There are many great deals to be had on purchasing used machinery. Every day, used lathes, milling machines, grinding machines, and drill presses go on sale at firestorm prices. The real question is, how do you move your used machinery to its new location? While you could trust this job to any East Tennessee moving company or try it yourself, the consequences of doing so could cost you extra time and money due to accidents, excessive wait times, or damaged equipment. Modern-day factory managers or other professionals who use machinery in their daily work seek out experienced, capable, and logistically conscious moving companies to handle the laborious task of moving massive machines.

Process for Moving Heavy Machinery

At Rowe Transfer, we have spent the past 100+ years perfecting the transportation of heavy machinery. The process involves three to four separate parts starting with crating and rigging and then moving to transportation and, if needed, warehousing. Under some circumstances, it is necessary to create custom crates to safeguard your machinery for transportation. Once this step is completed, the process of rigging takes place. Rigging involves all tools and equipment are in place to safely secure and lift your used equipment from its current location onto a truck for safe transport. Once secured on a truck for transportation, it is time to reverse the process by delivering, re-rigging, and un-crating your machine and finally moving the machinery into its new location. Clients that need temporary storage of their equipment may opt for a warehousing solution to keep your equipment safe from theft and the elements.

Equipment for Moving Used Machinery

There are several specialized moving tools that individuals or companies often do not have access to that are utilized by professional moving companies. Here is a quick rundown of the most modern equipment.


Forklifts are one of the mainstays of moving heavy machinery in and out of buildings and on and off trailers. Using a forklift makes the entire process of relocating machinery much easier all around.


Humanity figured out long ago that putting wheels under heavy things eases the process. Machine skates are platforms with wheels at each corner that make moving equipment inside a cinch. Skates are used extensively once your used machinery arrives to make sure that it is perfectly in place.

Roller Skids

For exceptionally large and heavy machinery, roller skids are used. Roller skids are like skates but are bolted onto the outside of the machinery to prevent it from separating from the wheels and platform.

Toe Jacks

Toe jacks or floor jacks can be used on lighter jobs where a forklift is not needed or in spaces where a forklift cannot gain access due to low clearance. Toe jacks work just like a car jack, utilizing hydraulic levers to perform heavy lifting. Toe jacks can also come with a swivel feature that allows the used machinery to be moved into place with more precision.

Air Bearings

Air bearings are another secret of the professional moving company. Air bearings work by inflating bearings underneath a connected platform using an air compressor. With your used machinery on the platform, movers utilize air to lift and float it across the floor.

Flatbed Trailer

For colossal machinery, a flatbed trailer is needed to make the process less painstaking. Lowboy trailers are often used for the largest, heaviest jobs.

What to Look for From Your Moving Service

Even though you got a good deal on your used machinery, you still do not want to cut corners in the moving process to avoid damaging your new gear. Here are a few factors you should use when grading moving companies.

Planning Ability 

When researching transfer and moving services, you want to look for those companies that are highly organized and can assist early in the planning portion of the process. By hiring a transfer company, you want to be sure that the company can give you an accurate estimate of the time and cost of the move.


As aforementioned, moving large, heavy machinery requires specialized tools to get the job done safely and efficiently. Make sure they have access to enough loading machinery and trailers needed to move your used machinery.


In addition to customized tools, the moving company you choose should have a good understanding of the intricacies involved in moving heavy machinery and be experienced with the tools of the trade.


The degree of care used in moving sensitive machinery is paramount. Previous experience moving this type of machinery tells you that moving company exercises extreme care when moving your used machinery.

Move Your Used Machinery

So, you have found a great deal on a used piece of heavy machinery. Congratulations! Now the difficult part of the journey begins: how to get equipment weighing thousands of pounds from its current location to your workshop floor or production facility.

Rowe Transfer has over a century of helping individuals and companies transport the most massive machines on earth. Through our extensive experience, we have the experienced, knowledgeable staff, heavy-duty equipment, and trucks, logistics, and planning capabilities to move your used machinery and ensure that it arrives at its new destination safely and on-time. Contact us today for a free quote or to learn more about our transportation, rigging, crating, and warehousing capabilities. You can reach us by phone at (865) 523-0421 or online at our contact page.