How to transport a wood harp shipping crate

  • Participant
    Harper10 on #253376

    Hi everyone!
    I am looking into purchasing a pre-owned pedal harp. I only have a sedan right now, so I am considering renting a minivan for the day to go and pickup the harp and bring it home. I’m trying to consider if it would make sense for me to also take the wooden shipping crate that comes with the harp. (I’m looking at an 1960’s Lyon and Healy Style 15.)

    The harp does not come with a travel case and only has a slip cover. My question is what is the best way to transport the harp home? (I live 4 hours away from the seller.) If I took the wooden shipping crate, would it be safe for me to put the harp inside it and load the crate into the minivan with horizontal? Or is it in the best interest of the harp to transport it alone in the minivan and to secure it with blankets and pillows to protect it from bumps in the drive?

    Thank in you in advance for any insight you can provide!

    Participant
    Gretchen Cover on #253377

    What are your plans for the harp? If you will be playing gigs etc., I would buy a transport cover. If it is a home harp, pad the van with blankets, pillows or anything to protect the harp. Be careful to set the harp on a mat before you load it into the van. I use a large doormat for protection and to prevent slippage. Say no to the trunk. You will never use it. Go to YouTube and watch videos about loading a harp. Definitely rent a van.

    PS/ make sure the discs face upwards – in other words the left side of the harp as you sit behind it goes up. Otherwise you could break the discs. Also be sure to fold the pedals up, Remember the tuning key, as well.

    Participant
    Harper10 on #253384

    Hi Gretchen! Thank you so much for your help. What you mentioned is extremely helpful. I’m planning to use the harp for home use only. I like your idea on buying a travel case set if I plan to gig with the harp. Excellent idea. Thank you for sharing these practical tips and tricks. You rock!

    Participant
    balfour-knight on #253385

    Hello, Harper 10,

    Have you considered renting a truck such as a Penske or U-haul? I once had to take a crated concert harp to an airport three hours away so I rented a small Penske truck which worked beautifully. The harp had to lay on its side in the well-padded crate. Just like Gretchen said, make sure it doesn’t lay on its discs. Inside the rental truck, there were plenty of places to tie and secure the crate so it did not move.

    This way, you could keep the wooden trunk in case you ever needed it, like selling and shipping the harp to someone else.

    Wishing you all the best,
    Balfour

    Participant
    Gretchen Cover on #253386

    If you sell or ship a harp, unless overseas,you use a cardboard box. A van is much better than a truck to move a harp. Too much risk of the harp sliding and bouncing around.

    Participant
    balfour-knight on #253388

    Dear Gretchen,

    In a perfect world, you would be able to rent a van large enough to transport a harp in a trunk or crate, but as we all know too well, this is not a perfect world. We have read many times on these forums how someone wants to rent a vehicle large enough to even haul a concert harp in its transport cover, and no such vehicle is available at the rental agency. So, using a rental truck, and tying the crated harp down well to the many bars and hooks that are available inside the truck, so that it cannot slide or bounce around (as I stated already above) is a perfectly safe option.

    Rental trucks these days are very comfortable to drive and ride in, with automatic transmissions with cruise control, good shock absorbers, air conditioning, available music-listening devices, etc. My wife and I had a grand time driving that Penske that we rented.

    I just wanted to share some ideas with Harper 10 to give further options, in case a van rental proves difficult or impossible.

    Very best wishes,
    Balfour (and Carol Lynn)

    Participant
    Sylvia on #253390

    Remember if you take the case, you will need a place to store it.
    Also, you will need help loading it, unloading it, and moving it.

    Participant
    Harper10 on #253397

    Thank you all so much for sharing your advice and insight. This is extremely helpful! I decided not to purchase the harp, but now I know what to do the next time a situation like this comes up. Much thanks!

    Participant
    balfour-knight on #253398

    Thanks for keeping us up to date, Harper 10. We have confidence that you will soon find the perfect harp. It just takes a little time to sort it all out.

    Sylvia, that was a good point that we overlooked about storing the crate and needing help loading/unloading it. When we did it, our friends and neighbors were very helpful. By the way, how is your wedding business going in all this pandemic? You can send me a private e-mail if you like.

    Have a great day, harp friends!
    Balfour

    Participant
    duckspeaks on #253426

    Some harp shops provide harp moving service. In my case when I moved house, they provided everything (travel case, vehicle, dolly).

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