How We Moved 2,600lbs 10x15 Craftsman

I’m posting details on how we moved my new Craftsman for those looking for the info. This press is more than double the weight of my 8x12 Oldstyle so it was a different approach altogether.

My first idea was to use the method we used for the 8x12os that was already on skids: we put pipes under it, rolled it to a low trailer from U-haul, lifted it with an automotive engine hoist (floor crane) back the trailer under it, lower and strap down. On arriving to our destination, just reverse the process.

Problem with the 10x15 Craftsman:
- U-haul trailers top out around 1,600lbs load.
- The shop crane will only lift the load with the arm at it’s shortest extension… too short to reach the center point of the machine.

We couldn’t have moved it on our own without these two relatively inexpensive tools:
- a 5x12 tilt trailer with max load of 4,500lbs
- a Johnson Bar… an enormous leverage bar with wheels

The trailer was nice and low to the ground, and ramp was super heavy solid steel. When tilted, the angle seemed to be ideal for getting the press up without tipping back.

1. We used the johnson bar to tilt the 2,600lbs press up and put pipes under it for easy rolling.
2. Once we rolled it to the trailer using the two-pipe method with built in braking system (described here:, we wrapped a towing strap around the frame and used a come-along winch to slowly roll it up the tilted trailer.
3. Once the press was on the tilted trailer, past the tailgate-ramp, we used an automotive floor jack to level out the trailer, setting the pin on the trailer and rolling the press into final position on the trailer.

After strapping down with heavy chains that were included with the trailer rental, we made the 5 hour trip from Portland to Bellingham.

To unload:
1. We backed the trailer into the shop.
2. Lowered the ramp (NOT the trailer tilt yet)
3. Set the floor jack under the back of the trailer to support the tilt of the trailer.
4. Released the pin on the tilt trailer.
5. Rolled the press on bars to the back of the trailer, just above the floor jack.
6. Secured the press to the front of the trailer with a come-along. (Our intention was to reverse the load in process and use the come-along to inch the trailer down the incline, but ended up serving as a safety mechanism )
7. Slowly and gently lowered the jack. The weight of the press tilted the trailer as we released the jack pressure.
8. Still having one pipe under the press toward the middle/back, and with the come-along attached to the press and the top of the trailer, we gave an inch or two slack to the come-along.
9. Lifting the press with the Johnson bar just a pinch allowed the press to roll that inch or two down until it reach full tension on the come-along.
10. Repeat step 9 for as long as it takes to get the front of the press onto the floor. Just a little lift of the bar, and if the press is on the incline with a bar toward the back, it will easily roll down. You can control the roll quite easily by letting off the johnson bar so the skids brake the movement. Again, I thought it was a good idea to have the come-along attached and tensioned through all of this so there wouldn’t be any top-heavy tipping going on town the trailer.

Once we had it on the floor, we added the second pipe, and rolled the press into place.

This process only took 3 of us guys with no heavy lifting at all (with 2,600lbs you can’t budge it no matter how hard you lift!). Just a leverage bar, a few pipes and some come-alongs. When it’s on pipes, it takes two of you and maybe one on the johnson bar for any rotating, but it’s the equivalent of pushing a car that’s run out of gas.

Above all, be safe, think it through (twice). Think it through again, keep it low to the ground then get some ink on your shirt.


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I was admiring that press from afar, it was a worth it just for the rollers alone. My 10x15 Craftsman came from Portland as well, but the journey from Portland to Kelowna was via freight truck. Once in Kelowna, I had it transferred to a trailer, where it became my problem.

I used a similar technique as you, but I built a skid for the press and used a pallet jack where possible, except on the ramp. I had access to a fork lift when I loaded it on the trailer, so getting the skid under it was relatively easy.

And just for fun, another Craftsman on a ramp:

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Excellent process. Safe and methodical.

I always rent a Bil-Jax Escalate trailer and I have a pallet jack in the shop. The trailer deck drops flat to the ground and it can accommodate up to 7,000 lbs of equipment. It’s designed to haul construction and heavy equipment (see image) and is perfect for presses.

Glad to see that Craftsman went to a good home. Best presses that C&P ever made.


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That is almost precisely how I move presses. Therefore I agree with you that it is a good and safe method. I am a Johnson, but I do not have a Johnson bar. I use a standard crow bar. I do not slack the come-along and then allow the load to fetch up against it as a preventer. I tip the trailer and then lower away with the come-along one click at a time. Very slow. Very safe. If you have two or more people, discuss each step in detail. I instruct any helper to NOT do anything unless I have instructed her or him to do so. You do not want strong thinking gorillas who believe they know what to do on their own. I want someone who will follow directions and may call STOP if they believe something is not right.
Low and slow. With the rollers I call it the Egyptian method.
Indeed, now get some ink on your shirt.

Fantastic. I think the only way you could of made it even slightly safer than a come along would of been a chain-fall hoist to control the decent. I’ll take a heavy Chain-fall over a come-along most any day, as they can be a two-way controller.