How to Move a Piano Properly, The Right Way

Moving a piano the right way

Moving a piano is a complicated process. There is risk to the piano, risk of bodily injury to the movers and others and risk to other property. Although moving a piano may appear to be a simple process, hidden factors compound the task. Pianos are complicated to move and should only be moved by professionals who are careful, properly trained, and insured. They must also have the proper equipment.

Vertical / Upright Pianos

These pianos are the most common and the easiest to move. They are moved by tipping the piano and sliding a piano movers’ dolly underneath or lifting the piano up onto the dolly. The dolly has a strong frame for moving and large rubber wheels for ease of moving and not scratching the floor. The piano is transported to its new location and removed from the dolly. The piano should be covered to avoid scratching or damaging it.

The wheels attached to vertical pianos themselves are rarely designed for moving, and are primarily used for cosmetic effects. With studio pianos that have larger, double wheels, they are designed for short moves. When moving studio pianos beyond the immediate room or for more than just a few feet, a dolly should still be used.

Grand Pianos

They are moved by covering the piano, removing the left leg, and gently lowering the piano over onto its straight side. The piano is then lifted up onto a flat, padded board called a ’skid board’. The lid is allowed to overhang the side so as to not pressure it. The piano is blanketed, strapped down and the other legs and pedal lyre are removed. (*NOTE: The "pedal lyre" should be removed first before removing the left leg, since it does not support any weight) Additional care should be added to insure that the piano parts that can rub together and scratch must be secured. The skid board with piano is tipped and a piano movers dolly is slid underneath for transport to its new location, where the procedure is reversed.

Contrary to popular legend, proper piano moving does NOT affect the tuning. Tuning is affected by changes in climate such as temperature and humidity. If a piano is properly covered during the move, it will not feel the environmental changes such as going from indoors to outdoors and back indoors again. The piano WILL go out of tune if exposed to a climate change such as going from a dry home to a humid home.

One Response to “How to Move a Piano Properly, The Right Way”

  1. dolphin278on 11 Apr 2008 at 2:19 pm

    This was a fantastically written post and the pics complement the tale wonderfully! I’ll send it to my friend.

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