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Moving soda machines?


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#1 PhenomZ

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Posted 21 April 2011 - 10:10 PM

I'm new to the business. I have a soda machine (72" tall, 900 lbs) and a Dutro vending hand truck. What I don't have is a truck to mobilize the machine to a location. Here's where I have my questions about what to do.

I've heard that renting a truck with a lift gate is probably the most desirable way to go about moving the machine. Concurred or no? How much do these usually cost to rent?

Say I find a truck and get the soda machine to the place of business where I'll be placing it. How do I maneuver around steps, large bumps, low doorways, things like that? I moved the machine from just my driveway to my garage with the help of a friend and it was a very tough process. Even breaking the load over onto all four wheels took all of my weight on one end (280 lbs) and him pushing as hard as he could on the other. I needed a makeshift ramp just to make it over a 1/2" bump. Is it usually this hard to maneuver or am I doing it wrong?

I know these are noob questions but that's exactly what I am. Any help is very much appreciated smile.gif



#2 H4UV

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 09:33 AM

We use a large Ultra-lift type furniture/refrigerator dolly, the kind available from Vendor's Exchange. With one of those, you can pretty much move any machine by yourself, and not hurt yourself! We use a truck with a lift-gate, usually Ryder or Penske, and it costs $75-$80 a day plus ten cents a mile. We also use a trailer of our own, and load the machines into it with the dolly or a forklift. When we go over doorsteps, (we usually have at least three people total moving the machine) we put a board ramp down, then cover the whole step with a thick layer of blankets. We get a good start and pivot and push the machine over. With the Ultra-lift dollies, you can easily tip the machine back far enough to be able to go through the lowest of doorways. The width would be your only problem. When you are going down or up stairs, always have at least two people at the bottom of the machine to keep it from sliding down the stairs, while having them push at the same time. If you are going down the stairs, have them push against you as you go down each step. This slows the machine down, and helps it drop easily. If you are going up, use the same technique, only have them lift and push at each step. It is possible, just difficult sometimes. But I taken a full size snack machine down ten steps with only 1/2 an inch of clearance on either side. Hope that helps.

#3 Ruskie

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 04:37 PM

Just pay a mover and let him do it. You won't save any money by doing it yourself.

#4 VendingPro

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Posted 22 April 2011 - 06:34 PM

We have used a mover in the past. Our rate is a $100. I would recommend finding someone who has moved vending machines before. I have experienced inexperienced movers, and careless movers, and damage to the machine usually results.

#5 Steve Fischer

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 06:31 AM

When you're moving a big machine like that, you seriously want to consider using a mover. Especially if you have to rent a truck for $100. We have a local vending machine supplier that will move a machine for 100.

If you really want to do it yourself, I use a u-haul ramp trailer. I tie off to the machine and use a come-along to ratchet the machine up the ramp. The high sides keep it from tipping during transit.

Be safe!

#6 dogcow

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 06:55 PM

if you are in the central FL area i can recommend some movers who do vending machines for under $100

#7 MVSJOHN

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 08:02 AM

I rent a drop deck trailer from Home Depot to move mine.They charge me $22 per day.
John

#8 cvending

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 03:22 PM

Depending on your budget, the Ultra-Lift is the best way to go. A new one runs about $3800 but make moving machines a one man job. It is battery powered and can climb steps easily. It does not take much time to get used to. Raising the wheels also makes tipping machiens back easy as it changes the center of gravity. You can normally tip it back far enough to get through standard doorways. We are looking at buying our second unit. Our first one we bought in 1984. It is a welded aluminum frame so it is not all that heavy by itself.

#9 miked

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 08:26 PM

When I was moving machines on my own I used a pick up with a lift gate and then used either a sm pallet jack or 4 wheel piano dolly to roll around. Nowadays I have a guy do it for me.

As for moving the machines themselves, it works best with two people unless you are going up or down stairs. It takes practice to learn the leverage points you need to use to tip the machines and move them around. If you look around on the internet you can find some instructional videos on moving machines that might help.

#10 validatorman

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 02:17 PM

As stated an Ultra-Lift "can" make it a one-man job...but it does take a lot of practice. As a distributor, we are required to do a training course. The Ultra-Lift is rated at 1500lb, and it will throw you all over the place if you don't know how to use it. In our area there is a company that services and moves equipment for small vending operators. Check around and there may be a company like that near you. Sometimes at a Sams club you can talk to other operators and find out who they use. Everyone has to move machines at some point, so it is worth getting a relationship with a company if you can. Moving machines does take some strengh, but over time you become more accustomed to how different machines respond. A pallet jack is also a great device, but not good for bumps and steps.

#11 Coy

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 07:50 PM

thats why you have the dutro. whaen you get to the bump. lift the front wheels up, by pushing down at the top of the dolly, resting the machine on the rear wheel. move over the bump, lower the front and the rear wheels should be easy to run over with a little lift from your shoulder.

#12 colman vending

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 11:15 PM

I have used a moving company to move my machines (two men and a truck) at $68.00 per move. They are very clean and cautious about moving the machines but it still is too much to move from one location to another. The last time a new location called me up about having a machine and offered to pick it up and move it to thier location for free. It has turned out to be the best money location I have so far. Just be careful that the machine is not set on it's side or back if it is the coolant unit might be damaged. Good Luck!!!

#13 rogerdowling

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 12:25 AM

You are moving a large machine such as that, you seriously want to consider using a mover. Especially if you need to rent a truck for $100. We have a local vending machine supplier that will move a machine for 100. As for moving the machines themselves, it works best with two people unless you are going up or down stairs.