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Unique/Difficult Piano Moving Experiences


In this industry we are constantly given challenges that require special handling to get the job done.  Whatever your situation is, we will come prepared and move your piano with the care and concern it deserves. We are task-oriented and will never turn down a move because it is difficult. To us, piano moving is an art that requires creativity and finesse.  We will develop a plan to tackle any situation without compromising the safety of our movers, your piano, or your property. Enjoy the articles below. They are more common than you may think! 

Some moves may be referred to local piano movers if they require additional manpower or require placing the piano on its keys to traverse steps, turns, etc.


Forklifting job in Chicago
Antique Steinway
San Francisco, CA: MPM vs. Gravity (Hills)
Glenwood Springs, CO: MPM vs. The Elements (Snow)
International Shipping


Balcony Forklift in Chicagoland

In August 2010, the crew of Troy, Coty, Patrick and Travis put their heads together for a rather unique pick-up of a Yamaha parlor grand piano.  The steps coming out of the house were simply too narrow and tight for the piano to navigate safely through.  The only way the piano could be removed was through balcony doors.   As the alleyway and powerlines would have been an issue for a crane to access the piano, the next best option was to use a forklift.   Prior to our crew's arrival, Modern Piano coordinated the forklift to arrive at the customer's home.  

After careful and meticulous planning the stage was set.  A small crowd of family and neighbors stood by to root on the movers.   After padding the piano and properly rigging the piano to the forklift, the movers successfully brought the piano outside without any issues.  The piano's next stop is Modern Piano Moving's storage facility before the final delivery to Bryn Mawr, PA.


This balcony is just about the only way the piano will make it out of the house!

A photo of the 6/7 Yamaha Parlor grand piano moving to Bryn Mawr, PA

Driver Coty examines the path and strategizes for the safest and most efficent way to remove the piano

Coty and Patrick prepping for the move, laying down padding to protect the wood floors

Troy and Travis finish padding of the piano and double checking their work

Coty lines up the fork while two other movers prepare the piano to be set on the lift

Driver Troy operates the fork lift from the ground level.  He awaits the final go ahead

Patrick awaits the ride down with the piano after it has been secured to the lift

As Troy operates the fork-lift, Coty provides another set of eyes and guides him through

The ladies show their nerves as the piano is brought to the ground.

Troy, Patrick and Travis bring the piano to the ground and are about to load the piano into the truck

A photo of our appreciative and supportive clients who watched the art of piano moving!


Antique Steinway

In March 2010, Modern Piano Moving had the opportunity to move a vintage Steinway piano from Texas to New York.   There were two unique themes about this Steinway.  One was that the legs were not removable.   The legs were molded together with the piano's case.  The second was that the piano was covered with bronze gilding all around the piano along with its rounded (curvy) shape on its sides.   This meant the piano had to travel "as is" because it could not be turned onto its side like a typical grand piano.  The most challenging aspect of the move was maneuvering this thousand pound, 7'4" piano, through the walls and doors of each of its locations and properly securing it in the trailer.   Another error free move and another grateful client!



San Francisco, CA:  MPM vs. Gravity

I have seen most issues in 20 plus years with difficult piano moves. One challenge in particular stood out on a delivery in San Francisco. The hill was so steep and the piano quite large. A standard truck would tip over at this angle. This was not even an option. We used our shuttle vehicle without the trailer to get up the hill. Then we used the customer's SUV to bring the piano to the sidewalk. From there we tied off to the winch cable of our shuttle vehicle, which was positioned behind a telephone pole, and swung to the steps. Once the piano evened up we could push the heavy seven foot grand up the steps. Another happy customer! --- Russell Vitt

 Using the ATV shuttle to pull the piano up the hill

 A football fields distance to shuttle the piano

 Getting closer--A few more yards!

 To make this turn, you have to outwit gravity!

 Piano is up the hill

 Using the SUV as a "wall" to position piano

 Almost there...seven steps up into the house

 Sweet victory! and another happy customer



Glenwood Springs, CO:  MPM vs. The Elements

During the first week of December, 2009, the dispatch office at Modern Piano Moving knew it was going to be a challenging week of piano moves. With a full load of piano deliveries and scheduling conflicts across the board, the office was swarmed with incoming calls. Coupled with the large volume of pianos was one slight problem: an immense blizzard and high winds that even the professionals were unsure of what to do. The storm created delays in the scheduling process, closed down interstates and highways, and made it very difficult to meet the needs of the many customers awaiting our arrival.   



One move in particular took place on December 7, 2009 in Glenwood Springs, CO (approximately 150 miles west of Denver). The Modern Piano Truck 5 team consisted of three highly experienced movers:  Warren R., Dale D. and Sam B. The team had two options in getting the piano out of the basement. 1. Take the player piano up the steps that had several tight turns; or 2. Design a way to get it out of the basement through a walk-out.  While the former would have normally been the more conventional route, it posed danger to both the movers and the piano with how tight the fit would have been. The alternative was more of an extreme measure: shuttle the piano out of the basement through a steep embankment, layers of ice, and treacherous cold and shuttle the piano through the snow to the truck parked 4 miles away due to restricted access.



Thankfully the experience of the movers and their preparedness paid off. Carrying two 16' walk boards, an ATV shuttle vehicle and a pull behind trailer proved invaluable. While keeping the piano and the mover's safety in mind, this may not have been possible had the traditional way of getting the piano been used via steps. The crew-members safely removed the piano out of the basement after placing the padded piano on the pull behind trailer (designed with logistic tracks) and hooking the piano up to the ATV 4 wheeler. The snow and incline was no match for the power of the ATV. Shortly after the piano was brought up and shuttled to the truck, the piano was safely loaded in the cozy and insulated climate controlled trailer for its journey to Nebraska.


Milton Heads South  Tennessee, US

Apr 27 2023 

This is the second time we have moved "Milton" with Modern and both times have been a great success. Thank you for treating my piano like it was your own family heirloom.