Packing and hauling a piano: Part 2
In an earlier post, I shared some important instructions pertaining to properly transporting a piano. In that article, I mentioned that I always ask for assistance when packing and moving a piano. I then gave 11 points of advice. In today's article, I will add a few more items to the list; items that pertain specifically to packing and transporting a grand piano.
Hauling a grand piano sounds like a daunting task, but, thankfully, it has been done for so many years, movers have fine-tuned (no pun intended) the process. When using the right tools and following the right procedure, moving a grand piano is arguably easier than moving an upright.
I've moved a good amount of grand pianos. Whether you're setting up the grand permanently in you home's living room or temporarily in the massive event center owned by Frank VanderSloot, the process is always the same.
How to move a grand piano:
Step 1: Ensure you have the right tools and equipment. You'll need a piano skid/board, a piano dolly, 8 ratchet-style moving straps, 10 blankets, a Phillips screw driver, and a Flathead screwdriver.
Step 2: Ensure you have the proper trailer and/or moving vehicle. You need a moving truck or cargo trailer with at least a 6-foot clearance at the door.
Step 3: Have at least 3 adults ready to help.
Step 4: Remove the pedal assembly.
Step 5: Wrap the grand piano with plastic wrap. Make sure the lid and keyboard covers are tightly closed and snugly wrapped, too. Cover the piano with several blankets and use a few moving straps to secure the blankets to the piano. Don't ratchet too tightly, as this can damage the wood.
Step 6: Remove the front right leg.
Step 7: With the piano skid set next to the piano, carefully tip the flat side of the piano onto the skid. The legs should now all be poking out to the side.
Step 8: Remove the other two legs.
Step 9: With the (legless) piano on the skidboard, use three more moving straps to secure the piano to the board.
Step 10: Tip the piano (w/board) back enough to get the piano dolly as close to the center, under the piano board, as possible.
Step 11: With ALL THREE ADULTS HELPING, carefully guide the piano to the trailer or truck. Be sure it has a gently-sloping ramp ready.
Step 12: Load the piano onto the truck or trailer. Secure with AT LEAST four more straps. Ideally, you'll want to secure the piano flush against a wall. However, some people successfully secure the piano in the middle of the floor if there are strong metal loops available for straps. This is more common for cargo trailers. Usually, moving trucks have convenient railing to secure a piano against the wall.
Step 13: Place the piano bench, legs, and pedal assembly in a safe, soft place using the remaining blankets.
Step 14: Once you've been on the road for ten minutes, pull over to inspect the piano. Double-check that the moving straps are still tight as they may have loosened during the initial moments of transport.
Step 15: Upon arrival to your destination, reverse the entire process for setting-up the grand piano.
As always, remember to stretch before and after any heavy lifting.