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  #1  
Old 03-30-2006, 02:44 PM
Tedster Tedster is offline
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Moving a gun safe




I'm looking at purchasing a 575 pound gun safe, but I'm concerned about getting it moved from the store into my house. Because of where I want to place it in the house, it would not be necessary to go up or down any stairs. My biggest concern would be just getting it on and off of the utility trailer. If I were to tackle this project, I would of course rent an applicance dolly.

For those of you that have moved your own safes, do you have any advice or tips? Would two friends be enough to get the safe moved into position? I'm finding it difficult to grasp how difficult it could be to move something this heavy. I've moved refrigerators around, but they typically weigh one half of the safe I'm looking at. Any advice would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2006, 03:40 PM
primersinmyshoe primersinmyshoe is offline
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When I bought my safe I hired a locksmith/safe dealer to move it for me. They charged $225. They used a pickup truck with a lift gate and had a dolly that looked extra sturdy. Certainly not your ordinary appliance dolly. This dolly had an extra set of wheels in the back so that while wheeling the safe most of the weight was on the wheels, not the guy pushing it. When they got to my basement steps two guys did it, one on top, one on bottom - but they were straining. I think 4 guys would have made it a lot easier. Oh, I also had them bolt it to the basement floor. When the door is open, if you pull down on the door, the safe may topple over on you because of the weight of the door. Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 03-30-2006, 03:42 PM
joedel joedel is offline
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When I moved, three of us were able to move my 589 pound safe up two flights of stairs so its no that bad. We had a heavy duty hand cart that had retaining straps on it. When I first bought it, the shop had free delivery and they used a hand cart that had hydraulic lifter that made it very easy. I think you can rent those. It would help tremendously if the truck had a steel ramp the way most mving vans do. That made unloading it very easy.

It's a lot more difficult than a refridgerator. Three very strong people should be able to do it, four would be better.
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  #4  
Old 03-30-2006, 03:47 PM
sheriff sheriff is offline
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just did this not too long ago. appliance dolly was just barely enough. empty 'stuff' out of safe when you are home. that will lighten the load a bit. two 'friendsí are enough as I did it myself. keep some cardboard to slide, pivot and such, saves flooring. ask 'if' seller moves for a price, saves wear and tear on you, your friendships, your walls... it would have been worth the price but I lived too far for him to do the move... good luck.
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  #5  
Old 03-30-2006, 04:38 PM
Suppo Suppo is online now
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A family friend moved ours last month using only a dolly. He did this by himself. No joke - by himself. When I saw him doing this, I ran to help. He just kept saying "stay out of the way."

We had no stairs, etc. The Penske truck had a lift-gate that we lowered from the truck to the garage floor.

It really was not the safest situation. However, the guy is just plain ol' tough.

I recommend 3-4 guys.
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  #6  
Old 03-30-2006, 04:44 PM
Bitter Bastard Bitter Bastard is offline
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Three people can move a safe that size no problem, 4 would be better though to open doors, move any last minutes tsuff while you have it rolling, etc. A safe like that will easily transport in a suburban or pickup truck. Roll it to the truck on the appliance dolly (cheap rental), then tip it back into the truck and slide it in. Drive to where you need to be, unload same way. The appliance dollys with the 2nd set of flip down wheels and straps to secure the load are teh ones to get. I dunno, maybe all are built that way.

For final placement, or moving it w/o a dolly, safes slide quite easily, or buy some 1/2" dowels at the hardware store. Tip it back, shove 2 under, move it a bit, and keep rotating them. Takes about 4 dowels to move a safe efficiently. A large safe can be moved by one person in this manner.

Oh yeah, some saefs have removeable doors - they just lift right off. The door alone on a safe can weigh 200lbs or more and make it MUCH easier to move.

Good luck, don't sweat it too much, just watch the fingers and toes.
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  #7  
Old 03-30-2006, 05:08 PM
S&WIowegan S&WIowegan is offline
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Safe moving...

isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I bought the largest Browning safe made and recruited about 5 buddies to help. we had an appliance dolly and a Chevy 2500 with HD springs. Sportsmans Warehouse put it on the truck and we got it off and put it in my shop. Two strong guys can "walk" it into place. The whole deal sorta depends on if you have buddies who have experience doing this stuff or not. There certainly are chances for injury.

Good luck! Bob.
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  #8  
Old 03-30-2006, 05:14 PM
Lemon328i Lemon328i is offline
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Just went through this myself not too long ago. I bought a dolly at Harbor Freight Tools that was rated to hold 700lbs, several lashing straps and a canvas tarp. I also found that by taking the door off the hinges, it reduced the weight of the main body by at least 1/3. It wasn't too bad, two of us were able to handle the job. Just take you time and have the proper equipment on hand.
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2006, 04:14 PM
Tedster Tedster is offline
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Thank you for the input everyone. I've pretty much decided to tackle this project myself instead of hiring it out. I've located a rental place that will rent me a heavy duty dollie that comes with the extra set of wheels so you can tilt the safe back and support it in that position. Because of where it's going in the house, I don't have to navigate any stairs, but I do have to cut through the yard to get to a back door. If I can get the thing off of the trailer, the rest of it should be fairly easy going I hope. :-)
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2006, 04:27 PM
Ockenfuss Ockenfuss is offline
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I am about to move to Florida and am having mixed thoughts about taking my safe with me. It is a Redhead safe and weighs in the 500 lb range. My question is whether or not it can safely sit on the second floor of a condo. Does anyone know whether or not the standard construction of a two story building can support a 500-600 pound dead load?
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2006, 04:28 PM
primersinmyshoe primersinmyshoe is offline
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You might want to video tape or take some pictures of the move. Might be interesting later.
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2006, 07:18 PM
joedel joedel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ockenfuss
I am about to move to Florida and am having mixed thoughts about taking my safe with me. It is a Redhead safe and weighs in the 500 lb range. My question is whether or not it can safely sit on the second floor of a condo. Does anyone know whether or not the standard construction of a two story building can support a 500-600 pound dead load?
Before moving to Georgia, I lived in a condo (builing was built in 1975) in NY (3rd floor) and the floors (and stairs) had no problem with my 589 pound Gardall safe. I Ok'd it with building management, the movers and the place I bought the safe from and they all said it was no problem. They even said 589 pounds was light when it came safes.

Ask the building management first, but you should be fine.

When you think about it, there are a few people that weigh more than that and they aren't falling through the floor when they sleep
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2006, 08:02 PM
WalterGC WalterGC is offline
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My "small" Browning fire-resistant safe weighs in @ 750#, empty. One friend and I had no problems moving it twice, using just a heavy-duty appliance dolly.

We didn't have to negotiate any stairs or steps, however.
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  #14  
Old 03-31-2006, 08:55 PM
danang danang is offline
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Ockenfuss: Might want to put a larger piece of plywood under the safe, over the floor. Will spread the load over several rafters and won''t hole the floor. JMHO
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  #15  
Old 03-31-2006, 10:10 PM
bumm bumm is offline
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I just moved a rather large gun safe myself. I'm not sure what it weighed... it wasn't fire proof, but it's 5 foot 4 inches by 2 by 3 feet. I'd difinitely recommend getting a good dolly cart and some of those nylon webby tie downs that you can ratchet tight. That way, you can spend your effort moving the safe instead of trying to hold it on the cart. Take off the door if you can... mine only required removing 4 bolts from the inside. Also get a couple of friends that won't blab around that you've got a gun safe. I did it myself, but I suspect I was kinda dumb and lucky.
Marty
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  #16  
Old 03-31-2006, 10:27 PM
Mustang Mustang is offline
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Plywood for the floors and mentioned, heavy duty appliance dolly, a 3-4 SMART/strong friends. Send the dumb guys to get the pizza and drinks while you all move the safe.
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  #17  
Old 04-08-2006, 11:56 AM
greenwood greenwood is offline
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my safe is over 1000 lbs. i moved it in by rolling it on 1/2 inch pvc, sch 40.
i had to remove a few door casings though. good luck.
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  #18  
Old 04-08-2006, 04:59 PM
prescott prescott is offline
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I have moved my Browning safe a total of six times now since purchasing it. Two or three people with the right type of hand truck makes it almost easy. Stairs are the hand part, things can go south quick so be careful. Also remember on most safes the doors are removable and account for 1/3 of the total weight. Having said that, I have never been able to figure out how to take it off. As for the falling through the floor thing, most safes have the same load rating as refrigerators.
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  #19  
Old 04-08-2006, 07:16 PM
hardpuller hardpuller is offline
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Tip it up- put a bunch of golf balls under it and push it. It moves really easy - just slow as you have to keep adding balls.
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  #20  
Old 04-08-2006, 09:25 PM
Dusty Miller Dusty Miller is offline
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Golf balls or goofballs? I now some goofballs I'd like to put under a heavy save!!
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  #21  
Old 04-08-2006, 10:19 PM
sawyer sawyer is offline
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i have helped do it with a large safe and pvc pipe, we used 3/4 and it went well. just measure and plan the move before you start so every one knows the plan
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  #22  
Old 04-08-2006, 10:19 PM
P7HVN P7HVN is offline
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I had a 500lb + Cannon that I easily moved with one friend & a cheap dolly(bent the axle a bit). With a good dolly, & experienced movers, you'd be surprised just how easily & quickly a large safe can be moved or STOLEN. Something to think about when you're deciding to anchor it or not.

If you think you'll be moving a few times in the future, and possibly up some stairs, a good option is a Zanotti Armor take-down safe. Very happy with mine; seems to be of equal quality to my previous Cannon, nearly as sturdy, and can be assembled(in 10 or 15 minutes) inside a closet that has too small of a door to get it thru. Breaks down into 6 pieces that can be managed by one person.
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  #23  
Old 04-09-2006, 07:13 AM
Cochise Cochise is offline
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You can always hire pros that specialize in moving safes. I bought my son a large liberty safe, over 1,000 lbs. It went on a special platform in the basement. I know of two people who had thier safes pulled through a side door on the first floor, with a tractor when they were not home, [their friends I think].

But anyway, our movers had a electric motorized dolly that was geared very low. They built a plywood ramp, supportted by 4x4's over the two sets of stairs. It traveled inches at a time down the ramp quicker that all the prep work.

Cochise
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  #24  
Old 04-09-2006, 09:04 AM
moredes15 moredes15 is offline
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I've had to move two safes by myself, one weighing ~650lb loaded on a trailer, the other weighed ~875lb which was fork-lifted into the back of my F-150. If you use your head, and don't have to go up and down stairs, it's not a big deal. I'm 5'8", 190lb, and in my 50's. And did I mention I was cheap, and that's why I didn't "hire this out"? (I was also new in town, without any neighbors nearby, and by myself. My wife across the country, not that she coulda done much but hold doors.)

Have them load the safe onto your trailer on its' back, on top of a piece of plywood if you want (that'll save the safe's paint job on the back when you slide it). I'd suggest an industrial grade hand-truck over a dolly (I preferred a hand truck because I was by myself and couldn't figure out how I was gonna get a safe off a dolly by my lonesome without losing it; I had an $80 handtruck from Orchard Supply). You'll need ratchet tie-downs. Get four or more 1/2 - 1" wooden dowels. When you get home, attach a couple of shims to the bottom so you can get the hand-truck under it (duct tape will work for this). Then slide the safe off the trailer to its' mid-balance point, and allow it to gently drop to the ground. This is the only hard part--> Watch your toes!! If you're successful in conserving your toes, you'll have it on the ground, leaning against the trailer at ~ 20-45 degrees. Then you can stand it up a couple ways. Muscle it, depending on it's angle, or strap it (with enough slack) to the trailer so it won't tip all the way over and fall on its' face when you stand it up, and back the truck up a foot or two, til the trailer stands on its' base. (It works; most don't think it will, that the safe would slide, but it doesn't. That's how I got the big ~800-something pounder off the pickup truck by myself; and the small safe off the trailer is a piece of cake this way.) Then slide the handtruck under it, get it to the room it'll stay in, and tip it onto the wooden dowels. Remove the shims, and roll the safe into place. The last dowel is a trick by yourself.... duct tape (what else?) a length of rope to the last dowel, tip the safe (a neat trick with any safe, by yourself) and yank the roped dowel out and drop the safe onto its' base again. I tied the rope to the last dowel around my ankle and just 'pulled' really quickly and hard, once I got the safe tipped.

To tip a safe when you're by yourself, tie a ratchet tie-down around the circumference of the safe below the safe's door handle, then tie another to any desired point and route it across the top of the safe so you can tip it from whatever side you want. It still won't be easy, but coming across the top with the leverage point on the opposite top side should give you enough leverage. It was good enough for me, and I ain't Arnold.

Last edited by moredes15; 04-09-2006 at 09:09 AM.
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  #25  
Old 04-09-2006, 10:26 AM
dking271 dking271 is offline
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When I moved last year, my moving company was supposed to move my 1100lb. gun safe to an upstairs location. They knew about the stairs, but did not bring the right equipment. Once we got to the house, we made the determination that it would be too unsafe to move the safe where it was supposed to be. I had to hire a local locksmith/safe moving company to move the safe at the expense of my moving company ($525). They used a hydraulic hand truck and moved in a slow and safe manor.

If you choose to move the safe on your own, please be safe. A 500+ lb. safe can be very dangerous if it were too slip or fall.
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