Why You Should Never Try To Move A Piano Yourself

 

Stephanie and Dave have an old upright piano that was passed down to them, it was owned by Stephanie’s Great Grandmother. She was told the piano was built in 1910, but after a long conversation the couple decides it’s just taking up space and they no longer have a need for it. They tried to have the kids learn on it and it seemed all they did was feign interest until they completely gave up practicing all together. One day after work Dave comes home and tells Stephanie that his coworker is interested in the piano. A plan is devised to gift the piano to his coworker for free, all he has to do is come and get it. Dave’s coworker shows up on Saturday with some members of his congregation to aid him in the moving process. Right away Stephanie feels a sense of anxiety, she knows you should always hire professional movers or someone who knows what they are doing, but she decides to fall back and let them take matters into their own hands. Stephanie thinks its best she doesn’t watch, she goes into the kitchen to finish up her chores. Dave offers a helping hand and the group start formulating a plan. Dave’s coworker exclaims he watched a couple YouTube videos and ensures everyone it’s not as hard as it seems and to follow his lead. “First we need to get this thing way from the wall” he states. They start to pull the piano away from the wall and an egregious shriek comes from the wheels grinding on the hardwood floor, Stephanie jumps in the kitchen when she hears the noise. The crew inspect the floor and realize the wheel is locked in place and has gouged the floor a considerably amount, this causes Dave to become slightly miffed. The crew knows they cannot slide the piano anymore and are at a lost on how to properly maneuver the piano at this point.  One member of the congregation speaks up and proposes that they should pick it up and carry it out the front door, its only 2 porch steps and once they get it to the drive way they can all lift it up into the pick-up truck.  Dave starts to get visibly nervous but decides to go with the plan, he volunteers to help lift the piano. The group of men all crowd around the piano and decide to lift it on the count of three, they begin the countdown and lift with all their all their might. As soon as the piano is lifted off the ground Dave feels an excruciating pain in his lower back and let’s go of his side of the piano. The piano crashes down and the front leg rips off due to the impact. Everyone gasps, and Stephanie comes running out of the kitchen to find Dave hunched over holding his lower back. She exclaims “I knew this was a bad idea, we should have hired professionals, now look where we are at!” Dave is laying on the ground in intense pain, a broken piano is stuck in the middle of the room, and the floor destroyed. Luckily Stephanie was able to get ahold of a piano moving company who had a cancelation and she was able to book a move that day and get things done professionally. This is just one of the many reasons why hiring professionals is always the proper procedure when you need your piano moved. If Stephanie trusted her instinct from the beginning, then she could have avoided all the issues that transpired. 

 

Moving a piano takes a certain a skill set and the right tools. It is vastly different than moving furniture based on the shape, size, and mechanisms involved. Approaching moving a piano like furniture can be a huge mishap and injury the instrument and more importantly the people involved. Many times, furniture movers will tell their clients they are certified to move pianos, but this isn’t always the case. Regular house hold movers are focused on appliances, couches, and utensils. The piano has many components and if not handled properly then it can be expensive to replace damaged parts. While furniture movers may move a vast array of different items, professional piano movers focus solely on pianos and doing so in the most efficient manner to protect your investment. Piano movers typically move anywhere from four to five pianos a day. 

 

 There are many different factors involved in the moving process for pianos. First of all is the sheer weight of the piano, attempting to move around this instrument without proper skills can result in injury. Smaller Pianos can weigh anywhere from 300 pounds, while larger pianos can be up to 1,200 pounds. Some pianos that contain player mechanisms can weigh the heaviest due to the solenoids and added speakers. Apart from the action there is also internal components made of cast iron the sound board is made from solid wood. Having brute strength is a very small portion of actually moving a piano, whereas skill, tools, and knowledge are the key factors. Even if you picked your strongest friends to pick up a piano and move it they would find out very quickly that the weight is not distributed evenly so they may not get very far. 

Another difficult factor in piano moving is realizing the overall shape of the instrument. The action of a piano is one of the most intricate handmade mechanisms that is produced, this means the back of the piano weights much more than the front. Moving the piano from room to room will be a dauting task given the awkward shape and weight. An unskilled piano mover can also face challenges when they come to steps and sharp turns. Often times an upright piano maybe have to go on its side end to make a sharp turn, this takes lots of practice and skill to master.  

Pianos can damage very easily despite their hard exterior and massive weight. One wrong move and a piano leg can get caught and suffer a deep scratch. One minor starch can ruin the overall aesthetic of the piano. Professional Piano movers are equipped with the best vehicle for the job as well. House hold movers may not have a designated setup in their moving truck for pianos to be properly strapped and secured to the wall. Piano Movers will show up with the correct equipment and properly pad the piano in a safe and efficient manner. This is to prevent damage from any bumps or pot holes the truck may endure when the piano is in route to the drop off location. Even if you decide to move a piano on your own and get it into the truck, it could not be properly strapped to the wall. This will result in damaging the piano after you worked so hard to get it into the truck without the help of professionals. 

If you search the internet for piano moving videos you are likely to find a plethora of extreme moving circumstances, many of these video show movers approaching the move without much thought or consideration. You can view these movers man handling the piano, picking it up and carrying the piano upstairs or into houses. To the ordinary person who has no prior knowledge of how to move a piano this maybe exactly what you expected to see, but to a skilled professional this can be seen as lack of competence. Pianos should never be carried or lifted and walked with, this is the first step to injury. The only lifting involved with piano moving is when the piano is lifted onto the dolly for uprights, professionals try to minimize any heavy lifting at all times. True piano movers know that they should always approach moving with more of a mental foresight than brute strength. Having a series of different ramps, skid boards and straps is crucial for making the process seamless. 

Hiring an experienced piano mover can be costly, however some pianos are family heirlooms and you cannot put a price on something that cherished. There is a magnitude of different reasons people become attached to their pianos, and hiring professionals is the best decision you can make to ensure a proper move. If you hire a professional moving company it will give you the peace of mind and prevent any injury you would cause to yourself if something went wrong. All of the responsibility is in the hands of the movers and if something were to go wrong then insurance would cover any damages. When people are in the process of moving they may not always have extra funds, however it’s always good practice to hire professionals no matter what. If you make the right decision it can save you money in the long run and save yourself the hassle or stress of taking on such a daunting task. 

I hope this information will help guide you when making plans to transport your piano.

Regards,

Matthew Flynn
Co-Owner
Seattle Piano Moving
(206) 719-1309