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any tricks for 2 men to get a piano on a pickup

Posted on 2007-03-20
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I need to move an upright piano from a first level home out the door and onto my pickup truck or into my cargo trailer.
I have transported these before but not with 2 men. Last time it was 2 men and two teenagers, one who was 14.
Once a sheet of plywood was laid on the steps and the piano rolled down slowly while two men picked up slightly on the back handles and front of the piece.
Another time a piece of plywood was put on the porch and extended onto the tail gate of the truck and rolled on, again with 2 guys picking up some to lessen the weight being rolled.
This time the pickup or trailer can not get backed up to the porch. The trailer would be a few inches closer to the ground but we still have a heavy piece and only two men. The lady says it is a "small" piano.
ugh.......do uprights come in small, medium, and large?
I'm hoping her driveway is sloped. The piano can be rolled out onto the driveway. The truck or trailer can be backed up to the slope so that the tailgate or end of the trailer are as close to the ground as they can get.
None of these plans are guaranteed. The woman is unable to provide more details like the slope of the drive, or a photo of the piano or porch, etc.
This is one of 3 items that will be picked up and delivered. I'm looking for tricks to get it onto the truck or into the trailer. I have no ramps. If I did they would not attatch anywhere and could slip and slide and could result in a disaster. I'm not worried about getting the item out of the house and to the back of the truck or trailer, just into it. I have lifted the end of a piano with one hand, off the ground any way, to get it moved or rolled over the threash hold of the door frame.
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Question by:nickg5
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RDAdams earned 105 total points
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Use a moving sling.  These are usually 8 to 12 inches wide and go under the piano.  Then you can adjust the height required for the two of you moving the piano.  This way you can get into the sling harness then lift with your knees instead of your back and arms.  

You should be able to rent one at a moving rental company in your area.  You could also check with local moving companies to see if they will rent one to you.

Then use your sheet of plywood as described above.  Be sure the plywood is at least 3/4" or even and 1" thick to hold the weight.  You could temporarily screw a couple of 2 by 4's to the plywood for extra strength if necessary.  

You could also if necessary attach small slats to the plywood going across to add footing support so you don't slide.
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by:nickg5
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I have such a sling but have never used it.
I'm not worried about getting it out of the house and to the vehicles. It is the lifting of it to get it on the vehicles.
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by:RDAdams
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By creating a steady ramp with just two people will be the safest way.  

Another possible solution would be a low hung trailer.   That way you are not trying to lift the piano up 2.5 feet or more.  
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by:nickg5
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the pickup is 27 inches off the ground and my trailer is 25 inches off the ground so I have to use the vehicles I have, one way or the other. I am going to take boards with me. If the piano is flat on the ground and one of us is in the trailer with the strap underneath, I'm not sure the person in the trailer will be able to lift high enough to get that end of the piano into the trailer. I have moved two before but we were able to back up to the porch. I am hoping she has a sloped driveway or some of her male neighbors are home.
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by:RDAdams
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Another thing depending on the piano.  You could tilt it up on one end put it on several layers of moving blanket so you don't scratch it, back up your truck, place moving carpets over the back end and box then gently tilt the piano onto the truck bed.  One person on the truck, one person on the ground.  The person on the ground should try not to push the piano up, just to tilt it.  Once the piano is almost flat then you could push but again being carefull not to scratch the piano.  The piano will definitly need to be tuned once it is in place at destination.  

Note: I would want to be very carefull about tilting the piano on one end.  Some are not made to take this.  (My mothers was ok but it was very well made).  
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by:nickg5
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As far as a ramp, I am not sure the weight of the piano or the capability of 1 inch plywood. I would not want wood to break with the piano half way up the ramp, either on its own weight or with us trying to walk up the ramp with the straps in use. The lady says it is a small piano........ugh............do they come in small, medium, or large?
It has handles in the back.
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by:RDAdams
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Yes, there are different sizes of upright pianos also different weights in each category depending on material used to make the piano.  The handles will certaily assist in lifting it.

We used 1 inch plywood when we moved my mothers but we reinforced it with the two by fours (in the center of the plywood about two feet apart from each other.  There was very little bend to it even with my brother and I lifting it.  We are both about 250lbs.
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by:nickg5
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ooops, I weight 155 and my helper about 175.
I can make a plywood and supported 2 x 4 ramp but I am not sure how to attatch it to the vehicle so it does not slide off the edge or slip on the ground or concrete once it has the full weight of the item or the item and us.
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by:RDAdams
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We used pegs in the ground but if you are at a clients house that might be difficult.  The slope if any may help.  You could use a rope, tie on one side of the truck - drill two holes in the two by four - slip the rope through the hole and then attach to the other side of the truck.  I would make the holes close to the truck.
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by:daleoran
daleoran earned 20 total points
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This is gonna sound stupid but ... could you not let the air out of the tyres of the truck or trailer? This would bring the tail closer to the ground and you could lift one end of the piano and set it on the truck then move to the other end and lift/slide it on. Then re-inflate the tyres when it's on.

Michael
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by:nickg5
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job over: we rolled it out of the house, picked up and carried it down two steps, rolled it on the brick walkway with plywood underneath, out into the street, down to the end of the driveway, took the front legs off which were little or no support, then one of us got on each side near the end at the truck, picked up and put it on the tailgate, then my 230 pound helper lifted the end that was still on the ground and rolled it into the truck. Unloading we had a 3rd person.
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