When your tools are too big to carry up the stairs....

I have been working with my Atlas/Clausing CNC mill quite a bit lately and remembered that  the process of moving the machine into the building was far more compex than anything I will likely do to the machine while it is in the building . I will share some of the photos (as soon as I can find them) but for now wanted to get this story down while I was thinking of it.

So you might be asking yourself: What is so complex about moving a machine into an industrial building? People do it every day.  The simple answer is that people do move machinery into industrial buildings every day however these are not necessarily ordinary people. And they are certainly not backing up to the building with a utility traily hooked up to their SUV. The challenges involved in moving industrial machinery start with the shear mass of the items being moved but don't end there. I don't have an exact weight on my Atlas CNC mill but will venture to guess it exceeds 2500 pounds. That is about the weight of a compact car. To add to this, the weight is very concentrated. The base of the machine is probably only 28" x 36" or so.  Additionally the center of gravity of the machine is fairly high up which makes this a fairly dangerous thing to move unless you have the tools and experience to handle it safely.

Enter the rigger.  A rigger in this case is not a guy that hangs sails on tall ships (although there are similarities). In this context a rigger is another name for a machinery mover.  To move the Atlas mill I used Mims Corp.  http://mimsriggers.com They were able to easily handle the machine, which was at the small end of the spectrum of their capabiltiy. They were also able to overcome some of the unique challenges of moving the machine into our building.  Although our building has a freight elevator to get to the 3rd floor, the elevator is too small and cannot handle the weight of this machine.  In order to get the machine into the building it had to be put in through the side of the building (an existing door 16 feet off the ground was already there). As I'm sure you can imagine, having the weight of a small car on the forks of a forklift 16 feet off the ground is quite a site. Just another day at work for Mims but essentially impossible for your average joe to pull off on their own. 

I will attempt to add some photos of the move in soon.