How to Move A Pinball Machine Up Stairs and Down Stairs

You’ve just bought yourself a retro pinball machine, and at the time, it seemed like a good idea until you realized you couldn’t get it up the stairs.

Or maybe you’ve been thinking about getting a pinball machine, but you have no idea how you’re going to get it up the stairs.

So many people go through something like this, and we don’t want you to make the same mistakes. 

Here’s the thing:

Moving heavy objects is never an easy task, especially when you have to navigate multiple staircases.

And that’s why we’re here today. In this article, I will show you all the tips and tricks for moving a pinball machine upstairs or downstairs.

If this sounds like what you’ve been looking for; don’t go anywhere; this article will explain it all:

Tips For Moving Heavy Furniture Like A Pinball Machine Upstairs

Before getting into the specifics of how to move your new pinball machine up the stairs, I want to give you a few essential tips. The best thing is:

These tips can transfer to pretty much any large object, making your life moving heavy objects easier in the future.

So, let’s take a look at my four essential tips for moving a pinball machine: 

#1 Get Help

The most important tip I can give you is to get help. Not only is moving a heavy piece of equipment strenuous, but it’s also super dangerous.

Having someone you can trust to help you out will remove the strain of moving your pinball machine. Even if they don’t help too much, it’s great to have a safety barrier if something goes wrong.

If you’re moving anything heavy, don’t be afraid to ask for help, it can be highly beneficial in the long run.

#2 Use The Right Equipment 

Okay, one of the most important tips I can give you is to use the right equipment to help you move. So many people struggle carrying their pinball machines upstairs, and I can tell you now, that’s not the best way to tackle the task.

So, what is the best piece of equipment you can use to move a heavy pinball machine up your stairs?

For me, it has to be something like a heavy-duty stair climber. Stair climbers help you move heavy items upstairs with zero effort.

They’re battery operated and use angled tire tracks to lift the heavy furniture up or down the stairs at a press of the button.

But what else can you use?

If the stair climber is out of your budget, then you can opt for some shoulder dolly moving slings, but I can tell you know it’s hard work.

Shoulder slings can be used in various methods, but the idea is to feed the slings under the pinball machine and wrap the straps around your and your friend’s arms. 

By doing this, you can have more control of the pinball machine, and it distributes the weight a little bit better than using your hands and arms. That being said, you need to make sure the taller and stronger person is at the bottom.

It’s not as safe, and it’s a lot harder work than using a stair climbing dolly, but it’s your next best option.

#3 Prepare The Pinball Machine

As well as using the right equipment to move your pinball machine safely, you also need to prepare the pinball machine for moving.

I’m going to go into more detail in the following sections, but basically, it requires taking off what you can to make it easier to carry.

#4 Slide It When You Can

This is the final tip I can give you, but it’s more for people that carry the machine rather than using a stair climbing trolley. Moving a heavy pinball machine isn’t an easy task, and it will take it out of you.

So, when you can, slide the machine on some smooth carpet so it doesn’t damage the floor or the pinball machine. 

It will take out the hard work before you get to the staircase or between staircases. Just be extra cautious not to damage your pinball machine.

How To Prepare & Move The Pinball Machine

In this section, I want to talk you through how to prepare your pinball machine and move it up your stairs.

If you follow these tips, your life will become so much easier when you’re moving your pinball machine:

Take The Legs Off

Taking apart the whole machine isn’t recommended, and it’s not very easy to do. Instead of trying to take it all apart, you might be able to get away with taking the legs off.

The problem with leaving the legs on is:

They can easily get caught on steps or around corners; not only that, but they can add a lot of weight, making it harder to carry over long distances.

Removing the legs from the pinball machine requires a few tools, but it shouldn’t be too hard; just make sure you keep the screws safe.

Fold-Down The Headbox

One of the difficulties you might come across is the tall headbox. Luckily most of them have a hinge system that allows you to fold it down.

But why should you fold it down?

One reason is to help distribute the weight, which makes it easy for people to carry. But the other reason is to help it fit through doorways without catching on the top.

Loading The Pinball Machine

Loading the pinball machine will defer depending on what method you decide to use. But in this section, I’m going to explain how to load the pinball machine on a stair climbing dolly. 

The thing you need to consider when loading your pinball machine is what kind of stair dolly you’re using. 

But the most important thing you need to remember is the heaviest part of the pinball machine should be placed at the bottom. This helps to stabilize the center of gravity and make it safes to move.

If the heavy section is facing up, you run the risk of not controlling the dolly and it falling down the stairs. Which, let’s face it, is the last thing you want to happen to your new pinball machine.

The final tip I want to give you when loading your pinball machine is to make sure you strap it to the dolly. Using straps reduce the chance of the machine becoming unbalanced and falling down the stairs.

Take It Slowly While Moving Upstairs

When you‘re moving up the stairs, make sure you walk at a pace you can handle. Don’t let the spotter push you up the stairs; It only takes one miss-step for an accident to happen.

Always take one step at a time and watch where your feet are going as you place your step.

The good thing about stair climbers is they have multiple speed settings, which means they can get at your pace.

If you’re using shoulder straps to carry the pinball machine, you need to work together to find a pace that suits both of you. If someone is moving too quickly, make sure you shout out to let them know.

The Biggest Hurdles For Moving A Pinball Machine Up or Downstairs

Okay, before we leave you to get on with moving, you probably want to know what the most significant hurdles are when it comes to moving your pinball machine.

So, in this section, I will give you the two biggest hurdles I come across when moving heavy equipment up or downstairs.

Let’s take a look:

Causing Damage To Your House

The problem with moving large/heavy equipment through apartments and houses is the doorways, hallways, and staircases are always so narrow.

You should always measure the pinball machine before you try and fit it through the doorways or staircases. And… 

If you haven’t removed the legs on the pinball machine, you need to make sure they’re not sticking out so they don’t scrape along the wall or get caught in doorways.

If you have removed the legs, just watch out for the sharp corners; you don’t want to leave scratches along the walls. 

Causing Damage To Yourself

Another major problem is causing damage to your body when you’re moving something so heavy. It’s so easy for something to go wrong, so make sure you’re always paying attention, and you have the right equipment for the job.

And most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it; an extra pair of hands goes a long way.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand how to move your pinball machine up your stairs into its final location.

While pinball machines are heavy, you should be absolutely fine with the right equipment and a little bit of know-how. 

We highly recommend you ensure you use a stair climbing dolly to transport your pinball machine upstairs. But, if you can’t get one, using straps and winches can definitely hello you out in the long run.