Mature Opinions Needed On Safe Moving


July 12, 2009, 09:21 PM
Greetings all:

I have just moved to a new house in NC (just graduated college and started a new job). All my "toys" are at my parents' house and I don't feel comfortable keeping them without a secure means of storage. To that end, I'm interested in getting a safe. I've already identified one that I'd be satisfied with at a local Gander Mountain store but am having serious trouble finding someone who's willing to move it for me for a reasonable cost (read: less than 30% of the cost of the safe). The safe in question is about two feet square, five feet tall and approximately 550 lbs.

I'm relatively young, would like to think I'm intelligent, have access to equipment and manpower (friends, truck, trailer, heavy-duty appliance dollies rated to over 1000lbs, ratcheting nylon straps, et al.) that I think would be necessary to move the safe myself. Store is about thirty miles from my house, no cumbersome roads and the safe is going straight from the street into my garage which requires going up my slightly inclined driveway that's about 15 feet long. I'm thinking I can even overcome this by just backing the trailer up to the garage interior. I've seen people move my dad's safe which is much bigger twice and don't THINK (the problem) there is anything too complicated about this process.

Question: Am I just plain dumb and don't know any better or, if I proceed with caution and patience, is this something that is likely to end well for me?

Much obliged

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July 12, 2009, 09:24 PM
Greetings fellow TIGER..

I just moved a new safe that weighed 575 lbs. Instead of paying the 300 moving fee, I went and spent $120 on a nice hand truck and me and my father moved it.

Honestly, it was REALLY easy. We brought it in with the hand truck, put it on the carpet and then slid it into the bedroom. I would definitely try and wrap it in cardboard in an attempt to slide it like we did. Hope this helps answer your question... I worried about it for days but it was really easy.

Edit: funny you moved from Clemson to WS... I made the same move a few years back. To Kernersville actually... have made the track back down here now though.

July 12, 2009, 09:29 PM
I just moved a new safe that weighed 575 lbs. Instead of paying the 300 moving fee, I went and spent $120 on a nice hand truck and me and my father moved it.

The first 2 times I moved with my safe I paid a guy it was only $100. When I moved where I am currently I was quoted $350 to get it out of the truck and put it in the house. I went and bought a decent handtruck for $125.00. My Dad and uncle helped me move it in. I've still got the Handtruck the other $225 is long gone but I spent it on something worthwhile I'm sure.

July 12, 2009, 09:29 PM
You can rent a heavy duty hand truck for a day. The cardboard runners work well once you get it on the floor.

July 12, 2009, 09:39 PM
You don't need any equipment.

Have them lay the safe on its back in the truck or on the trailer. Back it into your garage, slide it off the back, and lower the bottom to the floor. Stand it up, and slide it on the concrete to wherever you want it.

550 pounds is heavy to dead lift, but it's not that heavy to move. Putting it in the truck will only require 275 pounds of lift at a maximum, and much less if you use a little trigonometry. It will slide on the floor easily.

The first 2 times I moved with my safe I paid a guy it was only $100. When I moved where I am currently I was quoted $350 to get it out of the truck and put it in the house.

I would be cautious using anybody that charges that little. I am assuming that they weren't properly insured, or were severely lacking in other areas.

Here in the midwest rates are lower than most other places in the country. We don't even start the truck for less than $250. We do discount the rates slightly for some local high volume dealers, but $100 wouldn't even cover the wear and tear on my equipment.

You're not just paying us to move your safe. You're paying us to keep your house, your safe, and your body in one piece.

July 12, 2009, 09:47 PM
I have a safe from National Security, (now a part of Liberty) that is about the same as yours. I had top get it out of a storage unit UP a ramp into a Ryder to get it to my house. THAT took a good handtruck and three people.

One thing I would consider - find a BR closet or someplace besides the garage. Humidity will be a problem in a garage, even with a Goldenrod

Remember, if it easy to place in your garage, it is also easy to remove by a group of bad guys...besides, you don't need someone walking by when you have the door open to casually look inside and see it; in the closet, you can bolt it to the wall studs

July 12, 2009, 09:53 PM
Use 4 iron pipes to roll over hard surface.

Use a wool blanket to move over wood or vinyl floor.

Since this is how easy one or two guys can move it in, it can also be taken out and tilted into a truck bed, so bolt it to the floor or al least to the wall studs.

July 12, 2009, 10:13 PM
Not a problem.

If you use a dolly strap it to the dolly very tight with a good strong strap (or two)

If the dolly does not fit somewhere, you can roll it on short pieces of pipe or even cut up broomsticks. You need quite a few rollers to do this.

If you go down stairs, put a rope on a stair climbing dolly and find something (that will not turn and can take the load) to wrap the rope around twice at the top. If you go up stairs, use a piece of timber to lever up under the dolly for each step.

A safe is easy, it has large flat strong surfaces all over.

A milling machine, or a boiler, that is more of a pain.

July 12, 2009, 10:56 PM
Do what I did, buy it from Costco, much cheaper and probably better quality than GM and they deliver it for free unless you have to go up some stairs, which in my case they did, extra $100.

Same safe (Liberty) with a mechanical lock, mine came with the electronic lock, from a local dealer was $150 more and they wanted another $300 to deliver it.

Armed 24/7
July 12, 2009, 10:57 PM
I rented a heavy duty dolly from a local equipment rental place for $12 a day. Two people could get it done easily.

July 12, 2009, 11:25 PM
Look up piano moving instructions.

I've moved 2 or 3 safes and the key is being able to have the slides and boards and manpower on hand.

See if the local equipment rental company has appliance dollies and rent two. The sort that have the leg that keeps them from falling down. Also see if they have mover's slides (think rails with appliance glide bottoms).

July 12, 2009, 11:30 PM
I work at a place that sells safes, we just use dollys and a few guys to push them around. we usually get about 3 guys to tip them up and push them into the back of trucks.

another thing to try, some safes that have the hinges on the outside of the safe, you can lift the door off when its open. the door is about 1/3 to 1/2 the weight.

July 12, 2009, 11:35 PM
It all depends on your abilities/equipment and what you have moved in the past. I bought a Fort Knox safe (IIRC it was close to 600 lbs) It took both of us to load it in my pickup. I backed into garage and slid it off endgate onto a couple of used tires. Then I walked it over to where I wanted/ drilled anchors and using some 2x4 walked it up. (Note I unlocked door first then put cardboard back on to cushin) Remove cardboard/bolt down then lock safe (with door open) and unlock a couple times. (I was told its possible to damage the glass relocker if you bump/jostle it hard enough) If door is open its a cheap fix. If locked $$$$
I move a fair amount of heavy stuff. Thing is the heavier it is the slower I go. THINK rather then grab.
If no steps two guys should be able to move it easy. If steps you have to consider options. A stair type dolly (some are even electric and climb up/down) I have taken 5 planks the length of stairs. I screwed a 2x6 into back of stairs on top/bottom and screwed the planks to that (you put trim back on and you can't see screw holes) I then had a flat surface with @ 9" wide area to use for steps.. A padded plank across doorway (in porch as inline with basement) and a pully. My brother "belayed" me down the stairs. (as i kept it centered)

July 12, 2009, 11:41 PM
Like everyone says, it should not be that hard to move. In addition, many safes allow you to lift off the door to reduce the weight. The door may well be a third of the total weight of the safe. Take the door off, move the body and then sit the door back in place.

July 12, 2009, 11:59 PM
The major concern should be floor loading if you don't have a concrete floor. If the floor is framed I would check the house plans if available or see if a set is maintained at the town/cities building dept, the builder, or at least talk to an engineer before placing the empty 6 or 700 pound 2ft x 2ft safe anywhere, especially on the second floor.

July 13, 2009, 12:48 AM
I sell salvages building materials, and spend my days moving cast-iron bath tubs, and other such things in that weight range. Wheels (dolly or flatcart) and a few strong guys can move anything in that size/weight range. I think everyone else's suggestions are great, and I think you should just DIY and save your bucks.


July 13, 2009, 03:09 AM
I have moved a similar sized safe by myself using 2x6s and 4 pieces of 1" pvc
this is really cheap and with help it would be really easy
boards from truck to front door use pipe to roll it on
lay safe on its side to ease stability
roll it alternating your pipe

July 13, 2009, 07:15 AM
It's not that the movers want to charge 30% of the cost of the safe, it just so happens that you are purchasing a safe that costs about a thousand bucks and you're probably paying $250/300 or so for somebody to move it. You'd still be paying that same price if you bought a safe that cost $3000.

My two cents? You *could* move it. You *could* get a bunch of pals and a dolly and all that. You could also hurt your back or one of your pals could hurt his back. Granted, I'm not 20 any longer, but after one back injury as a result of lifting heavy stuff the wrong way, I'm all for writing a check and having somebody else (with experience) doing the lifting. Having said all of this, I've moved safes in the past. But I'm a big scaredy cat know that I know what real back pain feels like.

Just another viewpoint.

July 13, 2009, 07:27 AM

Right there's what you need chief. It sounds like the safe/rsc you're getting is about the same size as mine, maybe a bit smaller(IIRC mines 30x36x68). I've moved it 3 times with one of these.

Also, if you're worried that it's not strong enough, we put my buddies safe on it to move it, his is one of the larger safes I've seen in person. It's a 60+ gun safe with the Browning name on it. It's not as big as the huge liberty at Gander Mtn, but it's a pretty good size safe.

July 13, 2009, 07:30 AM
Sounds like a pretty straightforward operation. Also, there's a good chance the front door will come off, and it probably weighs 150lbs itself. It took 3 guys to get one up my buddy's steep driveway, up his porch steps, through his house, and down into his basement. (Getting it out will be another story.) If it were me, something that simple, I'd get 3 guys and rent a good set of hand trucks and be done with it.

July 13, 2009, 07:37 AM
I just moved my safe and my tv using paint rollers. The heavy duty commercial kind. Neither my safe nor my tv weigh 500 lbs though. I would think that wooden dowels would serve the same purpose; just think ancient egyptian. Lift one edge and slide a dowel under. Push the safe forward an inch or two, put in another dowel. Repeat until moved. Once you get the safe all the way up on the dowels it will roll like it has wheels. You can even turn it easily by angling the dowels like the front tires of a car. I even spun my tv (200 lbs, I"m 125 soaking wet and don't work out AT ALL!) 180 degrees to put it on the stand.

I've heard of people using golf balls too, probably easier to maneuver, but harder to keep them all together. An appliance dolly would always work well too but can be pricey, especially if you have doweling or something laying around the house already. ;)

July 13, 2009, 07:48 AM
Very fortunate, many hands make the work lite as they say. I have several very good friends that have always helped me. One of which is in a business that has him moving heavy objects several times a year. So he has all the necessary equipment and experience. One of the things I haven't seen spoken of here is a movers dolly.

My buddy's is custom made, and each caster is rated at 1000 pounds, but then he's really bad about over engineering everything. This one is from Harbor Freight, rated at 1000 pounds, and only cost $25. When moving any distance we lay the safe on it, strap it to the dolly, and just push it where ever we need it to be.

I would definitely not recommend the garage as stated earlier. But, if you do bring it in the house make sure it'll fit through all the doors etc. Also clear the exact location with your wife. ;) I wanted mine to be right next to the entertainment center when I first bought it, but the now X pitched a hissy fit. Said something about not allowing that thing to be seen in her house so we put it in a closet.

Good luck, but it isn't that complicated. Like you said, go slow and be careful you should be fine.

July 13, 2009, 07:48 AM
My safe weighs 550lbs. With a good hand truck 1-2 people can move it easily. If you have to go up and down a flight of stairs like we did, 2 people will be your minimum with 3-4 being optimal.

Be very careful, we had the handgrips slip off the first dolly we used and the safe ran away from us, and in the process ripped two of my buddy's toenails off.

July 13, 2009, 09:24 AM
With the right people, and the right equipment, you -can- move that safe. I recently moved one that size using the equipment you mentioned.

However, remember if you screw up just that _ much, you will wish you had paid the $300!

Good Luck!

Flame Red
July 13, 2009, 09:34 AM
I did this a few weeks ago with a 900 pounder. Rented a applicance mover from Uhaul for $10/day and had three strong people to help. Got some scrap thin plywood to roll over the tile. Also found that putting a few of those teflon furniture movers on the bottom helped get it into its final resting place. It fit into the back of my SUV, and just used a 2x4 as a ramp to get it out.

July 13, 2009, 09:41 AM
You might consider setting the safe on something. If you intend to park in the garage your car will drag water in and you don't want the bottom rusting.

July 13, 2009, 09:59 AM
You might consider setting the safe on something. If you intend to park in the garage your car will drag water in and you don't want the bottom rusting.

That's especially true if your hot water heater or washing machine is out there. When I lived in a different house and did have it in the garage, I built an elevated platform from 4x4's with a piece of plywood on top and then a thin piece of outdoor carpeting, just in case the water heater took a digger, (which it did eventually). IF you do that, bolt it to wall studs. The only problem I have found in trying to bolt to wall studs in the garage, is that most garages have a width of concrete at the bottom that sticks out further than the wall board/studs. This is another reason to put it inside

Guns and more
July 13, 2009, 10:00 AM
I paid $125 extra to have the safe delivered, and they earned every penny.
They even shimmed it in place so it was level.
I'd always try to buy from a local safe company.
Maybe I could have done it, but I would have scratched it and gouged the floors.
Be careful of stairs. A safe, three guys and a dolly may be more than the stairs can support.

July 13, 2009, 10:10 AM
My wife and I are moving into our first house... it's a raised ranch, and the man cave is an unfinished shop/storage room downstairs. We want to get a gun safe to put in it, but how do you guys maneuver them down stairs?

July 13, 2009, 02:53 PM
If you're moving from one level surface to another, and have a lift gate truck plus proper appliance dolly's it shouldn't be too bad.

Now if you have to go up a narrow curved 1 1/2 story staircase like I do it's a bit different, and about killed 3 of us even though my safe is only ~300lbs...

July 13, 2009, 03:24 PM
You might consider setting the safe on something. If you intend to park in the garage your car will drag water in and you don't want the bottom rusting.

I did this in Galveston as an added insurance against flooding during storms etc. It never was needed while I had the safe there, but the building did flood both before and after.

July 13, 2009, 03:44 PM
My old roommate once bought a hot tub. they delivered it and slid it on pvc pipe. they didn't roll it but rather slid longways on the parallel pipes. It took about 5 minutes from the street to the back yard.

July 13, 2009, 08:45 PM
If the safe is on a pallet, just rent a pallet jack. I ordered my safe online and it had curbside delivery. My driveways 250' long :what: and the driver used a pallet jack to pull it all the way into my garage, safe weighs 550lbs and was no problem at all. Don't worry about keeping it in the garage, unless you're in the south where it's always humid you'll be fine. I bolted mine in the left corner, lagged into the wall and the concrete floor. There's no way to get leverage with a pry bar with it against the wall. Besides, if someone really wants it,they'll get in it no matter where it is.

July 13, 2009, 08:52 PM
Hey listen, I moved people's belongings for many summers as a young man and what these people told you is right. You need an APPLIANCE DOLLY so you can strap it do it and a couple of moving dollies (like the ones above with wheels.

You just strap that puppy to the appliance dolly and move it just about where you need it then unstrap it and lower the open end onto a moving dolly then have some one hold it up while you slide the appliance dolly out and put the other moving dolly underneath it and then you can slide it wherever you want in the house. When you're ready to drop it just put your foot under the wheel of one of the dollies and tip it to remove one side and then remove the other side. After that you should only have to slide it like an inch.

Good luck and watch the corners when you are setting it. All the mistakes (damaged drywall) happen there.


Paul D Hunter
July 13, 2009, 10:54 PM
I just chickened out on moving my safe myself and had the thing delivered direct from the factory, I made sure the local freight company had a truck with a lift deliver it and the driver just wheeled it into my garage on a pallet so that the safe was eased off of the pallet and just about where I wanted it. I pushed it into place. I secured it to the wall with lag bolts and to the floor with bolts that went into expanding lead plugs hammered into holes in the concrete. If I have to move I will let it convey with the house and get another one. {I think that now, but I am cheap; so I may rethink.}

July 26, 2009, 02:47 PM
Thanks for all the input. I reckon I'll give it a try and just move very deliberately and carefully. As said, the driveway is very short and the garage is flat and concrete floored. Yes, my hot water heater is there and I live in the South so I'm aware of the humidity problems but really have no place in the house I would be cool with putting it.

If mounting it to the concrete was my original plan, are there any other suggestions for avoiding potential damage if the WH asplodes?

July 26, 2009, 02:58 PM
Yes, take your time. I have moved many safes and really don't care to do it again.

550 pounds isn't too bad at all. The hardest part is in and out of the truck or trailer. Once you get it off the trailer you will be able to use a dolly to move it. Make sure you strap it too the dolly no matter how short the distance. When you get it close to where you want it, you will be able to push it into place.

This is all assuming that you have a truck with a lift gate or trailer with a ramp. If so park as close as possible. If not then a lot of muscle is needed.

July 26, 2009, 03:25 PM
If mounting it to the concrete was my original plan, are there any other suggestions for avoiding potential damage if the WH asplodes?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I built a platform with 4x4's and plywood. You could also get some sacks of quik-crete and build a small concrete base to elevate it off the floor.........

July 26, 2009, 03:30 PM
The platform is a good idea. BUT, don't make it easy for someone to get a dolly under it.

July 26, 2009, 03:38 PM
Absolutely - fasten the platform to the floor then the safe to the platform AND the wall studs, preferably in a corner. Better still, build a wall/closet/cabinet type of encllosure around it so it is hidden, lock the door and put a "Danger -High Voltage" sticker on the door - most smash and grab kids will leave that alone

July 26, 2009, 05:14 PM
Rent a 1000 -1500 pound rate dolly and 2 strong friends and your set. I have moved over 12 gun and private safes over the past 20 years and let leverage be your friend.

Be careful you can lose finger and toe nails dealing with this amount of weight or worse.

The Deer Hunter
July 26, 2009, 06:30 PM
Not to sound paranoid, but you may consider wrapping the safe in paper/cardboard so nobody thinks much besides that you got a new tool cabinet, dishwasher, whatever. Having a big safe= lots of guns to folks.

Anyways you could probably do it with like 3 of your buddies. There aren't a lot of good anchor points (for your hands) but if you just have to get it in your garage you should be able to just grunt it with your friends.

Don't forget the beer and pizza afterward with your friends.

July 26, 2009, 07:20 PM
I bought one of the Liberty safes ($800 and 500 lbs) from Gander Mountain the other week. A friend and I moved it ourselves and it was much easier than expected. They loaded it into the back of his truck. We pulled the back of his truck to the front porch which happened to be about level. Used a regurlar dolly and it luckily fit into the front door. put it against the wall and bolted it to the floor. It took no more than an hour. This was an older house which had wide doors but "softish" :what: floors. Also have them put it in the truck top to cab as it makes it easier to get the pallet off the bottom before you roll it in the house.

Guns and more
July 26, 2009, 09:37 PM
550#? No problem. Lots of blankets to avoid scratches. Have them lay it on it's back in your truck. Slide and tilt into the garage. I could do it myself, but friends are a good thing.
If it is on a pallet, leave it there and move it near position. Then rock it off and slide on carpet if needed.
Don't forget to level it. Tip it one way and put a shim under a corner. It makes the door stay open if you want. Tipping it forward is easy. Just open the door and lean on it. Tipping it back is a little more difficult, but lift on the upper lip.
You never are LIFTING 550#.

July 26, 2009, 11:14 PM
Mine weighs about 600# and three of us put it in the house with a mover's dolly.

I visited with a safe manufacturer at a gunshow a few years back and they had some big safes on display, over a 1000#. I asked him how they moved them. He said they laid them down on a bunch of golf balls and just rolled them along.

August 3, 2009, 09:26 PM

Was a piece of cake. Gander Mtn loaded it in the back of my buddy's Grand Cherokee. Backed up to my garage, pushed it halfway out, tilted it to the floor and stood it up. Rolled it on galvanized pipe into position and voila. Was incredibly surprised how easy it was relative to drilling the holes in the concrete to anchor the sucker. THAT was hard and took a long time. Especially since I messed up the first time and had to do it again...

Live and learn! Appreciate the input, Winston-Salem now has another serious shooter.

September 12, 2009, 10:13 PM
My safe weighs about 700 lbs I used golf balls to roll my safe around on, works great on any type of flooring and allows you to twist and turn the safe with ease. I moved it from garage to the bedroom by myself. Hope this helps.

September 13, 2009, 12:58 AM
Buy one from Costco, they take it right to the room/closet. I would suggest a good tip. I also recommend you bolt it to the floor and of course get a good dehumidifier.

September 13, 2009, 01:11 AM
Mine just arrived today. The "professional installation" service offered by Academy in my area is 2 college students in a pickup truck. They did a great job on a 530lb safe with a regular handtruck, and regular old consumer grade tools. When they rolled up, I was worried, but I was impressed. Definitely not their first rodeo.

Don't get me wrong. It wasn't easy. They did comment that my safe was heavier than the Cannon safes they're used to delivering. Mine was the first Browning that our Academy got in, and sold. I chuckled and said "I hate to see you guys working so hard with this thing, but I kinda like seeing you work so hard with this thing." If it's half the PITA to get it out as it was to get in, no one will be carrying my safe off.

Gun Geezer
September 13, 2009, 08:17 AM
I'm 50. Is that "mature" enough?:D

If a "hand truck" is one of those dollies you use to move a frig or freezer, then yes, that is the way to go. You will want help, but a couple burgers cannot cost that much.

Do it.

September 13, 2009, 08:32 AM
Now that it is in your garage, anchor it to the floor. Imagine how easy it would be to steal it with your "toys" inside. I have a browning safe and move it all over by myself. This last christmas my wife got me a new one, and after the movers got in position the hammer drill came and and now four lag bolts anchor it.

September 13, 2009, 08:46 AM
i think that if you are reasonable cautious, you should have no problem moving the safe where you want it. just remember to bolt it into place once it is where you want it, so somebody else doesn't do the same later on! :what:
also, if you are putting it and keeping it in the garage, do not forget a dehimidifier of some sort. and if possible, put it some place not veiwable from the street! if that is impossible, try to camoflage it so it does not look like a gunsafe. or put some shelving with a back on it to hide it. one of the best deterences is to not invite trouble in the first place. many folks learned that thae hard way back in the late 60' early 70's when glass doored wood gun cabinettes were all the rage. people started putting them in their living room to show off their guns. :banghead::cuss: the result was a LOT of break-ins and stolen guns. OUT OF SIGHT = OUT OF MIND! :D

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