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I want to put a freezer in our basement. The models I'm interested in weigh around 60-75kg.

The shops will happily deliver the item to our front door, but from there, I'm on my own. I'm a 75kg middle-aged male (IT guy, average "white-collar worker" strength). My goal is to get this thing safely into the basement, without hurting anyone or damaging anything.

I have never tried to transport an item this heavy myself. My current plan is as follows:

  1. Put this thing on a stair climber hand truck. I have this model, which is rated for 120kg.

  2. Use tension belts to fix the package on the hand truck.

  3. Put the kids in front of the TV to get them out of the way; ask my wife walk in front of me to open doors, clear the way and help if needed.

  4. Use the hand truck to slowly move the freezer down the stairs.

Any other precautions I should take? It feels wrong to order professional help just to move an item down a flight of stairs, but I'm prepared to do that if my plan is unsafe or unfeasible. (Who would I call for something like that? A moving company?) Due to the Covid lockdown and social distancing rules, I'd prefer not to ask friends from other households to come over and help.

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  • If doing yourself, without a safety person, would use a second means of holding it going down stairs. Ropes or holding belts just loose enough for one step at a time.
    – crip659
    May 8, 2021 at 14:25
  • It's a bother and an expense, but I'd call a professional mover. There's every possibility that you and another non-professional could get it down the stairs without injuring yourselves or damaging the freezer. However, injury is possible and could be serious. (It plays havoc with scheduling, but you might consider tempting the delivery people with cash in exchange for moving. Just know that if they drop it, you probably don't have much recourse.) May 8, 2021 at 14:41
  • I usually pay a negotiated price to the delivery person who has the equipment, skill, and strength to handle it. Depends on the size of the freezer (L x W x H), the dolly may or may not work safely without a skilled helper by your side. If necessary, you can call a friend, or the "handyman" services.
    – r13
    May 8, 2021 at 16:03
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    Once you have got it down stairs then leave it for 24h before turning it on.
    – Solar Mike
    May 8, 2021 at 16:24
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    75kg should be no problem for two adults. That's not all that heavy. You and your wife should be able to handle it. May 9, 2021 at 1:20

5 Answers 5

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Well all your prep work sounds good but I am well over 100Kg and I would want another person on the stairs below to help by actually pushing back on the freezer so it doesn’t drag you down the stairs. The model I use has belts that when you pull it back the belts ride on the stair edge and don’t tear up the stairs. But even with this I consider it a 2 person job. Unless you have an electric stair climber hand truck.

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  • Two persons, in case of emergency as well. You do not want 75kg on your chest by accident; you aren't about to get it off. Maybe 2 + 1 looking for any dangers.
    – paulj
    May 12, 2021 at 17:16
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I normally use use an ordinary hand truck with inflatable tyres, if your stair climber can stop on any step to allow you to rest you are probably good to go.

Make sure the stairs are clean, and wear grippy shoes.

Keep the load balanced over the axle and lift with your knees. Go one step at a time. Remember to breathe.

I would be inclined to let my children watch me being a hero.

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A few answers:

Bad: Practice first with rocks. Get to know how your stair truck behaves. If you can't take the weight with rocks, they will fall, you won't destroy your new freezer, you will only scratch up your staircase. If you feel comfortable you can try it with the freezer.

Bad: Don't use the hand truck. Lie the freezer on its side, tie ratchet straps around it, mount a block and tackle firmly to the wall opposite the top of the stairs, put towels on the stairs, and slide the freezer down the stairs, on its side, controlling it with the block and tackle.

Better: Ask the store if they will do what many American stores do: Take the freezer to its location and take away the box and the old one. They may charge €100 or so for this.

Best: When the "front door" truck driver arrives with the freezer, offer him €50 and a beer if he will take it downstairs for you.

Best: Get a neighbor to help you. Offer him 3 beers.

[Edit: Another answer that is either a little better or worse than the two "best" ones:] This is what I would do: I just noticed your wife could be part of this. You have her walking in front. Strap the freezer firmly to the cart. When you get to the top of the stairs, switch places. You go first. You pull the freezer down, and your job is to take all the weight. From the bottom side you can easily use the stairs to your advantage just by pushing the wheels against the risers. You are even in a better position to help the triple-axle wheels turn gently down the stairs by literally guiding them. Your wife's job is just to steer the top, keep the handles from catching on anything, and maintain side-to-side balance so you don't have to. She can take as much weight as she wants, even none as long as you take it "all" but you are never taking all the weight of the freezer, it's always mostly on the stairs. You can practice this with her and something lighter like a filled up suitcase. Then use the €50 to take her out.

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  • The last two are the key - a little cash goes a long way with the delivery guys, and friends/neighbors are perfectly fine for this type of thing. May 9, 2021 at 2:54
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There are men who can look at the situation and find all the binding points and hazards immediately. You need to focus on this and check all clearances and remove any tripping hazards, etc first. Likewise, a good team of movers intuitively knows the movements necessary to handle something like this, but you'll need to rehearse this with your team.

If doing this with a team of novices, I'd strap the freezer to the hand truck. Then put two movers straps around the front feet and over the shoulders of two sure-footed men, and keep them on the stairs above the freezer; nobody should be below the freezer. The reason for this is that if one of you trips or loses grip, the freezer goes down the stairs. Better to break the freezer than hurt someone. If you have another man, double up the hand truck.

Children, if competent, open doors, turn on lights, and remove all tripping hazards. They are instructed to never get below the freezer, and to always watch the freezer and run if it gets loose.

With two men, put the movers straps around the feet and over the second man's shoulders. He takes some if the weight off the guy with the hand truck, but has to trust him completely. This how experienced and reasonably strong men would do it.

If you have a team of small women or adolescents, best to use the four person approach, as they don't have enough mass or reserve strength to correct temporary instabilities.

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COVID-19 is not Ebola

This is exactly the kind of thing that people have been doing for a long time using friends/relatives. You need at least one person below, preferably two for amateurs (two people, one above, one below, is all that the professionals need for a job like this). Yes, COVID-19 is a problem. But there is a reason that in most areas things like appliance delivery and home repairs and so on have been exempt from lockdown rules from day one: An immediate problem (you need a freezer to store your food safely) overrides a maybe problem (if one person in the house or visiting the house is sick, they could get the other people sick). In general, it is only even considered "contact" if people are exposed to each other for more than 15 minutes. I would not expect a one-floor up or down + move between rooms in a typical house to take more than 15 minutes.

  • Wear masks
  • Keep your distance - i.e., everyone except the people actually doing the moving (whether paid or volunteer) keeps 6' away except when handing over cash or beer.

That's it. Routine freezer delivery - the only real difference for the pandemic is masks, since safety of "freezer falling on you" would dictate a safe distance anyway.


And just in today on my local neighborhood email list:

Subject: Seeking a few strong people to help move freezer

Are there any strong folks who could help me move a freezer from one house to another within [name of neighborhood here]? Preferably on Friday. Compensation will be provided. Thank you!

Obviously this is more workable currently in some areas than others, but that's the way I would do it.

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  • applinace delivry is not exempt. this is why it stops at his door.
    – Jasen
    May 9, 2021 at 3:35
  • @Jasen Depends on location. May 9, 2021 at 3:40
  • I suppose it could depend on the vendor but I would expect more of an applinace delivery service
    – Jasen
    May 9, 2021 at 3:43
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    Thank you for adding some common sense to the terrorism campaign. Odds are good that the tipped freezer will keep you 6' apart anyway. Even if you get it, it's most likely that it'll be like the flu, which people get and survive every. single. year. It's not the instant death sentence that the media makes it out to be. Sure, you'll be miserable, but then you'll get on with your life.
    – FreeMan
    May 10, 2021 at 13:17
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    @FreeMan You sound like my wife. But seriously, everything we do in this world is a balance between cost and benefit. 35,000 - 40,000 people die each year in the US from motor vehicle accidents, but we still get on the road because we need to work, shop, play, pray, visit, etc. For some people COVID-19 is fatal. But most of those people also happen to not be the same people you're going to get to help move a freezer. And even then, wear the mask and just get it done. May 10, 2021 at 14:08

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