Moving a safe uphill


March 17, 2013, 03:16 PM
I will be getting a Sturdy brand gun safe delivered soon. It is 4ga and about 800 lbs. It will be on a pallet and the driver will have a hand cart. Will there be a problem moving it up my 20 Degree sloped driveway? I have a fireproof enclosure in my garage for it but need to be ready if there is a problem.

BTW Sturdy is the best bang for the buck I could find. Best design with nothing you don't need. I am a machinist, built the enclosure with ceramics, alarms and a nasty surprise. My dog seriously injured a perp, he sued, I won but it cost big money. He wanted to kill my dog too. Next time, I get to let the dog eat him alive till nothing remains.

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Armchair Warrior
March 17, 2013, 03:26 PM
I bought a Sturdy Safe last year and am very happy with it. Great customer service. Mine weighed I think 1400 lbs. How far are you moving it up your driveway on what type of surface. Terry was very helpful concerning any safe moving questions. I figure if anybody knows how to move them he does. I am sure he would be willing to make suggestions if you are still unsure after responses in this forum.

March 17, 2013, 03:26 PM
that's over 36% slope. figure converted dead lift weight of over 270#. you're going to need something to pull it with.

you're better off seeing if you can't convince ($$, beer) the driver to back the truck into your driveway as close to your garage as possible, assuming the truck can fit. I'm assuming it's coming off the truck via lift gate.

March 17, 2013, 03:29 PM
Well it won't be easy for the driver. You might want 2 pulling on the handcart and another person pushing. But 2 could do it. The safe will be a lot wider than the hand cart and you just need to be careful it doesnt wobble left right and that you have the hand cart at a good low angle and I think you'll be fine.

March 17, 2013, 03:39 PM
Will there be a problem moving it up my 20 Degree sloped driveway?


How long will it have to be pushed/pulled? That determines how "high" it will have to be pushed and that determines how much effort has to go into moving it. Multiply the distance by 0.34 for an estimate of how high you're lifting the thing.

What sort of surface will it have to move over?

What sort of cart?

How big a truck?

Do you have something that can tow it to the garage?

Can the truck back to the garage before the pallet goes onto the cart?

If not, do you have a piano mover in your town that can get it from the truck at the curb to the garage?

Chuck R.
March 17, 2013, 03:41 PM
“Think like an Egyptian”

I’d use wooden rollers, and some sort of block and tackle. We used rollers (cut curtain rod) to move my Sturdy Vault door and it was pretty easy. Just be sure to sweep your movement path first to get rid of small rocks and use rollers wider than your safe.

When I was a kid growing up, we used rollers to moves boats weighing a lot more than a safe.


March 17, 2013, 05:15 PM
The drive is only 30ft. No idea if the truck can back up to garage, that would solve the prob. Yes Sturdy is great to work with. I am most concerned with the thing going over backwards (gravity is never fooled) but could lay it in it's side?
Thanks for the replies, they do help.

March 17, 2013, 06:10 PM
Bet the driver has done tougher deliveries already. He'll likely get right to work.

March 17, 2013, 06:24 PM
It sounds like you are more concerned with the tip-over angle than how to get it up the driveway.

You should have the specs for the L x W x H for the safe. Assuming a roughly equal distribution of weight and that the door will not be directly on the uphill or downhill side, you should be able to make an educated guess at the center of mass. Roughly 1/2L x 1/2W x 1/2H. Now use that point and find the angle between that point and the downhill edge of the safe using some trig. If that angle is greater than your driveway then you are set.

Or you could just tie a strap near the top of the safe and get one or two guys to help pull it up the driveway. :)

March 17, 2013, 06:41 PM
You can place the safe on some blocks of ice and slide it easily into place. Then mop up the water and bolt it down. That is how we used to move large commercial safes into impossibly tight corners that the architects would draw up.

March 17, 2013, 06:48 PM
Rent a Bobcat with pallet forks and carry that sucker up your driveway. The last time I moved mine I carried it from my dads house to mine with a bobcat (1/4 mile gravel driveway).
The time before that I picked it up on the front end loader of my tractor, put the tractor on a trailer, and took it to my dads (after selling my first house and before building my new one).
To move it in and out of every garage I used 1/2" conduit cut to 4' lengths and simply rolled it around on the pipes, made it a 1 person job with grunt or a 2 person job with ease.

March 17, 2013, 06:52 PM
Pulling it up a drive using some type of rollers should be fairly easy if you have three people and a truck with a trailer hitch. I have moved portable storage buildings using 1" pvc for rollers and pull it slowly while replacing the rollers in the front as they come out the back. An average pallet would require three rollers underneath at all times and probably an extra 2 for replacement. The storage buildings were mych heavier but the weight was more spread out. It is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. As far as tilting or falling over that is an exercise in physics that I wouldn't even begin to discuss.

March 17, 2013, 07:05 PM
Just to be sure ? Did you pay for a delivery drop shipment or a delivery ? A drop ship is at the curb,if the delivery person has a hand cart it just may be a motor driven cart which is the norm for delivery to a house . Give them a call and see what their plans are for delivery,no sense worrying over nothing ? I have a Cannon safe and paid for delivery,those guys are pro's and it went very smooth ! Good luck !

March 17, 2013, 07:18 PM
When you order a safe, and it is shipped, it's usually by motor freight. These guys are usually more than happy to help you roll it into a garage, but they are not delivery guys, and not well equipped. They are also usually in a tractor trailer delivery all sorts of other freight, so backing it into a driveway usually isn't possible. Sometimes you'll get lucky, and they'll send it out on a straight truck

No need for anything fancy. All you need is another set of hands. Between three of you, pushing it up the drive shouldn't be a problem.

March 17, 2013, 07:27 PM
I got my Sturdy safe a couple of years ago. It weighed in at about 1500lbs. The wooden dowels make great movers for level ground and ground with a little bit of slope. 50-60 used range golf balls made for quick turning and manuevering in tight spaces, but NOT for moving on a slope. Block and tackle or a heavy duty cable puller will work great. The other option is a couple of people with levers to pry it up the hill if you have it on wooden dowels but they will have to be 2 inches or better in diameter to get good enough leverage underneath the safe with 2x4's turned sideways (about 6' long each). Good luck with it. I hope you love yours as much as I love mine.

Fast Frank
March 18, 2013, 04:17 AM
The safe can be easily put in the back of a pickup truck if there are three or four people to handle it.

1. Remove the tailgate. On most trucks this is easy.

2. Position safe and truck so the back of the safe is facing the truck, two or three feet away from the bed.

3. Put several layers of cardboard on truck, draping down over bumper and covering entire area where safe is to lay.

4. Tip safe back so it rests against truck.

5. Lift base of safe. Because the point of contact with the truck is in the middle of the safe this is more of a see-saw action than actual lifting of the weight. Two people should be able to handle a 500 pound safe easily.

6. With somebody inside truck pulling on the cardboard, slide the cardboard and safe together forward into the truck. You only need about a foot or two.

All you need is 2/3 of the safe inside the truck. No need to risk scratching the safe or truck. As long as the part that's on the truck bed is heavier than the part hanging out, it won't fall out. If you were driving across town, securing the safe would be advisable. Moving it up a driveway, not so much.

Now that the safe is resting in the truck, gently back it up the driveway. you should be able to go all the way into the garage with no problems.

Unloading is the reverse. Slide out just enough to get half of the safe out, tip it down, then stand it upright. Done.

I have moved mine this way several times with zero damage to the pickup, or the safe, or my back. :cool:

March 18, 2013, 01:48 PM
36% slope?!? Definitely have a Plan B ready to implement with all of your own help when the truck arrives, 'cause it wouldn't surprise me at all if the driver takes one look at the slope and laughs while sitting the safe on the curb. Did you happen to mention the driveway slope to Sturdy when you ordered the safe?

From Sturdy's FAQ page:
2. What am I to expect or not expect for the delivery?
The freight company will NOT go inside the house, however, they will go inside the garage or anywhere outside the home, considering you have a smooth surface (with nothing in the way) for a pallet jack to roll on from the location of the truck, to the location your looking to place the safe. They will not move the safe off the pallet, or unwrap it. Unless you requested a small truck, they will be full sized 48 footers, so make sure there is enough room for the driver to access you. If no trucks are able to reach your home, you may need to pick the safe up at the nearest terminal, and get a freight allowance, or we will work out some other solution. If you feel you could have issues with any freight trucks to your location (such as having a long unpaved, gravel driveway, low hanging trees, steep inclines or declines, etc.), please let us know in advance, or the freight company will only have the option of dropping it off curbside.

Once my 1200 lb Sturdy was on the road from Kalif last year I called the freight co to let them know I was on a cul-de-sac and they sent a 26' truck for the delivery. Driver wouldn't back into my 40' drive because he didn't want to risk scratching the truck with tree branches. No problem though, since the drive is paved and flat, and the pallet jack rolled right along. Mine is a 6' safe and just scraped through the garage door opening - forgot to consider the total height of the safe sitting on a pallet and pallet jack, but got very lucky. It was a husband/wife team that delivered it, it was the only item on the truck when they pulled up after lunch, and I let him handle all the moving - drivers/companies can get very particular about "help" because of equipment and liability concerns, and don't like unnecessary risks (YMMV).

They were polite, efficient, and didn't waste any time. As a1 said, these companies are in the business of moving freight between businesses/shipping centers designed for large trucks and with appropriate equipment already in place. Residential deliveries are possible if everything is simple and straightforward, otherwise it's getting dropped at the curb - they don't have the time, expertise, or equipment to tackle challenges.

On another note, I hope you'll be as pleased with your Sturdy as I am. This thing is built like a brick outhouse, the tolerances/gaps around the door are amazingly tight (like a few folds of notepaper tight), the rack allows plenty of space to get rifles of all sizes in and out without knocking them around, and with the door locked down there's barely a hint of movement when pulling back 'n forth on the handle. I'm REAL pleased.

March 18, 2013, 04:45 PM
motorized pallet jack - any of the national rental equipment chains carry them

March 19, 2013, 06:49 PM
I have located a motorized jack on hold just in case. I have a fireproof enclosure planned using ceramics and appreciate all the help. Again, thanks to all...

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