Need Help With Moving a Piano?

Need Help with Moving a Piano? Reasons to Dodge a DIY or Guy with a Truck

Do you need help with moving a piano, or are you thinking of a DIY piano move? A piano is an exquisite instrument, delighting enthusiasts and spectators for decades. But these magical instruments can easily weigh up to 500 kilograms. Think about it: If moving a piano from one room to another requires around five to six men with some serious muscle, imagine hauling a grand piano from one suburb to another or from city to city.

Although the piano has gone through a transformation since its first invention, two things remain consistent –  these elegant instruments are heavy and delicate. Before you even consider rounding up two of your gym buddies to move your newly-inherited family heirloom from one suburb or city to another, remember that you’re not just moving a piece of furniture. You are relocating a fragile, invaluable instrument.

Risks of a DIY or Amateur Piano Move

Hiring a random guy with a bakkie from the classifieds or a do-it-yourself piano move is far from an intelligent, money-saving decision. There is a zero ROI, but only potential loss, damage or theft.  If you are not careful, your buddy moving the piano can suffer long-term injuries, leading to enormous medical bills. Further, the internal mechanism of a piano is intricate and somewhat delicate, and the tiniest tweak can ruin its sound. As one of the leading moving companies in the country—moving businesses, households and specialised equipment and instruments for over a decade, here are reasons to dodge a DIY or hiring a guy with a truck just because the price is right.

Can You Dismantle and Assemble a Piano?

Do you know how to take a piano apart and put it together again? Does your buddy at the gym know, or the guy with the truck? Moving a piano is far different from a boat or a couple of servers and computers. Sure, it takes careful consideration to ensure items arrive safely, but the same goes for pianos—accept piano skills are essential. For instance, while upright pianos demand the removal of floorboards, grand pianos demand an expert with the know-how to dismantle the legs, pedals, music racks and more, and even wrap each part separately and securely, so it’s ready for safe transport.

However, just because a moving company can take a piano apart doesn’t mean they know how to put it back together. For instance, skilled professionals must angle the piano to put the legs on correctly. If not, they can damage the body of the piano. They must also know how to realign the foot pedals when installing the body, and they must fix more complex issues like a dowel slip. Can you or your friends do this? Well, expert piano movers can, and they go even further. They transport and store pianos in climate-controlled vans and storage facilities.

Pianos Have Over 2500 Intricate Moving Parts

Piano movers must know how to assemble and reassemble these delicate instruments meticulously, which is something you will not get with ‘chancers’ looking to make a quick buck. Just like elephants weigh a tonne, pianos are hefty instruments. They are also delicate, with over 2500 intricate moving parts made from the finest materials customised by piano manufacturers. Pianos dislike movement as this is a sure-fire way to knock it out of tune, and that means paying for a professional to either spend a couple of hours at your place tuning the piano or having another mover come and collect the piano to deliver to the tuner. A DIY or hiring a buddy with a truck will cost double the amount you would have paid if you hired experts, so think before you hire a standard furniture mover off the classifieds.

A Costly Injury-and-Money Trap

Pianos might come in an array of materials and colours, but one thing they all have in common is their hefty weight. Unlike home furnishings like corner sofas, deep freezers or computers, the considerable weight of a piano presents a significant challenge for any move. While it doesn’t take a lot to knock a piano out of tune, which occurs if the mover bumps, drops or tilts the piano, it doesn’t take a lot to suffer injuries like a slipped disc or a couple of broken bones, leading to serious long-term injuries.

A DIY piano move is a costly injury-and-money trap that one can easily avoid by hiring professional piano movers. Only professionals know how to get a piano out of a house and across highways or cities, and they do it safely, without damage or injury. However, there is a huge crime wave throughout South Africa. With scammers now posing as moving companies—an out-of-tune piano is the least of your problems.

Avoid Criminals Looking for a Quick and Easy Payday

A piano requires at least a handful of skilled movers and the right heavy-lifting equipment to move from A to B. That is why credible moving companies train employees to move the piano, minimising risk to the floors, the instrument, and the workers carrying the piano. But have you thought about what happens if you hire a bunch of criminals looking for a quick, easy payout? The crime rate is increasing throughout each province of our nation, and South Africa’s spinning property wheel is attracting a tsunami of criminals posing as moving companies.

What to Look for in a Credible Moving Company

As one of the top moving companies in South Africa, with a national footprint, we recognise that moving a piano takes preparation to avoid the risks of damage, loss or theft. That means hiring credible, experienced piano movers and not a guy with a truck and two men that look like they have never seen a piano before. Further, moving a piano does not require a 50% deposit upfront. A 500-kilogram piano demands the help of a credible moving company with a website, legitimate references, a team of skilled piano movers, and the right vans and storage units.  If you do not do your homework on the moving company, you can and most probably will become another moving scam statistic. To avoid this, keep an eye on these moving scams.

Moving Scams to Avoid

We have all heard many horror stories about cash-strapped customers hiring standard movers off the classifieds. The driver demands a 50% deposit upfront. Their rates were cheap, and the driver spoke as if he had been moving pianos for decades. He convinces the client that insurance is unnecessary, as he has never experienced problems before. The big day arrives, and a guy with a truck and two men arrive. After much bumping and scratching, they load the piano onto an open truck tied with rope. They drive off—never to be seen again, or the client gets their piano, only damaged.

Temperature-Controlled Storage

Did you know that climate change associated with the move, rather than the actual move itself, makes pianos go out of tune? Manufacturers build pianos to withstand up to 20-tons of string tension and decades of heavy usage, but that is only if the piano is well-maintained. While experts advise against moving or storing pianos on their sides, the greatest threat to these instruments is room temperature fluctuations. That means it is essential to transport a piano in a temperature-controlled moving van.

Pro Tip: One way to spot a quality piano moving company is by their truck. Professional instrument movers do not use open-air trucks as the elements and fluctuations in room temperature can split or crack the delicate wood.

Moving a piano from A to B is no easy feat. If you see what professional piano movers must do to get a piano safely to its destination, then you will appreciate paying that little extra more. While regular movers are experts at moving furniture, they are not experts at moving a piano and will not have the specialist hoisting and lifting equipment required to lift this specialised instrument. Expert movers know how to assemble and reassemble a piano, and they also provide insurance, which is essential today. The value of avoiding the above risks can justify the cost of using qualified professional piano movers.

Elliott: The Leading Movers in South Arica—with a National Footprint

It takes a professional touch to move a business or a household, but it takes years of skill and experience to prepare and move a piano. Don’t risk damaging your piano—hire a professional piano mover like Elliott Mobility. Besides our extensive, countrywide network, we bring experience and capability, viewing each move as a project rather than a job—from pickup to delivery.

At Elliott, we have FIDI (Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs Internationaux) and FAIM certifications. That means we put our drivers and loaders through vigorous training on packing, dissembling, loading, storage, and assembling pianos. We also use specialised piano moving equipment and climate-controlled vans with top vehicle security in place. To get expert help with moving your piano, chat with one of our project managers.