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#2222814 - 01/29/14 09:24 PM Shipping pianos - the risks.
Jonathan Baker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 459
Loc: New York City!
What are the risks of a grand piano being damaged by the vibrations of shipping in a truck? (I am referring to a 'professional' piano mover being hired). If the keyboard/action is removed and properly wrapped I suppose it would be reasonably protected from damage. But what about the soundboard - I worry that the rough & tumble of an extended road trip could crack the soundboard. Is this something to be concerned about?
_________________________
Jonathan Baker
http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com/index.htm

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#2222854 - 01/29/14 10:43 PM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Jonathan Baker]
KawaiDon Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/02
Posts: 1231
Loc: Orange County, CA
No, if you are using a quality piano mover you have nothing to worry about. The piano would have to be dropped from some height before the stress would affect the soundboard!
_________________________
Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America

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#2222863 - 01/29/14 11:03 PM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Jonathan Baker]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Does anyone have the link to the "grand oops" of the Bosendorfer being taken from the truck.

Very sad, but the expressions on the faces of the movers are priceless.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2222864 - 01/29/14 11:07 PM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Jonathan Baker]
Supply Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 3919
Loc: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Don't remove the keyboard and action from a grand. There is no safer place for it than inside the piano.
On some moves, the hammers are immobilized by inserting some thin wood slats and tying the hammers down. This is not always needed.

Make sure the mover is bonded and completely insured.
_________________________
Jurgen Goering
Piano Forte Supply
www.pianofortesupply.com

Piattino Caster Cups distributor

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#2222888 - 01/30/14 12:02 AM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Minnesota Marty]
Mike A Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 521
Loc: So.Cal.USA
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Does anyone have the link to the "grand oops" of the Bosendorfer being taken from the truck.


http://www.company7.com/bosendorfer/april2007_275drop.html

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#2222890 - 01/30/14 12:08 AM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Supply]
Jonathan Baker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 459
Loc: New York City!
Originally Posted By: Supply
Don't remove the keyboard and action from a grand. There is no safer place for it than inside the piano.
On some moves, the hammers are immobilized by inserting some thin wood slats and tying the hammers down. This is not always needed.

Make sure the mover is bonded and completely insured.


Good advice. Thank you. I was contemplating a move (not at all certain, though) that would be 13 hours away. That is a lot of of bumping around time in a truck. And the "professional" piano movers I have encountered through the years usually involve one guy who might know what he is doing, and one or two others who are clueless but have strong backs, and the trucks the cheapest rattle traps on the road.

I will certainly do extensive homework before contracting anyone to move any piano of mine in the future...

_________________________
Jonathan Baker
http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com/index.htm

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#2222894 - 01/30/14 12:28 AM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Jonathan Baker]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21829
Loc: Oakland
The biggest stress on the soundboard comes from the humidity extremes it can suffer.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2223174 - 01/30/14 01:43 PM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Jonathan Baker]
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
Originally Posted By: Jonathan Baker
I was contemplating a move (not at all certain, though) that would be 13 hours away. That is a lot of of bumping around time in a truck. And the "professional" piano movers I have encountered through the years usually involve one guy who might know what he is doing, and one or two others who are clueless but have strong backs, and the trucks the cheapest rattle traps on the road.

I will certainly do extensive homework before contracting anyone to move any piano of mine in the future...


It sounds like you may have worked with companies who (perhaps accidentally) misrepresented their services. Unfortunately, thatís not uncommon as most moving companies will eagerly tell potential customers that they can move pianos along with everything else. The problem is, they often donít know what they are doing. Moving a piano is very much a matter of balance and control, not just muscle.

If you are moving your entire household, letting the piano ride on the general moving truck may be fine if you hire piano movers at both ends of the trip to handle the loading and unloading. If itís a very large grand, or traveling separate from your other goods for whatever reason, you may want to find a company that will handle the transport start to finish.
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#2223190 - 01/30/14 02:13 PM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Jonathan Baker]
prout Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 853
Years ago a major American moving company moved my grand piano and house effects to our new home some 600 miles away. Without my knowledge they stored the piano on the fall board, which popped all the ivories and broke quite a few.

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#2223514 - 01/31/14 09:00 AM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Jonathan Baker]
piano_deb Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/26/05
Posts: 787
Loc: Memphis, TN
Oh, prout, what a nightmare! I hope that those movers paid for the repairs and that your piano was properly restored. When my piano was loaded onto the moving truck by the pros I hired just for that task, they positioned it, blanketed it, and tied it so it couldn't shift during the 500-mile trip. That's something else most general movers just really don't know how to do properly (but will eagerly claim that they do).
_________________________
Deborah
Charles Walter 1500
Happiness is a shiny red piano.

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#2223525 - 01/31/14 09:14 AM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Jonathan Baker]
anrpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 174
Loc: Chicago
If you are moving that far you could talk to Modern Moving or Walter Transport. Use a company which specializes in pianos. If you use a household mover, that is when you will someone who moved a piano a couple of months ago and isn't really sure how to take the legs off.
_________________________
Andrew Remillard
http://www.ANRPiano.com
http://www.AndrewRemillard.com
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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#2224312 - 02/01/14 06:02 PM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Jonathan Baker]
Silver Keys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/21/13
Posts: 152
Loc: Upstate N.Y.
I haven't had the opportunity to transport a piano (yet), but I've done plenty of moving with both u-haul trucks and large trailers. If the truck is full, the ride back there is surprisingly smooth.

On one NY to Texas trip, in a u-haul, I was astonished to find at the end of the trip, that a child's rubber play ball that I tossed in before closing the door was still balanced on top of the same box! And we were getting beat to heck in the cab!
_________________________
So much music and so little time!
-----------------------------------
1916 Mason & Hamlin BB
Yamaha P155

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#2224329 - 02/01/14 06:27 PM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Jonathan Baker]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1530
Loc: Old Hangtown California
These days I would be more concerned about transporting a piano with ivory key tops - especially if it crosses an international border. Somebody will want to punish you and or separate you from your finances.
_________________________
RPT
PTG Member

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#2224390 - 02/01/14 08:59 PM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Jonathan Baker]
R_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 535
I have made this comment in another thread about moving;

Piano movers NEVER seem to boast air ride trucks.

OTOH horse owners very much favor air ride trailers, in fact they will seek out horse haulers with air ride trailers.

Not to take this TOO far, but a pony or small horse weighs somewhere in the region of a Grand piano.
Many horses are of comparable value to a good concert grand, some more, some a LOT more (-:

I don't see climate controlled trucks advertized for piano moves either.
Temperature control ? easy.
Humidity control ? not so easy, but more valuable.
I think it would be a huge competitive advantage to have and advertize both ?

Maybe in and out of the building, on and off the truck are MOST of the job.
Everything else is "details".


Edited by R_B (02/02/14 08:19 AM)

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#2225390 - 02/03/14 08:15 PM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Jonathan Baker]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 386
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
I'm sure you could pay for white glove service for your piano move. We have one truck with a box heater. Since heat is what you need if the temp is 40 degrees or below. Some other things to look out for are plain trucks. If a mover shows up with a truck that has no lettering or magnetic signs I would run away.

Full lettering, USDOT and MC ICC numbers on the trucks. This means that they are paying the additional fees for adequate insurance and with most insurance carriers it also means that the truck is 6 years old or newer. If you don't see a motor carrier number then they are not qualified to be for hire simple as that.

Trucks that normally have a gross vehicle weight of 20K pounds or more will probably be air-ride and the smaller trucks under that AKA city delivery trucks will not be as air ride is not offered as an option.

That being said a truck with a climate controlled box, fully equipped with full service full value replacement insurance etc type move will be expensive. These days people expect piano moves to be done for 20.00 so there is that paradox. Pay for the service or get the guy on Craigslist with the two boards and pick-up truck for 20 bucks... pads optional. smile
_________________________
J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
Member/Sponsor

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation

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#2225516 - 02/04/14 12:19 AM Re: Shipping pianos - the risks. [Re: Jonathan Baker]
Jorge Andrade Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/13
Posts: 65
I would only trust either someone that I know directly as a mover and have seen his work numerous time or have great recommendations by someone I would cut my right arm for. Believe me, I bought a piano and had it moved cross-country 'bout 2 years ago and I'll never do it again.

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