5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring A Piano Moving Company

Posted by Gordon Bolton

Most pianists understand the value provided by professional piano movers. Pianos are large, unwieldy instruments that also happen to contain many delicate moving parts. Whether musicians want to move their pianos from one floor of the house to another or all the way across town, the only way to protect the instruments is to hire professional movers.

Unfortunately, not all piano moving companies are created equal. Some have more specialized experience than others. It makes little sense to pay someone to damage an instrument in transit, so musicians need to find the best piano moving company for the job. Read on to find five questions every pianist should ask before hiring a moving company to make sure the movers will be a good fit.

1. How Will the Piano Be Moved?

Any moving company with the right equipment can claim to have specialized piano movers on its staff. The best way to figure out if that’s true is to ask how the movers plan to get the piano from point A to point B.

Some companies just send out many workers to lift the piano as if it were an especially heavy piece of furniture. That’s a terrible way to go about moving a valuable instrument. It almost always leads to superficial damage and, in some cases, can even end with the piano broken on the floor. Avoid moving companies that employ this strategy.

Professional piano movers will have at least three to five helpers on hand. However, they will not simply lift the piano and move it by hand. They’ll ask the client questions about the piano and its shape, size, and weight, and request enough information about the job to make an informed decision about how to move the instrument safely. This typically requires specialized equipment and techniques, not just brute force.

2. Could the Piano Wind Up Sustaining Damage?

This is somewhat of a trick question. It may be tempting to choose the company that is most confident in its employees’ abilities not to damage the piano. In fact, overconfidence should not be considered a point in any moving company’s favor.

Piano movers will be honest with their clients. They will ask for some information from the client. It will likely include how far the piano must be transported and whether it will need to be taken up and down stairs. This will allow the movers to offer an honest opinion of how likely it is that the piano will sustain damage.

It’s important to recognize that even the most skilled piano movers can’t give a 100% guarantee that the instrument will not sustain even the slightest damage when it must be moved down flights of stairs or removed through the window of a home. Any moving company that claims it can definitively prevent all possibilities of even the slightest damage to the instrument is not to be trusted.

Instead, look for assurances that the movers will take all possible precautions without lying about the inherent risks associated with moving large, heavy, delicate pianos.

3. How Much Specialized Experience Do the Movers Have?

It’s never wise to entrust piano moving to a novice much less trying to move it yourself. Even moving companies that have decades of experience won’t always have the right equipment or expertise to move pianos. Look for a company that has at least a few years and 30 piano moves under its belt and make sure they specialize in this complicated field.

4. Can the Company Provide References?

Specialized piano movers who have worked with dozens of local musicians should be able to provide references from previous clients. Ask for them, then make sure to follow up by calling the clients. This helps to ensure that the company’s descriptions of the services they provide match up with the clients’ experiences.

Don’t just ask whether the piano made it safely from point A to point B. That’s important, but it’s not the only thing musicians must consider before hiring piano movers. Ask questions about the quality of customer service provided, the level of professionalism provided by the movers, and whether the piano was damaged in any way.

It may be tempting to assume that one claim of minor damage is a red flag. It’s actually an opportunity for learning more about the company. If the piano was damaged in any way, the company should have worked to resolve the client’s complaint. It’s only if they failed to acknowledge the damage or take action to remedy the problem that pianists should look elsewhere for service.

If the company refuses to provide references, that’s an entirely different matter. Don’t trust a company that claims to have plenty of experience but refuses to provide references from prior clients.

5. Is the Company Fully Insured?

If they work with a reputable piano moving company, musicians shouldn’t have to worry about filing insurance claims. That being said, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Ask for proof of liability insurance to ensure that the company will be able to pay for any damages to the piano or the property in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.

Moving companies should also carry several other types of insurance. Every piano mover should be covered by workman’s compensation insurance. All the trucks should be covered by commercial automotive policies. The company should also have a comprehensive business insurance policy in place. Working with a company that is fully insured removes the possibility of clients being left on-the-hook for damages, injuries, or other mishaps that could occur during the moving process.

Only Trust Professional Piano Movers

Moving a piano isn’t cheap. While it’s fine to look for competitive pricing, it’s never wise to make that the top priority, and it’s always a terrible idea to hire independent movers with little to no experience handling pianos. These instruments are quite delicate, and they can also be quite expensive, or even priceless, so musicians owe it to themselves and their beloved pianos to find a trustworthy moving company. Take the time to interview multiple companies if necessary and cross any company off the list whose employees refuse to answer basic questions like the ones described above.

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