Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Numbering of the ColorTran Mini-Crab Dolly

The manufacturer's tag on the back panel of our dolly. The SarKell designed ColorTran Mini-Crab Dollies were numbered from 1 to "possibly" 250. No one knows exactly the final build-to number, but it's been speculated to be around 250.

There's a total of three stampings on each Mini-Crab Dolly. The dolly's serial number is stamped twice...once on the manufacturers tag which is located on the rear panel of the dolly (top photo) then, the same number is stamped a second time on-top of the dolly's deck. This is at the base of where the steering control fastens into the dolly's internal steering mechanism (photo above). If you look closely, you'll see 157 stamped on the base. Click on any image to super enlarge.
The two images above are of the same stamping.

Now, there is a third stamping and it's an entirely different number than the dolly's serial number. This is the serial number of the hydraulic camera lift (in this case, #144) which can be found on the hydraulic lift just above where the lift meets the internal hydraulic connection.

The hydraulic lift number is not the same as the other two 'identical' numbers found on the dolly. Hope this sheds some light on the stampings you'll find on the Mini-Crab.

If you have a Mini-Crab and have not yet registered with us, please do so and e-mail the dolly's serial number and a photo to: gregoryz@centurylink.net

General Cleaning of the Mini-Crab Dolly

Like all production equipment, the Mini-Crab should be no exception, it should be wiped down, cleaned and checked after each use. We use a detail cleaner made by Turtle Wax (shown) to clean the deck, push bar and tires. We then do a visual check on all moving parts to insure they are tightened and properly functioning.
Aside from cleaning the deck, we'll wipe down all 8 tires, which incidentally, our dolly needed recently due to the fact we had to briefly push the dolly on a 'salted' sidewalk. This was to get it from the drop-off point and into the building we were dolly-gripping in.

As you can see, the rubberized deck of the Mini-Crab cleans very well, maintains the original luster and looks like new...not so bad for a 40-plus year old dolly!

Once we've cleaned and checked #157, we'll put the cover on it to keep the dust off. Mini-Crab #157 is now ready for its next assignment.

Many people have repainted their dollies to modernize and freshen them up. In fact, it's hard to find a Mini-Crab that has not been repainted.
We've chosen to keep our dolly in its original condition with its factory trademark 'ColorTran-Blue' paint finish intact. It's a little scuffed up, but not too bad considering its age. Some Mini-Crab owners have done an awesome job sanding and repainting their dollies making them look good as new.

Given the fact that #157 was once owned by Academy Award winning filmmaker, David L. Wolper, (first owner of #157) tells me it would be best to keep the 'pedigreed' dolly in its original condition. More to come...in a future posting about #157's previous owners including the late and great, Mr. Wolper.