The Safest Way to Move an Upright Piano

Posted on: 12 April 2016

Upright pianos are huge, heavy and awkward. Moving one requires several strong people who are not only physically able but willing to exercise patience. Like any other musical instrument, upright pianos are fragile and easily damaged; therefore, jamming them through doors and sliding them down stairs is never an option. It takes time, planning and preparation.

Preparing Your Team

Begin by opening the truck and pulling down the ramp so it's ready when you're outside. Close the lid on the piano and lock it into place (if possible). Place a four-wheeled dolly next to the piano and have somebody on standby, ready to slide it underneath. Even just a minor knock could cause the piano to break or go out of tune; therefore, preparing everything in advance will ensure it's a smooth transition.

Lifting the Piano

Depending on the weight of the piano, either one or two people should stand either side. When lifting, it's important to keep the piano straight at all times as the legs are not designed to support such excessive weight if it's tipped to the side. This could not only break the piano, but could damage the floor. Remember to tense your core and bend at the knees when you're ready to lift. Once in the air, the person on standby should slide the dolly beneath the piano, placing it at the centre point, slightly towards the rear (the opposite side from the keys), as this part is heavier than the front.

Moving the Piano

Roll the dolly towards the truck, stabilising the piano with both hands. Make sure the rear of the piano is facing the truck wall. This way, if any damage is caused during transit, it will affect the side of the piano that nobody sees. When you reach the bottom of the truck, position one person at the top of the ramp (the puller), the two strongest people at the bottom (the pushers) and one at the side (the stabiliser).

Transporting the Piano

When the piano is in place, lift it off the dolly using the same technique as above (two to four people lifting and one removing the dolly.) Strap the piano into place to prevent it sliding around in transit. Ensure any other cargo is also secured. When you arrive at your destination, repeat this entire process in reverse.

If you don't have access to a truck or dolly, or simply don't feel comfortable doing this, don't take any chances. Professional removalists will have the tools and expertise to move even the largest pianos without causing any damage to the instrument or flooring. Contact a company like Price's Removals for more info.