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How Machinery Moving is a lot Like Live Theater

by Ray Sargenti, Projects Manager on March 9, 2017

machinery moving of an injection molding machine

How Machinery Moving is a lot Like Live Theater

Expanding your company’s manufacturing operations into another state and need to move a dozen CNC and/or injection molding machines? Don’t call Mayflower.


Whether you’re moving one injection molding machine or 20, you will want to contact a logistics company that specializes in machinery moving. That’s because machine moves are a lot like performing a live stage production where you’re the director, producer and one of the principal characters. Like live theater, there are hundreds of moving parts, rehearsals, and a cast of dozens of people and specialists to pull the “performance” off. Oh, and this show isn’t for amateurs. Moving expensive machinery requires a different skill set than it takes to move steel beams or bales of hay. Hire experts.


The stakes are high in machinery moves because the machines themselves are expensive, and somewhat fragile because of built-in microprocessors and other electronics. Many of today’s injection molding and CNC machines even have robots attached to them, designed to perform simple functions like moving around parts of various sizes and shapes. Additionally, the machines are massive, ranging from 300 pounds up to 300,000 pounds or more.

machinery moving cnc milling machine

Medium Doosan CNC Milling Machine 14’L x 10’W x 12’H Weight: 28,500 lbs

Here’s what goes into a classic machinery move “production:”

This production consisted of LPS moving 12 injection molding machines from a factory in Ohio to a new and bigger location in Dallas where the company was expanding operations.

  • Inspect your locations: The first step was a full site inspection and analysis of both places. You’ll want detailed specs for every piece of equipment that’s part of the move. Make, model, dimensions, and weight of every machine. During the walk-through look for access doors. Will you have access to the loading dock? Is there an elevator? Does anything go through a window?
  • Insure your machines: What’s the declared value for each machine? Make sure you have adequate coverage. LPS routinely insures equipment for 100 percent of replacement value. Consider doing the same for your move.
  • Stage the move: Most routine moves like this one take about a day to a day and a half to plan. Choose the trucks you’ll need. You may need an open trailer like a flatbed or a single or double drop trailer. If the equipment is small, you might be able to use a small van. We’ll use cargo straps to secure it inside the van trailer. Note, only use air ride equipment, which means the tractor and the trailer are equipped with airbags, not springs. Air provides the softest ride for protecting fragile electronics. For this move from Ohio to Texas, we needed 10 trucks, a combination of enclosed van trailers and single and double drop trailers.
  • Create the rigging plan: Following the site survey at both locations, create a complete rigging plan. This plan determines how the machinery exits the building, the equipment you use to haul it, how to unload it, and how it’s set up in the new location. In our move, we wanted to set up, so we weren’t stepping on each other or putting machines in the path of other crew members.
  • Hire a rigging company: Rigging companies employ trained and certified specialists that break down the machines and prepare them for shipping and load them onto trucks. The process gets reversed at the destination. Riggers have crane and rigging licenses along with OSHA qualifications designated as OSHA 10, OSHA 30 or OSHA 40. Also, make sure the riggers you hire have proper liability insurance. Perform your due diligence when hiring a rigging firm. We run a D&B (Dun & Bradstreet) report and check the EMR (safety) rating on a company before we make a hiring decision.
  • Load and secure the equipment: Secure all the machinery to the trailers. Cover the exposed machines on flatbeds in plastic, then cover with weatherproof tarps for over-the-road transportation. Block and brace the machines inside the van trailers.

Have a machinery move in your company’s future? Let’s work on it together.


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