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Moving piano via road freight-Long distance
#188325 02/13/09 02:11 AM
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Dear All,

I am about to move my piano across states in Australia, I am wondering if there are any precautions I need to take? I will be using a professional mover (they say they can do piano and will provide a crate) but not sure if I need to put moth balls inside the piano etc... to protect my piano during the move.

I will take out insurance on my piano of course.

It will probably take 2-3 weeks before they deliver my piano to the new location. So it will be quite a long move.

Any tips or advice greatly appreciated!

Re: Moving piano via road freight-Long distance
#188326 02/13/09 02:30 AM
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mothballs? That's a new one.

If you are hiring professional movers, then let the professionals do their job and don't worry about it.


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Re: Moving piano via road freight-Long distance
#188327 02/13/09 02:35 AM
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Hi Allegro,

I can't give any advice on movers in Australia, but, in the USA I have had pianos moved on numerous occasions.

First of all, it makes a big difference if the piano is an upright or a grand. With a grand, you want to make sure that you have selected quality movers with lots of experience. The legs and pedal lyre need to be removed and then re-attached. That requires more skill than just transporting an intact vertical.

Here, again let me state in the USA, a piano is not usually crated for domestic shipment. It is wrapped with packing blankets and then strapped for security. To crate a piano would be an expensive proposition.

As far as insect or varment control, ask your mover about how the whole shipment would be protected. I wouldn't even consider moth balls or do anything in preparation for the move.

That is what the pros are paid to do.


Marty in Minnesota
Re: Moving piano via road freight-Long distance
#188328 02/13/09 02:56 AM
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Thanks for that! Well I had my piano moved from adjacent states before, and the "professional" broke the piano stool...

My work is paying for the move and it is a different mover this time. They asked me to provide the dimension of piano for a crate, never heard that one before either!

I only have an upright piano, I don't even own a house yet! Probably should have my own place before going into further debt of a nice grand piano!

Re: Moving piano via road freight-Long distance
#188329 02/13/09 11:50 AM
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A crate is an awesome thing. They are so cheap to make and provide so much more protection than pads.

The only thing I'd be careful of is WHY they want a crate. Perhaps, if they are trying to save a buck on a long-distance move, they plan on sub-contracting the shipping to a third party "regular" freight company or railroad?

This kind of freight could be disastrous since forklift operators usually don't understand that a crated piano is much heavier on one side than it is on the other or that one long side of the crate is more top-heavy than the other.

Upright pianos are the same way. A crated upright is much heavier on the back than it is on the front.

I've seen inexperienced forklift drivers drop both and then scratch their heads wondering why the density of the crate isn't constant.

Of course, this is what cargo insurance is for. Always make sure you purchase ample insurance. Verify their insurance with your insurance company and if you have any misgivings, ask your insurer to write a policy for the move.

Pianos, ESPECIALLY crated ones, require a different kind of moving skill than a box of, say, dog food or sacks of rice, which tends to be proportional throughout the crate. The crate should be marked with which sides are the heavy sides and where the forks should go and which side the forklift should NOT lift from.

Railroads are the worst by the way. The g-forces that occur when cars are hooked to each other or when they are sent gliding down the hump in a freightyard can destroy a piano.

Same with shipping containers. Dropping them even an inch or so onto a container chassis can ruin them.

Again. Insurance.


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Former Piano Industry Professional
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All Posts are Snarky Unless Otherwise Noted
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