Misprint Monday: 9 foot dryer through an 8 foot door

It looks innocuous enough sitting there with a pallet jack next to it, but that dryer (oven) does not fit in my shop, at least without extraordinary means like taking down a cement block wall that is weight bearing. I rented a full size 26′ Penske truck and went to pick up my purchase and it turns out the dryer is too big to fit where we need to put it, and it also would not fit in the truck. Dumb me, or at least unprepared me.

I’ve got an 18 color press into a container with only hand tools, lifted a two head embroidery machine to the second floor with only a hand winch, and moved an entire paper screenprinting operation to my shop on short notice recently. These served to give me what the Greeks called “hubris” (in Greek tragedy) excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis. The only other failure to prepare in the past 25 years of moving machines is that we had inadequate gas pressure in my industrial building and luckily I was bailed out by good folks working for the City of Pawtucket who intervened with the gas company to get me a better line in.

Get the info and get the tape measure out.

These are considerations for new machines and probably even more so with getting used machines:

  • Electrical draw, both when the machine turns on and while it is running, and also while all the other things on that circuit and in your building are running. Do you have enough service, can the lines handle it, and can the box you intend for it handle it. Does it run on the current you have, i.e. not 220 when you are ready for only 110, etc. Single phase, three phase… Is the electrician lined up to do the work?
  • Gas pressure and volume requirements.
  • Water pressure and water volume requirements.
  • Can the floor handle the weight both as it moves into place and where it will live? Will the floor bounce and screw things up? Can the floor and nearby walls handle the heat?
  • What does the machine weigh and can your forklift or pallet jack handle it? How long do the forks have to be? Will you need a johnson  bar or rollers or any special moving equipment?
  • How will you get the machine off any pallets it may be on?
  • Are you accounting for the forklift or pallet jack etc and room for them to swing on turns in your figures on how things fit during the moving?
  • What type of venting do you need and what heat rating? Do you need extra protection where vents pass out of the room or through the roof?
  • Can the exhaust handle the distance out of the building and figure in the turns and bends and figure if you reduce the pipe at all will you still be able to get the exhaust correct?
  • On heavy exhaust machines, is there enough air that can get into the room to make up for the exhaust?
  • Do you have enough air pressure and enough air volume? Does the compressed air have to be conditioned?
  • Can the truck you rented handle the weight?
  • Keep in mind that you might move a machine ok, but as you put it in the truck you may not have access to remove the pipes you were rolling it on etc.
  • Are there operating temperatures plus or minus that you have to be concerned with? Humidity?
  • Do you have necessary clearances to get around the machine?
  • Where you place the machine may impact access to certain areas of the machine. What do you have to get to to fix it, maintain it, etc.
  • How will you get the machine off the truck into your place and what kind of truck is it? A crated machine may not fit where the machine itself might. Don’t be uncrating a machine outside in a blizzard.
  • Check door and ceiling heights carefully. Make sure you know what can and cannot be removed from machine in order to get through doors.
  • Make sure you study all dimensions of the machine, don’t assume anything from the belt width etc. Get drawings or make drawings that are accurate and include all the protruding boxes, controls, etc.
  • Are there delicate parts that need to be secured or removed before moving or after moving?
  • Makes sure all conversions of bars to psi etc are done correctly.
  • Are there points that can handle lifting and others that cannot?
  • Does the machine come disassembled in a way that may cause issues? How about the opposite and you figure it is disassembled but it comes whole and in a crate and is a larger thing to deal with than you imagined.

If you are not experienced at rigging (moving heavy things) then hire a professional. No matter what do it slowly and deliberately because no machine is worth somebody getting killed or injured.

I probably didn’t think of everything, make sure you asked someone familiar with the machines and ask the seller. Sellers are wanting you to buy more than prepare you, so ask someone that is not the seller as well.


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