How To Move An Upright Piano

Moving pianos is something that must be done with the utmost technique and consideration for the process, no matter what style of piano you’re dealing with. It’s something we’re extremely familiar with doing and over the years we’ve perfected the process. When it comes to moving an upright piano, hiring a specialized baby grand piano mover is going to be your best bet.

No matter how much you can learn about the process on your own a moving team will always be able to accomplish the task with greater confidence. We generally bring on three movers at a time with the proper equipment to safely a move piano, whether it’s just making the trip downstairs or across state lines.

Upright pianos are a unique shape and they also have a unique weight distribution, which is part of what makes them challenging to move. They tend to be incredibly heavy, with upright pianos weighing between 300 and 800 pounds, and baby grands weighing between 400 and 550. The weight of pianos is mostly concentrated in the cast iron harp, which is the part that holds the key strands. The larger the piano, the larger the harp.

Most pianos have wheels on their legs but many people don’t realize that those wheels shouldn’t actually be used to move the piano. They’re often not strong enough to support the weight of the piano, meaning that they could snap when too much weight is placed on them to move. Since the pianos are heavy the wheels have tendency to scrape or gouge the floor when they’re used, and even more so when the piano has been standing in the same place for a while and might be a little stuck in its footing. It’s not worth the risk for the piano or for the floor.

Pianos are also fragile in general and need to be protected during moving to protect the integrity of the instrument as well as keep it looking as nice as possible. You certainly don’t want to disrupt any of those keys more than necessary, even if you have a tuning planned once the piano finds its new home. One of the safest ways to move a piano is with a four-wheeled flat dolly. An upright piano can be loaded onto the dolly on its side and then be secured for travel. It’s possible to load it standing in its normal position as long as the weight distribution is correct and the legs of the piano do not touch the floor during the process.

Moving the piano with the dolly requires three people, so that one person can take ahold of the light side and two people take ahold of the heavier side. Going up and down inclines can be a bit touchy and you never want to lose control of where the piano is headed. Taking the stairs with a dolly is possible but it requires understanding how and when to move the dolly and piano as a unified group. When a piano is being loaded into a truck it’s always a good idea to wrap it in blankets to avoid any nicks or jangling around during the drive.

It’s easy to see that moving a piano of any size or shape can be a bit complicated, but we’re more than willing and able to take on the job and perform it to the best of our abilities. Please contact us with any questions you might have about the process and we'd be happy to share our expertise and rates for services. 

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