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I may soon have to transport a washing machine to my appartment. The problem is that

  1. I live upstairs.
  2. I may not be able to find a friend to help.

So I'm thinking whether it is practical to transport a washing machine up/down stairs alone. Obviously just carrying it is pretty much out of the question, given that a household washing machine weighs about 60 - 80 kg. I know that professional movers usually use moving straps to carry heavy loads, but I think these do not work for a single person.

The only practical option I found is to use a hand truck, and to tie the machine to the truck. Ideally I'll use a stairclimber, which has special wheels to make it easier to climb/descend stairs. However, I'm not sure whether even a stairclimber will let me transport a washing machine without help.

So:

  • Is it feasible to transport a washing machine alone with a stairclimber or similar?
  • Is there any other option?
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    Safety tip: Pull, do not push the load up the stairs. You do not want to be under a heavy load if you lose control. – Stan Jul 25 '16 at 18:17
  • @sleske: Do your washing machine have wheels? – MANEESH MOHAN Jul 27 '16 at 6:59
  • @MANEESHMOHAN: No (I've never seen one with wheels). That's why I considered using a hand truck, which does have wheels :-). – sleske Jul 27 '16 at 8:02
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    Front loading washing machines are usually weighted on the rear as this is where the lump of concrete is located. Make sure this is to the rear of the truck so that when you tip it up the weight is at the bottom. – Matt Wilko Jul 29 '16 at 11:18
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    Please don't try to do this alone, else your next post here will be "how to survive with damaged back". Get help. Find some local teenagers, ring the neighbours' doorbells, ask in a bar. You can pay them with pizza, and you get to meet new friends at the same time. – RedSonja Jul 29 '16 at 11:49
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Unless your name is Bruce Banner and the thought of hiring someone makes you angry, you need help.

See if there's an organization near you similar to Seattle's "Millionairs Club" -- they specialize in day labor, staffed by homeless or otherwise disadvantaged men (men only in this case, but that may not always be the case -- tell them what you're doing, they'll make sure the worker they send out is up to the job). This method will cost you a little, but far less than hiring day labor from a common temp agency. You'll still want/need straps, but this will give you a second body to carry the other end of the machine.

You could use mechanical methods (strap washer to a "sled" and winch it up the stairs, for instance) but its unlikely they'll work well in your apartment building.

3

You can achieve this fairly easily, without needing to be the Hulk... Bruce Banner physique would be sufficient (i.e. An average person) He's NOT the Hulk - nor would you need to be to pull this off with a good sized dolly that has crank/lever tightened straps (fairly common and rentable at Home Depot)

Once the machine is on the forks, apply straps, tighten securely, and go up backward...pulling the machine up, stair by stair. Most machines are actually not near as heavy as you'd think. Be sure to measure opening at the top before attempting...you would want to get to the top only to realize it wouldn't fit in. Carrying it down the stairs on a dolly would be much harder !

would be harder. Much harder!

3

deconstruct the problem: Open the washing machine and take out the top concrete block if easily accessible. Move the block separately. Do not lose the screws, nuts and bolts. You'll need them later. Tie the now 25 kg lighter machine onto your cart and choose correct angle of attack on stairs following others' advice above. Remember that your neighborhood laundromat may have social advantages.

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For flat surfaces, using the hand truck to move this is fairly easy.

For the stairs, there is a strategy; however, to determine feasibility, it depends how strong you are, and the type of stairs you will traverse, and the amount of time you will have.

For a wide, flat staircase, with regular landings every few meters, it might be possible to slide the machine up on a flat pieces of wood. Place wood slates like a 2x4 flat on the stair, tip the side of the washing machine onto the wood, then push it up to the landing. Make sure the machine doesn't push you back down the stairs; serious injury would be the result.

For a spiral staircase, this won't work. A decent option in this case is to identify what is the heaviest part of the machine, and remove is and carry it separately. For an old washing machine,perhaps just removing the motor will make it possible for you to carry it up in parts.

I personally would hire someone though.

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I realise that I'm a little late to the discussion here, but for anyone searching for a solution to this problem - use a block and tackle.

Kind regards,

David

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    Sorry, but I have no idea how a block and tackle is going to help. At the least, I would need a hook or similar to attache the pulleys, and there is none in our staircase. – sleske Jan 27 '17 at 15:00
  • Hi sleske. The hook will be on the top block. All you would need to do is find somewhere at the top of the stairs to hook on to, then hook the bottom block on to the washing machine using slings or something. – David Jan 28 '17 at 13:41
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Can you easily dead lift 80 kg (several times). That is basically what you are doing.

I am right at 80 kg and I can get a get 80 kg up stairs with just single large pneumatic wheels. I am pretty strong. So with climber wheels if you can easily dead lift 80 kg then you should be OK.

If you have two then both pulling seems to work better. It is hard to get a good push angle.

Down stairs to me is more scary.

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