How to secure presses once loaded for transport?


I have a question about the actual transport of a few presses (10x15 Windmill, 10x15 Kluge, 8x12 Gordon Old-Style Gordon), once they’re on a truck- Is it necessary to support any part(s) of the press for a cross-country drive?

I want to be sure the unexpected bump along our 2000+ mile drive doesn’t cause damage. The only part I can think of that might be a problem is the flywheel bending its axle, but I want to hear from the experts before I assume anything.

Aside from securing the presses in the closed position, is there anything else they might need?

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The safest for the presses, especially the Kluge and Gordon OS, but maybe also the Heidelberg, would be to remove the flywheels. The flywheel shafts can be broken if stressed and a flywheel bouncing up and down on a rough road would definitely stress the shaft. Strap the presses shut securely with ratchet tie-downs before removing the flywheels, though. And be sure the presses are strapped laterally securely to prevent any possible shifting.


Platen presses are generally quite top-heavy. When tying them down in the truck, as well as securing the bottoms of the presses, be sure to secure the presses at or near the top, in all directions, to prevent them from falling over or from hitting each other. Acceleration of the truck will put force on them to fall backwards, braking could make them fall forwards, and turning could make them fall sideways. Time spent in doing a lot of tying down will be well worth it.

This is why you should consult a rigger, or someone who moves heavy equipment, before considering the load safe to move. Several good sets of ratchet straps are cheap compared to the value of an antique cast iron press.

I usually just use 2-4 big 2.5” straps.

I take care to make sure no pressure is exerted on anything that could bend or break.

I make sure no pressure is on the main shaft or the flywheel.

This 3500 # press traveled 550 miles without budging.

image: Strapped.jpg