are considering paying someone else, such as Brinson Marine, wheels may not be the best choice of dock. Typically you pay the same price for installation and removal whether or not you have wheels on your dock and wheel kits will increase the initial cost of the dock. Standing dock can also be easier to create unique configurations, especially with our curved sections, since it would be difficult to wheel in or out as one unit or even as larger sections.
Making The Decision
Hopefully the information provided has helped you decided whether or not wheel-in dock is the right one for you. If not, feel free to contact us by calling (315) 469-4867. An interest form can also be filled out which is linked below and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have and if you'd like you can schedule a free consultation where we will come to your property to see what dock is the right one for you.
Dock Interest Form: Click Here
4553 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13215
Pete Carolin : Pete@BrinsonMarine.com
Mike Golas: Mike@BrinsonMarine.com
Julian Berman: Julian@BrinsonMarine.com
Tyler Mahar: Tyler@BrinsonMarine.com