Descriptions of the various telescope dollies available follow this introductory material on selecting the right JMI Wheeley Bar for telescope transport.
When deciding on which JMI Wheeley Bar to purchase, there are several things to consider. These include:
The TYPE OF EQUIPMENT you will be transporting
The TIP-TO-TIP DISTANCE of the tripod feet
The TOTAL WEIGHT of the equipment to be transported
The SURFACE over which you will be moving the equipment
TYPE OF EQUIPMENT
Dobsonian telescopes should use a Dob-style Wheeley Bar, based on which Dob you have. Telescopes with a tripod should use one of the Universal-style Wheeley Bars. The size will depend on the size and weight of the telescope equipment (see below).
The descriptions below of the Universal-style Wheeley Bars show a minimum and maximum tip-to-tip distance for the tripod legs. The best way to measure the tip-to-tip distance is to set your telescope up the way you would normally use it then measure the distance between two tripod feet. Be sure to account for the height the Wheeley Bar will lift your equipment off of the ground. Compare that measurement with the range shown for each size of Universal Wheeley Bars to match up with the best fit. Custom Wheeley Bars are available for those that fall outside of all of the listed ranges. For more information on how to make this measurement, see the Tip-to-Tip Distance dropdown in each product description.
If you wish to move your telescope equipment through a doorway, see the Doorway Measurements dropdown in each product description to verify whether you will be able to maneuver your equipment through a particular doorway (based on the size of the Universal Wheeley Bars).
The Medium Size Universal Wheeley Bars are for small, lighter telescopes like a standard Celestron C8 that weighs less than 100 pounds.
If you have a telescope with tip-to-tip distance that falls into the Medium range but weighs near or over 100 pounds (total weight of all equipment) you should use the HEAVY DUTY Medium Wheeley Bars since they will support the weight much better. If you are planning on adding heavy equipment to your telescope in the future (like cameras, guide scopes, etc.) you should take that weight into consideration.
Heavy Duty Medium, Large, and Custom Wheeley Bars can carry up to 300 pounds. Extra Large and Max Wheeley Bars are also available for specific very large telescopes.
The standard 2-3/8" wheels work fine if the surface is hard and flat, such as a gymnasium floor or a smooth concrete driveway with no seams.
If you need to move over concrete with cracks or seams (like sidewalks and most driveways) or over rough cobblestone-like surfaces, you should get the 5" Wheel Upgrade as these will ride over these surfaces much better without getting stuck.
If moving over grass, dirt, or gravel (or you just want a smoother ride) you should get the 10" Pneumatic Wheel Upgrade. The 10" wheels will travel over surfaces smoothly and not sink into cracks. There are times when the 5" wheels can be used on hard dirt, but if the weight of the telescope is more than 100 pounds, the 5" wheels may dig into the upper layer of dirt and become hard to move.
We do not recommend using Wheeley Bars on any of the above surfaces under adverse conditions, especially if you have a very heavy telescope. The heavier the telescope mounted on the Wheeley Bar, the more careful one must be in moving the complete system by pulling or pushing below the center of gravity. For extra safety, we suggest you securely tie down your scope on your Wheeley Bar using bungee cords or something similar.
Astronomics and JMI are not responsible for damages caused by incorrect loading or operation.