Transporting a Tabletop in SUV

Hello all - the plan is to pick up my new press on Saturday which is a 6.5 x 10 Craftsman Imperial Tabletop press. I drive an small SUV like a Honda CRV. The press is 12 hours away from home so the trip back will be long.

I have searched the forums and found many tips on shipping and wondered if all of those apply when I am transporting by car/SUV.

I am hoping I don’t have to build a crate? The notes I have so far are to:

1. Wire or tie down the bed plate or secure the arm crank or unbolt the arm.

2. Remove Ink Plate and rollers and pad them during transport.

3. Remove feed board, delivery board and delivery board brackets.

Is that all or is there anything on that list I dont need to do?

Any tips for safe transport in an SUV would be greatly helpful!

Thanks again,
Brandi Powell

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Just make sure that the Arm is tied down. If possible secure the Pilot as much as you can so it will not move. If you are getting any other stuff with the prees, I would have the pilot as close to the middle of the SUV and the other stuff between it and the back. I transported a Pilot from Georgia to Illinois in a small SUV and all I did was make sure that it didn’t move and the arm was tied down and didn’t have any problems with the move.


Because the press probably weighs over 100 lbs your biggest problem will be lifting it into and out of the car. You might consider bolting it to a piece, maybe 2 feet by 4 feet, of 3/4” plywood, or a bit smaller than the SUV’s load space. It will be easier to carry for 2 people lifting it by the plywood and the plywood will prevent it from sliding around or tipping over. You can get a 2 foot by 4 foot piece of rough plywood from your local Lowe’s or Home Depot for about $10 or less. Use four 1/4 inch lag screws about the length of the combined thickness of the press feet and the sheet of plywood to fasten the press to the plywood.

Don’t worry about removing feed and delivery boards and brackets. Just tie the handle down and remove the rollers. The ink disc doesn’t need to be removed either. Bolt the whole to a piece of plywood as suggested above to keep it from shifting around. This will also distribute the weight a little more evenly… position it over the rear axle.

It’s much easier than you might think to move a Pilot clone in a vehicle like a CRV.

You’ll be fine.

Enjoy your new press!

Assuming you won’t have a backseat passenger I’d encourage you tie down the handle, put something under the press and belt it through the frame with a seat belt.

I once had a rollover accident where an unsecured car jack flew past my head and through the windshield. Imagine if it were a Pilot press!

Maybe my past experience has made me paranoid, but I prefer heavy objects to be secured unless I can put them in the trunk!

Daniel Morris
The Arm Letterpress
Brooklyn, NY

You are all SOOOO helpful! Thank you so much - I could not be more excited about picking up this press! I will get the plywood and screws tomorrow!