There are a whole host of reasons why you might have to install, remove and/or store your roll-in pier as sections or parts, such as limited storage space, courtesy to neighbors, terrain, weight, or for the configuration reasons cited above. In such cases, the advantage of the roll-in diminishes, and in many cases becomes a disadvantage.
Roll-in sections are usually fairly long compared to the sectionals. That’s because they are only lifted at one end. There are two disadvantages with this. First, long sections require trusses to reinforce them (otherwise they would be too heavy), which makes them look like the old TV towers laid on their side. Second, each section must be rolled out and then “parked.” Longer sections require more to-and-fro movement to achieve alignment with the connection hardware.
Although “parking” seems intuitively easy, remember that you are in the water, and there’s going to be water resistance. The deeper you go, the more resistance (mostly on yourself) you will encounter. But that’s not the biggest problem. When you push or pull a roll-in section, you obviously have to lean toward or away from it in order to make it go. That works fine in shallow water, but in deeper water, where you are neutrally buoyant, leaning no longer works as well, if at all. It goes without saying that most installations and removals occur precisely when you do not want to be in the water anyway. Roll-ins that require you to install your pier in separate parts will, in most cases, require in-water maneuvering.
There are roll-ins whose installation method takes “advantage” of floating aids to keep you from having to enter the water. Putting a flotation piece in place, slowwwwwly moving the section into position, and then removing the flotation piece (before it floats away) seems small justification for a pier that’s supposed to be easier than a non roll-in. And would you ever believe that to be practical for one person? Incidentally, there are sectional piers which employ the same strategy for installation and removal. One wonders what the real difference between these two piers would actually be. Keeping the installer out of the water while requiring hour upon hour of work hardly seems like a worthwhile tradeoff. Worst of all, imagine installing this way in rough or windy conditions.
When you consider that wheels cost more than footpads and have more that can go wrong, roll-in piers that are installed piecemeal offer little or no real advantage over even regular sectional piers. When compared with Pier of d’Nort, these roll-ins don’t stack up at all, figuratively or literally.