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The right way to move pianos

Aug 13, 2012
Piano moving tips.

Those of a certain age will remember the classic PG Tips TV advert where the famous chimps were trying to move a piano up a flight of stairs. That immortal line, “do you know the piano’s on my foot?” and the reply, “you hum it son and I’ll play it,” will live forever in our minds and has, no doubt, been repeated by removals men struggling to move pianos ever since.

However, moving pianos in real life is no laughing matter and with some costing more than £100,000 getting it wrong can be an expensive, not to say embarrassing business.

Here Lance Green from specialist piano movers G&R Removals offers some inside advice on how to make sure these precious items arrive safely.

G&R’s top five tips:

  1. Knowledge – Know the make, model and insurance value of the piano you’ve been asked to move - an online search may be useful. Concert grand pianos are around 9-10 feet long, often weigh over 500kgs and can cost over £100k. Even uprights can weigh 300kgs and cost over £20k.
  2. Good Training - It is of paramount importance that the operatives have piano-moving experience - make sure they know how to lift and handle the piano. Each make of grand piano has different types of leg fitting so it’s important to know how to remove or replace these and the lyre correctly. Take a well equipped tool kit and make sure all leg fittings are secure when setting up at the new location.
  3. Equipment – Piano wheels or a piano trolley are an essential part of a piano-movers equipment. Make sure you have the correct fitting piano shoe, or slipper. For grand pianos, a tailor made padded piano cover is recommended although a full export wrap will usually give enough protection.
  4. Planning and preparation – Plan the route for removal or delivery, clear any obstacles, protect wooden flooring and carpets. The brass casters on pianos can badly damage wooden flooring, particularly laminated floors.
  5. Communication – While the piano is being prepared for transport or being moved, the team should talk to each other throughout to make sure everyone is aware of the process and avoid accident.

G&R will be happy to provide free advice to other readers of The Mover or to carry out piano moves on their behalf - +44 (0) 20 8994 9733.

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