History of the Self-Loading Dolly — 42 Years of the Collins Hi-Speed®Dolly Changing the Tow Professional’s industry”

With nearly 14 years into the next millennium, we continue to measure our progress by our past. Over 40 years ago, Collins forever changed dolly towing for the towing and recovery industry worldwide. Since its very inception early 100 years ago, dolly towing, shown below left, required time, space, and maneuvering to get the job done. As vehicles changed, so did the dollies that carried them. The Holmes D9 pan dolly, shown below right, was a staple to the towing industry for decades. Back then, it was an awkward, unpleasant task when vehicles were dollied. It started by the vehicle first having to be raised off the ground with whatever was available to the driver. Then the bulky steel and iron dollies had to be pulled off the truck and assembled underneath the vehicle. The vehicle was then lowered onto the dolly. At the destination point, the vehicle then had to be raised up again, the heavy dollies pulled out from underneath, disassembled and stowed, and the vehicle lowered back to the ground. Seasoned veterans will tell you the process was back-breaking and time-consuming.

All that changed in the summer of 1972. Collins’ articulating, self-loading dolly, which allowed tow operators to retrieve vehicles and be gone in as little as 60 seconds, was unheard of prior to their invention of the Self-Loading Hi-Speed®Dolly. The present-day configuration started out very simple in the mid-70s with only four moving parts per dolly side. Simple but not entirely safe. Tow operators eventually pointed out the danger and liability of the “crack bar” coming back and striking someone in the head — hence the nickname. Collins immediately responded in May 1977 with the invention of the Safety Ratchet System (SRS). This arrested the free motion of the pry bar, preventing people from getting hurt. With thousands of pounds bearing down on the dolly, the Collins Safety Ratchet System continues to protect businesses from damages and liability, and personnel from injury.

At present, the Collins Hi-Speed®Dolly continues as the safest, lightest, most advanced dolly in the world — and the most imitated. Collins has been setting the gold standard of safety, quality, ease, and style of dollies for over four decades.

With other original patented features that Collins invented like 8-inch aluminum wheels, greasable aluminum hubs, replaceable and serviceable parts, the Hi-Speed®Dolly is indeed unique and original. Additional features introduced by Collins to the towing industry like aluminum axles in 1995 and the aluminum square pry bar in 2010, help make the tow operator’s job safer with less worker comp claims. Collins uses more aluminum than any of the imitators’ dollies making them the lightest, and easiest to use. Although these features make the coveted Hi-Speed®Dolly a target for copy-cats in the US, China, and Singapore, their imitations are no match for the Original.

Today, dolly towing is also available to car carriers with Collins’ patent-pending Carrier Dolly System. With all-wheel drive, electric, and hybrid vehicles, or cars with low ground clearance or no hook points, the Carrier Dolly System solves all these problems. After being lifted by the mini-dollies, the tow bar is hooked to the dollies and the tow hook to the tow bar. Nothing touches the vehicle. The vehicle simply rides the dollies up the bed. The system also doubles as a motorcycle dolly. For vehicles without wheels, the patented Tow Cradle works for both carrier and highway dollies