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From equipment to lifting techniques, to moving pianos up and down stairs, these tips will teach you how to transport a piano safely and efficiently!

Equipment you will need to transport a piano

As much as experience is vital to moving a piano, so is the equipment you use.

Plastic covers and blankets: Plastic covers are essential – not only will this keep all the piano’s moving parts in place, it will also protect the piano from becoming scuffed, and prevent any costly damages.
Plastic cover straps: This is important as it will keep the plastic covers in place; otherwise, all the above will have been pointless!
Work gloves: Gloves will protect your hands and stop them becoming slippery.
Piano dollies: A piano dolly is a trolley used to transport upright pianos. It is important to use as wheels on the legs of the piano are purely decorative and will not support the weight of a piano.
Piano dolly straps: These will strap the dolly to the piano and ensure it is held securely.
Piano shoes: These are cases the piano can be safely transported in, and are used when pianos are transported on their side.
Piano slippers: These are larger versions of piano shoes used to transport grand and baby grand pianos.

Of course, transporting a piano depends on what type of piano you’re looking to move. They’re very delicate and diverse instruments, ranging from standard upright pianos to concert grand pianos.

How to transport a piano

Different types of pianos

Upright Piano: An upright piano is the most popular type of piano, and can weigh from 140 kg to 410 kg.
Digital Piano: Digital models can come in a range of different styles, and differ from keyboards because they replicate the size of a piano while weighing considerably less – usually under 70 kg.
Baby Grand Piano: The smallest type of grand piano, baby grands weight between 230 kg and 365 kg.
Grand Piano: A regular grand piano, in between a baby grand piano and a concert grand piano in size. They tend to weigh between 230 kg and 545 kg
Concert Grand Piano: The largest piano, simply do not try and move one of these if you aren’t a professional. They can weigh over 600 kg and prices for new ones often start at over £10,000.

Lifting a piano safely

First things first – moving a piano of any size is a difficult process that involves strength and delicacy. It can also be dangerous lifting heavy objects incorrectly, so before you think about transporting a piano anywhere, learn how to lift one correctly.

It is also important to know about what kind of piano you are lifting, not just how to lift a piano. Pianos vary greatly in weight and size. This especially important when lifting an upright piano onto the dolly. The smaller “studio” pianos usually weigh between 180 kg and 270 kg, whereas larger grand pianos can weigh up to half a tonne.

The number of people needed to move a piano depends on the above. However you should try and recruit at least three or four people to lift a piano. It’s important to point out that heavier pianos, such as a concert grand piano, should always be moved by professionals.

You also need to use the equipment above to prepare your piano. This is arguably the most important part, as it will protect your piano from becoming scuffed or scraped. Wrap the piano in plastic covers and use tape to secure the plastic covers. You should also make other simple precautions, such as wearing appropriate clothing and clearing a path for the piano.

How to transport an upright piano

Moving an upright or spinet piano, which are the most common types found in homes, will involve a dolly, a ramp if transporting the piano into a van, and of course piano covers and straps.

Using a dolly that is at least half the length of the piano, you should position it slightly in front of the piano. With at least one person at each end of the piano, ensuring there is one person at the front to help balance the instrument onto the dolly, slowly, and with taking extra care to secure your grip, carefully lift the piano on to the dolly.

Roll the piano towards the exit – and you’ll need a ramp to go up and down any stairs; you should have two of the movers at the lower level to help support the piano.

How to transport a piano from floor to floor safely

It is possible to use a piano ramp if you are just going up four or so steps. However, the only way to move a piano up a flight of stairs is by carrying it. Moving a piano upstairs or downstairs can be particularly difficult and needs a significant amount of skill and planning.

Moving a piano up and down stairs is the most dangerous part of transporting a piano. It should ideally be done by professionals and caution should be exercised at all times.

How to move a piano into a van

If you’re transporting a piano from property to property, it is important to use a van or truck. Moving a piano into a truck involves specific skills and technique.

If your van has a ramp, this won’t be an issue, but be sure to have enough people wheeling it up the ramp that it can safely get up the ramp and onto the truck. This, again, shouldn’t be an issue as you have just used at least three movers to get the piano downstairs.

Place the piano into the van facing the back wall. It is highly recommended that you place a wooden plank under the piano, to ensure that the floor surface is even and to ease the trauma to the legs of the piano. The piano should be strapped into the truck, so that it won’t shift around during the drive. Adjust the plastic covers as needed, so that none of the wood can touch the side of the van.

Never leave the piano on its dolly on the van because it might break loose around in the truck and be damaged. Once you arrive at the destination and are safely parked, unbelt the upright piano from the van wall and remount it on the dolly upright.

It’s likely that the piano will need tuning after arriving at the destination as transporting a piano is likely to significantly loosen the strings, even when done by removal professionals. However, pianos take time to acclimatise to new environments, therefore it is important you leave the piano 2 to 4 weeks before hiring a tuner.

Why it’s safest to go with a piano removal company

Pianos are so heavy and so delicate you may find it tricky to pull off without damaging yourself or the piano. We recommend finding a specialist courier with experience in transporting a piano, and making sure they have the correct insurance.

Whether you’re moving home or just moving your piano, going through professional piano movers with AnyVan is the safest way to get a seamless and cost effective resolution.

Moving? Don't Panic!
Get ready with our top tips.
Home Removal Man and Van Vehicle Delivery Courier Service
Need to move
anything anywhere?
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