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  • Moving two milling machines

    I'll likely be moving my old Bridgeport mill out (2200lbs) and my new ACER (2400lbs) in soon, and have some questions.

    I've moved this Bridgeport twice so I have some experience, but will be using drop deck trailers this time, which I've never used.

    Question #1. Do drop deck trailers go all the way to the ground? Is it just the thickness of the deck that the pallet jack must roll up on?

    Question #2. How to get the new mill off it's pallet, crib the mill where the pallet "isn't", then dismantle the pallet? I have a small gantry but the capacity is too close to the mills weight.

  • #2
    1) yes, if you mean the JLG or Airtow variety....deck is about 1.5" and there is about an 18 ramp from zero to the 1.5

    2) that question is why I hate machines on pallets, as in the common slatted wood variety. If you don't have a crane or forklift it is dangerous. I've done it once, basically blocked the machine as best I could and started cutting away the wood. No, actually twice, a 10ee once arrived on a pallet. The other was a tippy T&CG and the pallet was light. It was dicey - I'd have felt a lot better with the gantry above even if it was only to take part of the load and as a safety. If you have a choice, better to set the machine on two hardwood pieces than a pallet. A few bucks for a wrecker to lift it up while you pull the pallet might be worth it.
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 03-28-2018, 01:57 PM.
    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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    • #3
      Here's a link to the Airtow website. About 2/3 of the way down on the page there's a large picture of one of their trailers. As Mcgyver described the only the thickness of the ramp to overcome. I have used other brands as well. All those I've used are similar. About the only difference is the length of the ramp. Some ramps have been as short as 6".

      https://www.airtow.com/airtow-drop-d...SAAEgLGCfD_BwE

      As for the pallet I've only done a couple and hated every minute of it. In my case neither machine was new, and they both had to be disassembled to get them into the shop. The only part left on the pallet was the base. Then it was a matter of disassembling the pallet enough to get cribbing in place. I placed a stack of 1x6 boards and thin plywood piled slightly higher than the height pallet on each side of the base. I used a Jo bar to lever up the base far enough to slide the boards under. Once it was stable on the boards I cut away and removed the remainder of the pallet. Then it was a matter of using the Jo bar to raise the base just enough to remove one board at a time alternating from side to side.

      The base of the mill was about 4' high and the base of the lathe was about 3' high. Neither were top heavy since all the upper parts had been removed. Even then I think I was holding my breath about half the time. Those are the only two machines that ever came on a pallet. Anything I buy these days I transport, and it's on it's own base.

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      • #4
        If I were you, I'd hire a tow truck to lift the BP mill up and place it on your trailer. Same with Acer. You should be able to schedule something with a local towing company and IIRC only costed me $100 when I had a BP mill and Clausing 14x48 lathe removed from two pickup trucks back in ~2004.

        Here is someone elses video, but same idea.

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