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#1837636 - 02/03/12 01:13 AM Best way to move a piano
plns Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 59
I am noticing some pianos being given away on Craigslist in my area. Granted I find on that is not destroyed, is better to hire a piano moving company or try and move it myself.

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#1837647 - 02/03/12 01:26 AM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: plns]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20752
Loc: Oakland
Destroying the piano is minor compared to destroying a house, or even worse, yourself. Hire a mover.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1837664 - 02/03/12 02:08 AM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: plns]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1178
Loc: Nashville, TN
It depends on what your abilities are, how much of a can do attitude you have, if you have some basic moving equipment, what kind of piano you are moving, your ability to follow common sense safety procedures, your willingness to research how to properly move a piano, etc. There are a lot of variables, but moving a piano is something that can be done by yourself and a small crew.

If you're clueless about things like tie down straps, furniture dollies, pick up trucks, and other things such as safety, hire a piano mover.
_________________________
Knabe 5'2" Louis XV Walnut circa 1927
Very part time piano broker.

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#1837685 - 02/03/12 03:47 AM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: plns]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3296
I don't mean to be rude, but moving a piano by yourself is, frankly, as stupid as it is dangerous.

1. If you damage someone's property or injure them, you will probably be sued.

2. If you hurt (or kill) yourself, you'll have expensive medical bills.

3. If you damage the piano, it will still need to be removed.

4. You will likely spend more money buying proper moving equipment than you will hiring a mover.

Even professional piano movers get it wrong: http://www.conradaskland.com/blog/2007/04/movers-drop-88000-bosendorfer-piano/

And this is why any credible moving company is bonded and insured!
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1837735 - 02/03/12 06:48 AM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: plns]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1183
Loc: London UK
I once got an upright piano into a VW van by myself. I was much younger then, and the odd dent to the piano (and its surroundings) disn't matter!

Two people and a piano trolley can do it. How much will it matter if things go wrong? Will the owner go ballistic if there's a slight mark to a wall or door-frame?

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#1837749 - 02/03/12 07:18 AM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: plns]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4789
Loc: Bradford County, PA
If the piano is a modern upright, I don't see a big deal in renting a set of piano dollies, a ramp, and some straps. Borrow a pick-up truck (or better yet, find someone with a low trailer) and some old blankets and go for it. Just take your time and be cautious. Many more pianos are moved by owners and friends than by professional movers.

These are like the dollies that rent for $20.00 a day in my area:



Ha! I just remembered the last piano I tuned. The couple had just moved from one place to another in the same town. They wanted to make sure the piano was moved correctly so they hired the dealer to move it. Sure enough a leg was broken off. It was glued back together, but not refinished.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1837815 - 02/03/12 09:29 AM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: plns]
BenP Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/16/12
Posts: 141
Loc: South Jersey
There's a big difference between moving a spinet and moving a grand. There's also a big difference between moving it into a wide open first-floor room and moving into a tight third-floor apartment (both of which I've had to do). For the former, I did it myself. For the latter, I paid a mover.

Hiring a professional is a case-by-case decision as far as I'm concerned. Many of the variables have already been mentioned.
_________________________
Ben Patterson
Part-time Piano Tech
Rural South Jersey

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#1838161 - 02/03/12 07:24 PM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: UnrightTooner]
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
If the piano is a modern upright, I don't see a big deal in renting a set of piano dollies, a ramp, and some straps. Borrow a pick-up truck (or better yet, find someone with a low trailer) and some old blankets and go for it. Just take your time and be cautious. Many more pianos are moved by owners and friends than by professional movers.

These are like the dollies that rent for $20.00 a day in my area:



Ha! I just remembered the last piano I tuned. The couple had just moved from one place to another in the same town. They wanted to make sure the piano was moved correctly so they hired the dealer to move it. Sure enough a leg was broken off. It was glued back together, but not refinished.


These are the worst devices for moving pianos.We always moved a piano strap on a 4 wheel dolly
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

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#1838177 - 02/03/12 07:47 PM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: wayne walker]
accordeur Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1112
Loc: Québec, Canada



These are the worst devices for moving pianos.We always moved a piano strap on a 4 wheel dolly
[/quote]

I agree, asking for trouble with one of those.


Edited by accordeur (02/03/12 07:49 PM)
_________________________
Jean Poulin

Musician, Tuner and Technician

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#1838178 - 02/03/12 07:51 PM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: plns]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20752
Loc: Oakland
All of which goes to show that unless you are experienced, you should not be moving pianos.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1838202 - 02/03/12 08:53 PM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: Pianolance]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Originally Posted By: Pianolance

If you're clueless about things like tie down straps, furniture dollies, pick up trucks, and other things such as safety, hire a piano mover.

Pick up truck??? That is the absolute worst vehicle for piano moving.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#1838204 - 02/03/12 08:59 PM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: plns]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Wayne, Jean and BDB - perhaps we should not be about talking experience being advised in connection with moving pianos. We might be putting ourselves in danger of getting slammed - you know, the old "It's not rocket science, anyone can do it" routine.

Hey, how about a forum for DIY Piano Movers??? laugh thumb ha
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#1838263 - 02/03/12 11:34 PM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: plns]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1730
Loc: Philadelphia area
Hire a mover!!!! A piano can break your bones.

But first, have the piano checked out by a technician.

One of the main reasons people are giving away the piano is that nobody will buy it. They then put it on Craigs list hoping someone will remove it for free.

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#1838264 - 02/03/12 11:37 PM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: plns]
plns Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/15/12
Posts: 59
Thanks for the info guys. I was thinking about getting one to practice on.. Maybe bringing it to a storage unit, tuning it and possibly selling it but really for practicing.

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#1839400 - 02/06/12 07:56 AM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: plns]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4789
Loc: Bradford County, PA
I like the pictured piano moving dollies because the folding handles are just right when going over thresholds. And a pickup truck is great when there is a front porch to negotiate. They are very common here.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1839670 - 02/06/12 04:53 PM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: UnrightTooner]
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
I like the pictured piano moving dollies because the folding handles are just right when going over thresholds. And a pickup truck is great when there is a front porch to negotiate. They are very common here.


but they add length to the piano, most times in hallways you have to take them off to make a turn. Try moving pianos on a good 4 wheel dolly with the piano strap to the dolly and you never want to use the other device again
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

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#1840027 - 02/07/12 07:45 AM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: plns]
UnrightTooner Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/13/08
Posts: 4789
Loc: Bradford County, PA
Wayne:

You may very well be right, but how do you get it up on the dolly without having to lift from an awkward position? That is another thing I like about the ones I use. There is a foot lever that lifts the piano.
_________________________
Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?

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#1840258 - 02/07/12 03:25 PM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: UnrightTooner]
wayne walker Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 515
Loc: Windsor,Nova Scotia Canada
Originally Posted By: UnrightTooner
Wayne:

You may very well be right, but how do you get it up on the dolly without having to lift from an awkward position? That is another thing I like about the ones I use. There is a foot lever that lifts the piano.

two people lift the piano on the dolly, real simple. When I was moving pianos, most times there was only two people on the moves. When I started I used the device that is in the picture. I found it made the job harder.
_________________________
Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/

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#1840337 - 02/07/12 05:47 PM Re: Best way to move a piano [Re: plns]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20752
Loc: Oakland
You can do it solo. The important thing to remember is that the higher you lift one end, the more weight ends up on the other. So it is much harder if you do not lift enough.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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