Why You Should Never Move Your Piano by Yourself

Posted by Gordon Bolton
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A seasoned pianist would never consider moving his or her instrument without professional help. That’s because well-informed musicians know that although pianos are massively huge and can weigh anywhere from 300 to over 1,000 pounds, they’re composed of surprisingly delicate parts.

Not all piano owners have the benefit of specialized knowledge of and education about their instruments, and many attempt a DIY move as a result of their ignorance. That’s never a good idea. Read on to find out why it’s always better to hire a specialist.

Sheer Weight

Pianos are one of the heaviest instruments around. Even a small upright piano can weigh over 300 pounds, and if the piano has a solid wood soundboard, cast iron components, solenoids, or added speakers, the weight of those parts can add up quickly. It’s not uncommon for grand pianos and player pianos to weigh over 1,000 pounds.

To make matters worse, the weight is never evenly distributed. More of the weight sits in the back of these large instruments than the front. This makes it difficult for even multiple reasonably strong people to move pianos from one room to another or out of the house entirely without the proper training and equipment.

Professional piano movers know that the process isn’t really about brute strength. The only time they lift and carry pianos is to get upright models that aren’t equipped with wheels onto a dolly for easier transport. Minimizing heavy lifting doesn’t just save professional piano movers’ backs, but is also better for the instruments.

Avoiding Damage

Despite their massive weight and hard exteriors, pianos are actually quite prone to damage during moves. If the leg of a baby grand gets caught on a wall while the people moving it are taking a turn, for example, it could bring the entire instrument crashing down. Even upright pianos can get scratched and gouged when they’re being moved from room to room. This aesthetic damage can cost a lot to repair, but it’s nothing compared to internal damage.

Pianos are incredibly intricate instruments. They contain over 10,000 moving parts, many of which are fabricated by hand. If any of these parts sustain damage during the move, pianists will have to spend a good deal of their hard-earned money hiring a specialist to replace them. If the soundboard sustains severe damage, the piano may wind up all but completely unplayable. It’s not worth the risk.

Steps and Awkward Turns

Moving pianos up and down steps, through narrow hallways, and around awkward turns requires a good deal of planning and specialized knowledge. In some cases, piano movers must turn upright pianos on their sides to make sharp turns, and moving grand pianos from upper floors may even require taking out windows and hiring cranes. It’s not a job for an amateur.

Professional piano movers know how to maneuver even large pianos through tight spaces, down steps, and around turns without damaging the pianos, the walls, the floors, or their backs. It takes a lot of training, practice, and sometimes specialized equipment to master these skills.

Respect for Valuable Possessions

Pianos aren’t just large, heavy pieces of furniture. They’re valuable possessions, and in some cases, priceless family heirlooms. While ordinary movers and some average consumers have the training and equipment to move unwieldy furniture, the stakes are much higher when moving a piano.

Using improper techniques when moving a large dresser, for example, might lead someone to throw out his or her back or cause cosmetic damage to the furniture or the surrounding environment. If the same person or people use improper techniques when moving a piano that has been in the family for generations, the results can be absolutely tragic. Again, it’s just not worth the risk.

Access to Moving Equipment

When moving to a new home, residents can rent a moving truck that will accommodate most of their possessions or hire professional movers to help them get everything safely to the new location. Unfortunately, ordinary moving trucks aren’t designed to accommodate pianos.

To prevent damage while on the road, pianos must be properly strapped in and secured to the wall. Specialized piano movers will always arrive with the transportation equipment to secure the instrument properly and pad it to avoid unanticipated damage. There will be no chance that the piano will move or bump around when the driver hits potholes, which means it will arrive at its new home or storage facility intact and in the same shape it was in when the movers picked it up.

Save Money

This may sound counter-intuitive, but hiring professional piano movers can save musicians a lot of money. Even properly repairing cosmetic damage incurred during a move can be expensive, but if the instrument sustains internal damage due to improper handling, musicians can wind up spending a fortune to have it repaired. In some cases, they may even have to purchase entirely new pianos.

As long as they find a piano moving company like Piano Movers of Texas with a good reputation and experienced employees, musicians won’t have to worry about damaging what are often their most valuable possessions. Plus, if something unforeseeable comes up like a truck accident, their movers’ liability insurance will cover the cost of repairing the instrument or buying a new one.

The piano itself isn’t the only thing musicians need to worry about damaging. Renters who want to get their deposits back need to avoid gouging floors and door frames, and anyone moving a piano should be concerned about personal injury. Nobody wants to pay doctors’ bills or copays then dealing with missed work after sustaining serious back injuries. Specialized piano movers have all the training and safety gear they need to prevent personal injury. Plus, they’re covered by workers’ compensation insurance in the unlikely event that someone does get hurt.

The Bottom Line

Moving a piano is much more challenging than moving a dresser or a couch. The only way to ensure a valuable instrument’s safety during this process is to work with specialists like Piano Movers of Texas. Get in touch to request a quote today.

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