You’ve just spotted the perfect piano while thrift shopping. However, a piano is a lot bigger and heavier than most of your regular purchases, which makes it more difficult to get home. It can be much easier and safer to hire professional piano movers, but if you have some willing hands and you want to tackle moving a piano on your own, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Having the right equipment can make moving a piano easier. You will need heavy-duty furniture straps, a furniture dolly, and blankets or a durable piano cover. Wrap the piano in blankets or with the piano cover to prevent damage to the piano as you move around corners and doorways. Make sure you secure the blankets with straps or moving tape so that they don’t slide and fall during the move. Also, even if your piano has wheels, you should always use a dolly to move it. Piano wheels are only meant to move a piano a few inches, not to a completely new location. The wheels are delicate and won’t stabilize the weight as well as a dolly.
If possible, take the legs off the piano and move them separately. Removing the legs prevents them from breaking or getting damaged during the move. It also makes the piano lighter and easier to maneuver. If you do remove the legs, take note of where all the parts go so that you can reattach them after the piano is in its new location.
Because of the internal components that hold the strings together, pianos are usually top-heavy and have delicate legs. If the piano is thrown off balance, its inner workings could be damaged or it could fall and hurt someone. Understanding the weight and balance of the piano can help you prevent damage to the piano and injury to the movers. If you are rolling a piano up or down a ramp, lead with the left side of the piano (the bass-key side) because it is a bit heavier. Take your time and go slowly while moving a piano.
You should always have a team to help you move a piano. Generally, you should have at least four people helping—two for lifting and two for guiding and handling equipment. Make sure everyone knows their specific tasks and what they are responsible for during the move before you start. It is a good idea to establish a way to communicate throughout the process, whether through hand signals or vocal signals.
Avoid wearing long jewelry or clothes that can easily get caught. Wear comfortable clothes that you can move in and that won’t get caught in any of the gears. For increased stability, wear shoes with good soles and traction for moving pianos down a ramp. You can also wear gloves to give you a better grip.
If you are loading a piano in a moving truck with other items, make sure the piano goes in first. The deeper it is inside of a moving truck, the safer it will be. Strap the piano firmly to the inside of the truck, and place boxes around the piano to support it as the truck drives along roads that could be rocky or bumpy.
Make sure you know the route you’ll be taking so that you know what you’ll need at each step. Clearing obstacles and having people ready to help in difficult areas will make the process go quicker and smoother.