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#2854541 06/01/19 09:02 AM
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Hi,

I am facing a move from Wichita, KS to Calgary, AB this summer. I am a piano teacher and have a Yamaha YUS5 which I purchased new in 2007. It has "lived" in the same room and home for 12 years. The cost to move all of our belongings professionally is quite prohibitive, and exceeds the amount that will be reimbursed by my husband's new employer in Calgary.

We are now considering moving by uHaul with professional loaders and unloaders assisting on both ends. However, I am quite nervous and a bit skeptical about putting my piano onto a uHaul and trucking it 1600 miles. I have reached out to a number of moving companies and international shippers, to find out if we could have the piano moved separately, but I haven't had any luck yet getting answers. Has anyone on this forum ever moved a higher end piano either by uHaul or as a single shipment with a company? If so, what was your experience, and do you have any advice to offer?

Due to my nerviousness about moving the piano by uHaul, I am also considering whether to sell the piano to a local dealer who has expressed interest and who would handle the pickup etc. We have a very short timeframe and a daunting list of tasks related to this move, and so I am not able to pursue selling it privately. The dealer has asked me for my price, and naturally, I would like to recoup as much as possible since I would need to buy another piano. However, I'm not sure what would be a "reasonable ask". Does anyone have any suggestions as to price, and whether selling would be a better option than moving the piano?

Thanks in advance for your interest in my conundrum!

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IF you are comfortable driving a U Haul and it is loaded, tied down and unloaded well by professionals it will be fine. Pianos are trucked all over the country ever day. I recommend this option often if the owner is comfortable with it.

Good Luck!

David Brown
Garland TX

Last edited by tunerman; 06/01/19 10:50 AM.

David C. Brown RPT
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I agree, make sure it is loaded properly and get extra insurance and you should be fine.


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Thank you for your input. I wasn't sure if the suspension on a uHaul is any different from what a professional moving truck would have, and whether or not that is an important factor. I am very reluctant to sell my piano since I invested a lot of time and thought (not to mention money!) into choosing it 12 years ago as a teaching instrument and for my own playing.

I am not likely to recoup what I invested, nor be in a position to purchase a similar instrument after our move to Canada. However, it would be a shame if the piano were to be damaged in the move. I think I will pursue finding some top-notch local professional loaders and look into how we can best protect it if we do decide to "uHaul it" ourselves.

Thanks again for the advice!

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I also didn't think about purchasing extra insurance. Would I do this through uHaul, or a separate company?

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Yep,

If you like it, move it. Good luck to you pillysuss.


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One thing you should consider is renting extra blankets from U-Haul (not expensive) and putting many blankets under the piano to help absorb the shock. Of course you will need to have the piano securely and professionally tied down so that it doesn't bounce around or sway. And there should be blankets wrapping the entire piano, which I'm sure if you arrange for professionals, they will do. Don't put any furniture or object with sharp or hard edges and surfaces immediately adjacent to the piano. Soft things like soft suitcases would be a nice spacer between the piano and other hard objects/furniture.


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And to add to Tyrone Slothrop’s suggestion, you could surround the piano with couch and loveseat cushions and inexpensive throw pillows. Best of Luck with your move.


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I don't agree with Tyrone's advice about putting the piano on top of pads to act as shock absorbers.

I do, however, recommend moving it off the wheels. For a distance move like yours, the simplest solution when loaded is to place the piano on 2 short pieces of wood, 2" x 4" x ~16". For most uprights, including your Yamaha, this is high enough to get the piano off the casters before padding and strapping it in. The piano will ride better, shift less, and put less stress on the straps.

I also recommend ratcheting straps. There are suitable, inexpensive straps sold at hardware stores, often in packs. I recommend 3 or more for your Yamaha. Straps should go around the body of the piano, not the legs.

The moving pads that I've seen from UHaul are not usually the same type or grade that we use for pianos. The smaller, thinner pads can be used if you use enough, but you might also consider buying 1 bundle of good, heavyweight, quilted moving blankets for the piano and for some of your other furniture. These can usually be purchased in bundles of 12 from a Moving Supply house, rather than UHaul.

Tyrone's advice about being careful and aware of what is packed near the piano is very important. Most damage to legs, pedals and finishes is cause by shifting objects rather than poor handling.


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I have done this with my tall upright piano, from Texas to Wisconsin, and then from Wisconsin to New York, years later. One time I used a U-haul trailer, the other time a 22' Penske box truck. Had pro movers move it on and off (except for one leg of those 4 trips, when I did it myself with some help), got extra insurance from a 3rd party musical instrument insurer. Everything went fine, and the piano's still alive and kicking. Sam's advice about getting the piano off its wheels is an interesting one that I've not tried yet.


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Spend an hour watching piano moving videos on youtube to demystify the process. Mind the massive weight and proper securing.

Also, when I do big moves, I try to bin superfluous stuff using a 20/80 or 30/70 rule. Very quickly go through your stuff and assume say 70% should be quickly recycled or binned. If you increase threshold to say 90% you will spend too much time debating whether something is useful. You just want to simplify the move so you are not packing-shipping-unpacking garbage, so even a 50% rule would be helpful.

For recycling, you can donate to a Community Center or Church; many will pick up at your house. As a general matter, there is no other recycling path for people; US "recycling" previously was sent to Chinese dumps but now it is just sent to US dumps.

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Given that you're going U-Haul, the cost consideration definitely favors moving rather than the sell and buy option. Ordinary movers can handle and upright, it's only for grands that you really need piano movers.


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Remember to lock the lid of the piano if it has one. Use professional piano movers to load and unload the instrument, its not worth getting a back injury. Good luck on your move.

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Sometimes for a company it doesn't make economical sense to travel long distance to move just one item, in your case piano. Your best would've been to find a company, moving or logistics, that travels

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