I have a Vandercook 4 in So Cal. We’re thinking of moving to Indiana. Do I need to have it shipped with a press-moving company? Is it better to sell it here and re-buy there? Any general advice would be welcome!

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You are better off bringing it with you than selling/buying, provided your press works the way you want it to!

I think if you were to have it loaded on one end into a moving truck, and unloaded on the other end, you’d do better than having it shipped outright. IF you’re shipping everything, I would consider shipping the machine separately though.

Number 4’s are not difficult to move, especially if you can put it up on timbers first or a skid. So I would say bring your press.

Definitely bring it with you. You can have it loaded and secured at the front of a moving van and then have it carefully “boxed in” by other items. You’ll want to keep an eye on the loading process… you could even have a crate built around it just to be sure… but overall it’s going to be way easier than selling there and buying another one in Indiana.


Welcome to Indiana, where in Indiana are you moving to?

Don’t forget to remove the hand crank.

I second what paul noted - And to secure the cylinder so it doesn’t go flying around!!

This advice is invaluable!!! Thanks everyone, I was depressed at the thought of selling it anyhow. I’d much rather take it with me, but not if it would destroy it.

We’re not sure where in Indiana…if we move at all…but possibly near Floyd’s Knob where we have family. The cost of living in CA is so high that I work so much trying to pay the bills that I don’t get to even use my press much. I’m hoping if we move many of those things will change!

Thanks again for taking the time to help, I so appreciate the community here!

I just (safely) moved my Vandercook 317 from CA to NJ - so it definitely can be done. It was not the smoothest process for me, but it made it safely and cost ~$2-3k on top of our other moving expenses (although I wasn’t price shopping; I was prioritizing reducing headaches for myself and ensuring a safe transport). Here is how I did it and a lesson learned along the way:

What went well —
- Had a custom crate made for the press by a professional crating company. Team knew what they were doing and went smoothly (even though I don’t think they had much / any experience with presses specifically). Because it was a custom crate, we did not need to remove the hand crank but still did make sure the cylinder and all other parts were *very* secure.
- Loaded press onto moving van for transport with the rest of our household items. Contracted for this with our moving company in advance. No issues with the shipping and unloading as we went with a large, reputable moving company and our moving guy had seen it all.
- Unloaded at other end by movers / rigging team and had crating company come unpack

Where it went wrong:
- Despite repeated assurances from our moving company that they had experience moving specialized equipment and that a press of this type would be no issue at all (including seeing press in person, multiple photos and me calling out the steps that needed to happen - crating, loading, shipping, unloading), all of the sudden that was NOT the case when moving day came.

While the crating & shipping pieces were fine, the moving company had NO idea how to effectively move the crate onto or off the truck. They forgot to estimate the cost of a forklift or rigging company into the quote and it led to a last-minute scramble on their end. They contracted for the wrong equipment with people who had no idea what to do (for example, they misread the weight I gave them and ordered a massive truck to support a 17,000 lb machine - not 1,700). It ended up working out in the end, but was a bit of a nightmare for me to manage on what was already a stressful day.

In retrospect, I would have worked to set up the crating and the rigging / loading parts myself and worked with the moving company to only handle the shipping (vs. letting them assure me they could manage the whole thing). That would have given me more control over the companies we used and I could make sure I was contracting with someone who knew what they were talking about (somehow the moving company mislead me into thinking they did, but it was clear that was not the case in the end). They’ll tell you all about how they moved “Mozart’s piano” without issue and such - but in my case, that didn’t mean anything in the end.

When we moved from our rental in NJ to our home, I found a rigging company who specifically had moved presses in the past (EZ Rigging - highly recommend them for NJ/NYC area). I was dreading the press move after our cross-country experience and it was the total opposite - an absolute BREEZE because they knew what to do and had handled presses previously.

If you can’t find a crating or rigging company that has worked with presses specifically in your area, at least try to find someone who has worked with similar equipment or can give you confidence that something like this won’t throw them for a loop. Once I could speak to the people who would be doing the work directly (whether crating, loading or shipping) it was instantly clear if they knew what they were doing or not. It was the moving company who muddled it all up for me.

All in all, the press made it safely which is what I cared most about and I’m happy to have made it to the other end with a press (instead of selling it, which I also considered). Good luck!

P.S. Sorry that comment was a novel (looks longer now that I see it posted). I searched high and low for info on how to do a big move with my press without finding a ton, so wanted to share a more detailed answer in case it is helpful.

That said, there are people here who have moved MANY more presses in their lifetime than I have - so take their advice first :)