Moving around the Boston area, we are frequently faced with the challenge of large furniture versus small stairway. Sometimes, disassembling a railing, or the furniture itself can solve this problem, but many times, the only solution is to bring the item in through a window or balcony on the floor it needs to go to.
Before I get too far with this, I’m going to put out a disclaimer: Hire a professional moving company to perform your hoisting needs. There are so many things that can happen, from the furniture being damaged or destroyed to somebody being seriously injured. Hoisting furniture is a skill that can take years to hone in on, and even us professionals are careful to only pick our experts for all jobs that require furniture hoisting.
So how do you know when a hoist is sufficient, and when you might need to use a hydraulic lift or a crane? These three factors will help you decide what will be the right choice for your move.
1. Weight of the item(s) being hoisted
In general, there is a limit to what can be physically hoisted. Only so many movers can fit in the general landing. Not to mention, exceeding a certain weight can cause railings or window frames to buckle and cause damage to the structure. If any items need to be lifted to higher floor are in excess of 250lbs, the safest and smartest choice is to use a hydraulic lift or crane.
2. Height of the hoist
Another crucial factor in planning your hoist is finding the height that it needs to be hoisted to. Hoisting above a 4th floor is complicated at best. While it might be possible to have one or two items brought up to a fifth floor via hoist, it would be best to use a hydraulic lift if there are more items than that being brought up to the higher floors.
3. Quantity of items being hoisted
The last thing to think about when deciding on whether to hoist or use a lift is how many items need to be lifted up. There is no cut-and-dry answer to what the limit is, but we can help you to decide what makes sense for your move.
In order to hoist an item, it should be carefully wrapped in protective pads, which are either taped or shrink wrapped (or both) into place. On top of that, moving companies generally have a charge per-item for anything hoisted. You could face material charges as well as hoisting fees for each item that needs to be hoisted up. This wrapping and hoisting can take a bit of time as well.
While renting a crane or a hydraulic lift might seem pricey at first, you need to consider how much time and materials can be saved by not wrapping and hoisting each item. If there are more than four or five things being hoisted, usually that will be enough to justify the cost of renting a hydraulic lift.
One other thing that you should consider before doing a move that will require either hoisting or hydraulic lifting is your insurance options. Find out what coverage would apply to hoisted items, and if additional coverage is available. Like I said – we would only send our experts on a hoisting move, but you still want to have the piece of mind in knowing that any damages will be taken care of by your moving insurance.