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Question About Moving a CNC Lathe

I never said I was smarter than anyone. I never said anything about people who do it themselves are wrong. Again, you said that and you are making this about YOU and whatever problem YOU have. Good luck to ya!


You quite literally said exactly that with this-

"Moving your own #10K+ iron is like a NASCAR team hiring the town drunk to be their driver!"

And this-

"Sorry you don't know a professional when you see one. I have more than a clue."

And then you state you never said the things you said like this-

"I never said I was smarter than anyone."

Almost seems like the section of this website dedicated to rigging one's machinery is a poor choice to talk shit about about people that do their own rigging?
Looking at your post history it appears you have a half dozen old Hardinge lathes? Is that accurate?

If that's the case that strikes me as a very small level of rigger interaction to form and broadcast a stern opinion about riggers and how other's handle the situation. It's fine to pay riggers. It's a real asshole move to tell others they're incompetent because they do it themselves.

I have hired riggers to move a dozen or more machines over the past 20 years. I have moved 40 times that number of machines myself. 30 tons is my upper limit. At one point, I wrote up my own business plan for starting a full time rigging company because I was doing it so much for profit. The employees I would need made it not pencil out for a fulltime gig at the level of work I was doing.

I have interacted with riggers extensively. Technically I am a professional rigger. I have all the same equipment and play in the same arena. I just don't have fulltime employees.

I know two real good riggers. Guys that know their shit and make the job look easy. Small companies. Always busy. All the bigger outfits are hit and miss and I know why- Because good employees are hard to find and even good ones make mistakes, destroy machines and must be let go or your insurance will let you go. It happens all the time.

Paying for rigging doesn't make you better or smarter than anyone else. It just means you like to play it safe.


Think Snow Eh!


Think Snow Eh!

So paying for rigging doesn't mean you like to play it safe- It means you're from the city?

I think there's some truth to that Mr. Ox
I watched a new EDM topple off a flatbed truck when the owner was moving to a new location just down the street.

Speaking of such things if your buying a machine and want insurance on its safe arrival what do you do?
You can apply for specific insurance for moving objects that may become damaged. I think it's similar to the rigging insurance that crane companies have. Also, if you used a legit machinery mover, they should have a bond or insurance of some kind that you can ask about.

Anything smaller, that might arrive on a pallet, could fall under standard freight damage and you're on your own to duke it out with whatever shipping company damaged it.

When I was moving this lathe, I got a quote from a guy in the Bay Area for 3k, but he was an established mover that would've brought all of his own equipment to unload, place and level the machine. He had insurance and references if I wanted to see them.
Reading all these stories makes me glad I bite the bullet and pay my experienced riggers their money.
That’s not a bad idea.
Anyone who has dropped a machine will never forget that feeling watching it fall to the ground in slow motion. Luckily the Jones and Shipman surface grinder is built like a fire plug, but there is still a spiderweb crack in the driveway, a quarter panel in the pickup had to be replaced, leadscrew straightened, and hydraulic ram needed some straightening.
It all depends on how much money you want to spend vs the cost of the machine. In my case, it was a lathe that was 500 bucks. Didn't make much sense to spend 3k to move it.
I've done some sketchy moves because the machine was cheap or free. For my higher value moves I always use a machine mover for the transport side only. I have had a few experiences with machine movers that are absolutely clueless. I've told a few guys to leave before they even get out the cab, arriving in a truck with a paint job applied by brush is not confidence inspiring.

I pull the machines out to were they can be lifted. Tie down etc is their responsibility although I will make sure they do it properly. I also always insure for the expensive stuff.

The purchase of my own toe jacks, skates and slings is probably one of the best investments I've made. Moving machines with rollers and crowbars is a real pain in the butt.
When I sold off the machines in my old house a guy showed up with flatbed and forklift but no pallet jack!
Because the fork was too tall for shop we had to use pipe rollers to get them near door. Surprising it was not
too bad but we had three guys working it.

I had Kitamura 2X delivered to new shop. No pipe rollers for that job
Doing it yourself is fine if you’re convinced you can keep yourself safe. Losing a $5k machine is different than losing a $250k machine. Along those lines, I’ve seen riggers do way sketchier things than I would do with my own machines. On the other hand, they have insurance. If they’ve been around a while and are still insured they’re either more skilled, or really lucky. Not my problem either way.

At some point I was helping out a friend move shop while riggers did all the heavy lifting. At some point they had his 5 axis machine at flatbed height (not yet over the trailer) to load and the rear fork truck wheels were only occasionally on the ground as they lifted. I asked my buddy if it looked like a good idea, or if we should say something and his only response was “Their insurance and guarantee checked out.” IMO that’s the real reason you’re paying them when appropriate.
If there is a forklift at both ends just call a towing company that has a tilt n load or drop deck truck.. Cheap and safe way to move a small machine like that lathe.
A good rule of thumb is that whatever the machine weighs, you need a forklift with a capacity of at least 1/2 over that number, often can be as much as double capacity on things like CNCs where the center of gravity is way far out. Sure, you can often get by with less than that, but forklifts are usually rated for a load center of 24” from the mast and you usually can’t get the center of gravity of a machine tool that close. As you found out, the weight is also often off. We are a rigging business and that is normally how we spec a forklift to do a job.
A good rule of thumb is that whatever the machine weighs, you need a forklift with a capacity of at least 1/2 over that number

Or you can stick a steel bar out the back and hang four gorillas off it ! You only need the wheels to touch once in a while for steering :D

Have to admit, I enjoy living where people can still do "unsafe" stuff ....