Jump to content
  • Join the TowForce community.

    It looks like you're not logged in. Register to get started and to receive Tower Down Notices.

Collins dollies - slz replacing slx or both still in production?


Recommended Posts

12-14-2017: Original Topic by someotherplace,


I've only used SLZ a couple of times while borrowing a co-worker's equipment a while back.  Used to SLX for many years.  Have the SLZ's replaced them, or are you still currently producing both?  Looking at Zip's online catalog I only see what appear to be the SLZ's, though I see both are still in the Collins online catalog.

I have to say I was not fond of the placement of the trip lever on the SLZ.  Way too close to the frame.  It's a minor annoyance though I guess?

Could you please give a detailed comparison of SLZ and SLX to help possibly sway me to the new way of things?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Blackautoload said:


I have had the 5.70 SLZs with alum rims for about a year and HATE them!  I really do!

Trip levers are too low, can't speed drop them.
Busted up a few knuckles and  a couple blood blisters under the nails trying to speed drop when I forget I am using the "new" dollies.
The crossbars are almost impossible to clip in place when your off a perfectly flat surface.
Zerk fittings are covered up by plates on the bottom side for a couple pivot points.  Its a pita to quickly grease them when they are covered in snow/ice/mud.

I think In-The-Ditch sent an employee to re-design Collins and sit back and wait for the biz to roll in.... hey, it could be true... 

I cannot sway you to buy the "new" design... stay AWAY !


someotherplace said:


Was afraid to hear that.  I think I do recall your previous comments about the SLZ's.  I use dollies a lot and really can't tolerate hassles when it comes to using them.  The truck I'm currently running has ITD's and I'm not a fan.  It's to the point that even if I have to spend my own money on a set of Collins (SLX), I will. Richard


orcas tow said:


I bought a set of the SLZ's & ended up selling them for a loss, poor design, not user friendly. The trip levers & handles are too low, hard on your fingers & knuckles, you can visually see the difference if you compare the SLX & SLZ images in the link: https://www.collinsmfgcorp.com/catalog. I was able to get a couple SLX sets through AW Direct recently, they did not list them but when I called & asked they were able to get them made through Collins. The SLZ's are a poor redesign, maybe it looked good on computer design to a desk jockey engineer but definetly was not tested in the field by an operator before put out for sale to the public.


someotherplace said:


Oh yeah, I've definitely seen the difference up close as I did borrow a set of SLZ's for a couple of uses.  I did not like the trip lever placement at all.  Didn't hurt myself with them or anything but I can see the potential for it with enough usage, it's gonna happen.

I'm going to check with my local guys and see if they have any SLX in stock.  The dealers in town keep pushing the ITD's and all I can guess is they're marketing them harder or there's a better profit margin on them. Richard


orcas tow said:


The biggest thing for me was setting the SLZ back in the bunk & due to the lower grab handle height,  the 1/2 chainlink/dolly lock in the dolly bunk would jamb my knuckles when installing dollies back in the bunks. I have an ITD set also on my flatbed & don't find them as user friendly as the Collins SLX. 


Blackautoload said:


I forgot about the chain link in the middle! When you use the handle the chain link digs into your hand.
I simply cut it off. 


CollinsH said:


Collins here.

Thanks for the real-world input on the SLZ dollies guys. We take the lumps with the accolades, as it keeps us honest. It also allows for us to take a another look at what was considered design improvements over the earlier SL and SLX model dollies.

(For the record, the SLX dollies are still available in both .120” and .180” wall thicknesses, as well as replacement dolly frames for the SL model.)

In all fairness, the SLZ trip handles were indeed tested extensively with various vehicles and gloved hands without incident. We’ll take another look to see what was missed on the finger spacing.

There have been no changes on the dolly handle and chain link since the 1980’s, on any of the three models of dollies. Not sure why after all these years, the chain link is suddenly an issue.

The dolly’s chain link has always been there for the dolly mounts, which have a vertical link that passes through the dolly’s horizontal link, allowing for the dolly to be secured.

Not sure what is meant by the cross bars being “clipped” in place. There has been no change made on these either. Perhaps a picture would help to ascertain the issue.

Since the 1970’s, the grease fittings have always been vulnerable to abuse, getting knocked off, road chemicals and salt, etc., because of their exposure on top of previous generations of dollies. As a result, it was determined they would be better protected inside the the dolly body, where they remain protected, clean and dry. They are easily accessed through the cover plate by simply turning it 1/4 turn.

From the moment we invented the first self-loading dolly over 45 years ago, we have sought to constantly improve them. Of course, no one is immune to missing the mark during R&D, which is why we value your assessments, good and bad, to make the necessary course corrections.

Please do not hesitate to call or text me pictures, if any other concerns crop up. My direct mobile is 541-944-1099. I look forward to hearing from you so we can keep things on track for you.

Our objective is to make your job easier and safer.

Have a great New Year! Curtis Collins Hassell

orcas tow said:


Thank you for the reply. I have used Collins Dollies for almost 30 years & they are my preferred dolly. If you compare the 2 in the links below you can visually see the difference between the release handle & also the grab handle heights between the SLX & SLZ, the SLZ has lower height handles, less room to get your fat, arthritis, gloved, old hand into. Also recently the aluminum dolly crossbar release buttons have been kicking sideways on me when extending or retracting, the button gets pushed down too far & the bottom of the spring gets cocked not allowing the button to pop back up, requiring the bars to be disassembled (male & female), manually bring the spring & button back inline with the hole in the male dolly bar. I have corrected 3 sets of Collins bars by taking the button out, installing a self tapping screw on the inside of the dolly bar through the existing hole that the button went through so that when the button & spring are reinstalled the new screw head sits in the middle of the spring where it sits on the inside of the dolly bar. The screw head prevents the spring form being kicked out of place so the button stays in place. The portion of the screw that protrudes out of the bar I used a die grinder to make it flush so the male bar would slip back into the female bar. Sorry if thats not clear as mud & thank you for your reply & caring about the product that we use daily, the last thing we want (or you want I'm sure) is for us to be paying good money for what has been a reliable, easy to use product & have issues when we are working along a busy roadside. In my opinion if you adjust the above 3 issues the SLZ would be a great product, The SLX has been a great product. The above is to the best of my recollection what I was not liking about the SLZ & the reason I sold that SLZ set much cheaper than what I paid as AW would not take them back because they were used (lightly for a few weeks). I did buy a SLX set to replace it:). Maybe someone who owns a set of both can respond.

https://www.collinsmfgcorp.com/catalog? ... -jbshrcmz3
https://www.collinsmfgcorp.com/catalog? ... -jbshrcmz2


CollinsH said:


Thanks for the description.

The coiled compression spring/flanged-button system on the SLZ was actually introduced on the SLX dolly over 10 years ago, replacing the flat spring/slotted-button system from the 1970’s. If you could, it would be greatly appreciated if you could text me a picture of your modification so I can take a look at it. Thanks.

12-30-17 - orcas tow said:


Will do, thanks for the time in researching concerns out on the street:)


12-30-17 - orcas tow said:


One thing I was thinking about was that if you use the breaker bar to raise & lower the dollies the lower release handle height on the SLZ may not be a complaint from tow operators but I think if you do a survey of Collins users you will find that many like myself pull up on the release bar for a quick drop without using the breaker bar as an aid unless your on an ornamental/nice driveway.  Thats where the SLZ lower height release bar is an issue as you do have to pull firmly & there is not enough room to get your gloved fingers comfortably under the release bar. Maybe Collins does not approve of that method? I have used that method since I started many years ago & have never had any dolly issues from doing so but thats not saying its right:).


CollinsH said:


When we invented the first SL-400 Self-Loading dolly in the early 1970’s, the release assembly — or what we termed “Trip Assembly” was designed specifically for tripping the spindle assembly, allowing the dolly to drop.

(“Tripping” was a term that we borrowed from our days of manufacturing log bunks and stakes in the 1950’s, for holding logs in place on logging trucks in the Pacific Northwest. By “tripping” the stakes’ locking mechanism, the stakes would drop and the logs would roll off the bunks into the mill ponds for processing.)



orcas tow said:


Good to know:)


01-01-2018 - someotherplace said:


Hi Curtis, thank you very much for your involvement in this thread -
I didn't realize there are two thicknesses available on the SLX's - can you tell me weight differences between the two and how I could tell them apart when ordering?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Platinum Sponsor

Happy New Year Richard!


The .120” wall is just under 1/8” thick, whereas the .180” wall is just under 3/16”. There is about a 6-lb penalty for the thicker-walled tubing. It was a carryover to the heavier-duty SLX dollies from the post-1986 SL dollies, which between 1977 and 1986, were all .120” wall thickness.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

We use collins  dollies and always order to thicker cross bars.  We dolly a lot and had to many bars cracking at the ends on the thinner bars.


Kelly Neal :drivin

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...
Please Sign In or Sign Up