No matter what type of piano you are moving, whether it is a baby grand, upright or electronic, it’s important to be knowledgeable in how to move it. After all, pianos are complex mechanical devices that are heavy and often prone to damage. The smallest piano weighs up to 600 pounds and a grand piano can weigh twice as much! The last thing you want to happen is get injured because you moved a piano the wrong way, so here are some tips and tricks to prevent injuries along the way.
If you have to put your upright piano into storage, make sure to close and lock the piano to protect it during transport and wrap your piano with padding and stretch wrap. Move the piano onto a dolly and lift with your legs. You can also consider other types of dollies such as swivel dollies and refrigerator dollies. Always have a solid ramp or walking board ready to transport the piano and prevent it from rolling down the stairs or any other elevated surface. Always plan your route and make sure the path is clear before moving your piano. The most important part during this process is to move with others and not by yourself.
Lifting the Piano
When lifting the piano, use a piano dolly, a piano board (they come in various sizes) and straps to be safe. Use a thick moving pad and rubber bands to put around the lid of the piano. First, wrap your piano with heavy moving blankets and make sure the entire piano is padded up really well. Next, use your straps to secure the piano and don’t forget to tighten them to secure it. Always put a second strap on just to be safe. If your piano is extremely heavy, you can put a pad down on one end and then simply lift the one end itself. Put the heavy duty steel piano dolly underneath. Make sure the back of the dolly lines up with the piano especially when you are moving the piano through doorways. Some U-haul trailers can have a steep ramp so it’s important to have a pad down at the bottom. When you come down, the piano will hit first because the ramp is so steep. But with the pad at the bottom, the piano won’t hit close to the ground and the pad will enable the piano to go slowly.
Disassembling Grand Pianos
Some pianos may even need to be disassembled so that it can be moved safely. If you have a baby grand or grand piano, then you may need to do this first before lifting and moving it. Disassemble the lid, music rack, pedal assembly and even all the legs. Make sure they are placed in labelled boxes. Organization is key in this process and will make re-assembling easier by tenfold. After disassembling, you can start by lifting the bass corner of the piano and from the back end upward. Because the downward-pointing end of the piano will hold most of its weight on a staircase, never stand directly behind a piano without room to stand aside in case it slips down the staircase.
Always make sure to have strong and well-balanced people moving one piano. If you are going to seek professional help, make sure they have the tools and supplies available to ensure your piano is moved safely without damaging the environment around you.