My very first post, and perhaps the first post ever written about getting a huge piano onto a school bus?! I've not yet acquired my bus but am committed to converting a large school bus into a mobile workshop for doing restorations on grand pianos.
I am a piano teacher and piano technician and I am especially devoted to concert grand pianos made by Steinway & Sons. But here's the thing: each one is 9 ft long - from the keyboard to the end of the tail - and weighs about 1800 pounds.
If you've never seen a large grand piano being moved, it basically works like this: you tip the piano so it's standing up along its longest side and you also take off the 3 legs and the pedal box. Two very strong dudes (not me!) will lift up one end while the third guy (me!) shoves a small but sturdy furniture dolly underneath. So, the whole package is still 9 ft long, but as it's standing on its 'edge' on a dolly, it's only 2 ft wide x 5 ft tall and therefore can be rolled through any doorway.
Obviously to get such a piano into my workshop-bus I'll need some sort of hydraulic lift mounted on the back of the bus (or mounted to one side?). Does anyone have any experience of fitting such an item to a school bus? Just how extensive or complicated would the structural modifications need to be in order to support a hydraulic lift rated for at least 2,000 lbs?
Alternatively, perhaps another solution is a long ramp in conjunction with a winch for pulling the piano up?
I can't take any chance of dropping a piano!
Thanks for any comments or advice! And if you think this is a dreadful idea don't hesitate to say! Cheers!