Moving a VERY HEAVY safe

I need to move a safe that weighs between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds approximately 400 miles.
My current plan is to rent a hydraulic drop trailer that drops all the way
to the ground. From the pictures, these trailers look like they have a very gradual lip, and only about 2"-3" elevation difference.
Then, I plan to use a pallet jack to load the safe into the trailer. Everything is on grade, and the only surface required to move on will be concrete.
Does anyone have suggestions or warnings for problems I might run into when attempting this move? Can 5,000 lbs be moved on a pallet jack (assuming it is rated for this weight or more)? What other tools might be needed? How many people would you recommend for a move like this one?
Thank you in advance for any advice you may have!
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I hope the floor can stand the small contact surfaces of the pallet jack wheels.
Consider height and weight in conjunction with tie down and what will happen if you are involved in roadway accident.
Keep brain engaged at all times.
Wes S
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snipped-for-privacy@lycos.com wrote:

Wes has a very good point here, which I should have mentioned earlier. Some safes do look like they have a high centre of gravity. You may be safer lying the safe on its back on the trailer, but then you need a safe way of lowering the safe into this position.
I think if I needed to move a safe like this I'd enquire among local truckers to see if anyone was making an empty return journey on the route you need. If the truck has a hydraulic crane, that would be ideal.
Best wishes,
Chris
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P wrote:

As long as it isn't top heavy I don't see much of a problem. You might need a winch or one of the ratchet pullers to get the pallet jack / safe combo up the lip into the trailer since a 5,000# load isn't going to go over much of any lip without some effort and you certainly don't want to take a running start at it.
Pete C.
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I let some of my guys move a safe while I wasn't present, a fireproof Guardall about 1000#. I figured what could go wrong? Well they managed to tip it over and drop it on concrete. Bent the hinge, jammed the door in the frame and snapped off the dial. I had to cutoff the bad hinge, repair the dial and the shaft that operates the lock (from the outside with the safe locked).Combination still worked,got the safe open, straigthened the frame, rewelded the hinge, and used some gray spraypaint. I welded a padeye on the top of the safe so the rest of the moving was done with an engine hoist.
They are top heavy so be careful. Now, its no more rigging unless I'm present.
Tony

very
when
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On Sun, 24 Sep 2006 15:59:30 -0400, "Tony"

======================I like the pad eye/ engine hoist suggestion. Cheaper than casts and bandages.
Any chance you can rig two pieces of heavy channel with the safe sandwiched in between? Possibly clamp with some large allthread/redithread. [operational words here are large and heavy.]
Channel on top of the safe to have a cross bolt for lifting [ pad eye]. Use rubber floor matting where the channels contact the top and bottom of safe to prevent marks/slips. You may have to slide and reclamp the channels over the CG after you pick it up and find out where it is.
Unka George
(George McDuffee) =========Every gun that is fired, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), U.S. general, Republican politician, president. Speech, April 1953, Washington, D.C. ==========
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The eye is great for moving, be sure to remove the eye before use or some thief might use it too ;)
--
Free men own guns - www.geocities/CapitolHill/5357/

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well I should add when I install a safe it is bolted to from inside to the concrete floor, usually to poured footings. They can pull al they want on the padeye it ain't gonna budge.
Tony
wrote:

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i agree a pallet jack would be unsafe unless you had a lot of people helping
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erik litchy wrote:

It's probably still unsafe even if you do :-).
Chris
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Why would that be? The more people around for the safe to fall on, the less the chance of the safe getting scratched.
Steve ;-)
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"Steve B" wrote: Why would that be? The more people around for the safe to fall on, the less the chance of the safe getting scratched. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Maybe this is a good place to bring up the "straw man" argument.
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P wrote:

You should be able to move a 5,000 lb load on a pallet jack, but only on a flat, even concrete surface. You don't want to try moving 5,000 lbs on a pallet jack down a gradient. I also doubt very much that you could pull it up the lip onto the trailer. Some pallet jacks have brakes, but you don't want to have to rely on them on a gradient. A safer bet is to find some level concrete ground, put the safe on a pallet and load it with a forklift. Make sure it can't fall on you. Take care!
Best wishes,
Chris
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It cost me $100 the last time I had a crane come out and pull an AC unit, sit it on the ground, come back the next day and put it back up. If you can get a crane to do your one pick (lift), you might consider that. They should have all the slings and rigging you need. You just have to get it where they can snatch it.
Reverse the order on the other end.
Steve
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Should work fine. Get enough people to horse it over the joints in the slab, three or four minimum. A few "Johnson Bars" (pry trucks) will be valuable in getting the safe onto the pallet, etc. Big lever.
And remember, if it starts falling anyone who sees it starting to get unstable or go over is to holler to clear out, and you all get back and clear NOW and let Gravity do it's thing. If it starts falling over, you don't want to have any part of anyone's body under it. And you SURE AS HECK don't try to be a hero and save it.
If anything, you toss a pallet or other sacrificial item at hand under there so the landing gets cushioned a bit.
Get a block and tackle or a wire rope come-along for getting the safe into the trailer - when moving heavy things, even if it's on wheels a slight ramp lip and a 2-inch elevation change is serious work.
Get a big sheet of heavy plate steel to act as a dockplate to get the pallet jack wheels over that 1 or 2 inch jump and onto the trailer tailgate, and shim underneath with lumber so you don't bend the plate.
First, position the safe in the trailer so you have the tongue weight right - roughly 10% of total weight - put a bathroom scale under the tongue jack and check it. If the weight is positioned wrong, the towing can be severely squirrely, and you don't want to end up in the ditch.
Then Lots of heavy straps to secure the safe to the trailer - if you have to stop fast or make a sudden avoidance maneuver you don't want that safe going anywhere. Secure at the top for both vertical, sideways and fore and aft motion. And at the middle, restrained side to side, front to back etc. All possible directions, straps are far cheaper than causing a six-car "bodyshop bonanza" on the road.
And make sure the straps and anchorages are heavy enough - that safe can generate some massive dynamic loads if it tries moving.
Just look at the size of those nylon straps they use to hold you into your car seat - it's only restraining a 150 to 200-pound person, and the seatbelt material can get dynamically stretched in a head-on collision to where the friction heating melts them stiff as a board, and they must be replaced...
Now scale that up to restraining that 5,000 pound safe on the trailer if you run into something, and it's a given that you don't want that sucker coming through the back window of the truck a few milliseconds later. You should now realize that even severe overkill with the straps might not be enough. Strap early and often.
--<< Bruce >>--
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wrote:

Lots of good advice in previous posts. Be very careful of the deck loading as the wheels can concentrate a lot of weight in a small space. A friend broke a very substantial trailer floor by driving a small wheel forklift onto it. If transporting on wheels, I would reinforce the floor under the wheels and install some hefty chocks and tie-downs. We have had several big coils of steel that seemed pretty secure come loose from semi-trailers near here.
Don Young
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How about using a rope and winch to tilt up one side of the safe, then shoving the trailer under it? Let it down, using a second winch to pull it over, and the first to keep it from flopping all the way down. Let it down slow and you'll basically "roll" the safe onto the trailer. Needs little equipment. As a bonus, doing it this way never gets you anywhere near the safe when it's in an unstable position. If it's reasonably convenient to remove the door first, I'd suggest it.
--
B.B. --I am not a goat! thegoat4 at airmail dot net

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Is this YOUR safe? Are we gonna' read about this in the paper?
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Do it right. Call a pro. They have the gear for it, and it will probably cost you less in the long run.
Steve
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P wrote:

Best solution is a pro safe mover or rigger, followed by a crane.
But if you want to do it yourself, consider renting a pair of Roll-a-Lifts or similar gear. They increase the footprint substantially, and come a good ways up the sides, both radically improving stability. They can easily handle the weight. I used to build and equip computer rooms (old big-iron type), and we moved even very heavy equipment that way. Get a steel plate for the transitions, and have 4-6 guys, unless you have a very heavy-duty comealong or other winch to get it up the hill.
I think the heaviest thing we ever moved with 6 guys and the lifts was an 8,000 pound, fully populated disk drive cabinet. We took it down a garage ramp two floors, over a curb, and into the freight elevator. It took 4 guys pushing and 2 guys guiding and wiggling to get it over the curb, with a short steel ramp and steel plate. Going down the ramps we lowered the lifts some and let the pallet serve as a drag brake. It worked out ok, though we were all a bit bushed by the time it was done.
Other posters comments about positioning and securing the load are right on target. And NEVER get any part of yourself between the weight and a hard object, particularly the ground!
Good luck!

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