If you have never had the pleasure of moving a piano, you may have never even come across a piano dolly. But even if you have never heard of piano dollies, there still may come a day when your piano must be relocated. It is not really surprising that so many people have never come across one of these dollies. It is not as if dolly salesmen and shops are a prevalent presence in shopping malls or on street corners. Instead, these are highly specialized tools typically need by musicians and educators. At the most basic level, dollies are tools utilized to physically move a piano. Because pianos come in all shapes and sizes, dollies can vary just as much. They may also work in different ways, depending upon the piano they are meant to work with but, basically, each dolly was built with one purpose in mind, and that is moving a piano.
Dollies designed to move grand pianos are shaped like huge spiders, and are the type most frequently used by movers. If you have ever seen a grand piano at a music hall, club, church or some other public space, you can bet it has been moved on more than one occasion. Dollies for grand pianos are spider like in that they extend outward from a central point to form a support structure for each of the piano's legs. To get the piano on to the dolly, some kind of lift must be used so that each piano leg may be lifted and the dolly installed around it. A wheel is placed under each part of the dolly. Once a dolly has been installed upon a piano, it typically stays connected to the piano for as long as the piano exists.
A properly installed one would not be noticeable to the common voyeur, and if it is seen it should be nothing more than another attractive part of the piano. The wheel set helps the piano move around a room, as if often necessary in music halls and other public spaces. When the piano must stay in one place, on the other hand, the wheels can be locked so that a pianist may play the length of his concerto without having to worry about chasing after a runaway piano. The wheel set is both easily locked and unlocked by pressing a foot clip on the wheel to engage or release the brake.
A dollied piano is especially useful in grammar or music schools. Such educational facilities often utilize one that is permanently attached, as it is often necessary to rearrange the entire contents of a room, depending on what lessons are to be instructed that day. Pianos are not typically built upon wheels, making installation a common practice for pianos used publically or within classroom settings.
The other institution that must make common use of a dolly is that of the professional piano mover. Because a piano may weigh up to half a ton, moving it could cause severe injuries if one is not in place. Several people may not be able to move a piano without a dolly, but with one in place, a piano may be moved by a single person.
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