How do _you_ move equipment? What "tools" do you use?

From: Jay West <>
Date: Tue Oct 21 14:11:04 2003

For moving racks, I just use a regular van, with a few extra steps. I have
found that I can easily move one or two 19" six foot racks by myself with

It just so happens most of the racks I move are on casters. And I keep
everything in my basement, which has double walk out doors onto a concrete
patio which is level with the back yard. The yard is fenced, but there is a
large double gate in back, which opens to a large common area between the
two rows of houses that goes up to the major street.

So when I pick up a rack with the van, I wheel it to the back of the van,
back of the rack facing the van. On the bed of the van is a huge cut piece
of plywood fitted to the contours of the van floor outline. The metal rack
will slide MUCH easier on plywood than metal. I tilt the rack back gently
until the back side of the rack is leaned up against the edge of the van
floor. Then go around front of the rack and tilt it backwards further. Then
just push from the bottom of the rack in, sliding easy on the plywood.
Because of the way the rack is "tilted in" against the edge, I have found I
can easily move VERY heavy racks, much heavier than I normally would be able
to, because the edge of the van bed acts like a fulcrum point. You're
actually never lifting it, just tilting slowly. This way the rack is laying
on its back on the van floor, and rackmount components won't slide out at

Depending on the configuration of the rack and it's doors, sometimes I may
wrap once around the rack with tape or a tie down to keep the doors closed
if that's a problem. The only issue I've run into doing it this way is if
power cables, etc. are on the back door - have to have a smooth surface to
slide on. Sometimes I will also put a big rug or shipping blanket on the
edge so that when the rack tilts back it is on a blanket. I will always do
this if the rack is taped or tied around, because the tiedowns will make it
slide much less easily. The blanket against the plywood slides easily.

Then I drive the van through the common area, back up onto the cement patio
just in front of the walkout doors. Pull on the bottom of the rack until it
slides out enough that the weight makes it start tilting down and let it
down easy. Then it's an easy matter of tilting it up and just wheeling it
into the basement.

Once you do this a few times, you get a good feel for where the weight
distribution in the rack is, the center of gravity, and if the edge of the
van floor is just the right height and you make good use of these things to
help you, it becomes very easy. I've moved two racks at a time, some
weighing almost 1000 pounds... by myself with no real straining. Just make
the weight work for you on the tilting.

Now what I REALLY want - is one of those lift genies that is like a hand
truck but with a large flat platform that you pump up and down. Not to move
racks, but to lift disc drives and tape drives up from 5 inches to 5 feet,
so that they can be easily rackmounted. Haven't found one cheap yet though.

Jay West

[This E-mail scanned for viruses by Declude Virus]
Received on Tue Oct 21 2003 - 14:11:04 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:36:23 BST