How to Transport a Grandfather Clock

Step-by-step Instructions to Move a Grandfather Clock

Grandfather clocks are very expensive and quite difficult to move. If you want to transport a grandfather clock properly and do not cause any damage, you should carefully prepare it. Here the steps you need to follow to make the moving process easier.


Supplies Needed to Move a Grandfather Clock

Moving a grandfather clock requires specific moving supplies, packing materials and moving tools for safe shipping process:

  • Furniture blanket
  • Moving blankets
  • Packing materials
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Cotton gloves
  • Scissors
  • Heavy duty dolly or hand truck
  • Moving truck with loading ramp
  • Permanent marker or label maker
  • Bubble wrap or other padding
  • Packing tape
  • Masking tape
  • Moving boxes
  • A grandfather clock moving box
  • Cable ties
  • Packing paper


Step 1. Remove Glass Panels

You should start disassembling a grandfather clock by removing the components. Wear cotton gloves to remove the glass panels of the clock. These are fragile items and you should wrap them tightly with bubble wrap. You can add padding to prevent swelling while they travel. We recommend the moving box labeled “Fragile”.


Step 2. Protect the Chains or Cables

Grandfather clocks can have chains or cables which need to be secured so they do not get tangled during the transportation. Reach inside your clock through access panels and stop the pendulum from swinging.

For the cable-driven clock mechanism:

  1. Find at the top of the cable mechanism the pulleys.
  2. Insert folded pieces of paper above each pulley.
  3. Crate a barrier between the pulleys by placing the paper around the cables.
  4. Wind the clock weights to the top of the cable mechanism.
  5. The paper should be firmly pressed against each pulley, and the cables should remain tough when you try to remove a weight.

For the grandfather clock with chains:

  1. Find at the top of the chain mechanism the sprockets.
  2. Wind the weights to three-quarters of the way up (the higher position can damage the chains and sprockets).
  3. To hold the chain in place, affix a cable tie below each sprocket.


Step 3. Remove and Pack the Weights

Take the weights from the pulleys to gently unhook them. It is important to remember where each weight is placed for the reassembler as they have different weight and function. We recommend to label each weight with L, M and R. Weights are also delicate components and you should use either bubble wrap or a padded protective cloth for protection against corrosive metal parts. Place them in a padded moving bag.


Step 4. Disassemble the Pendulum

The pendulum is attached to a pendulum guide located toward the top of the mechanism. Remove your pendulum carefully through the glass front door by unhooking it from the guide. The pendulum should be packed properly in bubble wrap and placed in a moving box. In addition, secure the pendulum guide by simply wrap it in several sheets of packing paper, and secure it with tape.


Step 5. Secure Chime Rods and Hammer

It is a good idea to secure the chime rods and the chime hammer. When the clock is being moved, there is certain vibration that can bring the damage to the chime and striking mechanism. If the chimes are not securely glued together use foam to hold it together to prevent any movement during transportation.


Step 6. Protect the Top of the Clock

The hood is a part of a clock case and should be wrapped by using bubble wrap. Cover the clock face with a protective cover.


Step 7. Remove Glass Shelves and Decorative Elements

If your grandfather clock glass shelves and decorative elements, you should remove them. Wrap them separately in soft packing material and in bubble wrap to prevent their breakage. Ensure to remove ornaments (some elements come off quite easily, for other some force might be needed).


Step 8. Fill the Empty Box

Try to stuff the moving box with with foam, bubble wrap or slack wrap peanut crumbs to provide additional support.


Step 9. Pack the Body of Your Grandfather Clock

After the individual pieces are packed, it is time to pack clock case. The most secure way to transport the body is a grandfather clock moving box filled with bubble wrap. It is the same process if you want to ship grandfather clocks.


Step 10. Use a Dolly to Move Your Grandfather Clock

To get the large moving box with a grandfather clock onto the dolly, you will need assistance from a few helpers. Two people should tip the clock back, while another slides it onto the dolly in the upright position. Secure the clock to the dolly using moving straps. In this position, you can move the clock to the next room or into a moving truck.


Step 11. Load Your Grandfather Clock Onto the Moving Truck

The next step is to load the box with a grandfather clock to the truck. during this process, there is a higher risk for the clock damage.

To load the clock, slowly push it up the truck ramp, with two people pushing at the bottom and one person guiding it at the top.

When you arrange a truck, make sure the clock can be secured to the side of the truck with cables. Keep in mind that the most grandfather clocks are heavy and the box can fall when you take a turn in the truck.


Can You Lay Down a Grandfather Clock to Move?

It is the best to keep the clock in the upright position, especially if it is older clocks, a valuable clock or an antique clock. The newer grandfather clocks can lay flat during the transportation. Just remember that there is a higher risk to damage the mechanisms.


Step 12. Unload and Reassemble Your Grandfather Clock

Once the clock arrived to the corresponding location, you will need to unload and reassemble the grandfather clock. You will need again the dolly and truck ramp to unload your grandfather clock from the truck. Move it to the right location inside the building and reassemble the individual pieces.


Hiring Professional Movers or a Clock Moving Company

Professional moving firms are an excellent choice for moving a grandfather clock. The professional movers have experience to transport fragile and valuable items. Hiring a clock moving company might save you a lot of time and resources.

If it is possible, we recommend getting someone to do the moving process for you. It can especially be beneficial for grandfather clocks to be professionally removed.


How Do I Find Grandfather Clock Movers?

Contact a few moving company in your area before you make any booking. Compare the given quotes and choose the acceptable for you.


How Much Does It Cost to Move a Grandfather Clock?

Generally, depending on the clock size, age and value, it is worth between $300 and $1300 to ship your grandfather clock with standard shipping services.


How Much Does It Cost to Hire Professional Movers?

The actual costs to hire a professional moving firm vary depending on the distance you need. Also, the price depends on the company you choose.

  • Across the Country. Moving costs average about $1250.
  • Long Distance. Moving costs an average of $48,893.


How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Grandfather Clock Using Peer-to-peer Shipping?

The cost of peer-to-peer delivery usually takes around $300-$900 to ship your grandfather clock.


How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Truck and Move Your Grandfather’s Clock?

Depending on your rental car, location and distance, your move costs may vary. The rate will vary according to vehicle size, fuel usage, transportation materials, and insurance. When you travel long distance, you may also have a higher rate of rent to leave a rental car in an entirely different city.

Based on these factors, the cost of renting a truck to move your grandfather clock can range from $50 to $200 or more per day, plus additional fees for mileage and insurance. You may also need to factor in the cost of gas and any other equipment you may need, such as a dolly or furniture pads.


Special Considerations for Shipping a Grandfather Clock

Shipping a grandfather clock can be a daunting task, as it is fragile and susceptible to damage during transit. Below are some special considerations to keep in mind when shipping a grandfather clock.


How to Move Your Grandfather Clock Safely

Grandfather clocks weigh up to 300 pounds. The movement alone can cause injuries and damage the clock. For your protection, you should have a minimum of two people move the clocks according to the weight of each. They should be strong enough to move the dolly with a clock back in the truck. We suggest to get help from a shipping company.


How Long Does It Take to Move a Grandfather Clock?

Moving a grandfather clock may take longer than standard shipping due to the specialized handling and packaging required. Make sure to plan ahead and allow enough time for the clock to arrive at its destination.

It typically takes some hours to disassemble a grandfather’s clock. Of course it depends on the person but on average it take between 2 and 3 hours. The transportation time depends on the distance. Moving locally will take less time than moving long distances.


How Heavy Are Grandfather Clocks?

Most grandfather clocks have a weight ranging from a 100 to 300 pounds.


How Many People Does It Take to Move a Grandfather Clock?

It is best to have hands to help you moving a grandfather clock. It takes at least 2 people to move a clock but the optimal number of people will be 3. Avoid attempting to move your grandfather clock by yourself without having experience with heavy or fragile antique objects.


Mistakes to Avoid When Shipping a Grandfather Clock

Never attempt to move a grandfather clock before first properly disassembling it.


Is It Worth Hiring Someone to Move a Grandfather Clock?

Even tough with the correct equipment and the correct skills, it is possible to move the clock yourself; it is often worth hiring an expert mover for the proper handling and transportation of your grandfather clock.


Can You Transport a Grandfather Clock Laying Down?

Some components of a grandfather clock are small, fragile and can be easily damaged. You should always move the clock in a steady position.

You can transport a grandfather clock laying down only if is it completely and properly disassembled. The horizontal positioning increases the pressure of mechanism, glass and panels.


Take Care of Small Parts

It is important to be very cautious while moving your grandfather clock. Some parts are small and can be easily lost. Missing screws are often an issues when moving a grandfather clock.


How Do You Pack a Pendulum Clock for Moving?

Packing pendulum is an important part of moving. A small pendulum can be secured to the back of the clock with packing tape. Large pendulums, you should carefully unhook and wrapped in soft material.


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