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Moving heavy machinery always makes people nervous. Not only can it hurt someone if it drops or slips, but there’s also the risk of it getting damaged. Since it’s usually a pretty valuable piece of equipment, every bump could cost you a mountain of cash.

But moving machinery of great weight and value doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. With the right steps and precautions in place, you can make this transportation a piece of cake. Just implement the below advice, and you’ll be fine.

Hire professional movers

Nine times out of ten, hiring professional moving experts is the optimal solution here. They have the experience and tools (forklifts, skates, trucks with ramps, etc.) that make the whole job much easier. So if you’re in need of moving in Upper West Side, for example, look for Upper West Side movers to simply take care of everything for you.

Of course, not every company will do: you need someone with the right skills and a great reputation. So search for some reputable long-distance or local NYC movers online. Take a look at their credentials and how much experience they’ve had with moving heavy machinery. If they know their stuff and you can afford them, hire them.

Get everything out of the way

When moving heavy machinery, people tend to get so caught up in the move itself that they forget the little, yet crucial things. Namely, many fail to properly clear the area before taking on the actual transportation.

What does this mean? It simply means that you should move everything that gets in the way of you moving that machine from point A to point B. Even if it’s the tiniest thing, place it somewhere else. Any item can be a tripping or slipping hazard, especially so when handling a heavy piece of equipment.

A foot stepping on a banana peel
It may sound comical, but things like this do happen when moving heavy machinery

It’s very simple, really, but you would be surprised how often this idea occurs to people only when they’ve already lifted the load. This is a sadly overlooked safety precaution, even though it’s a universal one, whether you’re moving to Manhattan or Biloxi.

Use the right lifting tools

Depending on how heavy it is, you may not be able to lift a piece of machinery with hands alone. Luckily, there are tools you can use that don’t require you to break your back. Whether you rent or buy them, they will make lifting otherwise heavy machines much easier, in addition to reducing the odds of you getting injured.

Forklifts, hand dollies, jacks, lifting straps – if you can get your hands on any of these, you’ll have a much easier time. But lifting alone isn’t enough: transportation is another matter altogether. Again, it’s recommended that you hire residential or office movers, whichever of the two you need.

Keep your hands and feet safe when moving heavy machinery

Whenever carrying moving heavy tools or machinery, you need to keep your extremities away from harm. Our hands and feet do the most work on and beneath a lifted object. That means that they are at a major risk of bearing the brunt of it falling. And you can bet that your toes or fingers will have a bad time if a 700-pound weight dropped directly on them.

So you clearly have to take a few precautions when you move heavy tools and machines. One of the best ways to do so is to wear heavy gloves and work boots. While they won’t effortlessly deflect a full-on fall, they will definitely improve the odds of your digits making it through an accident.

A pair of gloves useful for moving heavy machinery
As long as they’re intact, a sturdy pair of gloves will keep you at least somewhat protected

Of course, this alone won’t quite cut it. You also need to be on constant alert, from when the object is lifted to when it’s loaded on the truck. Be mindful of where your hands and feet are at all times. Don’t flail them about around the machine and don’t keep them directly under it when you don’t have to.

Safely load and strap the machine

So you’ve lifted the machine safely. Great! But what goes up must go down – and hopefully stay down. That’s why you need to know how to properly load and strap the object to your vehicle. The general rule here is to make sure that the load is as evenly distributed as possible. However, there are other matters to consider when you move heavy machinery, too.

Here’s a quick rundown on how to transport heavy machinery safely.

  • The cargo needs to go as far forward (meaning toward the driver) as possible. This will mitigate any offsets in balance when driving.
  •  The heaviest part of the machine should go at the bottom if feasible. We do this for pretty much the same reason as the above point. An object with its center of gravity high up is more likely to tip over. You can imagine how hard it is to transport a heavy item when it keeps keeling back and forth.
  • If your truck or trailer has a wooden bed, you can nail a 2×4 block to it. Once it’s in place, it can hold the machine from sliding due to inertia. We recommend that you do this after the cargo is in place. That way, you won’t miscalculate the needed room for the machine or create a tripping hazard during loading.
  •  In addition to the above block, use tie-downs to keep the machine in place. Try to tie it down in a way that secures it from moving in all directions.
Lines of wooden boards
A simple wooden block can keep your heavy cargo from damage

Where are you moving heavy machinery?

Of course, when moving heavy machinery, you also want to know where it is going after you’ve lifted and loaded it. If it’s going to another workshop or business space, make sure you know where you put it. If you keep repositioning it because you don’t know where it will best serve you, that just means more time for you in danger of injury or property damage. Alternatively, if you don’t currently need the machine, storing it somewhere safe is a must. To that end, look up some Manhattan storage solutions that suit you. Keep it covered with a tarp in a place where moisture is low.

About Author

John has been with Divine Moving and Storage in New York for nearly two decades. Starting as a young helper and climbing up the ranks to be a staple in our organization. John has the knowledge and experience to assist our clients with any move or storage related needs. You can reach John or any of our associates in NYC at 212-244-4011