There are few things more difficult about piano ownership than dealing with moving. Pianos are large, heavy, and extremely fragile instruments that just don’t deal well with being moved around. Once in place, it’s best to move one as little as possible – but, of course, sometimes that’s just not an option.
Beyond anything else, here at Cooper Piano, we want both you and your piano to be safe when it comes time to move. Moving a piano improperly is dangerous for everyone involved, so we’ve put together some quick tips to help your piano move be as successful as possible!
A Safe And Sane Guide To Successful Piano Moving
1 – Close and secure the lids.
Both the keyboard lid and the piano’s top itself should be closed and securely fashioned down with straps before you do anything else. One of the most common types of damage done to pianos being moved is from the tops coming open in transit. There should be no chance of any part of it opening up while you’re moving.
2 – You can’t use too much padding.
Every possible surface should be covered in padding material. Specialty products aren’t necessary, if you have enough large, soft blankets or similar items lying around. Each leg should be wrapped separately, then with plenty of padding around the body of the piano itself. Secure it with straps or tape, but only if the tape will only be attached to the padding.
Never use tape directly on the body of a piano, as it can wreck the finish.
3 – Wheeled carts are a must.
Only the absolute smallest of uprights and toy pianos can be moved safely without some sort of mechanical conveyance. Even if the piano is only moving a few yards between your home and your truck, we strongly recommend wheeled assistance in moving it. Trying to lift and carry a piano manually – even with several people – usually just ends in hernias or damage to the piano.
In many cases, we have to hire and use heavy equipment, such as cranes, especially if a piano would otherwise have to be carried down stairs.
4 – Never lift a piano by its legs.
The legs of a piano are among its most fragile pieces, and they are in no way built to support more weight than they would when the piano is resting naturally. Picking a piano up by the legs is generally a sure-fire way to break them off. While repairable, it’s expensive and will likely shorten the lifespan of your piano.
5 – Use a covered truck.
While some smaller pianos can fit in the back of a sufficiently large pickup truck, we recommend against this. Even when padded, road debris or unexpectedly low-hanging obstacles can easily damage a piano that’s in an open flatbed. The extra expense of renting a covered trailer is easily justified through the extra protection it brings.
6 – Drive the route beforehand.
Whenever possible, we recommend you do a “dry run” of your moving route before the actual move, to ensure the route is open, available, and free of obstructions that might interfere with your plans. You don’t want to be driving around with a large trailer, only to discover an inconvenient detour that sends you into parts unknown.
Generally, the larger the trailer, the more important this is.
7 – Have someone ready to tune it when you arrive.
No matter how careful you are while moving your piano, it will need tuning upon arrival. The vibrations of the road will always throw the tuning off, and it shouldn’t be played again until properly tuned.
Finally, know when to call in expert help! At any point, if you feel like the job has gotten too large or problematic, that is when it’s best to hire professional piano movers. It’s worth the extra money to protect the investment you’ve made in your piano.