I recently got to the point, where I was moving quite a bit of machines in my basement and shop, but didn’t have a cart. I realized there had to be a better way to move these pinball machines and found out that many people use a cart from Harbor Freight. Recently, I did a post about tools in a toolbox, but knew this tool I had to get. This was going to be a tool that wouldn’t fit in my small toolbox.

There has been quite a bit of discussion on how to modify this cart to work with pinballs. I stole this idea from P2K over on Pinside.  I bought two connectors for under $10.  One was a trailer hitch at Harbor Freight and the other was a pipe connector at Home Depot.

Steps to Modify Harbor Freight Cart

Here are the steps that I used:

  • Cut the handle. I went a little bit past half and was probably closer to 65%. Using a pipe cutter created a clean cut. Surprisingly, I had a rubber grommet that wasn’t being used that fit perfectly into the opening. I did remove the handle by removing one bolt that was attached to the cable.
cart handle
Cutting handle with pipe cutter
cut handle
Handle cut…I got some help from the train conductor :).
  • Cut the trailer hitch pin. I took this to my shop and used an angle grinder and made quick work of this.
Cut trailer pin
Cut trailer pin
  • Insert the trailer hitch into the pipe connector. Make sure to leave enough room to connect to the cart. I had to use a hammer and pound this into the pipe connector. This took a little bit of work to do.
pipe connector
Trailer pin inside of pipe connector
  • Insert the pipe connector into the cart. I used an extended socket, which worked really well.  That way it didn’t move the trailer hitch.
    I will say this worked for a while, but after time came loose. I ended up having a buddy of mine spot weld the pipe connector to the handle.
trailer pin
Aligning the trailer pin hole with the cart hole
Trailer pin and pipe connection in place
Trailer pin and pipe connection in place


This modification to the Harbor Freight cart was pretty straight forward and really helped at moving pinball machines. I just followed the post on Pinside. My back has really thanked me for doing this and kicking myself for not doing it earlier. This makes moving pinball machines so much easier. I have also used to it raise a machine and level it.

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