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How to Move a Piano

Posted on by Darvills of Bradford

 

Moving a piano is incredibly difficult and can be dangerous when done incorrectly. In this article, we’ll be explaining the techniques involved in moving and transporting a piano, from property to property and room to room, as well as everything you will need to do a good job. Although, piano transportation should ideally be left to the professionals, and so, moving a piano yourself will be done at your own risk.

How to move a piano - Darvills of Bradford

What you will need to move a piano

It’s important, before you start to move or lift a piano, that you’re prepared. This ensures the safety of both yourself and the piano when in transit. So here are a few things you should have in your possession beforehand:

 

  • Plastic covers or old shower curtains, blankets or old bed sheets – you will need these to wrap around a piano before attempting to move it, not only will it help to protect the instrument from knocks and bumps, but it will also aid in keeping all parts in place.
  • Plastic cover straps – these will help to keep the plastic covers in place, as just throwing an old bed sheet over the top will not suffice, unfortunately.
  • Work gloves – preferably, these should have rubber grips on them to stop your hands from slipping; they will also act as protection, too.
  • A piano dolly – this is a trolley used to transport upright pianos. Despite many pianos being on wheels anyway, most of the time these are meant to be a decorative feature, and aren’t as functional as one may think. A dolly will support the weight of the piano, whereas its built-in wheels will not.
  • Piano shoes – despite the name, these aren’t shoes to go on the feet of your piano. Instead, they’re cases that a piano can be transported in. Usually, these are only needed when a piano will be transported on its side.
  • Piano slippers – these are larger than the aforementioned and are used to transport larger pianos, such as grand or baby grand pianos. 

 

How to lift a piano safely

Moving a piano involves a high amount of strength and delicacy. If you lift a piano incorrectly, you could end up injuring yourself or other people. As well as this, you also risk damaging the instrument.

Believe it or not, the weight and size of a piano can vary considerably, so it’s important to know as much as possible about the piano that you’re planning on lifting. For example, smaller pianos can weigh anywhere between 180kg and 270kg, whereas a grand piano can weigh as much as half a tonne.

You will also need a minimum of three people to lift a piano, so recruit some help. If you require professional assistance, our experienced team will always be on hand to aid in the lifting of your piano. We recommend that grand pianos be lifted and transported by a specialist removals company, a service we’re proud to offer. 

 

How to safely transport a piano from floor to floor

If you’re planning on transporting a piano up a few steps, then a piano ramp can be incredibly advantageous. However, if you’re lifting it up a whole flight of stairs, you will have no option but to carry it. Ideally, this should be done by a team of highly experienced professionals. If you decide to move a piano yourself then do so at your own risk. Be incredibly cautious, move slowly, wear appropriate shoes and always bend at the knees when lifting. 

 

How to move a piano into a van

When transporting a piano from place to place, it’s imperative that a reasonably sized van is used in the process. It’s also important that the piano can be strapped in accordingly and in an upright position. Always use a piano dolly to wheel the instrument around.

It could take up to four people to lift a piano onto the back of a van, unless it has a ramp. In which case, only three additional helpers may be needed. However, if your van doesn’t have a ramp, then the process will be a little more strenuous and you will definitely need some professional help. Don’t try to lift a piano onto a van yourself, unless it has a ramp to aid in the process.

Before moving the piano, place a wooden plank on the floor of the van, in the location where your piano will be. This will ensure a more even floor surface and also reduce the strain which will be put on the legs of the piano in transit.

Ensure that you have plenty of people helping in the moving and handling process, even when using a ramp. It’s advised that you have a minimum of three additional helpers, just to cover all bases. One person should be at the foot of the ramp, another at the top (standing inside the van if possible) and another at each side of the ramp. Begin wheeling it up, slowly and steadily.

Once the piano is safely on the van, take it off the dolly and set it down, upright, on the wood that should have been placed there prior to moving the instrument. The piano should then be safely and securely strapped down. It’s important that no part of the piano touches the van at any point, so ensure the plastic covers are arranged accordingly.

Never leave the piano on its dolly as it could break loose in transit, and become severely damaged. Only when the van has arrived at its destination should the piano be unbelted. 

 

Piano care after the moving process

It may be that the instrument will need to be tuned, as the moving and handling process will most likely loosen its strings. However, it’s advised that you wait 2-3 weeks before having it tuned, as it needs time to settle in its new environment, especially if you’ve had it re-balanced.

 

Why you should ask a professional to help

Pianos are extremely heavy, but incredibly delicate instruments. You may find it difficult to transport it from A to B without damaging either yourself or the piano in some way. It would also be a good idea to have it insured for your ultimate peace of mind.

If you require extra help, then get our team of experienced professionals to give you a hand. Our aim is to ensure that you have a completely stress-free move. So sit back, and let us take care of moving and handling your piano on your behalf.

 

Darvills Storage are a dedicated removals company, providing fully comprehensive services to our customers throughout West Yorkshire and the surrounding areas. If you’re on the lookout for highly experienced, trained professionals who will transport your piano safely, then take advantage of our piano removals service today. Not only that, but we also specialise in everything from domestic removals and self storage to commercial removals and document storage. Regardless of your needs, we will have you covered. For more information, or to learn about the international removals we conduct, get in touch with us today – we’re always happy to help.

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