I just bought a Sawstop Cabinet saw. The company will be at a woodworking
show (in Grand Rapids, MI) near my house this week and they agreed to sell
me one of the demos to save the steep shipping cost.
The saw will be crated on a pallet and they will be able to load it with a
fork lift into the bed of my full size pick up. It weighs 650 lbs. I am
looking for suggestions as to the best way to get it into my shop and out of
the truck. I have a few friends that are willing to help, but I want to be
able to lower it out of my truck SAFELY. Once out of my truck I have to go
down a 100 ft grassy hill to my shop at the back of the house. I was
thinking I could borrow/rent a piano dolly or similar heavy duty hand truck.
How about ramps out of truck. How many guys do you think I would need to
move this with a dolly??
Once on the dolly , one or two people shold be able to roll it on flat
surface. Trick is to get it on and off the dolly. Any reason you can't
drive that 100' with the truck?
Ramps will work,but be sure they are secured somehow to the truck and cannot
slide out. Can you borrow a small trailer like a snowmobile trailer or
tractor trailer? It will be lower and have a ramp in the back.
How about a pallet jack once on the ground..
Getting onto the ground is going to be a bit dangerous. What would
renting a forklift in your neighborhood run you?
The idea of a lower trailer is a good one too. you might even be able
to raise the front of the trailer to tilt it and assist bringing the
saw onto the ground.
BTW congrats on getting one.
Last year, I helped a neighbor unload an 80 gal 220 V air compressor from a
pickup. I forget the weight, but there was no way to move it with only two
people. Like your saw, it was bolted to a pallet, but unlike your saw, the
compressor was much taller and top heavy. The slightest tip and it would
roll. So, after much thought, we just decided to solicit the help of two
more people, putting one person per corner of the pallet. We slid it off
the truck and lowered it straight down, keeping it plumb the whole time.
I know this thing didn't weigh 650 lbs and it still seemed very heavy with
four of us. I'm not sure I'd recommend you try to lower the saw off your
truck using only manpower. Each person will be responsible for an awkward
165 lbs...and if anyone gives out, you're not gonna be too happy...
Believe it or not, I watched a freight delivery guy unload my 450 lb shaper
BY HIMSELF off his truck that had no lift gate. He simply slid the pallet
to the edge, then slid it off the truck at a 45 deg angle. When the front
edge touched down (softly, I might add), he walked it forward then lowered
it flat on the ground. I had two guys ready to help but he refused it. I
kept him there while checking for the damage I was SURE would be present,
but there was none, luckily.
This situation always seems to be a problem with pickups. I've gotten large
items off mine by getting away with sliding them. But I've never unloaded
something that heavy that I've really "cared about". So, I guess I'm voting
for the sturdy ramp idea already suggested.
Check out this thread about someone who had a 900 lb jointer to unload from
Best of luck.
1. get 6 of your good buddies - offer them beer an pizza - then man handle
the thing to your shop.
2. get a 2 ton winch (about 20 bux from HF) mount it in your garage - hoist
it off your truck - then see option # 1.
I would suggest renting an engine hoist or die lift cart and using it to
unload. I've used both for unloading, and althought not great, they sure
beat lifting by hand.
Regardless of what you decide, I would uncrate as much as possible (fence,
extension wings, maybe the motor, etc.) before trying to unload. I think
the bare saw is 400-450 pounds. 4 people can handle that.
If at all possible, I would drive the 100', even if I had to lay out a few
plywood boards and move them as I drove along.
My wife and I just started setting up to move a 750 pound jointer
yesterday. It had to be lifted, and skids installed so it would roll on
the pipe rollers I use to get things to the shop door and onto
pick-ups. An engine crane did that, though it was a bit dodgy because
of the balance. I got the package into the shop with the help of one
friend, a come-along and an eyebolt in the opposite wall of the
shop--but I was afraid for a bit I was going to pop the wall.
Fortunately, this was one tool that could be tested without removing
the crate/pallet base.
As someone suggests, you should, if at all possible, drive closer to
the shop. If your shop floor is level with the ground, then ramps or
2x12s off the pick-up onto the ground work well. A piano dolly is a
good way to move the saw until you get it where it's going to remain.
Any furniture dolly I've seen, though, has wheels that are too narrow
and too small and too hard to do well on grass. The saw probably won't
fit on a hand truck, or if it does, it will take four guys to tip it
back and three to keep it from going over backwards.
Remove as much of the packing and peripheral gear as possible. Most
cabinet saws come with some heavy bits unattached, but inside the
carton or crate. Remove those. You can almost certainly peel about
100-150 pounds that way.
The figures above for people to help are not far off. You'll need at
least four friends to keep from injuring anyone. With five healthy, and
preferably husky, guys it should be close to a breeze.
Maybe you could rent a low floor Uhaul or perhaps a trailer with a ramp, but
take a sheet of plywood if the ramp is one of those wire mesh types. You're
probably going to have a great deal of getting it grass. You might consider
shaping one side of the skid into sleigh like runners for dragging or
possibly putting it on a really heavy disposable blanket or tarp for
dragging across the grass. Either that or enough pizza and beer for a number
When I had my 650 lb cabinet saw deliverd, (target: my basement
through Bilco door), I rented a powered handtruck. There were only
two stores in NY who had them to rent, and I lived near one of
them. Woo-hoo! So I go to pick it on on the day my saw was to be
delivered, and found out they SOLD IT. They owned it for years, and
hardly every rented it out. They also put down the wrong date for my
Anyhow - they let me have an unpowered handtruck for free that day.
The trucker and I moved the saw 200 feet up my dirt driveway using the
pallet truck. We had to get up to speed so small pebbles didn't
impeed our brogress.
I was able to lift and move the saw miself with a hand truck. Lowered
it down the Bilco door steps was hairy. My son was helping me, and
helped slow down the saw as it slid down the stairs. The worst point
was when I was on my butt holding the top handles of the hand truck,
as the wheels were not quick touching the floor in the basement.
If the powered handtruck had enough movement to lower from the truck
to the ground, it might be an option. But if it's 6 inches too short,
then I don't know what to tell you.
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Just went through this with a new table saw of about 550lbs.
I secured the crated saw to a piece of 3/4" plywood with an upturned lip
so as not to dig in the ground.
Then I attached that to the riding mower and started dragging it the
150yds or so of ground/grass to my shop.
Was not working that great so I thougt about how I could reduce the
I got two of those plastic flexible sleds (just flat rectangular plastic
with hand holes in front - can't remember if they have a name - been
around for years)and attached them to the bottom of the plywood.
With those on there I could pull the whole thing myself, on level
surfaces, that's how much it helped.
So I pull it easily around to the shop with the rider.
When I got near the door (ordinary exterior type door) of my shop, I
pulled it myself right up to the threshold.
Not wanting to crush the threshold or try to pull the saw and crate over
it, I slid the table saw off the pallet onto two more of those sleds
right inside the shop.
With those sleds underneath it, I could easily push/pull it around the shop.
If I was moving something in the 1000lb range, I would do the same but I
was thinking you could get two sheets of OSB or cheap plywood and squirt
vegtable oil on them. Then leapfrog each board as you move along the
ground. Might be a bit messy and slow but I bet it would slide nicely
even at half a ton. And a lot cheaper than hernia surgeons.
It would be interesting for sure.
Had lift gate so no actual experience with that problem.
Maybe build a special one time frame that you can back the truck under.
Attach a hoist to that frame, attach the saw, drive the pickup out from
under and lower the saw.
1 ton hoist in Northern Hydraulics catalogue costs about $50.
rent or borrow a trailer. if it has a ramp fine but you dont need it.
take the trailer loose from the truck and put a jack under the tounge.
use a comalong and strap to tie off to the front of the trailer. get
some short pipes maybe 3 feet long? with a lever and a fulcrum raise
the saw and pallat at the rear of the trailer and place the pipes
under the pallet. jack up the tounge of the trailer till the rear
rests on the ground. lower the saw using the comalong.once the edge is
on the ground you can pull the trailer out from under it. simmiler
measures will get you down the hill. and you can do this with only a
small helper. [ i use the 110 lb. wife!!!!
I just yesterday picked up my new Unisaw. Rented a UHaul to keep it low to
the ground. Was going to use neighbors to get it out when two guys came to
the door selling firewood. I have gas logs but they made $20 getting it out
of the UHaul and delivering it around back. I just used your normal 2 wheel
hand truck and strapped it to the handtruck.
Don't use a pallet jack. I did that on frozen ground with my 18" Bandsaw.
It just peeled my lawn right up. Can't imagine what it would do to soft
ground. I wouldn't use a refrigerator dolly either. The wheels are too
small. Use your typical big wheel hand cart and get some tie downs and
strap it tight.
Added advantage to the trailer idea, you can also unhitch and have the
trailer tilt back to lower the back end even further. Just don't forget to
chuck the wheels!
Cost me $30 for a 5X10 UHaul.
Use the snowmobile/trailer idea mentioned earlier. to go the final distance
unkook the trailer from the truck and your collection of help can push the
trailer the remaining 100ft, lower the ramp and slide it off. To get it off
the pallet, unbolt, and again using your collection of help walk it off.
If you live in a rural area, try finding a farmer with a frontend loader on
his tractor. Most now have pallet forks for handling round bales of hay.
If you live in the city, back up your truck to a tree. Wrap a chain around
saw and tree. Drive away from the tree. Istant unloading. <G>
One thing that hasnt' been mentioned for moving the 100' from the unloading
zone to the shop (assuming you can't drive that span) is getting a few fence
posts, and rolling the loaded pallet on those. When one comes free on the
back end, pick it up and move it under the front. I helped some friends
move their garden shed (8x12) last week. Don't know what it weighed, but
two people could push it by hand. It was a hard push, but we could do it.
We only had to move it 20', as well, but we thought we'd need more people
power to do that.
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