Pianos, a basic guide to moving them

Think of the classic slapstick comedy set-ups. A banana peel before a flight of stairs, painting a tunnel into a wall only to have the hero run straight through. The grand piano suspended dangerously from a building lies among these titans as one of the classic “There is no way this can go well” situations. Of course, pianos have to be transported from time to time. The DQC form has pianos as a unique option as an example of their needs. Destroying them isn’t going to get anything anywhere fast though. The proper steps need to be taken. Using them these beautiful, delicate instruments will be transported safely and as a result will be playing again in their new home completely intact.

The basics (And Upright pianos):

Example of upright pianos

Upright pianos are easier to move.

  • Get your measurements. Make sure it can fit through the doors and so the transporters van can fit it in.
  • Remove anything hanging off. Avoids unnecessary breakages and stress when lifting the piano.
  • Tape the lid shut. This stops it bouncing around when it’s being jostled, again, avoiding damage.
  • Wrap it up tight. The best material for this is a soft cloth touching the wood, though plastic is fine. Making sure to tape it tight to maximise protection.
  • Use a dolly. Pianos are heavy, carrying them all the way to the van increases the risk of you dropping them or otherwise damaging them. Putting it on a wheeled dolly will make moving it across the floors much easier. Just make sure it’s strapped down to avoid it slipping off.
  • Ramp it into the van. If there’s a suitable ramp available you should wheel it into the van and lift it off the dolly. It’s much easier then hoisting it into the van straight from the dolly. Make sure it’s strapped to the van and you’re good to go. Unless…


Moving a grand piano:

  • Remove the lid/keyboard cover. This avoids the jostling problem and removes the problem of tape marking the glossy wood. Take care when removing these so that you don’t knock it against anything. Wrap them separately.An example of grand pianos
  • If the keyboard lid is irremovable, pad it shut. This can be done by stuffing tissue paper in both ends.
  • Place a board to the side of the piano and cover in a blanket.
  • Get three or four people to pick it up. These things can weigh near half a ton so getting some friends in to pick it up is a good idea. When you do you can find that one of the legs will be labelled ‘1’. This should be removed first as it’s held up, before being tipped and rest gently on the board. Remove the other legs and wrap them separately.
  • Wrap the whole thing snugly in blankets and tape it up
  • It’s ready to move.


Simple in concept and with the right people involved, simple (If heavy) work. To get a qualified transporter to help you move your piano to its new home, fill out the Delivery Quote Compare item form here


Christopher East 2018

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