Relocating shop

Joe Hopper

Joe
User
I need some recommendations for moving my shop from NC to PA (about an hour east of Pittsburgh). Anyone know any reputable machinery movers who won't make a wrong turn along the way ?

I could also use some advice from anyone who has done this in the past. Should I build some pallets for the heavy stuff, such as Unisaw, jointer, bandsaws, lathes, dust collector, planer, wood, and supplies.

How best to handle finishing supplies, generator, propane tanks, riding mower- should I just move those on my own to avoid any HazMat issues?
This is so overwhelming- buy a house, sell a house, although I have real estate agent here and there.
I had to fire a contractor who was supposed to build a deck pre- Covid. Materials all paid for, just sitting at building supply place. Now my new contractor does not have enough help and neither do I. I am in the Germanton area.
Many thanks in advance! Joe
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Most movers wont move anything with gasoline and or chemicals in them, ie mowers, fuel tanks , paint cans etc. Best to move yourself what youre planning on keeping and dump or sell the rest. As for the equipment, I moved all of mine twice recently. Once to get out of my old shop to storage and then again from storage to the new shop. I had to store it because my new place needed a shop built. I was able to palletize all of my equipment onto standard pallets. I disassembled whatever could be and needed to be and ratchet strapped it to the pallets and then shrinkwrapped it all. It was then easily loaded with pallet jacks and lift gates. My heaviest item is probably in the 2500 # range ( a Stanley vidmar cabinet chock full of shaper cutters) that I KNOW exceeded the weight limit of the lift gate, but they rolled it on and while it struggled, it lifted it. Moving my shop was a TON of work, maybe 2 tons!. I parted with as much as I could prior to moving and it still was daunting. My move was not too far, about 50 miles so the cost for the mover was reasonable, but moving out of state could be another story and youll need to weigh the cost vs selling and rebuying (possibly upgrading) , not to mention the aggravation of it all. Good luck!
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
When I moved south, I knew the movers would not touch any liquids, so ran dry the mowers etc, but I made the mistake of taking my paint and totality of chemicals to the county haz pickup. I later found out what the cost of replacement was! Sure should have made another trip in my car. I tossed a lot of "stuff" that was expensive as shipping was by the pound. Again, a trip or two in my car would have saved me a lot of money. Just a load of screws and nails. Could have moved my wrenches and other mechanics tools. Guess it was good I got rid of extra engine blocks but should have ditched a couple of trans first.

So, I would absolutely move what you can. Liquid and any super fragile you don't trust them with.
I used a no-name for my domestic move but have been told Guys With A Truck does a very good job
 

Dee2

Gene
Corporate Member
Penske rents lift-gate trucks. I used them 2X in the moved to SC. Once to storage. Once to the s'hanger. Might have been a mistake, but I didn't palletize anything. Of course, having an able-bodied SIL with friends was really helpful. And I mounted casters on everything that didn't have mobility parts. Nailed/screwed blocking into the floor of the truck to mitigate shifting.

I missing the ~600 lbs of metal (fasteners, spare motors, etc.) I sold for scrap even though the shop is still not set up.
 
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Joe Hopper

Joe
User
Thanks for the quick reply Chris and Scott. I already moved my shop from Pgh. to NC once and I'm still old school love my Parks planer and old iron. I already have help lined up at the other end. I think I used a 26 ft truck to make the first trip. Unfortunately I added more since then. Or fortunately, with the price of both old and new machinery both climbing, I did not realize my equipment would become a second IRA. I Yes, I have considered selling and re-buying and keep changing my mind. But, in the end, the cost for both the move and replacement cost will be the deciding factor. +1 on the cost of finishing supplies- looks like liquid gold now!
I will check out 2 Guys
 

Roy G

Roy
Senior User
Joe, over on OWWM a lot of machines get moved by Fastenal. Apparently you deliver the machine to a Fastenal store and they move it to another Fastenal store close to your final destination. You'd have to crate, palletize or whatever and I don't know what kind of schedule you have, but this way of shipping machines seems to be okay. You could find a local Fastenal and find out the details.

Roy G
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
This is a basic recommendation. This is what I did when moving from California to NC. Bear in mind I moved 2 complete shops. I decided to take ALL the hand tools, hardware and solvents with me when I drove to NC. I used a U-Haul 2 axle 12-14 ft trailer to move all that. I palletized everything else down to about 500 lbs a pallet. Then, the only things I had to forklift were the metal brake and the shear. All things were shipped via LTL (Less than load) through a trucking company. Keep in mind a lot of trucking companies are nothing more than brokers, so figure who is a jobber who makes that run and get him. They usually are the better priced and better art keeping schedule. If you need help hire some hourly mover guys. I got mine off of Craigs list cost me 500.00 for 2 guys for the day (6.5 hours) and my back was happier for it.
 

Joe Hopper

Joe
User
Joe, over on OWWM a lot of machines get moved by Fastenal. Apparently you deliver the machine to a Fastenal store and they move it to another Fastenal store close to your final destination. You'd have to crate, palletize or whatever and I don't know what kind of schedule you have, but this way of shipping machines seems to be okay. You could find a local Fastenal and find out the details.

Roy G
Yes, there is a Fastenal close by. Thanks for the info, I will check it out.
 

Joe Hopper

Joe
User
This is a basic recommendation. This is what I did when moving from California to NC. Bear in mind I moved 2 complete shops. I decided to take ALL the hand tools, hardware and solvents with me when I drove to NC. I used a U-Haul 2 axle 12-14 ft trailer to move all that. I palletized everything else down to about 500 lbs a pallet. Then, the only things I had to forklift were the metal brake and the shear. All things were shipped via LTL (Less than load) through a trucking company. Keep in mind a lot of trucking companies are nothing more than brokers, so figure who is a jobber who makes that run and get him. They usually are the better priced and better art keeping schedule. If you need help hire some hourly mover guys. I got mine off of Craigs list cost me 500.00 for 2 guys for the day (6.5 hours) and my back was happier for it.

Wow, two shops and real life experience sounds good to me. I have been waiting for a shoulder replacement and to have the nerves in my back burned again. Yeah I can be happy with that. I am just a USMC grunt (Nam) who never learned to give in or give up. Much Thanks !!!
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Thank you for your service Joe - good luck with your move and please report back (after you have recovered) with your score card of wins and losses!
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Yes, there is a Fastenal close by. Thanks for the info, I will check it out.
The trouble with using Fastenal is you have to both deliver and pickup at their store. Sorry, home delivery not available. So you are now loading tools twice, instead of once. It's been my experience that the less times things are loaded / transfered, the less chance of damage. Not berating Fastenal, as they are my go to place. It helps that they have a store less than 3 miles from the shop. Currently waiting on some oil lite bushings, which are supposed to be in tomorrow. This store is very good about calling and letting you know order status.
 

Berta

Berta
Corporate Member
When we moved from NE Ohio to NC we rented a lift gate truck from Penske. We hired movers from 2 Men and a Truck to load the shop in to the truck. My kids were already living in NC. They brought their friends, kids etc. to help unload into a storage unit. Then when we found a house, we had to move it again. A lift gate truck is a necessary thing. We made a few trips back and forth.
 

Michael Mathews

Michael
Corporate Member
I moved from Michigan to Alabama, then to NC. I moved my entire shop and house/garage/etc. with just the help of two men and a truck ONLY loading the Penske truck that I rented. I think there were a total of three 26' trucks full of shop equipment, furniture, and miscellaneous stuff! UGH...what a pain!
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
LOL ! Reading our posts make me think we are all masochists. WE all have moved tons of material and equipment long distances because we love woodworking. :oops: :eek::D
 

Joe Hopper

Joe
User
When we moved from NE Ohio to NC we rented a lift gate truck from Penske. We hired movers from 2 Men and a Truck to load the shop in to the truck. My kids were already living in NC. They brought their friends, kids etc. to help unload into a storage unit. Then when we found a house, we had to move it again. A lift gate truck is a necessary thing. We made a few trips back and forth.
Yes, i already checked with Penske on a 26 footer with lift gate-will move shop with that one and then the house stuff with a 22 footer and car carrier later. Just have to sell the boat and a 1986 f150. Going to bring up the ATV and mower and store at my niece's place first.
 

Joe Hopper

Joe
User
I moved from Michigan to Alabama, then to NC. I moved my entire shop and house/garage/etc. with just the help of two men and a truck ONLY loading the Penske truck that I rented. I think there were a total of three 26' trucks full of shop equipment, furniture, and miscellaneous stuff! UGH...what a pain!
Three 26' what a caravan and what a shop
 

Joe Hopper

Joe
User
Thank you for your service Joe - good luck with your move and please report back (after you have recovered) with your score card of wins and losses!
Thanks Hank, appreciate that very much. Will report back. Hoping any losses are only $$$ and not body parts!
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
I moved from Michigan to Alabama, then to NC. I moved my entire shop and house/garage/etc. with just the help of two men and a truck ONLY loading the Penske truck that I rented. I think there were a total of three 26' trucks full of shop equipment, furniture, and miscellaneous stuff! UGH...what a pain!
Guess that there might be another truck with what you have acquired in your NICE shop now?!
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Thanks Hank, appreciate that very much. Will report back. Hoping any losses are only $$$ and not body parts!
AH, oops, guess I shouldn't have laughed at that, because it would be awful if something happened, but I have a few Marine friends and they were NEVER NEAR an accident (even if they were!)
 

Robert166

robert166
Senior User
I was "mover" or relocation engineer for 20 years. Owned 3 trucks during that time. So speaking from experience in reference to moving. From the east coast to the west coast and everywhere in between. I loved moving heavy shop tools etc. Why? The more it weighed, the more I was paid.

Most estimators that sell the job to the client rarely knew what those types of machines weighed, and always missed their estimates on weight. Sometimes the customer had to pay a lot more sometimes the salesman had to take a hit. It depends on the type of contract you sign for the moving job.

But here is the little known or revealed catch. As an owner operator, if I arrived at your home and the weight estimate was waaaayy off, I had the right to refuse to move you. So if the salesman wouldn't make it right and the client wouldn't agree to the price increase. I would shut my doors and drive away. Rarely does that happen because the client has to move that day or the next, and waiting on a new estimate and another driver could take a week or longer. So the client paid. I felt sorry for them, but the truck was weighed prior to loading and afterwards on a certified scale. And the client was welcome to witness it.

So the best thing to do if you are able is rent a truck and put your machinery on it, as already suggested. I strongly warn you against hiring these fly by night so called movers, sometimes it works out okay, but many times it does not. I am talking about companies like "Two men and a Truck" they may be okay for a in town or what is called a "local move" but for a long distance move, hire a professional, well known company that does long distance moving.

If your company is paying for the move and price is not a factor, let the professionals do it. If you are paying, better be careful in choosing your mover. Good work isn't cheap, and cheap work isn't good.
 

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