An upright piano weighs, depending on the model, between 130 and 400 kg. It is not possible to move an object of this size alone. It takes several people, but also time and a lot of attention, so as not to damage the piano, walls, floor or other furniture. You can also injure yourself if you wear it the wrong way. But with sufficient help and basic safety rules, you can move your piano without any problem.
Part 1 of 3: Prepare for the move
Step 1. Gather your team of movers
Call friends, neighbors and family and ask for their help in moving your piano. The goal is to bring together at least four physically fit people who will be willing to spend an hour or two of their time helping you. The more help you have, the better. It is better to have five people in normal physical shape, than three people in above average physical shape.
- Do not ask for help from someone who has problems with their back, legs, hips, or arms.
- Don't ask children to help you move your piano.
Step 2. Choose your outfit carefully
Take the time to choose clothes that are comfortable and loose enough to allow you to move around. For example, pants that are too tight may tear when you bend down to lift the piano. Put on athletic shoes or work boots with non-slip soles, for indoor and outdoor use. And don't forget to take a pair of gloves with a rubber palm, so you have a better grip.
- Do not wear long jewelry, such as necklaces or bracelets. They may get stuck in gaps during the move.
- Do not choose excessively loose clothing. They may also get in your way during the move.
Step 3. Cover the keyboard
In order to protect the keys during the move, close the keyboard cover. Lock it if possible or make sure it stays in place. If the cover does not have a lock, you can seal it with tape. Choose an adhesive tape that will not leave marks or damage the paint, such as electrical tape.
Step 4. Protect the piano with moving blankets
Have two people move the piano about six inches from the wall, pulling up on the piano legs. Wrap the blankets around the piano and tie them with electrical tape. Make sure to cover all painted or lacquered parts. The covers will protect the piano in the event of an impact during the move and when traveling by truck.
Some upright pianos have built-in cylindrical handles. They are located at the rear of the instrument. Be careful not to cover them, as you will need them when lifting the piano
Step 5. Clear the path to the exit
Move any furniture or rugs that may obstruct the passage of the instrument. If your front door does not stay open, arrange for an additional person to hold it. Make sure that if there are children, they are supervised and are out of your way.
Step 6. Install access ramps
If your entrance has steps, you will need a metal ramp. You can rent it from moving companies, sometimes from the same company that rented you the moving truck. Install all ramps, including the truck loading ramp, before you start moving the piano.
To find a ramp to rent, search for moving equipment rental companies in the Yellow Pages or on the internet
Part 2 of 3: Moving the piano from one residence to another
Step 1. Place the movers and the cart
Take a cart with four wheels, the length of which is at least half the length of the piano. Center the cart under the piano, approximately 2 inches from the pedals. Place a mover on each side of the piano and a person in front of the piano to stabilize it on the cart. A fourth mover will act as a "scout" and monitor the risk of collisions with walls or other furniture. This person will hold the door open if necessary.
Step 2. Find the right socket
Side movers can hold it by the angles of the keyboard on one side and the handles on the other. The person in front of the piano should stand right in front of the cart and find a socket under the keyboard.
If there are no handles on the back of the piano, there should be a horizontal panel towards the top or the middle of the structure. You can use it to lift the piano. If the panel is facing up, use your palm to lift it
Step 3. Lift the piano and place it on the cart
The movers on the sides of the piano should squat and not bend down to lift the instrument. Thus, the effort will be distributed on the legs and not on the back. Count to three and lift the piano to the level of the cart. The person in front of the piano will help lift and guide the piano at this time and help the movers place the piano on the cart.
Never support the weight of the piano on the two front legs (or even more so, on only one). When lifting it, tilt it slightly back to avoid this problem
Step 4. Attach the piano to the cart
Use straps or ropes to attach the piano to the cart. Pass the straps under the cart and over the piano and close the clip at the back of the piano. Likewise, if you are using a string, tie a tight knot in the back of the instrument. The goal is to lift the piano and the cart at the same time.
Step 5. Roll the piano to the exit
The movers on either side of the piano will gently guide it to the doorstep of the house. Take the time to stabilize the piano if you must pass through an area of uneven ground. The person in front of the piano, after helping to lift it, can now help "the scout" to open the passage.
Step 6. Pass the threshold
When you get to the door, lift the front of the piano slightly and push the cart until the first two wheels have passed the threshold. It's then the mover's turn in the back to lift his side of the piano, while the other mover pulls the cart towards him. Pull the cart slowly, until the two rear wheels pass over the threshold.
Step 7. Guide the piano along the handrail
If your driveway has one or more steps and you are using a ramp, place two movers in the front and one in the back. The front movers will support the weight of the piano moving down the ramp and the rear mover will guide the piano down the ramp.
- Slowly walk down the ramp, taking small steps, until you reach the sidewalk.
- Ask your scouts to warn you of any cracks or irregularities in the sidewalk. If possible, avoid them. Otherwise, gently pull the cart over it.
Step 8. Place the piano on the truck ramp
The two more muscular movers will stand on the back side of the piano, another will stand in front and the last mover will stand on the side of the ramp, on the back side of the instrument. The movers in the back will push the piano up the ramp, the one in the front will guide the piano inside the truck. The mover on the side of the ramp is there to stabilize the piano, in case it leans back.
Step 9. Secure the piano in the truck
Roll the piano against one of the walls of the truck. Secure the piano to the wall using the straps and brackets inside the truck. Make sure that the straps hold: the piano should not move more than 2 cm.
Part 3 of 3: Install the piano in a new residence
Step 1. Roll the piano out of the truck
Once at your destination, remove the straps that held the piano to the truck. At the top of the truck ramp, place two movers in front of the piano, one at the back and the fourth person at the side, along the ramp. Gently guide the piano along the handrail.
Step 2. Bring the piano into your new home
Use the ramp if the entrance has steps. Push the piano up the ramp, with two movers in the back and a mover in the front to guide the instrument. Pass the cart wheels over the threshold, two wheels at a time.
Step 3. Install the piano in its place
Gently move the piano into your new home, to the place you have chosen for it. Remove the string or straps that held the piano to the cart and push the instrument against the wall. Place a mover on each side of the piano and a third in front of the cart. The two movers will lift the piano while the third will pull the cart towards him. The movers can then gently place the piano on the floor.
- If your piano has to go up or down a step, place a strap under the back of the cart, behind the wheels. Use the strap to raise or lower the cart, while another person holds the piano and guides you. The cart acts as a lever, allows shifting steps and relieves movers of some of the weight of the implement.
- A piano can go out of tune when moving. Consider having it tuned once it's installed.
- When taking the piano to its destination, avoid rough roads, which have speed bumps or worse, potholes. Uneven road can damage the internal mechanism of the piano and make it go out of tune.
- Some pianos have a built-in panel below the instrument. If this is the case, be careful, as the piano may tip towards the keyboard.
- Due to its weight, the piano can damage parquet or tiles when you roll it. Provide floor protection, such as plywood, before moving the piano.
- If the piano has casters, do not use them for a move, as they will not support the weight of the piano.
- Avoid upholstered carts, on which a piano may slip. Instead, choose a cart with a rubber coating.