What's your experience moving equipment? 500+lbs?

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Forum topic by ChuckH posted 10-01-2013 02:36 PM 4407 views 0 times favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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70 posts in 1792 days

10-01-2013 02:36 PM

Come October I’m in the market for a new table saw. I’m considering a cabinet or a nice hybrid. It’s hard enough sieving through all my options, but now that it’s close to a reality I have to consider how I would move a 500lbs saw.

I live at the end of a .10 mile gravel driveway with no turnaround. Pickups and large cars sometimes have to 3-point to leave. Lowes bravely brought a box truck to deliver our appliances – probably a 30 footer, and spent 30 minutes backing out of our driveway.

I’m at a loss as to how I’m going to pickup or unload a saw, new or used. I’m looking at adding $300 for pro movers to any used table saw purchase in about a 50 mile radius. I’m getting a quote from Grizzly today about “inside” delivery service. I’m guessing it’s going to be about the same or more – it’s on top of the 150 freight + 35 lift gate.

What sort of experience or advice do you guys have when it comes to transporting big heavy tools?

47 replies so far

View hydro's profile


208 posts in 1777 days

#1 posted 10-01-2013 02:43 PM

A tractor with a bucket works very well, and one with forks on the bucket works even better. Do you have neighbors with equipment? Another option would be to take the table off of the base and move it in two parts. A couple of guys could lift them onto a cart and roll it up the driveway.

-- Minnesota Woodworkers Guild, Past President, Lifetime member.

View natenaaron's profile


442 posts in 1823 days

#2 posted 10-01-2013 02:45 PM

If you have a pick up meet the truck at the pavement load saw into truck. It will be work but doable, especially if there is a lift gate. Position it at the edge of the truck bed and just roll that puppy on.

At your house install a come along or electric winch to hoist the saw out of the truck and onto a furniture dolly. An engine lift will do the same thing.

Roll saw into shop and unpack.

Good luck.

View ChuckH's profile


70 posts in 1792 days

#3 posted 10-01-2013 02:52 PM

Nope, no heavy equipment. Disassembly is an option I may consider… do you know how … disassemble-able a cabinet saw is? I assume the top comes off – but cast iron, that’s still got to be a few hundred pounds of it. Still 200lbs is much more manageable than 500…

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2064 days

#4 posted 10-01-2013 03:31 PM

Get some moving tools of your own, or get some friends with trucks and trailers and lifts.
I moved a metalworking lathe – well over a ton, by myself across the desert backyard and in through the small door of the shop using just an engine hoist, and my little Lowes ATV Trailer. Before that I moved a mill-drill – as heavy as your TS but top-heavier. And I just unloaded a 600 pound shaper by myself. I also moved a vertical mill but had some help with that.

An engine hoist can be had cheap at HF and it folds up out of the way when not needed. With the hoist I can lift anything I can get a strap or chain around. Once it’s in the air the hoist has wheels for where there is cement. For going across the backyard I use the trailer. My trailer is one of those mesh-bottom ones that Lowes sells for ATVs and riding mowers. For something as small as a TS the trailer doesn’t need to be hooked up to a vehicle – I just drop the tool right over the center of the axle and it’s light enough and perfectly balanced that I can pick it up and pull around by hand.
If you don’t have these tools, maybe one of your friends/neighbors does and you could borrow them for a bit?

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#5 posted 10-01-2013 03:32 PM

At 10” table saw with a sheet metal base and the fence and
wings removed is lighter than you think… maybe 300lb. I
can move such a saw myself using a truck and a dolly. The
hardest part is getting the saw into the vehicle, not getting
it out. I use a piece of plywood usually about 3’x5’ – lean
the ply against the tailgate at an angle, then push the
saw up to it and tip it onto the ply board. Then lift the
end of the ply and slide/wiggle it in. If you get a good lift
with a helper it slides straight in.

Getting it out is easier.

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 1929 days

#6 posted 10-01-2013 03:54 PM

Lorens method works well.
On the same note, two guys can get a 12” saw up on some 4X4s, then tilt it on its top in a pick up-easy in a mini van.
Of course pull the fence and wings. I was able to do this alone “10” saw, by removing the motor also. Best to have some help though. I do like to pull the motor, in case of a bad bump, a trunion can get broke.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2519 days

#7 posted 10-01-2013 04:02 PM

A trailer that’s close to the ground will help. You can put the saw onto the trailer by tipping it upside down on it’s table, then reverse the procedure to get it off. If you dis assemble it (which is a good idea), just taking the table off may let you handle it with a 2 wheeler, removing the motor will get another 70# or so out. If yoiu find “washers” on each corner of the table, keep track of them. They are probably shims that kept the table leveled to the cabinet.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View PaulDoug's profile


1550 posts in 1729 days

#8 posted 10-01-2013 04:21 PM

Truck driver and I the slid mine from the truck to my pick up. I backed it up as close to the door as feasible, used my hand operated “cherry picker” to off load it and move it half way through the door. I then disassembled the cherry picker, brought it in through another door re-assembled the cherry picker (only takes a few minutes), inside my work shop and moved the saw where I could un-crate it. Assembled what had to be assembled and used the cherry picker to lift the saw, moved the rolling base under the saw and lowered the saw onto it. The hardest part was pumping the hydraulic on the cherry picker up to lift things. Other words a pretty easy operation. I move a whole lot of things with my Harbor Freight cherry picker.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2312 days

#9 posted 10-01-2013 04:21 PM

Disassembly will save your back, your friends’ backs, and a lot of money.
Remove fence and rails.
Remove wings.
If the base and top are still too heavy, remove the main table.

My WIFE and I moved my table saw back to my shop (no drive-up access… this was over about 75 feet of grass and then 24 feet of patio) and she’s 5’2”. Honestly did not take long and nobody got hurt. :)

Take note of any shims in the win-to-table junction, keep track of all bolts and washers (plastic sandwich bags, painters tape, and a marker).

Besides the fence and rails, you’re really only breaking it down into 3, maybe 4 parts. And everything becomes VERY easily manageable.

View Joseph Jossem's profile

Joseph Jossem

492 posts in 2294 days

#10 posted 10-01-2013 04:28 PM

friends and leverage.or rent a flatbed with a lift gate

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2940 days

#11 posted 10-01-2013 04:43 PM

I don’t see where you mentioned:
  • what your shop looks like,
  • ceiling height AND type (I-Beam?, exposed rafters?),
  • where your shop is located (basement, 2nd floor, etc?),
  • what kind of access is there to your shop (8×16 garage door?, driveway/ramp?, etc)

There is a lot of good advice above “IF” it applies to your situation. Can you help us by describing the above characteristics?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View mantwi's profile


312 posts in 1922 days

#12 posted 10-01-2013 04:50 PM

I have a one man shop and have moved my 340lb Makita 2030N jointer/planer combo, 525lb Grizzly 1023 and a massive 800lb 20” planer by myself. I used a beam of four 2×4’s that I lay across the bottom cord of four trusses at a point where the diagonal bracing is gang nailed to them and a chain hoist to lift the machines out of my truck. If your ceiling is finished pick the spot where you are willing to penetrate it (you can easily patch it) and use a furniture dolly (not a hand truck) or mobile base to roll the machine in it’s final position. All of the equipment can be rented for a day at a huge savings over paying $300.00 to movers. It’s still tough and nerve wracking but doable nonetheless.

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#13 posted 10-01-2013 05:13 PM

I have unloaded 1000lb. machines with just the help of
my old dad. I’ve unloaded 600lb+ machines solo. Often
when buying a used machine from a pro, loading will be
no problem as their will tend to be equipment, labor and
experience on the seller’s end.

I use a ramp screwed together from 2×6s for really
heavy stuff. For common machines like 3hp table saws
and shapers lying on their backs in a truck the plywood
works fine.

View ChuckH's profile


70 posts in 1792 days

#14 posted 10-01-2013 05:54 PM

Mike, my shop is finished basement, drywalled ceiling. I don’t know the type. Access is through the garage, then through a single door, then through double doors. It’s a few inches shy of 9 feet tall. Driveway extends right up to the slab the garage sits on, and it’s all gravel.

View John_H's profile


175 posts in 1732 days

#15 posted 10-01-2013 06:11 PM

The first problem is getting it off the truck.

As you found out, “lift gate” service cost extra. Another option – do you live close enough to an actual freight terminal where you could go and pick it up? You should be able to save some money since they don’t have to truck it to your house AND they will load it with a fork lift into your vehicle or trailer for free

If you don’t have a pickup truck, a small, folding, tilt-bed trailer like this one from Harbor Freight really comes in handy. Less than $300 and they occasionally go on sale

With a trailer like that – back into your garage, unpin the lock mechanism which allows the rear of the trailer to tilt down to the ground and slide/push the pallet off.

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