5 best alternatives to Apple’s $400 Mac Pro wheels

By

Smart Car convertible.
Smart Car convertible.
Photo: Public Domain

If you want to add four wheels to your already-expensive Mac Pro, then they’ll cost you almost $100 apiece. Not that you can even buy them separately. You have to specify the $400 option when you buy. The wheels are a part of the Mac Pro’s steel frame, so there’s no way to add them after purchase.

Or is there? We found five good options to let you wheel your Mac Pro around the office, or to perhaps grab the power cable and take the new computer out for a walk like a dog. Or even to sit on the thing and take it for a spin, go-kart-style, down the nearest hill.

How to fit off-brand wheels to a Mac Pro

Without a Mac Pro in hand, it’s hard to see exactly how to fix any wheels onto its legs. But those legs appear to be steel tubes, with a flange at the bottom, and either rubber or felt pads under the foot. If these pads cover a hole, then it should be easy to slide an expanding bolt into the tube, and gently tighten it. Or you could drill your own holes.

With that in mind, some of our picks are actual platforms. Surely there will be third-party Mac Pro wheels available soon enough. But until then, you’re more or less on your own when it comes to affixing them. As a last resort, you can always use gaffer tape and/or cable-ties to do the job.

Casters like the Mac Pro wheels

These may even fit the MAc Pro's legs without modifications.
These may even fit the Mac Pro’s legs without modifications.
Photo: Gridmann

The Mac Pro’s wheels, as you can see in the image at the top of this post, work like casters. They have an off-axis axle, so the wheels automatically align to the direction of travel. Just like a shopping cart, in fact. So our first pick is a set of casters.

I wanted to find some locking casters, because my own office is in an old building with floors that slope when you get near the walls. I’m never buying a Mac Pro, but I do have a little wheeled filing cabinet that rolls into the center of the room if you don’t place chocks under the wheels.

In the end, though, I found these Gridmann casters, designed to be jammed into the hollow legs of restaurant kitchen tables. If the Mac Pro legs are indeed hollow, with holes, then these are absolutely perfect.

Buy from: Amazon — $52.79

A skateboard/dolly

This Stalwart dolly might even fit the Mac Pro's legs without modifications.
A nice dolly.
Photo: Stalwart

If you really want to move your Mac Pro around, why not just stick the whole thing on a skateboard? Even if you don’t skate, having a board around is super-useful. I’ve used them to transport sofas, to sit on, and even as levers to lift up the ends of heavy furniture. They even make a great bludgeoning weapon if you ever need to defend yourself.

But a skateboard might not be wide enough to hold the Mac Pro. In that case, try a dolly. You can pick one up in most hardware stores, or try one from Amazon, like the Stalwart model pictured above.

Buy from: Amazon — $25.46

Inline skate wheels

Good luck fitting these alternative Mac Pro wheels.
Good luck fitting these.
Photo: Ralph Store

Casters and dollies are all very well if you’re just wheeling your Mac Pro around the studio or office, but what about going off-road? On-location movie editors might prefer a bigger wheel, and even office-bound desk-jockeys might like to take their new Mac Pros for a spin. I imagine that developers at Apple’s spaceship campus like to saddle up their Macs Pro and sit astride them while their interns pull them around the circumference of the giant ring. Maybe they even place bets.

Buy from: Amazon — $19.99

Shopping cart

This cart is big enough to carry a Mac Pro, and some groceries.
This cart is big enough to carry a Mac Pro and some groceries.
Photo: Supenice

Who says you need to put wheels on the Mac? Why not put it into a cart with wheels? Like, maybe, a shopping cart?

The Mac Pro measures 17.7 inches (45 cm) by 8.58 inches (21.8 cm), so, as long as you don’t mind a few scratches and scrapes, any cart bigger than 18×9 should do the trick. That’s actually pretty small, so you should be able to pick up almost any cart off Amazon. The one in the photo above comes in at 22 inches by 21 inches by 36 inches. That’s big enough to carry two Mac Pros! Or one Mac Pro, some Doritos, some toilet paper and some beer. In short, everything you need for a good old-fashioned weekend LAN party.

Buy from: Amazon — $49.99

smart car

Smart Car convertible.
A convertible car from smart.
Photo: Public Domain

Go big or go home. A brand-new convertible smart car is cheaper than the top-end Mac Pro. And, if you strap your new Mac into the passenger seat, you’ll never have to give anyone else a ride. Of course, buying a new car is the ultimate FU to the rest of the world, and the future of our shared planet, but who cares? You just bought a computer that burns electricity like a space heater, a 1.4 kilowatt blower that you’re going to use for email.

The smart car is more expensive than those $400 official Mac Pro wheels, but at least you’re not giving the money to Apple. Fun fact: There’s a custom aluminum Big Mouth Billy Bass on the wall of Tim Cook’s office that laughs every time some sucker pays for those Mac Pro wheels.