CAN A HOUSE MOVER SUBSTITUTE FOR A PIANO MOVER?
Unfortunately not. Qualified and trained piano movers are highly skilled at doing one specific job- piano moving. A piano can weigh anywhere from 400· 1500 lbs, with the average grand piano weighing in at about 650 lbs. One of the most important aspects of moving a piano is knowing exactly how to balance this heavy object. During the process of moving a grand piano the legs and pedal lyre have to be removed and the piano is placed on its side. In this position the piano is about 20″ wide, easily fitting through a door opening.
However, it is important to note that when a 650 lb. grand piano is on it’s side the weight is distributed unevenly from end to end. The end that has the keyboard is heavier because of the fact that the majority of the cast iron plate inside of the piano orients to that same side as the keyboard. Or in other words, the plate (which is the heaviest component in the piano) is is oriented toward the keyboard side. The end of the piano farthest away from the player, commonly referred to as the tail, is significantly lighter due to the fact that the plate has less mass on that side. Interestingly the wooden parts of the piano are not nearly as heavy as the plate, and when you have the plate removed from the piano it is hundreds of pounds lighter.
A professional piano mover knows exactly how to delicately position the dolly under the piano to find the center of mass and may have preferences as to how heavy or light one side of the piano sits on the dolly so that he can easily manipulate it. The ability to improvise is very important when a piano mover encounters unique scenarios in his daily work. Unusual and challenging situations are a daily occurrence in this business. Some examples of this might be when a building has many stairs or steps that the piano has to be taken up or down. For this task it is important to have large moving ramps that can span short and long distances. Also, the piano mover will likely run across buildings where there is no sidewalk to wheel the piano down, or very uneven sidewalks. Sometimes a piano has to go across gravel or pieces of flagstone, decomposed granite, or some other irregular material. When this happens the piano mover will use his experience to asses the property and find the path of least resistance.
Once the piano has been safely removed from the building, the next task is to secure the piano inside of the truck or trailer. This may seem simple. However, it takes years of experience to understand the dynamics of how pianos will ride strapped to the wall of a truck. The piano can easily shift from one side to the other causing damage to the exterior of the piano. To prevent this the piano mover knows exactly where to place the straps in relation to the cabinet of the piano so in the event they encounter a bumpy road on the way to its new destination it will stay securely fastened to the wall. Making sure that there is is additional padding in key places around where the straps are placed can also help ensure a safe ride.
All in all the job of a piano mover is much more complicated than some expect. It is important to hire piano movers who you feel will have the experience to get the job done safely. You can trust that Bradfield Piano’s movers have that experience and will go the extra mile to make sure their customers are satisfied.