heirlooms that may have been with your family for generations. Quality movers know this, and are prepared to handle these items with the care and attention they deserve. But transporting a piano properly and safely requires some serious know-how – here’s what the process may require:
Measuring and Packing
The first step when moving heavy and cumbersome items is to develop exit and arrival strategies. It’s vital to know not only how the piano will be maneuvered from the starting point out to the truck or other vehicle, but also how it can negotiate past various obstacles to get back indoors at the final destination. On occasion, a particularly large piano may need to be disassembled to navigate doorframes – especially if the moving process is rushed. Taking time in advance to plan this task is well worth it.
The next step is to close the keyboard lid, and to wrap the fragile piano’s surface in protective padding, paying special attention to corners and any other region at higher risk of colliding with walls or doorframes. Packing tape is great for securing cushioning materials in place, but avoid sticking it directly onto the wooden surfaces of the piano itself.
Lifting and Transporting
Physical transportation of a piano is a multi-person job, and usually requires some basic equipment as well. Pianos are rather top-heavy – don’t lift them by their legs, or you’ll risk snapping one or dropping the entire body onto its side. Instead, you’ll want to set 1-2 people on each end of the instrument and lift it by the corners, with the assistance of a moving strap fed underneath it, before placing it onto a furniture dolly. The entire piano should be kept upright through this process, to protect the delicate inner workings. If it has casters, these should be locked if at all possible.
The actual move is usually performed with a moving truck: while flatbeds are acceptable in a pinch, an enclosed space will provide better protection from the elements. Ideally, the piano will be set against the back wall of the truck. Take care to ensure a level floor space to assist in leg stability (wooden boards can be used to even this out if necessary), and that the instrument itself is secured in place.
Once you’ve arrived, unloading and delivery is much like the packing process in reverse. Don’t forget to tune the piano when all is said and done – the hammers and strings inside are quite sensitive to bumps and movements, and the sound will almost certainly have shifted during transit.
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