How have you moved stationary equipment?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by paxorion posted 02-01-2014 02:54 AM 1630 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2586 days

02-01-2014 02:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tip question

One of the things that I have dreaded figuring out, is how to move heavy machinery when I am finally in a position to purchase them, or if an uncooperative freight delivery leaves ~400lbs of machinery sitting on the curb. I’ve been curious to hear about the creative (but still “safe”) ways people have moved heavy equipment either purchased off of CL, or delivered via freight without a forklift or pallet jack. In addition, how does one move heavy machinery down stairs to say a basement workshop.

-- paxorion

31 replies so far

View lateralus819's profile


2243 posts in 2430 days

#1 posted 02-01-2014 03:17 AM

I’m lucky in that I move heavy stuff all day. When i bought my 400+lb table saw, i brought my co-worker, and the two of us moved it with ease.

Have any really strong friends?

I’ll add some hopefully helpful info.

You could fashion a Johnson bar, which is a long thick board, with a piece of angle on the end, with wheels. It applies and amplifies your force to lift an object. Could use it to lift a heavy machine onto dollies.

Could use a chain fall. Pullies. Those straps you see on T.V. that go under the piece and you put yours and a partners arms through them, they actually work really good.

If i had to move say a table saw, crated down stairs, id lay a piece of ply on the stairs, with a strong front holding the front.

I keep adding other people because realistically, moving a 400lb object isn’t something you should do on your own if you don’t have proper lifting technique, or even the strength to do it. You could seriously hurt yourself.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3042 posts in 3978 days

#2 posted 02-01-2014 03:28 AM

All those people who asked you do do stuff. Could be make them something, help them with a bathroom fixture installation, etc. Call in those markers. You’d be surprised how people are willing to return the favor. Hopefully you have some of these instances to call on.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View emart's profile


445 posts in 3168 days

#3 posted 02-01-2014 03:30 AM

step one: buy lots of beer and pizza

step two: enlist at least 1-2 other friends to help you and bribe them with pizza and beer

step three: use heavy lifting straps and a furniture dolly. if you have gravel or grass put down some cheap plywood so the dolly can move around without sinking.

if you need to move it down some stairs I would either do what lateralus said or take it apart and move it in sections.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View MrFid's profile


896 posts in 2445 days

#4 posted 02-01-2014 03:32 AM

Most of the stuff I have bought that is heavy is able to be disassembled down to parts that are manageable for one or maybe two people. It’s also easier for me to disassemble to bring down to my basement shop since it’ll need adjusting once it gets there anyway. I wouldn’t try picking up and moving a whole table saw without a bunch of help and taking out everything that can be taken out beforehand. Best of luck!

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 2647 days

#5 posted 02-01-2014 03:55 AM

Chainfalls are damn nice to have if there are stairs involved. It’s a hell of lot better to ease it down 1” at a time than it is to have 3 guys on the stairs hoping it doesn’t kill them.

Beer and pizza bribes are a good idea too.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View darthford's profile


612 posts in 2464 days

#6 posted 02-01-2014 03:56 AM

Kubota B2920 – that lathe is 1,000 lbs

View UpstateNYdude's profile (online now)


934 posts in 2523 days

#7 posted 02-01-2014 04:23 AM

As if you didn’t have enough to gloat about already Darth lol

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

View JayCop's profile


37 posts in 2974 days

#8 posted 02-01-2014 04:35 AM

Disassemble as much as you can. For a table saw I figure I am going to realign the tables anyways why not just take it off and lighten the cabinet. Just brought the new unisaw down the stairs the other week :)

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2987 days

#9 posted 02-01-2014 04:44 AM

One tool we all need in our shops is a chain hoist,they are cheap to buy but when you need to lift or reposition a heavy tool or equipment, they are priceless.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View Gerald's profile


51 posts in 2326 days

#10 posted 02-01-2014 05:11 AM

For some situations, an engine hoist would be handy. I’ve also moved tools using just 3 short sections of iron pipe as rollers. You might try putting 2x’s under tools w/o solid bottoms and then the pipe sections. If the 2x’s are long enough you can cover quite a distance before everything has to be repositioned. You’d be surprised what you can do, even by yourself if necessary, if you apply a little of the simple physics you learned in high school. The pizza , beer and friends sound like more fun, however.

-- Gerald, Rural North Central Arkansas

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4188 days

#11 posted 02-01-2014 05:54 AM

Well, 400lbs. is not that heavy really. I kick a hand truck under
such machines and move them that way. I take off the
parts that are easier to remove.

Once you get into buying another class of machinery
you’ll be dealing with stuff 600lbs and up and moving that
stuff is trickier.

View darthford's profile


612 posts in 2464 days

#12 posted 02-01-2014 06:36 AM

Nick for heavy lifts I lower the backhoe pads and have at it with the backhoe. :-)

View OldRick's profile


72 posts in 2234 days

#13 posted 02-01-2014 12:14 PM

I had lots of ideas up to the point you said put it in the basement. I admire your ambition and hope you have several good friends. I would first verify it will fit through the door openings before even purchasing the item. You might also want to check how much weight your stairs can hold. Remember you might also adding the weight of the men as well. Disassembling is probably the best and safest way albeit time consuming. But you might consider cutting and nailing 3/4 plywood over the stairs and then sliding the unit down while having a couple of people using rope from above for added support and control. Have a dolly ready at the bottom. As for having it delivered, have a dolly ready and waiting for when it arrives. It’s not fair to expect the driver to move the unit for you. That’s really not his job. Everything that is not on the truck is your responsibility. Take charge of it and things will go much smoother. But you might also want to add money and dancing girls to the pizza and beer list.

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2586 days

#14 posted 02-01-2014 01:09 PM

So a spin on the question, how about moving any equipment that is delivered via freight, and is sitting on a pallet? It doesn’t really sound like a hand-truck or appliance dolly would work well for that. And I do mean ideas other than asking the deliverer (and hoping they’re cooperative) to cart it down your driveway

-- paxorion

View paxorion's profile


1107 posts in 2586 days

#15 posted 02-01-2014 01:29 PM

For the record, my question is more out of curiosity and planning purposes for the future when my wife and I finally move, and I have shop space. Knowing how much of a pain it would be to setup my shop in different locations in a house would affect my house hunt perspective.

-- paxorion

showing 1 through 15 of 31 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics