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Moving Bridgeport mill - general question

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  • #16
    I would be very careful using a liftgate. When you get close to their limits, while they will lift smoothly, going down is another matter. I have seen several go into a jerky, tilting, almost freefall on the way down, not the way that I would want to unload a mill. If you have to use an unknown liftgate, make sure that the mill is bolted down on a big pallet and cannot come loose, and be sure that it is rated high enough that you have a big safety margin. I would not try it on one less than rated for 3K and I would be happier with one rated for 4K.

    When I replaced my old Bridgeport CNC with a VMC, I hauled the old mill to the buyers facility on my trailer. Got over there and their forklift would not start, so we backed it up to a 40 foot trailer with a 8x8 liftgate and winched it off of my trailer onto their gate. In the process of going down about 18 inches, it started bouncing and if it had not been on a pallet it would have tipped over. Still scared the crap out of everyone. Between that one and several others that I have used, that is why I don't like old unknown gates.


    • #17
      To the original question yes they likely are a strong enough floor and big enough door height to work.......but there are gems of wisdom being offered here. Placing it on a heavy pallet really helps to your advantage, both in load distribution, stabilization and unloading later at the destination.

      I had one shipped west at 3200#'s from Toronto to Edmonton and it arrived safe at something like 2000 miles on a pallet. Then we removed the pallet and loaded it onto a heavy carhauler just like gnm109, having it down low really helped the final transport home and unloading.......

      David offers the best advice though, sling the mill as outlined in the manufacturers brochure and lower it from the loading dock with the forklift down into the specialty designed equipment trailers like the can't get easier than that.
      Opportunity knocks once, temptation leans on the doorbell.....


      • #18
        I did it this way on a rental truck acouple of times. Not strictly kosher, but I had to move the mill. Once in the truck I blocked the base all around with 2x4s and bugle head screws. The wood on the floor of the truck was some kind of swamp oak so I pre drilled for the screws. Use every tie down on thr truck and make some more using pieces of hardwood and screw or lagbolt to the floor of the truck. Now heres the imoportant part. When you're all done get yourself some wood putty and fill the holes and dirty them up.


        • #19
          I've moved mills twice using rented Home Depot trucks . $19 for 75 minutes. Well worth it. Loaded with a fork truck - unloaded with a backhoe. Lagged to a pallet.

          Last edited by gda; 04-25-2013, 05:55 PM.


          • #20
            To answer your question:

            YES a 24' box truck can easily handle a BP mill, or bigger. I moved my 4,000 pound horizontal mill an a 24' box truck.

            Were I you, I'd pick the BP up and put some long 4x4's under it to increase it's footprint. The side effect is you can pick it up with a pallet jack.