How to Make a Simple Trailer Dolly Adapter for a Hand Trolley




About: To see more of my work you are welcome to follow me on Instagram @cam_de_burgh

Hello Instructablers,

I have two small trailers at my place that always seem to be in the way and constantly needing to be manoeuvred around my yard, and in and out of my shed.

I was tired of straining my back to do this so I made this simple adapter for my hand trolley to convert it into a trailer dolly.

The total cost was about $5 and it was very quick to make.

You can see in the video that it does the job quite well. It makes moving the trailers very easy, even in confined spaces.


Step 1: What You Will Need

Apart from the hand trolley, there are only two ingredients:

  • Steel plate large enough to overhang the trolley's base by about 50mm each side (see the picture above). I used 2.1mm chequer plate because that's what I had at hand.
  • A tow ball. I bought an old one from an auto wrecker.

You'll also need some tools:

  • Something to cut the steel - I used a plasma cutter, but an angle grinder would do.
  • An angle grinder to prepare the steel for welding.
  • A welder.
  • A vise.
  • A Hammer.
  • A Clamp.
  • Safety gear.

Step 2: Build It

  1. Mark the steel plate to allow 50-60mm overhang on each side of the foot of the trolley (I'm guessing it's called a foot) as pictured.
  2. Cut out the steel.
  3. Mark the width of the trolley on the steel as shown.
  4. Clamp the edge of the steel plate in your vise as shown. Line up your mark with the vise jaws, but leave 5-10mm to provide some room for error.
  5. Using muscles and hammer bend the plate as far as possible. Leave the smooth side on the inside.
  6. Remove the steel from the vise and complete the bend with the hammer. Just leave enough gap under the bend to allow the foot of the trolley to slide in.
  7. Repeat steps 4, 5 and 6 on the other side.
  8. Mark the centre of one edge to position the tow ball.
  9. Grind this area in preparation for welding.
  10. Grind a flat area on the threaded post of the tow ball were it is to contact the steel plate, and prepare it for welding.
  11. Weld the tow ball into position as shown.

Step 3: Conclusion

Simply slide the adapter over the trolley as shown, and you have a trailer dolly. It's pretty straightforward, but see the video to see how it works.

This has been a pretty simple project, but very satisfying because it has solved my problem even better than i had hoped. I hope you found it helpful or even inspired you to build one yourself.

Please feel free to post comments and questions.

If you like this Instructable please consider voting for it in the "Guerilla Design Contest", "Small Spaces Contest", and "Tools Contest".

Oh, and if you like this you might like to check out my Etsy shopby clicking this link.



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    11 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Oh wow, that's pretty cool how you were able to attach a trailer dolly to a trailer. I'm guessing that there was a lot of welding to do in that project. In all, it's something that I find quite fascinating to see.!dollies/c24vq


    3 years ago on Introduction

    That's really clever. Would probably work great with a boat trailer. That's the first thing that came to mind, anyway. Got my vote.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks. Yes, I use it for my little boat trailer. It works well.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    How didn't I come up with this? >.> I've always just picked the thing up and hope that I didn't give myself a hernia :P

    Nice Hack !

    1 reply