Inexpensive Hardware Transport Options

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Hello,

Just wanted to share a tip that's really been working well for me lately.

I don't like hardware bags. They are typically pretty long, which makes them awkward to carry, especially when the hardware & weight shifts (and the bag changes shape) as soon as you pick it up.

Most hard shell hardware cases (and to be honest, most hardware bags) are outrageously expensive and the hard cases come with nylon straps with really chincy plastic buckles....(Seriously? You charge over $200 for a hardware case and we can't get metal buckles on the straps?)

I have come up with a very effective solution. Start with one of these:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sterilite-Footlocker-Black/16415912?athcpid=16415912&athpgid=athenaItemPage&athcgid=null&athznid=PWVUB&athieid=v0&athstid=CS020&athguid=28171850-13b-168e59d87363f8&athena=true

At 31.25" long, it's long enough to fit all my hardware with ease (I can even leave the middle section in all my cymbal stands and only remove the top section and leave my snare stand fully extended, just fold up the basket arms), but it also only 13 7/8" high, so it still easily fits in the trunk of a car. It's deep enough to fit all my hardware and accessories (Stick bag, power strip, throne top, tambourine etc.)

Next get one of these:

https://www.harborfreight.com/30-in-x-18-in-1000-lbs-capacity-hardwood-dolly-61897.html

Those roll very nicely, and have a 1000 pound capacity. I recommend getting the optional handle attachment for an extra $9. You can place the dolly upside down (wheels up) on top of your new hardware case for transport in the car (the handle attachment folds flush on the underside of the dolly). For load in/out, simply put the dolly down (wheels down) and put your hardware case on top of it. You can then use your hardware case on the dolly as a flatbed cart. I put my rug on top of the hardware case (I use a thinner rug that I can fold and not have to roll), then put toms/snare on the cart, and you can just roll everything right in/out. I have a cymbal bag backpack, and then I just throw the bass drum over my shoulder (or better yet, have a band mate carry it), and it's a one trip load in/out!

This has been working great for me, and the best part is it costs around $50! About 1/10 the price of an SKB Hardware case with a Rock-n-Roller cart.

Just wanted to pass this easy and inexpensive tip on to the rest of you.

Enjoy!

V
 
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BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
Interesting. I've also heard people having good success with golf club travel cases. You can get some of them with wheels for pretty cheap as well.

I think the thing with the rock-n-roller carts isn't just to transport your hardware, but the ability to transport your entire drum kit in one go.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
Interesting. I've also heard people having good success with golf club travel cases. You can get some of them with wheels for pretty cheap as well.

I think the thing with the rock-n-roller carts isn't just to transport your hardware, but the ability to transport your entire drum kit in one go.
Yup. I also do this w/ my regular sized 5-piece kit too. And yes, that's an SKB hard case, the type the OP is referring to. Though I will admit I paid only $30 for it new (got it through a conglomerate liquidator).

 

Ghostin one

Senior Member
I use a five-gallon bucket for my stands. They just get the legs folded, for the most part, so it's fairly tall. The bucket fits in an old army duffel bag.

If there's a long distance to move them, I put the bucket on a hand truck. If there's rain or snow, a trash bag goes over the top.

Fortunately, our regular gig is about thirty feet from the curb, but it's not a legal parking spot so I have to move quickly.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I used to travel with an old-school med. size trap case, which held all hardware & accessories, cymbals, pedal and throne top. It was on wheels, so I could put the kick on top of it, then come back for the remaining two toms & snare, making two trips. The wheels weren't great on rough surfaces, sidewalk cracks, or curbs, but I always thought that was part of the cost of doing business.

Over the years, the case got heavier somehow, and was a pain to load and unload from my truck. I did a radical (for me) changeover to a cymbal bag, hardware bag, and small tom bag for my throne top and pedal, in place of the case. And, I got a cart, which rolled better, was more stable, and allowed me to make one trip (and also came in handy for other duties!)

The key was the hardware bag, actually an OnStage mic stand bag (from Sam Ash) that sells for $34. Also important to note that I use lightweight stands, and at 48" tall, lets me keep everything at full height, just fold up the legs and go. So it's compact and not too heavy. I recently started using the new Yamaha Crosstown HH stand, which further reduced the load by 5 Lbs.

Pictured is the load, the hardware bag is poking out at the upper right, under the rug. The cart is set a little shorter to fit as-is in my car, and it holds a 22 & 16 on the bottom. If I'm doing a 26 & 18, it's easy to lengthen it as needed.

Bermuda
 

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Lee-Bro

Senior Member
Over the years, the case got heavier somehow, and was a pain to load and unload from my truck. I did a radical (for me) changeover to a cymbal bag, hardware bag, and small tom bag for my throne top and pedal, in place of the case. And, I got a cart, which rolled better, was more stable, and allowed me to make one trip (and also came in handy for other duties!)

The key was the hardware bag, actually an OnStage mic stand bag (from Sam Ash) that sells for $34. Also important to note that I use lightweight stands, and at 48" tall, lets me keep everything at full height, just fold up the legs and go. So it's compact and not too heavy. I recently started using the new Yamaha Crosstown HH stand, which further reduced the load by 5 Lbs.

Bermuda
I've seen your other posts regarding the OnStage bag and had wondered about the pedal and seat top. Now I know! I'm curious, do you mount toms on the bass drum or do you use a tom stand?
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
Thanks, L-Bro! And we're practically neighbors. I've gigged at the Ft. Thomas Pub a few times. Also, can we bring back Maschinot's? I miss that place.
I was the drum guy at Maschinot's in the 90s. Even hosted a few clinics. Here's a snap of me and Chad Wackerman from the DW clinic we put on.

 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
I used to travel with an old-school med. size trap case, which held all hardware & accessories, cymbals, pedal and throne top. It was on wheels, so I could put the kick on top of it, then come back for the remaining two toms & snare, making two trips. The wheels weren't great on rough surfaces, sidewalk cracks, or curbs, but I always thought that was part of the cost of doing business.
Nice solution, Bermuda! I too use the old school trap cases when I take my jazz kits out. I love the "all-in-one" idea of the cymbals and everything being in one case. It is heavy, though, that's for sure, and I completely agree that the stock wheels were not very good. For some reason, I have come across several of those cases that I now own that never had wheels on the bottom to begin with. I reinforced the bottom with 3/4" plywood and attached large, 4" swivel casters to the plywood. That definitely solves the "not great" wheels aspect.

Also, interesting way to transport the pedal and throne top. Very creative! I know drummers who use a standard depth snare, but use a deep snare bag, and they put the throne top in the same bag as the snare. I personally don't like pedals with solid base plates, mainly because you can't fold them up!

By the way, in my original post, that "foot locker trunk" holds everything hardware-wise. Pedal, stick bag, accessories and my throne top all fit in easily.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
I was the drum guy at Maschinot's in the 90s. Even hosted a few clinics. Here's a snap of me and Chad Wackerman from the DW clinic we put on.

Nice pic! I didn't move to Cincy until the late 90's, and didn't discover Maschinot's until a few years after that, so I probably missed you. I really liked going there. I loved being able to "go downstairs" and check out all the cymbals!
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
Nice pic! I didn't move to Cincy until the late 90's, and didn't discover Maschinot's until a few years after that, so I probably missed you. I really liked going there. I loved being able to "go downstairs" and check out all the cymbals!
Yeah, the cymbal room was awesome. My time @ Maschinot's ended at the end of '95 because I was finishing my degree and my classes were offered only during the mornings and early afternoon.

It's a shame places like that don't exist anymore. And even with the Cymbal House, Third Rock, and Badges near us, it's just not the same. There are some elements of the shop that I miss and others I don't. I've thought about opening a shop myself but knowing what I do about the industry, it would have to be a labor of love and not an endeavor for reliable income or retirement planning.

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