Moving machinery

I had the riggers come in and rearrange all the machine tools in the lab: two manual lathes, 2 Bridgeports, Haas toolroom mill and lathe,
Haas VF-0, a Haas turning center, and an Injection molder. Everything got moved once, one of the Bridgeports got moved 4 times as we tried to get the clearances just right.
I was blown away with how easy the riggers made it look, as well as the total simplicity of the tools used: the foreman had a shop made steel Johnson bar. Standard 26 pound railroad bar with a 2" stub welded on the end and 2 super duty roller skate wheels on the sides. Each of the 2 grunts had a dolly made from a 2"x2" x1/4" angle with another super duty roller skate wheel on the side. That's all they needed to move everything except the big Haas lathe! (Haas lathe case was too bulky to allow access underneath)
To move a Bridgeport, the foreman would hook the base at the back, lift it up an inch or so. Grunts would slide the angle iron blocks in along the sides, near the back. Foreman would set the load on the side rollers, go around and get a 1" lift off the front. A bit of a push and off it went. When I wanted the Bridgeport moved over 9" and a bit more angle, it took no move than 3 minutes with not the least bit of grunting and groaning.
The Haas VF-0 had to go down a long hallway and through several doorways. Same Johnson Bar and roller skates.
Did I say I was impressed?
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RoyJ wrote:

Since most of us HSM guys are short on grunts, we have to use somewhat more complicated moving techniques.
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You're right. You absolutely do not want to have helpers that do not follow instructions EXACTLY when moving heavy objects. The grunts didn't do any heavy work, the foreman was wiry guy who didn't weigh that much.
Pete C. wrote:

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RoyJ wrote:

The greatest danger with untrained grunts is that they won't know when to just get out of the way and watch something fall.
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Or to keep their hands off and wait for instructions when the see somebody struggling with an awkward manuever.
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RoyJ wrote:

I can see the points made by others about making sure you're out of the danger zone like each side of a BP or front to back on a lathe move. I found moving a BP and lathes easy on level concrete using a pry bar and some 1" round bars. The nice thing about the BP was the notch in the front and rear skirt and the level skirt in between. The notches made using the pry bar easy and the level skirt allowed the bars to run the full length and then being replaced at the other end. Some BP copies I have seen only had the corners on the ground and were relieved in between which would make using bars more difficult. My Kerry 11x40 has a level base so is easy to move on bars, the Harrison M300 was more time consuming as it has a box under the headstock and another under the tailstock, more work to move but still fairy easy.
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