Transporting a Press?


I am curious to see how other printers have gotten their presses from one location to another. My only experience with moving printing equipment was with my Challenge paper cutter and we only moved it 12 miles and it was way intense. We almost sent the paper cutter through the side of my garage…

I am purchasing (crossing my fingers it works out) 2 C&P presses and they are a few hundred miles away.

Any suggestions or tips:
1. Me renting a truck again?
2. Moving company?
3. Freight company?
4. ???

Thanks for reading,


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Hi Brian,
You need to consider after your previous experience whether you have the confidence to move your own equipment. It sounds like the experience was not a good one. You also need to rent equipment and engage help from good friends etc. Are they prepared for a long hard day and potential problems that arise. Are you?
As a press mover we have had to pick up the pieces several times from self-moves. We are insured, experienced and have all the correct equipment. We remove the worry and deliver the machinery to your door(and install it!).
We have the correct transport and all that is necessary to load and unload it.
Yes this can be the more expensive route, but you always get value for money (get a price first).
That’s my recommendation, if you feel, however, that you can undertake this on your own, make sure you are prepared.
Get a description, pictures and details of the machines, find out the door widths, any stairs involved.
Get measurements and approximate weights of machines you are moving (machine movers and this forum are excellent for this sort of information).
Make sure you have all the correct equipment (pallet jacks, timber (lumber), jacks, rollers, tools, oils, greases, metal pathway or flat boards. You’ll need gloves, old clothes, hand cleaner, rags. Also a full tool box. With platens a bearing puller is handy.
Take pictures as you dismantle, make notes, mark parts up (we use liquid paper, not sure of the US name, snopake?) i.e. typists correction fluid, really handy.
Finally whatever time you estimate, I’d double it as something will hold you back, it may even be just traffic.
Good luck if you take this route, but leave it to the pros if you have any doubts, you must trust your team of helpers should you go it alone.

It is best to pay pros to move equipment. I find equipment all the time, but, hard to find anyone that will do the work.

Family, friends and day labor people all say they will help, until they see all the work it takes.

One wrong move and someone will get hurt.

I moved a 3,000 lb Little Giant earlier this year, it was a big problem. People back out on moving day. Had to upset people to help.

Never again!

If you don’t already have experienced help in moving equipment (as opposed to over-confident idiots moving misc. crap), spend on professionals. Until then, start very small and be very careful.
Everything I learned about moving came from people (like my father who’d been a rigger in the Navy yards during the war) who had some knowledge of what was involved, knew load stresses and centers of gravity and how much a good rope or chain could be expected to do. Every move I’ve seen where people were guessing or not paying attention has been a disaster, either for metal or for flesh-and-bone. Until you’ve seen blood on the pavement, you don’t just how serious this is. Search this site for lift-gate tragedies and you might see what can happen to a press. Nobody has posted blood yet, and I didn’t have my camera that horrible day; perhaps double compound fracture will be suggestive, and since the victim was on medication, the blood on the asphalt still hadn’t clotted the next day.
Don’t take chances.

All good advice and tips. Thank you for reading and for all the heads up.

I may need to hire some riggers/movers at some point in the near future. I’ve looked at some of thinks in the directory and have a recommendation or two, and will get in touch eventually, but can anyone recommend someone who’d be able to move 1, 2 or 3 presses (like C+P 10x15s for instance) from the Cleveland area to NYC?

This is one of the big problems, transporting printing machinery.


All good advice as above, but (there is always a joker with a but! and here I am) in all sincerity general purpose machinery movers even with all their long reach/high capacity lorry mounted cranes, are not always up to speed with regards to moving printing presses, which are notoriously top heavy (obviously) and if nobody is able to tell them that, the majority of presses have the provision for big RING BOLTS at centre point of balance, or substantial straight through, Openings in the main frames for the insertion of heavy rods above centre/balance height, they tend to use H/D Strops, Chains, etc which invariably terminate, on the one big hook on the crane and consequently/ferquently crush tiny parts in the process. If the customer is not able to instruct them, of the alternative methods, they will treat it quite professionaly and of course their insurance, will cover damage to goods in transit, but not helpful if its for a machine that was made a long time ago???