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Hauling the big Lowrey Organs

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  • Hauling the big Lowrey Organs

    Has anyone personally moved one of the big Lowrey's? LX-510, SU-500, SU-530? I see these come through really cheap now and again ($500 or less) and I'm tempted, but I'm afraid I won't be able to get it loaded, and safely get it in the house. I've seen weights listed as high 500+ pounds, but they can't really weigh that much?? I'm thinking that must be shipping weight. Can a couple of reasonably healthy guys get one of these lifted onto a pair of furniture dollies? And having done so, would it be possible to get it reasonable balanced on said dollies, so it could be successfully wheeled up a ramp into the bed of a pickup truck?
    60' Hammond A-100 (free!) Church duty, certainly not "minty"
    Leslie 710 ($80)

  • #2
    Yes, they do weigh that much! As they went from NT to LX and then to SU, they seemed to bloat. Perfect (?) for the large American home, but painfully big for houses on this side of the pond, so Allens would split them for transport and installation. It's the sheer size as much as the weight. Getting it through doorways can be fun - removing doors etc is not uncommon.

    Dollies? I wouldn't. I think you'd need a Roll-or-Kari (or a 'Jerry Allen Trolley' as we call them over here) firmly strapped on. Two guys? Maybe, providing their surname is Schwarzenegger!

    If you do bite on one, then forget the LX and go for an SU series. I was working for Lowrey when the LX series arrived and we were disappointed in the basic organ sound, a bit thin and with a poor tremolo effect. The SU series were an improvement on that (and everything else).
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

    New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

    Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
    Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
    Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

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    • #3
      Thanks Andy, I think you've sufficiently swayed me from getting in over my head. Before I commit to one of these beasts, I'll make sure I have access to a set of proper Organ Dollies, and FOUR reasonably healthy guys, and sufficient doorway space.

      Of course, I could go for one of the ones offered commercially which includes free delivery, but at a sales price North of $5,000.... no, I think not.
      60' Hammond A-100 (free!) Church duty, certainly not "minty"
      Leslie 710 ($80)

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      • #4
        Lowreys are fun, the right ones that is, Andy has given adequate advice as to which ones better avoid. As many perhaps know (I often boast about it) I own one of the old school large Lowreys, the old H25-3. Weighs in at around 480 pounds and required two Schwartzeneggers to move around a trailer after loading it with the help of block and tackle. Off-loading was done by yours truly single handedly but equally with the help of that trusted block and tackle. I made a special organ moving dolly-trolley which is in two parts with 6" swivel wheels each capable of bearing about 150 pounds weight. Lots of straps and sweating got it into the garage - y'know, the one with the big door. And there she sits until this day because to get it into the house will mean removing doors and/or standing it on its side and L-manouvring it inside. My aching back has not been up to that.

        But the sound alone might warrant the effort. Do you have the contact details of Arnie and some of his weight-lifting buddies?

        Nico
        "Don't make war, make music!" Hammonds, Lowreys, Yamaha's, Gulbransens, Baldwin, Technics, Johannus. Reed organs. Details on request...

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        • #5
          Roll or Kari's are a must. For a straight up lift into a truck bed, four guys is the only way. I have used a come a long strap with a pull lever to advance the organ up a ramp. Connect to two points in the truck bed, other end to two points front and back of the organ. Come a long is in-between. Then two on the ramp, in front and behind the organ, one on the ground, and one on the strap lever. This is with the Roll or Kari still attached.

          When we picked up my R-311, my son had a buddy that works for a moving company. I brought my dolly, but the mover used a strap system after wrapping the organ in blankets and taping up. One person on each end and UP that console went. I have seen vids of this with two petite guys or gals moving appliances and large furniture, but didn't connect with organs. The console was around 2 feet up and they just walked it out and placed in the trailer. At my house, steps up to the porch and home entrance, and again, right UP and in. Rocked my normal approach. Asked the mover about stairs and they make a set that has an offset so the top guy can be 3-4 feet above to bottom guy and make a full set of stairs, if the dimensions are there for this.

          And for those with real money, youtube has an piano/organ/anything large automated system that climbs the stairs with the load.

          Should have taken pics on the move. My son was on the load at the pickup and said it was a breeze, easiest organ move ever and he has been on many pickups with me over the years.

          Ron
          Ron Wilson in Indy
          Allen R311, Lowrey Sterling, Roland 80-SL, Hammond Elegante & BV, Technics SX-FN3 & Too Many Keyboards...

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          • #6
            Around twelve years ago I got the bug to get an organ, and I found a Lowery H25-3 for sale in San Antonio. I hired local piano movers to bring it out to my house. Two guys, a father and son team, with the skills and simple equipment made short work of it, using leverage, a dolly, and a ramp. Note: the father was in his 60s at least, and they made it look easy. It was worth it to pay an experienced professional.

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            • #7
              The old piano shifting guys are sometimes the best!
              It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

              New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

              Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
              Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
              Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
              Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

              Comment


              • #8
                I sold my old Wersi Galaxy to a bloke in the states and had no idea how we’d get it out, get it crated and get it shipped. The firm that turned up to do it were piano specialists and didn’t bat an eyelid. It was out of the house and on its way in minutes. These guys have seen it all before and know what they’re doing.

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                • #9
                  I have been in the trucking business for 45+ years, the first 30 of that with northAmerican Van Lines and other specialty carriers. When I first started with NAVL we still had a "piano and organ fleet", hauling for Kimball, Baldwin, Hammond many others that had factories in the mid west.
                  A pair of piano/organ dollies are a must. They are/were used in the moving business for sensitive but heavy bulky electronic equipment(computers/printers and any heavy piece with relatively square sides. We had either hydraulic tailgates or cranes, because we stacked the units in the trailer. A dead lift straight up from ground to whatever height should be avoided, dangerous. Walk board would work, both the dollies and walk board can usually be rented.
                  And you are right, we do make it look easy. Spend a little time planning and it can be done.

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