Moving large equipment without an army or a forklift

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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 07-11-2014 03:42 PM 1343 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1317 posts in 1932 days

07-11-2014 03:42 PM

Hey guys,

I just moved shops and had to move all of my large equipment, including my real heavy tablesaw, bandsaw, planer, and jointer. I ended up renting a Lift gate truck from penske for the move. It was an absolute dream come true. All told, with gas, it cost me about $200 to do about 60 miles of traveling. I would highly suggest it to anyone who needs to move equipment but doesn’t have the forklift or 15 college guys standing around. I would even consider it an option if I found a killer deal on a very heavy machine on craigslist. Thought that option might be of use to some of you.

That said, what are the ingenious ways y’all have handled very large equipment?

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

8 replies so far

View helluvawreck's profile


31068 posts in 2864 days

#1 posted 07-11-2014 05:12 PM

I didn’t know where you can get a rental truck with a lift gate. Now I know and it will one day come in handy. Thanks for the tip.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View bigblockyeti's profile (online now)


5117 posts in 1718 days

#2 posted 07-11-2014 05:27 PM

I have a 12” Crescent jointer that weighs in somewhere north of 1000lbs., by how much I’m not sure. I wasn’t about to try to load that into my truck because I have no idea how I’d get it out. I ended up renting a Uhaul 5×9 trailer with a fairly low floor for just under $20. While I was able to get it loaded with a tractor, I had to unload it by myself with only ramps to get it out of the trailer. I will certainly be looking into other options if I have to move it again.

View Richard's profile


1916 posts in 2688 days

#3 posted 07-11-2014 05:32 PM

Even with the Liftgate Truck and a pallet jack I would want some extra man power , in my area there are always Day Labor guys standing around HD or Lowes willing to help for fairly cheap.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10385 posts in 3645 days

#4 posted 07-11-2014 06:24 PM

When you get into machines in the 800+ lb. class things get
complicated. My heaviest is a table saw in the 1 ton range.
I considered hiring a guy with a lift gate but 1 ton is pushing
it. I ended up moving it on a trailer. The seller had a forklift
but I used a 2×6 ramp, which broke in half. I’d used it to
unload 1000lb machines before but 2000lb. snapped it like
it was made of popsickle sticks. Fortunately the machine
journeyed to earth without tipping. I think if I had stuck
supports under the ramp it probably would have held up.

I use a pallet jack a lot. If you want a pallet jack for machines,
look for a “mini” jack with 36” long forks about 21” wide.

I use an engine hoist sometimes. I unloaded a 1200lb dovetailer
with it. An engine hoist has a limited range of travel so
you have to just lift it clear of the trailer, then set the machine
down on a stack of pallets. The trailer moves up when the
load is removed so getting a heavy machine clear means
at least a few inches of vertical travel. Once the machine is
on the stack of pallets/2x’s, remove the chains, raise the
boom, install the chains, lift, remove a pallet, then lower.
Go like that until the machine is on the last pallet, which
can then be moved with a pallet jack.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1932 days

#5 posted 07-11-2014 07:46 PM

Yeah Loren,

Pallet jacks are another option, my issue is I have no where to put one for the time being… I think someday I might make everything moveable by pallet jack, only problem is that your stuff sits up higher, but I can get over that. I love those stories about your equipment. 1 ton tablesaw, 1200 lb dovetailer. Crazy… In a good way

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View Ocelot's profile


1975 posts in 2635 days

#6 posted 07-11-2014 08:05 PM

I still had to let air out of the tires to be able to drive the truck out from under my planer.

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 1901 days

#7 posted 07-11-2014 10:18 PM

My latest machine off CL is a wood shaper. The seller told me it weighs only 700lbs.
I drove 400miles using my 1 ton pickup, to find the machine is closer to 2000lbs in weight. If I had known that I would have brought a trailer. Still wanting the machine and being stuck with a pickup, the seller loaded the machine in with a fork lift. Pickups have rather poor tie down options. I tied it down the best I could, then with extreme care found my way to a store that had wood. My emergency truck kit has a good hand saw and screws. I bought some 4X4s and 2X4s, then cribbed the machine in the truck bed-to avoid the machine crashing through the truck cab in a sudden stop in the terrible Seattle traffic. I got home safely, I have a good ramp and a pallet jack, but the machine has sort of an out of balance problem. Just too risky, so I completely broke the machine down in the back of the truck using an engine hoist. Then getting it on the ground in more manageable pieces. Really had to break it down anyway for cleaning——and this thing is going into my basement work shop——where it will be re-assembled using the engine hoist.

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1317 posts in 1932 days

#8 posted 07-12-2014 12:45 AM

Wow unbob. Good on you for doing that. Sounds like a full day and night’s worth of work. Bummer that the seller was off by 200% on the weight.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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