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How to Pack and Move your Home Gym

Posted in Moving on Jun 17, 2016, tagged with sports and exercise equipment

When it comes to rooms to pack up and move, few spaces seem more insurmountable than the home gym. Often full of heavy, dense items, some with complicated mechanical and electronic components, it can be overwhelming to prepare these items for moving day. Whether you decide to move them yourself or opt for a shipping service, there are things you can do to make packing these pieces up an easier job.

Weight Equipment

Whether it’s a weight machine or free weights, make sure you remember these best practices while packing up your weight equipment:

  • Clean all equipment before preparing your home gym for shipping.

  • Locate all assembly/disassembly instructions for gym equipment components and review them carefully before taking anything apart.

  • Take high-resolution photos of your equipment before disassembling it. This serves two important purposes: (1) Photos will come in handy when you reassemble the equipment, since it may be hard to remember how all of the cables were connected, and (2) photos will be extremely important to determine responsibility for damage in the event of a problem during shipment.

  • Begin disassembly by removing any parts that can be easily removed — pedals, straps, ropes, chains, weight selection pins, hardware, etc. The fewer moving and protruding parts remaining on your equipment, the better.

  • Package these parts appropriately — in plastic bags and/or protective bubble wrapping — to prevent oil leakage, surface damage and denting. Place items in shipping boxes clearly marked with the contents — this will make reassembly go much easier! Don’t put too many parts in a single box; if boxes are too heavy to handle or stack securely on the truck, damage is more likely.

  • Remove all weight stacks, making sure to have at least two people present who are capable of handling the weight in the event of slippage — once weight stacks are loosened from the frame, they may become unstable. Remove any guide rods from the weight stacks.

  • Secure any moving or exposed parts on the remaining frame with tape, bungee cords or twine. Measure the length, width and height of the frame, and make sure it will fit comfortably through doorways and hallways along your exit path. If the frame is still too large, you will have to disassemble the frame further, but this is something you don’t want to do unless it becomes necessary.

Cardio Equipment

Cardio equipment such as a stationary bike, rowing machine, elliptical machine, treadmill, etc., can often be moved without disassembly, but there are some steps you’ll need to take to prep it for shipping and keep it protected:

  • Secure moving parts (pedals, handles, etc.) to prevent movement and possible damage during the handling and shipment processes.

  • To protect against dents, dings, dust and other damage, wrap your items in a moving blanket, polyethylene sheeting or bubble packaging material. Your shipping company may be able to provide blankets, while poly sheeting and bubble material can be purchased online or at many hardware stores, home improvement stores and office supply stores.

  • Make sure to have at least two people involved who can handle the weight. Many cardio items — treadmills in particular — can be extremely heavy, and because of their irregular shape, are awkward to lift and maneuver.

Weighing Your Options

The key to a smooth home gym shipment is to select an LTL (less-than-truckload) freight carrier that specializes in hard-to-handle, heavy and/or irregularly shaped items. LTL shippers often specialize in certain types of materials; if you select a shipper with the wrong specialty, it may not have the expertise and equipment to properly handle and stow your gym set.

Another important shipping consideration is the service level. Ask yourself the following questions before selecting your shipper:

  • Does the shipper have established business at the pickup and destination locations? If the shipper is familiar with the route and handles a lot of business there, you are more likely to obtain faster service at a better price since the carrier will be highly efficient in scheduling.

  • Are you interested in preparation or ‘white glove’ services? We offer special services for customers who want help with disassembly or reassembly, but not all carriers do this. If you are confident in your ability to disassemble and/or prep equipment for shipment, you will save money by doing it yourself. However, if you are missing assembly instructions, have time constraints or are not confident in doing the prep work, we can help via a phone consultation or arranging for prep services.

  • Is the carrier properly and adequately insured? Gym equipment is expensive — if something happens to your treadmill or weight machine in transit, will insurance cover the damage or replacement? If not, the carrier may be willing to obtain additional coverage, or you always have the option of purchasing additional insurance through a third party. Bottom line: Check the details and weigh the risks. The last thing you want when shipping a home gym is an unpleasant surprise.

  • Do they have good reviews? A great way to research possible shippers for your gym equipment is to look at customer reviews on the shipper’s website and public review websites. This will give you a sense of the carrier’s level of customer satisfaction.

If there’s an unexpected problem with transporting your equipment, chances are we’ve seen it and solved it — doorways that are too narrow, driveways that are too steep, wobbly weight machine frames, etc. If you are in the early stages of planning a home gym move, or are ready to select an LTL shipper, please contact us for answers to your questions, advice, or a free quote.