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Why should I use a professional piano mover?
#2846884 05/09/19 07:58 PM
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A thought,

You might be a strong guy who has 3 friends that work out... hard. BUT moving a piano requires more than just raw brawn. This is the result from just such a situation:

[Linked Image]

Fortunately, we can make it like it never happened, but it will cost waaay more than the movers would have in the first place.

Also, you can't see the lid in this photo. Argh!


Rich Galassini
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Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2846888 05/09/19 08:07 PM
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Ouch!!

Did that happen after the beers and pizza, or before the beers and pizza? smile

Great advice, Rich! But to play the devil's advocate a bit, professional piano movers have damaged pianos during a move as well; but they have liability insurance for things like that (hopefully).

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2846889 05/09/19 08:17 PM
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Looks like your customer had used these guys to move their piano:



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Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Tyrone Slothrop #2846893 05/09/19 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Looks like your customer had used these guys to move their piano:


Ouch! How painful to watch. I guess they thought that because it was so heavy to lift, it wouldn't go anywhere. As a certain ex-governor of TX once famously said, oops!

Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2846908 05/09/19 11:38 PM
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Rich,

You are totally right about using professionals. I had professionals move my piano from Düsseldorf to Brussels. They had to use a crane to get it in my 6th floor apartment in through the balcony. They didn't put a scratch on it! And the crane operator was eating a sandwich and blocking lots of honking traffic. They were professionals!! When bringing it to the USA I wasn't quite as lucky. The movers in Wisconsin didn't read the instructions, written in English, included with the crate from Bösendorfer explaining how it needed to be removed from the crate. They put a 2 inch ding in the hood that required around $2,000. It was fixed beautifully though. Anyone moving a piano who doesn't know a reputable mover should consult their plano technician for advice. They usually know reliable piano movers.

Steve

Last edited by Lakeviewsteve; 05/09/19 11:39 PM.

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Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Lakeviewsteve #2846973 05/10/19 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Lakeviewsteve
And the crane operator was eating a sandwich and blocking lots of honking traffic.

That sounds like it's straight out of a Richard Scarry book!

Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2846978 05/10/19 08:44 AM
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There are hundreds of examples on Youtube. We have moved many times, both transcontinentally and intercontinentally. The moving process is controlled by my employer and their contractors and it is always an issue how to load and transport a 9' piano. The default is always the furniture movers, only with "a couple more guys". One recent move included around 15 guys. Three were window experts to remove the fourth floor windows, a couple ran a jury-rigged electric hoist from the apt upstairs, and about 10 inside our living room including supervisors and translators. No issues with the instrument but the floor has been damaged a couple times. I always put the fear of god in everyone involved early and often.

A more recent move had the piano delivered to a warehouse and ferried to us by professional local piano movers. Three guys, including two trainees. It was a breeze.

Years ago the movers always insisted on having a piano tech secure the action with a small dowel. More recently this no longer seems to be the case. I'm told Steinway moves pianos trans-continentally with the actions banging away merrily.

Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2846996 05/10/19 09:30 AM
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I’m living in my 7th home. I used professional piano movers each time from house #3 (bought my first upright) to this move. Nary a single scratch thus far. With all the moves I learned one thing, use professional movers for everything especially the piano. Friends are very well meaning but cause disasters.


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Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2847004 05/10/19 09:55 AM
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Of course Rich's advice is very good, and I would never advocate otherwise. However, sometimes necessity leaves little choice but to improvise. Case in point: A month ago, I had my Steinway D delivered to me by the 81 year old man who rebuilt it. He and his son-in-law personally drove it over to my place on its 500 mile journey. Once at my house, the plan was to use a reputable local piano mover I had booked to offload the piano from the rebuilder's truck, push it along on its skid board and dolly up my inclined driveway, ramp it up the 2 steps into my house, and then of course tip it off the skid board it and set it up on its legs. The problem was that the move date coincided with the arrival of a bomb cyclone and its high winds that passed through the plain states recently. In order to avoid some of the worst winds on his way to my place, the rebuilder was forced to take a bit of a detour from the most direct route, and consequently arrived late at my house--15 minutes after the absolute latest my local piano movers had informed me that they would be available that day. Now, the weather conditions in my city were such that there was no way I was leaving my piano in the truck overnight until the movers would next be available. So the 81 year old rebuilder, his son-in-law, a friend of mine, and I ourselves did the work my local piano movers were supposed to have done. 2 of the 4 of us had never before moved a grand piano. And I will confess that 3 of the 4 of us bowed our heads in prayer before beginning the move of that 9 foot beast off the truck. Luckily, it all turned out okay without even a scratch on the piano. But it definitely could have gone otherwise.

Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2847009 05/10/19 10:20 AM
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I used professionals to move an old Chickering for my boss. The movers got it out of the condo and then proceeded to let it fall flat on the pavement with a loud BANG! Luckily, these things are built like tanks, and the piano suffered no visible damage. But even professionals screw up sometimes.


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Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2847016 05/10/19 10:36 AM
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It's the lack of experience and wrong tools that really cause the damage. I have been moving pianos for over 20 years and I have specialized equipment. I can safely move a 7' grand piano by myself in a pinch, but having and using help is always a better idea, if not just for extra safety..

I live out in farm country, so to be able to move pianos in and out of my shop I had to get creative. Here is a video of me moving a piano by myself using a tractor.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnsiE6J7BTk

There's really no excuse for dropping a piano, it just takes a little forethought and common sense.
-chris


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Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2847028 05/10/19 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Chernobieff Piano
It's the lack of experience and wrong tools that really cause the damage. I have been moving pianos for over 20 years and I have specialized equipment. I can safely move a 7' grand piano by myself in a pinch, but having and using help is always a better idea, if not just for extra safety..

I live out in farm country, so to be able to move pianos in and out of my shop I had to get creative. Here is a video of me moving a piano by myself using a tractor.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnsiE6J7BTk

There's really no excuse for dropping a piano, it just takes a little forethought and common sense.
-chris

I liked your video, Chris! Nothing like living out in the country.

Now I don't feel so bad about posting this pic of me using my farm tractor to tilt an old upright piano on its back to treat the tuning pin block with CA glue. smile

[Linked Image]


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Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2847058 05/10/19 12:30 PM
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Rich, your photo reminds me of one instance where a fully loaded truck (house movers) arrived to our store followed by the home owner. The movers had damaged a nearly new piano he had purchased from us, taking a similar sized chunk out of the case. The husband had called in advance to ask about moving the piano separately, but opted for the house movers to handle it (presumably less expensive).

He was no longer mad at the movers when he arrived, he was afraid of his wife and asked desperately if we could fix it, and quickly. Quickly was not possible, so he had to tell his wife. I don't know if he was ever seen or heard from again. wink

Last edited by PianoWorksATL; 05/10/19 12:30 PM.

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Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
PianoWorksATL #2847060 05/10/19 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
he was afraid of his wife and asked desperately if we could fix it, and quickly. Quickly was not possible, so he had to tell his wife. I don't know if he was ever seen or heard from again. wink

Now that's a story I can relate to! shocked


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2847083 05/10/19 01:01 PM
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Jesus! Not fun to watch! We've had clients call us after something like this happens. Good things they have you guys to repair it!

Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2847095 05/10/19 01:53 PM
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I recently bought a small Kawai grand, in great condition and with a couple of years left on its warranty, for $2,000 from a private seller. This after numerous test sessions of digitals and acoustics at a local new piano store, whose owners always treated me with respect and kindness. They even congratulated me on finding a good deal elsewhere, when others would have been resentful of my decision. So I felt it would only be fair to ask them to move the piano for me, though their quote seemed high for a local move without unusual circumstances on either end.

The piano store owners -- not hired help -- brought the right equipment (jack, dolly, ramp, moving blankets, straps, truck with lift and anchor points, etc.), operated efficiently and confidently, and completed the entire move in less than an hour. I could wonder whether $375 for an hour's work of two people was worth it, but with the piano now safe and sound in my house, I am only happy that everything went well. I was sure that they would do a good job, and peace of mind is worth something!

I posted my piano-buying odyssey on the PianoWorld Digital forum, having originally looked for a higher-end digital piano. Some have suggested it would be more appropriate on the Piano forum, since I ended up with an acoustic grand. If interested, here is a link:
http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthre...stic-couldn-t-decide-so.html#Post2845043

Last edited by Lotus1; 05/10/19 01:58 PM.
Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2847168 05/10/19 05:58 PM
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I agree with Rich, use a professional Piano Moving service.

Ask for references, make sure they are experienced with pianos as it requires a different skill set from regular furniture.
With grands being the trickiest of course, but they are all heavy and not easy to handle.

I've seen lots of houses, pianos, and people damaged because they thought they could just get a bunch of their
buddies and a pickup truck. After all, how hard can it be?

I know because I started in the piano business delivering pianos, organs, and console stereo systems (look it up if you're too young to remember them). I've moved hundreds of them over the years. Now if I want my Estonia L-190 moved I hire professionals.

Here is an article I wrote some time back about moving pianos...
https://pianoworld.com/piano-info/moving-a-piano/


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Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Piano World #2847416 05/11/19 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Piano World

I've seen lots of houses, pianos, and people damaged because they thought they could just get a bunch of their
buddies and a pickup truck. After all, how hard can it be?



Hi Frank,

I am sure you could still move a piano or two! There is an old video that I saw some years back that speaks to your comment:




Rich Galassini
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Re: Why should I use a professional piano mover?
Rich Galassini #2847439 05/11/19 10:23 PM
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When young - I helped a family shifting an old heavy upright piano in the country into an old farmhouse - I think there were about 6 of us, and they had a small truck which had already been loaded - we just had to get it inside.

Problem was the "old" farmhouse - had old steps. About 150 of them - (or so it seemed, actually about 15).

We were doing well till the 3rd step broke leaving us wonder if the other 146 would be solid enough. We got it up, undamaged.

I also recall a piano being shifted in a horse-float, again in the country.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).

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