Harp Cart/Harp Dolly preference

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    karen on #201217

    I have a L&H 85E.  I am in the market for a harp dolly/trolley/cart.

    I would love to hear from other people that move their pedal harps from time to time (casual, hobby harpist going to HarpCircle, recitals, etc) about what kind of cart/dolly/trolley they prefer for moving their harps

    Thanks so much!

    charles-nix on #201222

    I’m assuming that you haven’t moved it much previously and don’t already have a cart?

    If I’m wrong, please excuse, because you will already know a lot of the below.  To answer your first question, I have the American Harp Cart–have not used others.  I do like it: well made of maple, large wheels make it a bit easier on stairs, two strong straps.  I made some slip-on pads of heavy piano keybed felt for  the straps for extra protection where the straps pass the soundboard and column. Your cover set might provide enough protection for the straps; mine didn’t.

    You need at least a base cover as well as the main cover–mostly because sooner or later you will have to unload in the wet, and the base cover will protect from dings and wet ground.

    I also use a large flat plywood with rollers to pull out of the vehicle slanting down to the ground. One person can lay the harp down on it then go to the end and slide into the vehicle.

    Carl Swanson’s book on harp maintenance has an extensive section on moving that is extremely helpful.

    Charles Nix

    billooms on #201312

    I bought a Harp Trolley a few months ago. My initial reaction was that it was built very sturdy, breaks down to a smaller size readily, and the cost was reasonable. Note that it has inflatable tires and ships with them deflated for some reason (so you’ll have to get them pumped up).

    Today I used it for the first time taking the harp (Chicago Petite 40) up a long ramp and up some steps to the stage. The tires had lost a bit of pressure (make a note to check the tires before using next time). Softer tires are nice going up steps compared to the stiff solid tires because they take up some of the shock on each bump. I like the straps around the front and over the top. I had thought that the straps would hold it more secure (i.e. keep it from leaning from one side to the other). I still had to steady it some but it was not bad. I have the 3-piece transport cover which I think is a required accessory for any harp when moving.

    JackieHarpFan on #201463


    Interestingly enough, like Charles, we also bought an American Harp Cart and we’re very happy with it.  When we first started renting a full-sized pedal harp for our daughter it came with a standard harp cart (don’t know the brand), but our daughter has a L&H #30 and the weight would make the axle bow in the middle, which made my husband just a bit wary of it.  My husband is a structural engineer and after looking at several carts online he decided on the American Harp Cart.  It seems to be the sturdiest one that’s available and it’s very well built.  The tires are pneumatic and larger than a lot of carts, and the straps are wider and are threaded through metal hardware.  Like Charles, I also made some padded straps for ours, as those aren’t included, and they look great!  Also, I’d like to add that I have read somewhere in this forum that some people have recommended the kind that has 3 small wheels on each side and say that they do well on stairs.  You might want to check those out, too.

    Hope this helps,


    karen on #201466

    Thank you Charles, Bill and Jackie.  Your comments and thoughts were most helpful.  Thanks for taking the time.  Community is a wonderful thing!

    balfour-knight on #201606

    Hello friends!  I am one of those harpists who uses the K2 Original Harp Caddy, with three wheels on each side for ease in negotiating those stairs!  Since the front entrance of our little house has nine steps up to the front door, we knew which harp caddy to get very soon, after the two of us had carried the pedal harp up and down those steps for a while.  I heartily recommend this cart for all its great features, which can be read about on-line.  It is available at the Atlanta Harp Center, for one.  For dealing with long distances between our car and the venue, like some hotels and retirement homes, we also use this same cart to carry and roll smoothly our Dusty Strings FH36S lever harp, by readjusting the straps to fit around the smaller harp.  Hope this information helps!

    Happy harping everyone!




    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #204897

    If you are using the dolly to walk the harp long distances or over several steps, then you want one with inflated tires. From what my colleagues tell me, the three-wheeled type is good for curbs and short sets of stairs, but not for walking far or turning corners. The best one has not been available for years, but had a friction skid so you could go down stairs and control the harp easily. Would that someone would make use of that, and also figure out a way to go up stairs easily.

    aayaey on #215900

    @charles-nix, did you make the board with rollers?? what kind of rollers?

    I’m also in the market for a harp cart, one teacher suggested the American Harp Cart another who I’m buying harp from ( she used to own a harp store) suggested the Harp Caddy custom model with 6 wheels.

    Salesperson at Atlanta Harp Center also suggessted the American Harp Cart.
    I’m still researching…

    charles-nix on #215923

    I made the board. Rollers are just standard non-rotating casters. I probably got them from McMaster-Carr supply company, who has an online catalog.

    The board might need to be different for different vehicles. Caster location is important for balance. I only put casters on mine because I have a tailgate/bed gap to get over: by having casters spaced out, I can always have one or two sets on solid metal.

    I have seen boards without any rollers that worked just fine into the back of a hatchback station wagon type vehicle. You can also have just a small heavily padded board to go under the neck/action only. Lay the neck down on it, then lift the base up, and roll the neck in, setting the edge of the soundboard down on a folded, thick pad.

    Charles Nix

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