How do I transport a gun safe?


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scythefwd
July 31, 2009, 07:18 PM
I am looking to buy a 12 gun "safe" soon and I need to know how it needs to be transported. Will I have to borrow a truck and keep it upright? Will I be able to ship it on its back if the door has been removed? I ask because my car will hold the safe on it's back, and still have room for the door, but I don't own a truck so I can't transport it without help if it needs to be standing upright the whole transit.

Thanks,
Scythe

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Mags
July 31, 2009, 07:23 PM
No friends with a pickup? I have a pickup and seem to always have friends that need something moved. LOL. Seriously though I don't know why it couldn't be laid on it back with the safe door closed. I don't know why you would need to remove the door unless it won't fit in your car.

btg3
July 31, 2009, 07:31 PM
I moved a fire safe once. We used a wrecker.

It may fit in your car, but if it exceeds the Cargo Weight Rating for either axle or for the vehicle, then you could damage your suspension.

I can think of no reason an empty safe would need be transported upright, but the manufacturer would be the authority on that.

CapnMac
July 31, 2009, 07:33 PM
Best way is to know a buddy who works with beverage machines--they'll have access to a truck with a hydraulic "tommy" lift on the back, this is very handy. They also will likely have some ramps and the like for getting a coke machine sized and weighted object up steps and the like.

Worst way is to have a frieght company do drop off at your curb. Your safe will be all snug there in the back of the box or trailer--spotted there by forklift on pickup. Customer is responsible for getting 8-900# 30-36" down to the ground. This can make for a "comedy of errors" best observed from across the street.

If you are collecting from a retail store, or maybe a shipping dock, the loading is not bad. But, you really want a funriture dolly (and one rated to the weight) to have control of things. Took three of us to wrestle my Liberty up three concrete steps on a dolly, and that was one step at a time. Once it was in, on the wood floors, furniture glides and focused effort was all it took to spot it after that.

If you have to go up, to then go down into a basement--well, your mileage may vary (hiring some movers for just the hour, to have a "stair-walking" appliance dolly would be well worth the $150 it might cost).

scythefwd
July 31, 2009, 07:38 PM
Are the locking mechanisms designed for vibration /bumps/jarring from that direction (through the lock instead of on the same plane as the locking bars)? I do have friends that have pickups... but I work a weird shift that doesn't match with their shifts. I work 12A-12P, four days on, four days off. That makes it hard to sync a weekend where I can go get it because they all work weekdays. I don't like borrowing other peoples cars, but I might be able to.

The reason I am not sure about transporting it on it's back with the door on is that I don't know how the lock will handle the jarring. Any good lock should handle it... but I bet they are shipped upright from the factory for a reason. I know there are several safe dealers / locksmiths here that will say yes it can be done or don't do it.

scythefwd
July 31, 2009, 07:44 PM
CapnMac,
This safe is no where near the 800 lb safes you are talking about. It is closer to 400 lbs. Which, btg3, is not a problem on my cars rear axle.

a1abdj
July 31, 2009, 08:46 PM
The safe should be fine laying in any direction so long as you are gentle and do not drop it.

scythefwd
July 31, 2009, 10:13 PM
thanks a1abdj, you were one of the people I had in mind (I can never remember your user name until I see it) when I posted this.

oneounceload
July 31, 2009, 10:29 PM
If your car can handle it, then no problem - if you have no friends with a truck, you could always rent a truck for an hour or two

scythefwd
July 31, 2009, 10:39 PM
oneounceload,
No friends with a truck isn't the problem. Said friend being home and available while I am not knocked out due to my work shift that are willing to loan me their only vehicle is.

22-rimfire
July 31, 2009, 10:45 PM
I'd certainly put a pad beneath it if you transport it on a pickup. Think about how you are going to get it out and not scratch it up and you have your method.

larry_minn
July 31, 2009, 11:51 PM
You should transport the safe UNLOCKED. If the safe has a "glass relocker" if it gets a strong enough (jolt) this glass thing breaks and jams the unlocking unit. (tech term) :) IF this happens (cheaper safes may not have this) and safe door is open its a (relativly) cheap fix for safe (smith) If door is locked $$$$$
BTW I hauled my Fort Knoxx on its back in pickup/lowered it off engate without damage (by myself)

mongo4567
July 31, 2009, 11:59 PM
I've moved several, I just lay them on their back on a utility trailer or pickup bed and strap them down well. Should be fine in your car if it fits.

ktmmudd
August 1, 2009, 12:15 AM
I bought a Heritage safe 2 years ago. It's around 850 lbs empty. The gun store used a fork lift to put it in my pick-up. At the time, I was having a pole barn built and the workers had a bobcat with a fork on it. They put it on the patio and one worker and I used a safe dolly to move it into the basement ( love walk out basements ) where I bolted it to the wall and to the concrete floor.

zoom6zoom
August 1, 2009, 11:32 AM
Lift with your knees!

22-rimfire
August 1, 2009, 01:00 PM
Somebody mentioned utility trailer. Yes, that would certainly be the easiest approach as long as it can handle the weight Some of the garden trailers are really cheaply made and will not haul much safely. Basically the wheel falls off as it breaks where it is welded to the axle.... How do I know? :)

larry_minn
August 1, 2009, 01:23 PM
Somebody mentioned utility trailer. Yes, that would certainly be the easiest approach as long as it can handle the weight Some of the garden trailers are really cheaply made and will not haul much safely. Basically the wheel falls off as it breaks where it is welded to the axle.... How do I know? :)

"garden trailers" are NOT ment to be pulled on highway with loads. (not even empty) They are made to be pulled (at less then 8mph) on soft ground for SHORT distances. (I.E. a couple hundred yards) with fairly light loads. (leaves, weeds, scrap brush, plants,etc)
It is NOT made for 60mph for 40 miles with 800lbs on it.....
Any trailer made for highway speeds/loads should be fine. Just make sure you have enough "tongue weight" At least 15% of total weight should be toward tongue on lite loads. (we are talking single axle/no brakes on trailer/under 4k lbs)

bigalexe
August 1, 2009, 01:33 PM
I'd look for a small landscaping or ATV trailer, preferably one with sides so you can lay the safe down.

chuckusaret
August 1, 2009, 02:08 PM
Best to have a moving and storage company move it from the vendor to the room where it is to be bolted down to the floor. Moving the thing to the house is no problem, its getting it into the house to the room where it is to be set up. It takes 3 good men to do the moving and a wife/woman to give directions. Word of caution, if the house has a wooden floor, not concrete, have the loading bearing capability of the floor checked from the entrance of the house to the room the safe is to be set up in.

22-rimfire
August 1, 2009, 04:39 PM
Larry, I agree that many garden trailers/utility trailers are not meant to be taken on the highway at highway speeds with a heavy load. You would have to convince me that they are not safe under normal loads at highway speeds. Never seen any warning on a garden trailer at Lowes or other home center stores as far as highway restrictions. They have lights; they are for the highway and can be licensed for highway use. However, if you use a small trailer to transport a heavy safe, I would choose my route carefully to minimize rough roads and high speeds. Strap it down tight regardless of whether or not you think it will stay put. One big bump and the thing will potentially bounce off the trailer.

nofishbob
August 1, 2009, 06:42 PM
I always consider stealth, or discretion if you prefer, when moving something like a safe. I think it is worth the time and effort to minimize the number of people, and the types of people, that know you have a new safe, and therefore something to protect.

If you can make it look like a new fridge while going from the truck/trailer to your house, I think it would be a plus. This can be as easy as obscuring any safe-specific markings on the box, or even repackaging the safe in an old fridge box.

Hopefully nobody will think you are a wimp, struggling to move your 800 pound "fridge"!

Bob

catspa
August 2, 2009, 01:21 PM
I move pianos quite a bit and what is a piano, really, but a gun safe laid on it's side with some strings and keys attached? If you lived near me, we'd take my flatbed truck with the hydraulic hoist down there and get it.

I have long and short piano dollys, and I find I use the short one more often. It's important to balance the load, and with lifting straps on both ends (or shifted back and forth if you only have one strap) you can tip the leading end upwards and "jump" a step or two. Slowly and carefully is the key, and engineering the route. Even if it takes more time, it's worth it to prevent an injury.

Parker

a1abdj
August 2, 2009, 01:52 PM
I move pianos quite a bit and what is a piano, really, but a gun safe laid on it's side with some strings and keys attached?

Yes, pianos and safes are essentially the same thing. :D

When I get calls about moving piano I refer them to a piano mover. When the local piano mover gets a call about moving a safe, he gives them my number. Of course I've never been called to drill open a piano after it was mishandled.

catspa
August 2, 2009, 06:00 PM
I've never mishandled one to the point that it needed drilling.

Parker

ShakyJ
August 2, 2009, 08:02 PM
When I had to move a gun safe, I rented a U-Haul truck (with a ramp) and a large appliance dolly. Cost me a little under $100. Money well spent, in my opinion.

doc2rn
August 2, 2009, 09:14 PM
you can rent a truck from home depot with a tommy lift for $20 /hr get your safe use the egyptian method and roll it on pvc pipes like they did the stones for the great pyramids. I moved a 500 lb safe all by myself with this method.

scythefwd
August 3, 2009, 01:21 AM
Thanks for the advice for the pvc pipes, but my dolly will handle the 400 Lb well enough. I was more worried whether I would need to rent a truck or use my station wagon. Since I don't need to rent the truck, I can do this move by myself. I only have 2 stairs to go up, total, and they are in different rooms.

catspa
August 3, 2009, 12:15 PM
Wow! They moved the pyramid stones on PVC pipes?

Parker

orionengnr
August 3, 2009, 09:05 PM
I always consider stealth, or discretion if you prefer, when moving something like a safe. I think it is worth the time and effort to minimize the number of people, and the types of people, that know you have a new safe, and therefore something to protect.

If you can make it look like a new fridge while going from the truck/trailer to your house, I think it would be a plus. This can be as easy as obscuring any safe-specific markings on the box, or even repackaging the safe in an old fridge box.

Great point. Last time I moved, the safe movers showed up late (around 8pm). It was also raining at the time. My old safe arrived at my new (to me) home in a rainstorm around 9 at night. I can almost guarantee that aside from the two guys who moved it, no-one else saw that safe go into my house. I tipped them an extra $50. :) and kept their business card.

Although that was happenstance, next time I move (or buy a safe) I'll make sure it works out the same way. I'll pay extra to make sure of it.

CCWB
August 4, 2009, 12:36 PM
Safe, what safe? If you can get it in the car, lay it down. And don't tell the world you have a safe. Get yor most trusted buddy to help you near nightfall or pre sunrise. A dolly and a stap for a 400 #er plus 2 men should do the trick. And best of luck on the steps. 400# s aint exactly a bear, but it aint no walk in the sunshine either.

Avenger29
August 4, 2009, 12:39 PM
Get yor most trusted buddy chump

Fixed that for you. :evil:

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