Any Los Angeles-area printers experienced in moving a press?

Hi Briar Press community,

Well, I have my press. It’s an old style C&P 8x12. I drove from Southern California to Western Kansas to get it, the kind man I bought it from put it into my trailer with a forklift, and now I am stuck at home with it on the trailer. I have 3 pipe rollers, a come along that only seems to pull (I don’t know how to activate the let down function- it’s a ratchet type), and a frustrated dad and brother. We are afraid of this press crashing into a million pieces of cast iron and so the thing has not budged from the trailer yet.

I am wondering, are there any L.A. area printers on here that have moved a press before that would be willing to help a girl out? It would ideally need to be today, September 21st. I’m located in Oak Park, CA, just on the line of L.A. and Ventura counties. I would be eternally grateful, I would compensate you monetarily however I can, and I’ll make you lunch! Please, please help!

shineletterpress @


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hire someone with a tow truck that could lift it out of the trailer and put it on the ground. make sure you close the press and tie it closed. good luck Dick G.

If you follow DickG’s advice, I suggest placing it on a pallet so you can move it around with a pallet jack.

Hi Emily. If you want to do this worry-free, you could contact Jim Salazar in Pasadena, who is a professional press mover. His number is (626) 797-3685.


you’ve already spent some time and money to get this press to your home, an experienced press mover might cost a few bucks but it will be well worth it. call the man Barbara suggested, if you have no experience you could get hurt or damage the press. Dick G.

How high is the trailer bed? Do you have to return the trailer to a rental place, or can you keep it for a few days? There will be all sorts of printers converging on the L.A. area for the Printers’ Fair in Carson this Saturday.

Is there a strong enough support somewhere overhead (beam over garage door, etc.) that you can back the trailer under, lift the press a bit, & drive trailer out from under? The come-along must have a “down” as well as an “up”! An o/s C&P is only somewhere around 800 to maybe 1,000 lbs max, I think.

We need more details to help from a distance!

I’ll second the recommendation of Jim Salazar to move the press. It will be done correctly and be worth the expense. Shouldn’t be too much since just an unload.

Hi all, thank you for the feedback and assistance so far! Here is more info:

I would love to do it today since I have to go back to work tomorrow and I work/live 60 miles away from where the press is, and the trailer is rental by the day.

I did contact Jim Salazar (thank you for the reference!) but the quote came back at almost $500. So I’ll consider that a last resort.

I’m attaching some pictures of the situation and materials/tools available The chains are about 3-4 feet in length each, and I also have an additional 8 foot 2x4 stud. We detached the trailer from the car just for the night, and the tongue is being held up by a jackstand. We can reattach it to the car for the unload so we can back it further out of the garage of course.

Plus, the skids it is on are so crappy (see picture) and they are on the wrong direction, so I have some 2x4 studs to reattach under, if that’s possible. I would like to do that before it comes off of the trailer because I think it would make the move easier, but I’m not certain if it matters.

Oh, and I figured out how to make the come along go in reverse for the let down function (making it a “go-along”, if you will). Now we just have to figure out the mechanics of the move to do this safely.

Here are pictures:

image: 2x4s for new skids.  Can I jack the press up one side at a time using that car jack while it's still in the trailer to replace the skids?

2x4s for new skids. Can I jack the press up one side at a time using that car jack while it's still in the trailer to replace the skids?

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image: P1030938.JPG


image: P1030936.JPG


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image: P1030934.JPG


see if you can rent a engine hoist (i think that is what its called) put it behind the back wheels of the trailer, extend it and see if you can lift the press just an inch or two, this will allow the trailer to be pulled out, then lower the press. Make sure to hitch the trailer back to the car so it doesn’t flip. Good luck Go slow. Dick G.

if all else fails you can strip the press down pretty far so two strong guys can slide it off the trailer, i am willing to help you over the phone i’m in Massachusetts 1-781-293-2157 i’m pretty sure we could strip it down over the phone. Is the lunch still on? Dick G.

IF you can securely hang the come-along from the beam over the garage door (door open, obviously, and secure enough to hold 1,000 lbs), just do that, lift the press an inch, pull the trailer out, & gently let the press down to ground level, & go from there.

If you can’t, then get your new skids ready (cut to same length, put small bevel on underside at each end), lift one side of press at a time like you said, lag bolt new skids under it. On that slippery metal trailer bed, your guys should be able to horse the press around 90°; if not, put a pipe roller under it & slide it around on that until it’s headed straight out, on the new skids. Put one pipe under, perpendicular to skids, and push/roll/slide toward end of trailer. As you get to the ramp, you want the pipe toward the front of the trailer so the skids create quite a bit of friction, to help control the descent down the ramp. If the ramp looks at all steep (even if it doesn’t), you’ll want the come-along attached to the trailer front and high center of press as “cheap insurance” to be sure it makes a controlled descent down the ramp. A long pry bar, carefully used, will help a lot in encouraging the press to go the direction you want. Carefully skid/roll the press down the ramp, using rollers as needed to make it movable but not TOO easy to roll. Be sure all of you stay out of danger, and if you really don’t feel comfortable, don’t do anything risky. As long as you keep the press low (just on pipe rollers) and controlled down the ramp, it really shouldn’t be too difficult.

And if you have an air compressor, you might lower the trailer even more by letting the air out of the tires — just don’t move it with flat tires, & refill to proper pressure before you return it!

If you still don’t have it off the trailer and you have a tool rental place nearby, get an engine hoist — also called a hydraulic floor crane. Hook the trailer back on the car securely for stability, slide the press over to one rear corner of the trailer, roll the hoist in under the corner of the trailer so as to clear the tailgate/ramp, pick up the closed press carefully with chain, being careful to put the chain around the platen and bed but not pinching any small parts (maybe short pieces of 2x4 around them to protect them) then lower the tailgate and pull the trailer out from under the press and you can set it down. But while it’s hanging from the hoist you can replace the skids.


Hi everyone,

thank you so much for all of your support and tips… we did it! All of the suggestions helped and we pretty much did it exactly how you described, Dave. Thank you for the step by step, I think that’s exactly what we needed. Now to set about cleaning it up a bit, I can’t wait!

Thanks again!