Moving a Vandercook No. 4

I wanted to ask your opinion on the following situation.

I’ve recently acquired a Vandercook No. 4.

I’m getting my studio/shop space on the 24th.

I asked these fellas who are in the printing equipment trade business to move it for me from the former owner’s place.

I know for certain they have experience moving presses such as C&Ps, Kluges, Heidelbergs, and paper cutters. They sold and delivered a 10x15 Craftsman to my friend.

They have no experience moving Vandercooks, though, but they understand these machines are top heavy, like others they’ve moved.
I’ve made myself clear on how important this machine is to me , despite its cost, its value is way higher, and irreplaceable.

So they are willing to pallet it, properly strap it on a flat trailer, cover it, and everything should go sweetly.

I don’t think there are any specialized companies here that move printing equipment, much less any that provide s insurance, but still I am going to look into buying some sort of insurance. Even if not provided by them.

They told me the cost would be around $150.00 dollars for the move. Which involves getting it out of the back of a business, which is on street level, and not narrow or complicated. Then drive it across town about 8 miles to my studio/shop.

Do you guys have any recommendations, would you trust these folks, and do you think the price is fair? (consider that labor is cheaper here). From what I’ve read in the U.S. the cost of moving such a machine can cost about $300.00 dollars.

Thanks for reading, everyone.

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In the San Francisco area the same move would be 500.00. If they are the only ones just have them move slowly and carefully. We had one set of movers drop a cutter face down, now we use proper riggers. But that maybe a luxury in my area. Good luck!

I’ve always used riggers, they know what they are doing, here in southeastern Massachusetts to move a press even a short distance is at least$600, but i have never had a single part broken on any equipment i’ve had rigged. Dick G.

I had my 4 moved by a company who build and service presses, they charged £300. What impressed me was they had four wheels which they attached - one to each foot. Once the cylinder was strapped and the ink rollers taken off they could just wheel it around.

I had previously moved the press myself with the help of friends, while not too tricky getting the pros in was wonderful plus they will ensure the press is properly leveled and ready to go.

If you look further down on the list of discussions, you can see how I got my press moved by a company that specializes in moving heavy equipment, presses, safes etc.
They charged me 600 euros, and that include an insurance. It took them 15 minutes to get the press on a trolley and another 15 minutes to take it out of the building. I have moved a lot of presses myself, but when I saw this, I realized t was worth the money. We strapped the cylinder, two large straps around the press and up it went.

Thanks everyone…

Aren’t riggers and movers the same thing?

Thomas, yeah I’ve seen your incredible spider crane photos.
I don’t think there’s anything like that here that I could rent.

Enrique, are you in Europe? If so, you should be able to find them. Several companies rent them. The one my movers (riggers is I think an American expression) used was only 60 cm wide and passes through a normal doorway.
Here is one link:

Good luck

Here is another one:

The company that manufactures them is called Unic and they seem to be selling and renting worldwide.

Spider-cranes in English, or grue-araigné in French.

Stunning spider, Thomas. No not in Europe. Mexique. :)
I’ll look and see if anyone here rents out these spider cranes.
Thank you.

Movers generally do just that. Riggers are expected to have a better understanding of loads and heavy equipment. Including load shifting, top heavy equipment, and the importance of leveling at the end. They will generally have the correct jacks, shims and blocks to raise something evenly and slowly. Best is the experience to move it faster because they have done the same machine more than once. The riggers we use even have a trailer that drops to the ground and they can just roll off loads. Just make sure they are insured. It covered our cutter. Good luck!


For what it is worth, I moved a Vandy SP-20 (larger and heavier than your No. 4) using a flatbed trailer and some custom dollies I made.

You can see pictures here:

If you do not want to move it yourself, MAKE SURE you hire someone that knows what they are doing - it is worth the extra money.



Thank you, awbunny!


Wow, I really enjoyed looking at the photo-set. You really prepared well for the move.
I had definitely considered adding wheels to the pallet, but the pallet with wheels or dolly on the SP-15 cannot rest on the same place that on your SP-20. It needs to go under each feet, and bolted down.
I don’t think that’ll be a problem though.
This job will definitely not be done all by them, I’m going to be very involved so I can instruct them with what I’ve seen is used in moving Vandercooks. And of course also let them do what they know how to do best.
But I’ll definitely be there pushing, strapping, etc.

Glad it was helpful!

Creating smaller dollies that bolt to the feet of the No. 4 should be fairly easy to do.

One other thing: make sure that you/they secure the carriage (the rolling part of the press) so that it does not roll around. You want it strapped in the “start” position if possible and with no room to move around.

Best of luck with the move,


Thanks Doug! I’ll have a checklist compiled for the day of the move.. 15 days and counting. :)