Rolling Docks Offer An Easier Way To Access The Lake

Rolling Docks

wheeled docks or Rolling Docks

Rolling docks offer an easier alternative to setting up and removing your dock. Those of us who live on northern lakes must do this chore at least twice each year. Additionally, if your lake’s level fluctuates over the season, you may have to move your dock back and forth several times. This is where the rolling dock shines; these seasonal adjustments can be completed quicker and with greater ease using a wheeled or rolling dock.




Rolling Dock Applications:

These situations work best for rolling docks:

Sand and Gravel Bottom:  Rolling docks should only be used where they can roll without sinking into mud. If the wheels sink into mud, they won’t turn properly, and you will lose any benefit from rolling the dock.

Gradual Slope:  A gentle slope makes it easier to guide the rolling dock in and out. Out of control docks racing toward the water are extremely dangerous., and steeper slopes will usually need a winch or even a vehicle to remove them from the water.

Changing Water Levels:  On lakes that have changing water levels throughout the seasons, the rolling dock can be pushed out into deeper water when water levels drop. They can also be brought closer to shore if the water level rises.

Rock Free:  Rolling docks handle best when the shoreline is free of sudden drop offs or large irregular rock piles that could block free movement of the wheels.

Clearance:  There should be enough room up on the shore to accommodate storage of the rolling dock when it is pulled out of the lake for the winter. Areas with dense woods  or closely spaced buildings can make handling and storage difficult.

Rolling Docks should not be used in these situations:

Deep Water:  Rolling docks use the wheels as their base in many cases. If they are rolled into water above the deck, or where wind and wave action breaks at or above the deck. They will lose their connection to the foundation of the lake bed making them unstable and at risk of being damaged, lost or destroyed.

Areas with High Winds or Waves:  for the same reasons stated above.



Pros and Cons of Rolling Docks

old rolling docks




  • Rolling docks are easy to move. Usually they can be handled by two people with a minimal amount of effort.


  • They can be moved easily to adapt to changing water depths.


  • Wheeled docks can be reasonably priced, if home-made with old iron wagon wheels, but this increases the weight substantially. Some of the newer plastic wheels designed for rolling docks and boat lifts are reasonably priced and offer a balance between affordability and weight




  • Wheeled docks are disruptive to the substrate (lake bottom). Each time they roll over an area they destroy and disrupt the plant and animal life in that spot. They also stir up sediment into the water as they’re being moved.


  • Rolling docks will usually take up more space while being stored in the off-season because they can’t be stacked atop each other.



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