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Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? #1228923
07/09/09 11:25 AM
07/09/09 11:25 AM
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orlandopiano Offline OP
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Before you criticize the topic, let me say that I realize this is not recommended over a professional piano mover. However, I've been offered a free piano that is pretty beat up, and if I don't take it they will literally dump it. I don't need it, but I would like to give it to my sister who just happens to be moving this weekend and will have a Uhaul. I do not want to spend $200 to have it professionally moved when the piano probably isn't even worth that.

So, my brother-in-law will have a Uhaul and about 3 men to help move it. We just need to know how to keep it securely in the Uhaul. It's only a 15 minute drive.


Last edited by orlandopiano; 07/09/09 11:26 AM.
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Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: orlandopiano] #1228947
07/09/09 12:32 PM
07/09/09 12:32 PM
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Get you some straps with the come-along assembly on them and secure the piano to the side wall of the UHaul trailer. I would make sure the piano is closer to the front of the trailer. You could also take some 2x4 blocks about 4inches square and nail them to the floor of the trailer (if it has a wood floor) around the casters on the piano. This will keep it from shifting.


Tuner/Technician, Associate Member PTG, Certified Installer Piano Life Saver Systems
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: JMichaelWilson] #1229083
07/09/09 06:36 PM
07/09/09 06:36 PM
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Be careful with the Uhaul trailer. Sometimes the rails that you use to secure item is not solid. I have had 2 rails let go just from tighten ratchet straps. You should buy some ratchet straps to secure the piano. You don't need to nail blocks to the floor, good quality straps will work fine if the rails are in good solid shape.


Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: wayne walker] #1229335
07/10/09 06:25 AM
07/10/09 06:25 AM
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Bradford County, PA
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Since no one has mentioned it, call around to rental places and see if you can rent a set of piano dollies ($25 at my local hardware rental center). They come in a pair that go on each end with straps to secure them to the piano. The fold-up handles give you a place to lift without bending over. And there is a lever that lifts the piano onto 4 inch wheels that make the piano easy to roll and prevents the piano's casters and legs from being damaged when going over thresholds.

Here is a picture:

[Linked Image]


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
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Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: UnrightTooner] #1229357
07/10/09 07:44 AM
07/10/09 07:44 AM
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If you have any doubts about the solidity of the securing rails,

the worst case scenario is that the piano will end up falling over -
causing damage to both piano and van.

If, however, you lie the piano on it's back, this won't happen.

Place the piano on top of some sturdy blankets - this serves two purposes.....

1. It provides some 'shock-absorbtion', and...

2. Makes it easier to 'slide' the piano into, and out of, the van.

Make sure it's as firmly secured as is possible - cargo of that weight, if unsecured,
can cause a heck of a lot of damage.

Rather you than me!

Good luck.... & remember to bend your knees...

Saving a bit of cash by not using professional piano movers is not worth
getting a serious back injury for.


PS - if you can get use of a sturdy piano trolley, it will make things a LOT easier.
.


John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
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Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: jpscoey] #1229388
07/10/09 08:38 AM
07/10/09 08:38 AM
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orlandopiano Offline OP
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Thanks everyone for your advice. It is very helpful and I really appreciate it!

Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: orlandopiano] #1229447
07/10/09 10:35 AM
07/10/09 10:35 AM
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If you lie a piano on its back, you will never be able to get it up again.


Semipro Tech
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: BDB] #1229454
07/10/09 10:45 AM
07/10/09 10:45 AM
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Vancouver B. C. Canada
Silverwood Pianos Offline
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Originally Posted by BDB
If you lie a piano on its back, you will never be able to get it up again.


Even with assistance from the little blue pill??


Dan Silverwood
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: Silverwood Pianos] #1229468
07/10/09 10:57 AM
07/10/09 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
If you lie a piano on its back, you will never be able to get it up again.


What if you turn the trailer on it's side?


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: UnrightTooner] #1229473
07/10/09 11:00 AM
07/10/09 11:00 AM
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Vancouver B. C. Canada
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Just as long as you remember which side.


Dan Silverwood
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: BDB] #1229482
07/10/09 11:13 AM
07/10/09 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
If you lie a piano on its back, you will never be able to get it up again.


With 3 or 4 blokes on hand, it shouldn't be too difficult -

The trick is to get the piano (on it's edge) to its 'balance point' -

Once that's done, it seems to be a light as a feather! - so you can turn/manouever it

any way you want.

you can then stand it on-end, then turn it onto its castors (or preferably a trolley).

Not easy, I admit, but far from impossible - I've done it before now on several occasions.

.


John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
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Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: jpscoey] #1229491
07/10/09 11:23 AM
07/10/09 11:23 AM
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Vancouver B. C. Canada
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Usually I leave a length of rope underneath if I do it this way.....


Dan Silverwood
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: Silverwood Pianos] #1229498
07/10/09 11:28 AM
07/10/09 11:28 AM
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If you forget to leave a piece of rope underneath, and you can back a trailer up really, really fast, and you have good brakes (and a video camera).....


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: BDB] #1229500
07/10/09 11:30 AM
07/10/09 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
If you lie a piano on its back, you will never be able to get it up again.


The thing I neglected to mention is that the piano should not be lying flat on

it's back ON THE GROUND at any point - that WOULD be difficult to lift!

You would 'tilt' it into the van/trailer, and out again.

.


John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: UnrightTooner] #1229505
07/10/09 11:35 AM
07/10/09 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by UnrightTooner
If you forget to leave a piece of rope underneath, and you can back a trailer up really, really fast, and you have good brakes (and a video camera).....


thumb... you might even get the fee off the TV show that airs it,

and then have the cash to pay for a professional removal.....

(or someone from a scrapyard to come & collect the pieces!) grin .

.


John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: UnrightTooner] #1229506
07/10/09 11:37 AM
07/10/09 11:37 AM
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It won't move because I have already tried this. BUT, if you put old broomsticks underneath.....moving a piano flat on its back is not a good idea.


Dan Silverwood
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"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: Silverwood Pianos] #1229508
07/10/09 11:42 AM
07/10/09 11:42 AM
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".....moving a piano flat on its back is not a good idea."

I agree!


Jeff Deutschle
Part-Time Tuner
Who taught the first chicken how to peck?
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: UnrightTooner] #1229516
07/10/09 11:59 AM
07/10/09 11:59 AM
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Manchester, England, UK.
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Originally Posted by UnrightTooner
".....moving a piano flat on its back is not a good idea."

I agree!


I wasn't saying the whole move should be done with the piano on it's back -

that's NOT a good idea!.....

just for stability in the van/on the trailer.

(It also distributes the weight on the axle more evenly).


John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
myspace
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: Silverwood Pianos] #1229587
07/10/09 01:41 PM
07/10/09 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Silverwood Pianos

Originally Posted by BDB
If you lie a piano on its back, you will never be able to get it up again.


Even with assistance from the little blue pill??


I tried that. Do you want to buy some really long pedals?


Semipro Tech
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: BDB] #1229613
07/10/09 02:36 PM
07/10/09 02:36 PM
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I wouldn't advise laying the piano on it back, you would be better to secure it to the wall of the trailer or van. We did this way when I move pianos and never had a problem.

As for the Kari-Cart moving device they are great for moving Hammond B3 organs but a not much good for pianos(had used them years ago). The best way is to use a dolly with good 4" casters. Lift the piano onto the dolly and secure with strap around the piano dolly. Makes moving pianos very easy. You may be able to rent a dolly from U-Haul.


Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: wayne walker] #1229623
07/10/09 02:51 PM
07/10/09 02:51 PM
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Before I purchased my old piano moving trailer, I rented open box trailers from a local rental company. (I actually hate doing business with U-haul, too much paperwork and hassel, and it seems like screw-ups are all to common. At least that was my experience in the past. Maybe they've gotten better, or it was just my local company that was the problem). I have used open box trailers from U-haul as well, I just find the local company easier to deal with.

The open trailers have much more options for securing ratchet straps. They are also lower to the ground so it is much easier to push up a ramp into the trailer. I used to leave the piano on the dolly and run straps around both sides and over the top - if you do it right it won't budge. Always give it a good shaking and retighten straps as needed to make sure.

Small box trailers are also easy to maneuver because you can see over them while you're backing up.

Rent a dolly from a local piano technician - they will most likely have the "right" one. I personally like my New Haven piano moving dolly. I agree that strapping the piano to the dolly is a good idea.

Last edited by rysowers; 07/10/09 02:52 PM.

Ryan Sowers,
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Olympia, WA
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Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: wayne walker] #1229628
07/10/09 03:05 PM
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I took our console on a cross country move a number of years ago myself. But I hired piano movers at each end. They wraped it in moving quilts and strapped it to the rear wall of the U-Haul I rented, upright and centered.

Recently saw a way-cool piano moving device on one of my recording gigs. It was a battery-powered dolly with an integral articulating roller sled that could even climb stairs. They called it a Rosco.

Howard

Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: hv] #1230145
07/11/09 06:29 PM
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The Rosco looks like a great device but check out these units http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppjf9--Sfcs&feature=related and this device http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuN_JyFA3jY


Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: wayne walker] #1230153
07/11/09 06:52 PM
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Or, by the time you check out all this fancy equipment, you could get professional movers for less than the value of your time.


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Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: BDB] #1230177
07/11/09 07:47 PM
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Orlando, is this piano worth bothering with at all? Keys and pedals work, strings ok, sound ok? Is it infested with mice, termites, roaches, mildew, or moths? Does your sister want it?

If the answer is no, you and your buddies may get to move it twice and pay the dump to take it.

It just seemed to me the question has been overlooked in the excitement of, "Can I make it happen in a U-Haul trailer."

BTW, balancing the trailer could be important--- they can turn over, too. If you're moving furniture too, you could use it to block it in the trailer and balance the weight.


Clef

Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: Jeff Clef] #1230195
07/11/09 08:09 PM
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If the wheels are outboard of the piano, chances are you will be safe. The important rule to remember is to watch the top of the piano, because that is where it starts to fall. Prop up one end of the piano with a length of 4 by 4, if you are so inclined, and that will keep it from rolling or kicking out at the bottom. Tie it near the top, as well as the middle. Then take it to the dump, because you can probably find a better piano for the same price for your sister.


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Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: Jeff Clef] #1230205
07/11/09 08:29 PM
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[quote=Jeff Clef...balancing the trailer could be important--- they can turn over, too. [/quote]

This is one of the reasons why I made the suggestion about lying the piano on its back.

If you're not careful, it could become a latter-day 'Laurel & Hardy' scenario!

.


John Schofield. NTC Dip. , C.G.L.I.
Professional piano tuner/technician since 1982.
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Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: jpscoey] #1230553
07/12/09 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jpscoey
[quote=Jeff Clef...balancing the trailer could be important--- they can turn over, too.


This is one of the reasons why I made the suggestion about lying the piano on its back.

If you're not careful, it could become a latter-day 'Laurel & Hardy' scenario!

. [/quote]

You would have to be driving very fast around corners to flip a trailer, which would not be common sense. If you are using a U-Haul trailer rent the longer trailer, much easier to back up lest chance of it jack-knifing. We had used U-haul trailers for years without one flipping. I stand by my recommendation do not lay the piano on its back, a lot of wasted effort. Making sure it is secure to the rials with the proper straps and you will be fine, better still hire a piano mover they have right gear to get the job done safely.


Wayne Walker
Walker's Piano Service
http://www.walkerpiano.ca/
Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: wayne walker] #1230580
07/12/09 06:21 PM
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If you want to improve the balance, strap it with the keyboard towards the outside of the trailer.


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Re: Any advice on moving an upright in a Uhaul? [Re: orlandopiano] #2558226
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It is always interesting to read the comments and responses to a question like this. Sometimes you have to "dig deep" and sift among these answers to find good information. 1.)I have actually used UHaul trailers to move pianos and have moved pianos--uprights with flatbed trucks, pickup trucks, various types of trailers, trucks with lifts, etc. I've moved grands too--but only with a good trailer or truck with a good long ramp--or liftgate--and the right equipment and some know how.. So I can give some insight.
2.) First consideration: how much help you''ve got will determine a lot. If you have a lot of help (three-four strong guys) you can get away with a lot by brute force lifting. If there are only a couple of you, you need to use physics and leverage to your advantage to make up for not having as many people helping. and the right combination of truck with lift or long ramp, or trailer with long ramp, and moving gear like a decent four wheeled flat dolly. The best flat dolly is a heavy duty, 1000 pound New Haven rubber capped non slip dolly with FOUR FIXED WHEELS which DO NOT SWIVEL. That's right, you heard me. To make turns, you literally have to pick up one end a little on your Dolly's load and turn the whole load on just two wheels on the dolly (sorta like popping a wheelie). Two or four swivel wheels tend to slide out going directions you don't want while the four wheel fixed just goes straight where you're pointing it. That dolly is amazing going up and down inclines. Always goes a straight line not skee whompus so to speak. But you will use what dolly you have, I know. Just go slow, steady, be careful. Keep your hands on the piano, watch for little bumps, etc., don't assume if it starts to pitch or tip, if you're inatentive, you can still catch it, A piano's "point of no return" From being able to "save it from falling" isn't much of an angle! Speaking of which, don't ever go diagonally down a sloping driveway or sidewalk. Point your load straight down the hill. Pianos are extremely "tipsy" top heavy and wobbly so you want to be aware of that--best to have two guys, one on each side of the piano, 'stablizing the load." Especially going up a high ramp, especially using a liftgate. Those liftgates tend to be "jerky" on and "jerky'" off and here you have a very tipsy top heavy load....Steady....steady.....! That load going up a step or two, or wheeling down the driveway, can get away very quickly from you, faster than you know, and you'll end up with a damaged piano laying on its back or face if you're not careful.
With grand pianos--Yes, I've seen one little old guy move a grand piano. For the rest of us, a little knowledge and experience goes a long way--or someone guiding us who knows what to do. I'm not going to get into moving grand pianos here. It takes a grand skid with dolly, straps, surrogate leg, taking off legs and lyre, etc. If you know someone who's got the right gear, knows how to use it and can be there to guide and help, great. Otherwise, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MOVE A GRAND without proper knowledgable supervision and equipment.
That said, For moving grands and uprights, using a widely available rental trailer, nothing can beat the Uhaul 5x9 open trailer with long ramp. This is a long ramp that is maybe, almost half as long as the trailer itself. Nothing's harder trying to keep a piano on a flat dolly trying to get the piano up a steep, 2 foot ramp and then the dolly slips out etc. The Uhaul 5x9 with long ramp is a godsend. Easy to roll up a piano onto the trailer. Low to the ground, plenty of hooks and places to tie the piano to. There are ways for using trailers equipped with short ramps however. Try backing the trailer sorta sideways so you can lower a couple of feet wide of the ramp onto a sidewalk with your trailer tires on the street. This will give you a shallower ramp angle and make it a lot easier to move the piano onto the trailer. Or if backing up the trailer to a porch, if you can get the ramp right onto the top step of the porch, that sort of thing. Save your back! If you have a couple of very strong guys helping, or a lot of guys, they can just brute pick the piano up, get up a few step stairs, etc.

Once the piano is on the trailer, me and my able assistant scoot it up good and close to a front corner. (Don't forget to load the weight in the front of the trailer, right?!) I use folded up moving pads where it contacts the sides or rails of the trailer. Then use those heavy duty trucker's nylon webbed ratchet straps to strap the piano in. Strap it using available railing or swivel hooks and points to attach the ratchet straps onto and strap the piano in. (Sidewall strapping rails in a moving truck are not that strong. To make them work I'll put rope loops on them and strap to the loops if I can't get a strap through the gaps in the rails.) It is a good idea to use 2-3 straps set up differently--in case one or more straps somehow works loose. Don't way overtighten those straps--and where they contact the piano, it's a good idea to use a moving blanket or cardboard or something so the strap doesn't cut into the wood of the piano.
Now, people will say it's bad to leave the piano on the dolly, but I do generally for short trips. Long moves, state to state and so forth, take the piano off the dolly. Once it's strapped in really well, with redundant straps, however, it "ain't going nowhere". But don't ever be over confident about the strapping. Sometimes after a couple of miles, I'll stop, check strap tightness, retighten if needed.
Final tips: Don't drive too fast. Don't corner too fast. Go nice and easy, slow over humps and through curves and corners. Don't go over dips or bumps too fast. These things tend to "loosen up" the load bouncing around back in the trailer or truck. And remember the piano is top heavy, straining to loosen itself from its straps as you careen through turns in intersections, etc. Once you are on a smooth straightaway, then give it the gas and get going down the road.
Last pickup moves, Yes, it is possible, My method was, a bunch of guys, using moving pads laid over tailgate and pickup bed edges, bringing the piano up to the edge, picking it up, using the tailgate edge or pickup bed edge as a "fulcrum" to pick up and slide one end of the piano onto first, then pick up the ground end of the piano, and slide it in. If you have good tie down points on the pickup bed or side, you can strap the piano into the pickup standing up. The danger in that is, the piano again, is very top heavy and will be prone to tip over and fall. One preferred way is to lay the piano on its back, lifting it from the ground using the pickup tailgate or bed as fulcrum covered with moving pad to protect the piano, and with a bunch of guys, slide it in on its back. Taking the piano out, put a moving pad on the ground to protect the piano edge as it comes to the ground.
Good luck n hope this helps!

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