To move a piano from a first floor to another first floor, using a pickup truck, it seems like a ramp, a strong rope and some pulleys, and a furniture dolly would suffice. Plus a basketball and pump (as seen on youtube) and a few boards.

Place the deflated basketball under the end of the piano (an upright) and pump it up till the end is higher than the dolly. Slide a log or stack of board underneath and deflate the ball. Raise the other end and slide the dolly underneath. Remove ball and log and strap piano to dolly.

Roll piano to door of house and use a 12' ramp to go down porch steps. (Only if a few feet, not intended for long stairway. ) First Rig a rope through 3 pulleys: one attached to the dolly, two attached by a rope to a board spanning the doorway. The free end of the rope is held while walking alongside the piano. Start the piano down the ramp and slowly let out the rope. The ramp will cut the force to 1/3 or 1/4 the weight of the piano while the 3:1 mechanical advantage of the block and tackle arrangement will cut it by 1/9 again. A 500 lb. upright requires only 55 lbs. of force. If the rope length runs out partway down the ramp, chock the wheels of the dolly and adjust the position of the pulleys.

Roll piano to truck, set up ramp and block & tackle again and pull piano up onto truck bed. Strap down piano securely. At new location ramp up front steps and roll to desired room. Remove dolly using basketball again as before.

Seems like this could be a one man job, am I forgetting something?

  • 4
    "only" 55 pounds... whilst also keeping a piano centered on ramps... the basketball idea is fine, airbag jacks are a standard way to jack large things. The bigger problem is "lone worker", there is nobody to call 911 for you when the deal goes sideways. – Harper - Reinstate Monica May 16 '19 at 17:27
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    @Harper Sideways is literal and figurative in this case. At the absolute minimum, a second person is needed to keep the piano steady. – Valkor May 16 '19 at 18:25
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    In general, this will work as long as nothing goes wrong. But if something does go wrong, you'll have no good way to fix it. This could result in injury or a damaged piano. Get a second person. – user3757614 May 16 '19 at 19:00
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    you can hire one or two movers for an hour for cheap on the uhaul website, maybe $30/each. – dandavis May 16 '19 at 19:07
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not a home improvement thing. – isherwood May 16 '19 at 19:19


The only time you should be moving a piano alone is if you can pick it up.

Whatever you're thinking about doing with a basketball is absolutely bat crazy.... I kinda stopped reading after that.

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