Working on set almost always means that you have equipment that needs to be moved. When you’re carrying around a lot of production equipment, you need something to keep it all organized and within reach. You need the comfort of a home base, a workstation which is a reflection of you.
A customizable production cart is a great solution for keeping everything centralized, organized and professionally presented.
Production Cart Basics
When you’re building a photo or video production kit, it’s easy to forget about a cart. Most people tend to focus on obvious necessities like computers, hard drives, batteries, camera bodies, lenses, and tripods.
However, most people also forget that once you’re on set, you need a way to move your gear around and keep it organized. That’s where your production cart comes in.
A production cart is essential to creating a workflow, and workflows allow you to focus on your craft. It also keeps expensive gear off the ground, provides a working surface for handling equipment, or a mobile station for computer work, and makes you look more professional in front of clients. You will have a centralized hub for all your gear and tasks that can move with you.
Types of Video Production Carts
There are many different types of video production carts you can find on the market. Some of them are optimized for traveling and include features like easy packing, better durability, and a lighter weight. Others are made specifically for studio DIT work or other applications.
The cheapest budget carts are usually made for general purpose use, but these carts lack options for accessorizing and lack the stability to safely navigate bumpy paths, and other uneven surfaces.
If you are willing to invest in something that will work well over the long term, you will likely want a sturdier video production cart that can be customized to your needs.
You can check out our Learn Page to explore different production cart styles and find the right solution for your needs. We have different cart models optimized for travel, general production work, heavy-duty work needs, studio DIT work, and vertical solutions for rack-mount equipment.
What You Should Consider When Buying a Production Cart
You can find production carts in a variety of sizes. Not every cart will have enough surface area for all your gear, so make sure you know how all your gear will fit on the cart before you buy. It’s a good idea to leave a little room for any extra gear you may need to add in the future.
Some production carts are more mobile than others. If you plan to do most of your production work indoors, you may be able to get by with basic swivel caster wheels, but if you are frequently outdoors, a cart with all-terrain wheels will serve you better. Also, your wheels are your contact points with the ground. If you have a heavy load, your wheels need to be strong enough to support the weight while on the move.
If your work takes you to many locations, you need a production cart that can travel with you. Be sure to find out how portable a cart is before you purchase it. Some carts can be packed or folded into a smaller space, but even then, the cart may not fit into every car or vehicle.
We don’t need to tell you that video and film production gear tends to be heavy, not to mention expensive. Your production cart needs to be able to support all of that weight without losing performance. If your gear exceeds the cart’s load capacity, you could potentially damage your equipment or even cause someone an injury. At the very least, you’re holding up the shoot, and that’s never a position to be in. To avoid any potential mishaps, we recommend looking for a production cart with a load capacity of several hundred pounds as a bare minimum. 600 pounds or more is better.
The build quality of your production cart will impact how long it lasts. Investing in a better cart now will give you much more value in the long run. Why? Not only does a high quality cart last for years before needing an upgrade, but preventing failure on set will protect the equipment you are moving from also being damaged in the event of catastrophe. It is especially important to get a high-quality cart made with good materials if you are planning to do some of your work outdoors in the elements.
Most production carts are made out of some type of metal, plastic, or a combination of the two. But some carts are better designed and are therefore more useful than others. If you plan to do work on location in different places, you may want to look for a cart made from a lighter-weight metal that is still strong enough to withstand the elements.
Little details about a production cart can tell you a lot about its value and quality. For example the finish on a cart can help protect against weathering and rust, for increased longevity and a more professional presentation. Check the production cart you are considering for problems like exposed edges, loose joints, and wobbly wheels. Metal surfaces should be coated or painted to prevent rust and create a cleaner look.
Finally, you will want to choose a production cart that is compatible with a variety of additional accessories. The ability to integrate your equipment seamlessly with your cart is what transforms it into a professional workstation that accelerates your workflow. While you may have a fairly solid workflow now, your equipment needs may change over time. A customizable cart with plenty of accessory options will likely work best for you in the long run, to not just attend to your current needs, but can also evolve with you and your career.
Check Out INOVATIV’s Production Carts
INOVATIV designs and manufactures world-class production carts right here in the USA. Our products are known for their reliability, durability, tool-less assembly, and clever design. We offer several production cart models, including:
-The Voyager EVO X, a lightweight, travel-friendly workstation ready to support you wherever your craft takes you
-The Voyager NXT, our no-frills packable cart
-The Apollo, our heavy-duty solution with an extra-large working surface and extra-high payload capacity
-The Echo, our DIT studio cart solution for those whose workflows don’t require travel
-The Deploy, our vertical production cart solution for rack-mount equipment.
Visit our Learn Page to explore production cart options and find the right solution for your needs.