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A-Frame or Spider Trolley?
#2880263 08/16/19 12:03 PM
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Grand pianos which have to be moved around have the legs supported by, in the USA a 'Spider' Trolley, and in the UK, an A-Frame.

Do you have opinions on the merits or demerits of either system?

A-Frame: Heckschers A-Frame

Spider trolley: Spider Trolley

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Re: A-Frame or Spider Trolley?
David Boyce #2880281 08/16/19 01:04 PM
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The larger the wheels, the easier it is to roll pianos over obstructions. That would favor the spider. I had one that lost the tread on a wheel, and I was able to replace just the wheel, which is substantially cheaper than replacing the caster.

Neither are good if you ever have to lift the piano. Also note that the corners of them can be sharp, so you may want to put table corner bumpers on them if they might hit something or someone, or vice versa.


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Re: A-Frame or Spider Trolley?
David Boyce #2880309 08/16/19 02:01 PM
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Ditto BDB.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Re: A-Frame or Spider Trolley?
David Boyce #2880408 08/16/19 06:53 PM
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I was wonder in terms of the difference between simply tying the legs together, as with an A-Frame, and the fact that with a spider, you are perhaps introducing an additional 'sprung system' between piano and floor.

Each of the three arms of the spider pivots on fulcrum created by the wheel, the downward pressure of the piano leg beyond the wheel tending to push the arm up, and the central plate needing to be very secure in order to resist the upward pressure.....

Re: A-Frame or Spider Trolley?
David Boyce #2880466 08/17/19 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
I was wonder in terms of the difference between simply tying the legs together, as with an A-Frame, and the fact that with a spider, you are perhaps introducing an additional 'sprung system' between piano and floor.

Each of the three arms of the spider pivots on fulcrum created by the wheel, the downward pressure of the piano leg beyond the wheel tending to push the arm up, and the central plate needing to be very secure in order to resist the upward pressure.....


Very astute.
No worries ... it's strong enough to bear the stresses you identify. But it does serve as a mass-loaded cantilevered damper to effectively isolate the sound traveling down the legs from the stage. A piano standing on its own casters has a greater presence than one on a spider trolley. I would wonder if the A-frame might be a bit between the two.

There are also playing differences, as well. Our PTG chapter conducted tests with a Baldwin SD-10 mounted on a spider trolley on a wooden stage both with and without screw-jacks under each arm at the leg locations. Seven of the eight people there could hear tonal differences with and without the direct connection to the floor. At least some of those who actually played the instrument both ways also noticed a greater sense of precision with the jacks in place.

The ideal (if one wants to spend the money) is to use a transporter and leave the piano on its own wheels onstage.


Keith Akins, RPT
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Re: A-Frame or Spider Trolley?
David Boyce #2880675 08/17/19 04:01 PM
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That's very interesting Keith, thank you.

Re: A-Frame or Spider Trolley?
David Boyce #2883212 08/25/19 07:28 AM
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I'm so glad I dropped in! I'd never heard of an A-frame before.

Mark Stivers
Sacramento, CA USA


Mark Stivers, RPT
Sacramento, CA
Re: A-Frame or Spider Trolley?
David Boyce #2883352 08/25/19 02:05 PM
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Well I don't know if they are used at all in the USA, but they are standard in the UK. But spider trolley's are not so far as I know available in the UK.

Re: A-Frame or Spider Trolley?
David Boyce #2883501 08/25/19 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
Well I don't know if they are used at all in the USA, but they are standard in the UK. But spider trolley's are not so far as I know available in the UK.

We ship trolleys and transporters all over the world.


Keith Akins, RPT
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Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: A-Frame or Spider Trolley?
David Boyce #2883597 08/26/19 09:03 AM
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Is there an agent who acts as supplier in the UK then? Heckschers and Fletcher & Newman, the two UK supply houses only show A-Frames in their catalogs. Or do you just fulfil individual UK orders direct from the USA?

Re: A-Frame or Spider Trolley?
David Boyce #2883662 08/26/19 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by David Boyce
Is there an agent who acts as supplier in the UK then? Heckschers and Fletcher & Newman, the two UK supply houses only show A-Frames in their catalogs. Or do you just fulfill individual UK orders direct from the USA?


Yes. Fullfill from USA.
Send PM if you want to explore this further


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal

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