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Piano Moving Dollies for Upright & Grand Pianos

These piano moving dollies, built by Paul L. Jansen & Son, will greatly facilitate any piano move. Many times I get this question, "Should I move my own piano?" Here is my answer: Generally, it is not a good idea for you to move your own piano. It is best to hire a professional mover. He will have the proper piano moving dollies, equipment and experience to do it safely. Of course, you should check out his reputation. Some movers may be careless & inexperienced.

If you must or wish to move it yourself here are some moving tips and suggestions for building your own piano moving dollies:

(Follow these tips at your own risk. Don't injure yourself or damage the piano. If you wish to purchase piano moving dollies, click on the link at the bottom of this page.)

Piano Moving Dollies - Construction & Use
  1. Make yourself a 4-wheel dolly to set the piano on. It can be just a piece of 3/4" plywood, 16" x 28" with 4" swivel casters.

  2. In order to put the piano on the dolly you will need someone to lift up one end of the piano high enough in order to slide the dolly underneath. There is usually a handle at the back of the piano for you to lift on. Place your other hand underneath the keybed. Remember that most of the weight is at the back of the piano so don't lift too hard at the front end or you may tip the piano over on its back. Slide the dolly underneath from the back of the piano, tilted at the same angle as the up-ended piano. Make the edge of the dolly flush with the back edge of the piano.

  3. Now it will be easy to maneuver the piano around corners. If you need to go up or down stairs it would be best to build a piano skid. This can be simply a piece of 3/4" plywood about 16" wide and the same length as the piano. Screw the plywood to 2 hardwood runners to make a sled. Attach a lip at one end to act as a stop at the bottom end so the piano does not slide off the skid.

    You must also get some wide straps called "webbing" to tie the piano to the skid. To do this you will need to have slots between the runner & the plywood through which to insert the straps. Make the straps long enough to go all the way around the piano.

  4. Now you need to load the piano unto a truck or a trailer. A trailer has the advantage of being closer to the ground and therefore an easier lift. Make sure your trailer has enough head room to get the piano through the opening.

    If you are loading onto a truck, you can follow this procedure:

    1. Up-end the piano (Note: It is best to place a blanket under one end so that you do not damage the edge of the piano as you up-end it) and slide the dolly to the end farthest away from the truck. Then, with two men at the other end, lift it up onto the truck, pulling it forward on the dolly.

      Now, you can go to the back end, lift it up and push the piano the rest of the way onto the truck.

    2. Here is another method. Up-end the piano putting a blanket under the end that touches the ground and hold it there at about a 45 degree angle. Two men, one on each side should be able to balance it in this position. Now, get someone to back the truck CAREFULLY underneath the up-ended piano. When the truck is under the piano you can let it down and then push it the rest of the way on.

  5. Now you need to tie the piano to the truck or trailer so it will not move around. The best way to tie it securely is to hook one end of your strap to the side of the truck (that is, an open pick-up), then loop it around one of the handles at the back of the piano and extend it up over the piano and hook it to the other side of the truck.

    If you are tieing the piano in a trailer or closed in truck then attach one end of your strap to the side of the box, then bring it around the front of the piano just under the keybed and in front of the legs. Then attach it securely at the other end.

  6. When you unload the piano you can just follow the above procedure in reverse. You may also wish to cover your piano with blankets if necessary to protect it from the weather. Make sure that when you pull the dolly out from underneath the piano that you remove it from the BACK side.

    A lot of pianos have had their pedals broken off when someone pulls the dolly out from the front, and the piano is lowered down before the dolly has cleared the pedals, snapping them off! If you wish to purchase ready made piano moving dollies, just click on the link below.

Click here for Piano Moving Dollies and Equipment

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