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How do I transport a gun safe?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by scythefwd, Jul 31, 2009.

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  1. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    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
     
  2. Mags

    Mags Member

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    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.
     
  3. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    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.
     
  4. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    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).
     
  5. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    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.
     
  6. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    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.
     
  7. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    The safe should be fine laying in any direction so long as you are gentle and do not drop it.
     
  8. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    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.
     
  9. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    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
     
  10. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

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    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.
     
  11. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    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.
     
  12. larry_minn

    larry_minn Member

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    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)
     
  13. mongo4567

    mongo4567 Member

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    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.
     
  14. ktmmudd

    ktmmudd Member

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    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.
     
  15. zoom6zoom

    zoom6zoom Member

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    Lift with your knees!
     
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    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? :)
     
  17. larry_minn

    larry_minn Member

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    "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)
     
  18. bigalexe

    bigalexe Member

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    I'd look for a small landscaping or ATV trailer, preferably one with sides so you can lay the safe down.
     
  19. chuckusaret

    chuckusaret member

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    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.
     
  20. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2009
  21. nofishbob

    nofishbob Member

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    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
     
  22. catspa

    catspa Member

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    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
     
  23. a1abdj

    a1abdj Member

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    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.
     
  24. catspa

    catspa Member

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    I've never mishandled one to the point that it needed drilling.

    Parker
     
  25. ShakyJ

    ShakyJ Member

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    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.
     
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