Long-distance moving presents its own set of options. Basic service involves a local piano mover picking up the piano and holding it in storage. Then the long-distance trucking company picks it up and takes it to the destination piano mover, who delivers it to the home. If you’re moving your own household goods in a rental truck, you should have the local piano mover at the point of origin move the piano from the house into the truck and properly secure it, then have the local mover at the destination remove it from the truck and move it into the house. This method is usually the cheapest, the downside being that there are two or three different companies to deal with.
Better still is working with one company from start to finish. The office folks, the logo on the truck, and the uniforms on the moving personnel remain the same throughout your piano’s travels. This way, you don’t have to worry about complex scheduling problems or liability issues. For example, what happens if your rental truck or moving van is delayed? Will the local movers at the points of origin and destination still be available when you need them? If damage is discovered after your piano is moved into your new home, which of the three parties is responsible?
The best companies offer custom trucks and trailers specifically designed to transport pianos. Air-ride suspension, which keeps road vibrations and pot holes from shaking your piano apart, has proven to give the best ride. Proper load control, lift gates, and ramps further ensure that your piano is getting special care. Climate control is critical during especially warm or cold seasons; some finishes can be ruined if allowed to freeze. A professional piano mover handles all these variables for you.
When calling a long-distance moving company, be as specific as possible about any known difficulties associated with the move, such as difficult truck access in a rural or urban area, a very steep driveway, or no cell-phone service. Verify that the price is all-inclusive (includes moving the piano between house and truck), and not just for curbside delivery. Ask about any additional charges that might apply if, for example, you later decide to have the piano delivered to the second floor instead of the first.
Check your budget and schedule to determine the level of service you need. For long-distance moves, typically allow 30 days for pickup and another 30 days for delivery. If the move needs to be done more quickly, it will likely cost more; if you can give the mover more time, it will cost less. Most companies accept credit cards, which can allow you to spread the cost over several payments if necessary. Then sit back and enjoy a professional experience. Although a little more expensive than the nonprofessional kind, it will be less stressful for both you and your piano.
Russ Vitt is owner of Modern Piano Moving, the country’s first door-to-door nationwide piano mover. The company has warehouse locations throughout the U.S., with headquarters in Sullivan, Missouri. For additional information, see its website at www.modernpiano.com.