Moving a Piano today.3-26-10

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Forum topic by Frankie Talarico Jr. posted 03-26-2010 05:47 PM 1154 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 2774 days

03-26-2010 05:47 PM

Does any one have any experience doing just that, moving a Piano? I mean I moved cabinets my whole working life. Big stuff like MDF fixtures for store fronts. Some of this stuff is over 300-400LBS. So heres my perdicament. I only have my pickup truck to move it. “06” silverado, 6 ft bed.

I plan on using ramps as it’s on a porch. I’ll back right up to it, set the ramps, and roll it on up. Strap it with a million straps, and do the oppisite at home.

I wondering if any one has experience on what to watch for. Maybe I’ll just wing it. I’d hate to pay someone when the piano was a free gift.

It’s an upright, tall unit, WOW. Finally get my own to play.

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

18 replies so far

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 3109 days

#1 posted 03-26-2010 05:49 PM

lots of bodies lol…..........

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View Planeman's profile


97 posts in 2995 days

#2 posted 03-26-2010 05:52 PM

All I can say is get four to six hefty guys to help and man-wrestle the thing up the steps and through the house. Years ago when we bought a piano for my daughter to learn on the piano company sent four guys over who did just that . . . and one of them was totally blind! He just lifted, grunted, and shuffled along with all the others.


-- Always remember half of the people in this country are below average.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16229 posts in 3636 days

#3 posted 03-26-2010 05:58 PM

I’ve had one moved a few times and either observed or helped with the procedure. I don’t know that there is anything special to watch out for, other than the fact that they are extremely heavy. It should really be a four person job to be safe. The wheels on pianos are really only good for rolling on smooth surfaces, so you will probably have to do some total lifting at some point. Securing it well is important, as you have noted.

Be prepared to have it tuned once it is in its new home.

Good luck, and happy tinkling of ivories! :-)

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

449 posts in 2423 days

#4 posted 03-26-2010 06:02 PM

Little piano casters suck for moving the things except for short distances. Get out your flat padded furniture dollies with bigger casters. Lift up one end and center the dolly. Its just like moving large cabinets except uprights are pretty top heavy. Especially the old ones with the cast iron harps.

It helps to have two dollies if you are going up or down a step or going over a door threshold. Up a flight of stairs? Get some big guys.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3342 days

#5 posted 03-26-2010 06:14 PM

Make sure you strap the dolly to the piano and 4 people are needed. You can get by with 3 but 2 is asking for trouble.

View hjt's profile


822 posts in 2556 days

#6 posted 03-26-2010 06:22 PM

I’d hire it out!! Look at it like this… how much would it cost to buy this piano brand new and have it transported? You got the piano free…..

-- Harold

View Todd Clare's profile

Todd Clare

67 posts in 2403 days

#7 posted 03-26-2010 06:40 PM

When we moved our movers used straps and “forearm forklift” kinds of attachments that optimize your lifting potential on heavy or unwieldy objects. I haven’t moved anything as heavy as the (beer) fridge they were trying to wrestle up and down stairs, but I have used the strap theory on smaller items and it works great. basically uses physics to redirect the forces in directions the body was designed to work—causes compression and tension along the axis of the long bones where the body can carry the most force stably.

Here’s the “as seen on TV” version, but a heavy tug-strap or some decent webbing works just as well.

-- Todd (Denver, CO -- Highlands)

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2533 days

#8 posted 03-26-2010 06:44 PM

I remember years ago when I had to move an upright piano
and I had a realy truck for it and the correct movingbelts
that was something I never do again even thow we cuold just
let it glide from the door over a piece of lumber in to the truck
I say hire it out and avoid get your back destroyd by accidently
making a small failure there is a lot more power behind it if it slip
than you can imaging

been ther done it and never again trust me

good luck with your new piano


View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 2774 days

#9 posted 03-26-2010 06:49 PM

Thanks for that everyone, I have three guys there, Like i said it’s on the porch as of this morning, And I can back right up to it. So I think I’ll have like a 10” incline over 6’. Not too bad. Same goes for my place. So hopefully we’re not lifting more than 6” and that will be one side at a time.

I will use a furniture dolly, That just seems to make total sense. I looked at the castors and ou’re right, Good for smooth only. Home Cheapo got some I think.

I’m a little nervous, but I want the piano badly. I’ll jut work with the muscle in the brain as opposed to my back.

Thanks for all the help

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View SKFrog16's profile


661 posts in 2618 days

#10 posted 03-26-2010 07:11 PM

Get it tuned after you move it. Wait a few days so it can acclimate to the house. Going from inside to outside then moved in a truck to back inside, it will need to be retuned.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View PaulfromVictor's profile


224 posts in 2763 days

#11 posted 03-26-2010 07:32 PM

I recommend a phone book and a credit card.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2505 posts in 2856 days

#12 posted 03-26-2010 07:43 PM

Pianos are so heavy and bulky that even professional movers charge a lot just to get them to take the job. Lots of men will make it possible. You’d need at least 4 good ones. If you don’t have them them I’d opt to pay to have it moved. I moved one a short distance but over a small set of cellar stairs once. It was a nightmare.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View beatlefan's profile


56 posts in 2516 days

#13 posted 03-26-2010 07:43 PM

Man my back hurts just reading this—I’ve helped move several pianos in my time—moved one of my own a couple of times—remember that an upright piano is top heavy—I saw one come out of the back of a truck one time when turning a sharp curve—that thing made the strangest sound when it was breaking into all those pieces—be careful my friend !!

-- Tony --

View webwood's profile


626 posts in 2668 days

#14 posted 03-26-2010 09:20 PM

i’ve seen the 3 stooges do this a number of times – the video may be helpful – lol

-- -erik & christy-

View russv's profile


262 posts in 2587 days

#15 posted 03-26-2010 10:18 PM

30 years ago i rented part of a building i owned and used to a piano tuner. he would ask me to help move pianos all the time. we moved maybe 100 pianos over the years. a furniture dolly is all you need. wrap it with furniture blankets to protect it. we never tied it to the dolly. he had a 6 or 7 foot ramp to go up and down stairs and into the truck. once in the truck, take the dolly out from under and tie it down. to put the dolly under one of us would lift one end of the piano and the other would put the dolly under it in the center. we moved some pretty heavy ones together on many occasions. once on the dolly, they roll pretty easy. it really wasn’t that hard, except when a second floor was involved. that’s another story. lol


-- where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

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