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mhand 12-07-2012 06:14 AM

Ball machine - portability
For the past two years, I've been using the Tennis Tutor Plus ball machine. Once at the courts, I have no complaints with the machine. Getting to the courts, though, is a huge pain. The machine is heavy, bulky, and the wheels are terrible.

I have to roll the machine a good distance from the parking lot to the courts I play at. Adding to the difficulty of rolling the machine, the courts are clay and it is even worse when going over the clay.

I'm looking to replace it with a machine in the style of a Lobster. The two machines I'm mostly considering are the Lobster and Silent Partner. Based on reviews I've read, I'd buy the Silent Partner in a heartbeat considering its features and price compared to the Lobster. But I keep looking at those smaller wheels and wondering how well they roll. Plus the SP looks a little bulkier than the Lobster.

Has anyone had experience with both machines at least as far as how they roll?

beernutz 12-08-2012 11:45 AM

Before I bought a Harbor Freight cart to carry my silent partner star, balls, hopper, and other gear to the courts I used to stack all that stuff on the star and roll it approximately a quarter mile each way to my neighborhood courts. I never had a problem with the wheels on the star during the year and a half (probably 30 total trips) I did that but there was visible wear on the wheels and on the back of the machine itself from navigating curbs. The telescoping handle of the star is reasonably sturdy but I felt that eventually if I kept rolling the machine that far something would break so I bought my cart about a year ago and it has been great and was well worth the ~$45 I paid for it.

A cart may not be practical unless you have a pickup if you are driving your machine to the courts and even then it would likely be a pita. You might consider some type of folding cart with big wheels that would hold your machine. I thought about buying one of those before deciding on my cart and even tested that idea using a dolly I own to see how it would work.

LeeD 12-08-2012 01:32 PM

HarborFrieght is currently selling the refrigerator carts for 8 bucks. 350 lbs capacity, what appears to be 2.25" diameter wheels, set on a wooden platform, shipping weight around 15 lbs., so it's solid yet movable. Size is around 30" x 26., of course.

LeeD 12-08-2012 01:34 PM

Duh, my bad.
I used to move refrigerators for a living. A hardcart at HarborFreight starts at 39 bucks, is the easiest way to move heavy objects, but does take up some room in your trunk, so needs to reside in the back seat of your car.

3fees 12-11-2012 05:21 PM

Thats one reason I got the prolite, handcarry mine anywhere.

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