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What does a Piano Mover do?

M.C. Huguelet
M.C. Huguelet

A piano mover specializes in transferring pianos from one location to another. Whether transferring a piano between two floors in the same house or relocating it from one end of the country to the other, piano moving requires a great deal of skill to prevent damage to the instrument and its surroundings as well as injury to the movers. In order to move each instrument safely and with minimum financial risk to himself and the owner, a piano mover must use special equipment and moving techniques and have comprehensive insurance coverage.

Often people who are relocating cut costs by relying on friends and family to help move the contents of their home. When moving a piano, however, it is almost always best to hire a professional. Pianos are quite heavy; depending upon the model, they can range from 300 to 1,300 pounds (150 to 590 kg). In addition, their casing and mechanisms are easily damaged. A trained piano mover has the knowledge to guide instruments safely between floors, through tight areas, and in and out of transport vehicles.

A piano mover transfers pianos from one location to another.
A piano mover transfers pianos from one location to another.

Depending on the weight of the piano and the difficulty of the job, a piano mover generally works as part of a team of two to five professionals. Normally he utilizes two important pieces of equipment: a piano dolly and pads. A piano dolly consists of a flat bed set upon wheels. The piano is strapped securely on top of this dolly so that it can be easily pushed over level surfaces. Moving pads are essentially thick pieces of cloth which are wrapped around the piano, preventing damage to its body as it is steered through tight spaces.

While moving an upright piano through a single story house can be relatively straightforward, often the job of a piano mover is much more complicated. If he is moving a grand piano that cannot fit through doorways, he may have to remove the instrument’s legs and lid. Should he be required to transfer a piano from an upper floor down to street level, he may use a specially designed crane to move the instrument down staircases or even through a window.

Normally, moving an instrument out of a house is only the first part of a piano professional’s job. Once the piano is outside, he must secure it safely in his moving vehicle and transport it to the desired location. After arrival, he must guide the piano to the place that its owner directs and, if it has been taken apart in any way, reassemble it. In some cases, however, such as when a piano is being transferred internationally, the mover may be responsible only for transporting the instrument to a third-party shipper.

Piano moving presents a fairly high risk for damage to the instrument and the customer’s home as well as injury to the mover. Thus it is essential that a piano mover secures insurance to cover any mishaps. Typically, a responsible piano mover will carry several types of insurance: automobile and property coverage to protect his vehicle and his customers’ residences, content and cartage coverage to protect the instrument itself, and workman’s safety coverage to protect himself in case of injury.

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    • A piano mover transfers pianos from one location to another.
      By: Andrew Hyde
      A piano mover transfers pianos from one location to another.