Need to move your family’s piano? Here’s how to do it right.
There is no need to call for professional piano movers if you want to move most pianos. Four or five people, a dolly with four wheels, pads to protect the piano and straps to keep it secured and a moving truck are all you require. However, if your piano is an antique, you might consider using a reputable piano mover and buying insurance for it.
Moving Upright Pianos
If you want to move an upright piano, try to determine its weight—large pianos can weigh 500 to 800 pounds, so you will need sufficient manpower, usually three or four strong people.
Although many pianos have wheels, do not attempt to roll the piano on its metal casters, since they are basically just there for decorative purposes and to keep the piano balanced. The casters could break or cut deep marks in floors or carpeting.
First, get a dolly with four legs, and then lay the piano on its side, in the center of the dolly. Now the weight is evenly distributed and it should be easy to maneuver the piano on virtually any fairly even surface. Instead of attempting to pick up and place a piano on the dolly, tip the piano on one side and place the dolly under the piano, which can then be carefully lowered onto the dolly. As it is pushed on the dolly, take care not to let the piano edge touch the floor or any other furniture or doorways, which could damage the piano.
Alternatively, you can use what is commonly known as a ‘skid” board, which is long, flat and padded. The skid board makes moving a piano up or downstairs much easier.
Keep in mind that the floor you are moving the piano to must be able to bear the weight of your piano.
Grand pianos are more difficult to move, due to their larger size and weight. They usually weight at least 1,000 pounds and it is not uncommon for them to weigh over a ton. For this reason it is a good idea use piano moving companies to move a grand piano. Their sheer size and cost require insurance and a careful, experienced hand.
In order to move a grand piano, remove the pianos legs from the body before placing the piano on a dolly. Grand pianos need to be handled with even more care than upright pianos, since their weight is not evenly distributed. A grand piano should be placed on the dolly with the short, straight side resting on the dolly. From here the task get tricky, since most of these pianos cannot fit through regular doors, and can’t be carried down stairs. A crane is utilized sometimes for grand piano moving, as well as special dolly’s, moving straps, and lots of manpower.