Loading Heavy Machinery Into a Trailer

Advice on how to get a massive woodshop machine loaded into a trailer for storage. June 15, 2009

Question
I have a press that is 7.5' wide and 14' long. I need to store the machine due to downsizing. I was thinking of buying a dry van trailer and storing the press and other things in there for the next year or two until the economy picks up and we can move to a bigger shop. Looking for ideas on how to load the machine onto the trailer and then to move it to the front of the trailer. We do not have a loading dock. I also am not interested in hiring a rigger. So far, I was thinking of bolting three 4x4ís under the machine and putting six wheels on the 4x4ís. Then I was thinking of loading the machine by picking it up with a forklift and backing up the trailer to it. Then come with another forklift and push the machine in. Once the machine is in, roll it in to the back, and then screw the 4x4ís to the floor to prevent the machine from moving and also a few strategically placed tie downs. Does the above make sense?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor P:
How about pipe rollers under the 4x4 skids? What kind of weight are you talking about?



From contributor D:
Hire a flat bed tow truck to pick it and a forklift up and get it to the trailers level and just use a fork lift to push it in. I use tow trucks all the time to move heavy items, cheaper than a rigger for the small jobs.


From contributor W:
Whatever you do, you need to make sure that the front of the trailer is supported by a truck or load jacks. If you are moving a load in a trailer that is unsupported you could fold the landing gear.