Baldwin Acrosonic pianos are slightly smaller and lighter than grand pianos, but moving even small pianos--which weigh at least 300 lbs.--can be a very dangerous process. The biggest risks, of course, are dropping the piano and getting seriously hurt, which is why most people who have moved a piano before will suggest that you hire professional piano movers. If you are determined to do it yourself, make sure you buy the right supplies, consult the pros for detailed advice and become familiar with what you will have to do to get from point A to point B.
Things You'll Need:
- Four-Wheel Piano Dolly
- Piano Skidboard, Also Called A Piano Board
- Ratchet Set
- Mover'S Pads
- Hump Strap
- 1 Or 2 Locking Piano Belts
- Moving Truck
- Packer'S Tape
Find the exits, entrances and stairways and evaluate how much room you will have at your destination.
Wrap the piano with thick, soft blankets. Secure the blankets with tape.
Prepare to move the piano onto the dolly by lifting each corner and checking to see that none of the casters are stuck. If you have a grand piano, use a ratchet to remove the three legs, the lyre and the music rack and mount them on their long side onto a piano skid board.
Mount the piano onto the dolly. As the website Learn To Move says, it's harder than it looks because you're elevating 400 to 800 lbs. almost a foot up and onto an unstable rolling platform. Put the piano on the caster by lifting it up and moving it around a bit, keeping its weight from bearing down on the casters. If you're lucky, you won't have to go up or down any stairs on your way to the truck, but most piano movers aren't that lucky.
Take the piano over a single step by just using a slight tip of the piano on the dolly as it is being pushed along. This is where the humpstrap comes in handy--the man in front should use it to pull, lift and guide the piano on the dolly. If you will be moving the piano more than four consecutive low stairs, use the locking piano belt to tie the piano to the dolly. To move a grand piano, you will need two locking piano belts to secure the piano board to the grand and a piano skidboard, also called a piano board, which will be secured to the long flat side of the grand.
Move an upright over multiple steps by placing it on its side on the dolly, lifting it up and over the top step, or lowering it down onto a dolly; then, with the bottom of the upright facing the steps, position it on the dolly up to and over the first step. You may have to slide a grand down onto a dolly.
Use the dolly to move the piano to the steps. Lift or carry it as many times as necessary until you can dolly it up the ramp or lift-gated up onto the truck. When it's on the truck, take the piano off the dolly, leave it on its skidboard, and put the top of the piano against the truck's wall. Belt it to the wall so it won't move while you're driving.
Unbelt it from the truck wall and remount it up on the dolly on its feet or on its side depending on how far you'll be moving it. Then ramp it or lift-gate it down to the street.
Use the dolly or carry the piano over the stairs to your destination. Use the ratchets to put the legs back onto your grand piano before its set in place.
If you are sure you don't want to hire a professional piano mover, call some friends. You're going to need lots of help. Figure out how many friends you'll need based on the piano's size and weight--and if you will need to actually carry the piano.
- According to the Learn To Move website, upright pianos over 48 inches high or grand pianos 6 feet or longer are too big and heavy to be moved by anyone except professionals.
Everett Bradman has been an editor since 1994 and a professional writer since 2000. He has worked for "The Miami Herald," the "San Francisco Bay Guardian," "Rolling Stone," "Vibe," "Bass Player," "Computer Shopper" and NYC & Company. He holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Florida A&M University.