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Hot Rods Any tips for moving a shop halfway across the country???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by mikec4193, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. Hi Fellow Hamb folks...

    The calendar years are flying by and it looks like my much anticipated move to Kansas is going to become a reality in the next year or county job is coming to a son and his family are in NE Kansas...been looking at real estate in that area....even put in some online bids on stuff only to get beat out due to the COVID real estate boom driving things a little crazy...

    I am looking for any tips on moving a garage I have called home since 2002 halfway across the country?...

    Since COVID hit I have been able to make several runs to the recycling centers to clear things out...also down to one project in the garage too....the shop is 26x32 with 2 lean too open storage areas...

    Does anybody on here that could share any tips and or tricks to getting a shop moved in the least painful way?

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Mike

    If you have the time and equipment - the contents as far as machinery and equipment
    and inventory can be moved by you and some friends with a large enclosed trailer.

    Some folks rent storage pods - pack them
    and have those picked up and delivered.

    I move shop supplies with vehicles on
    occasion for customers.

    My friend Anthony moved his VW restoration
    shop to North Las Vegas from Tacoma, WA.

    Sunday we loaded up a slammed 71’ bay
    window bus along with some totes and engine
    parts into my trailer - I am on my way now
    to meet him to drop off.


    Click Here To See Where I Am Today
    What My Actual Customers Say Click Here
    Click Here To See Vehicles I Have Hauled

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2021
  3. Hi Trulyvintage

    I was thinking about doing the POD thing...they seem to be a pretty easy deal...just gotta figure out how big of one I need to make the haul....

    Thanks for the picture...
    trulyvintage likes this.
  4. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 2,381

    rusty valley

    a flatbed trailer, and a forklift on both sites. check around an industrial park for wooden crates, most places will be happy if you took them
    trulyvintage likes this.

  5. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,590


    When I moved cross country, I weeded out all of the stuff that I really didn’t need or could be replaced easily (HF type engine hoist, etc). Then I built plywood boxes and put as much stuff on caster wheels to make it movable and to protect from damage. Also by having stuff in screwed shut boxes, prying eyes wouldn’t know what the stuff is. My dad had a lot of salvage plywood and caster wheels so I didn’t need to buy that stuff. It all rolled into the moving truck along with my household stuff. Garage stuff largely outnumbered house stuff. They even loaded my disassembled A coupe in the moving truck ( body was also on casters).

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    trulyvintage likes this.
  6. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 4,838


    I agree as to the large enclosed trailer. Yes, it's a lot of miles of driving, but this is going to suck no matter how you shake it. There is no easy or cheap way, just less painful. A good 24" box and pickup bed and just start hauling.
    Woogeroo and trulyvintage like this.
  7. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,431

    ramblin dan

    I'm with the rest of the guys who are going with the POD idea. Helped the lady down the street move and she rented two of them. In my neck of the woods they rented for about five bucks a day and would be picked up and dropped off by the rental company. But keep in mind there is a weight restriction which I believe was about 5000 pounds. And let's face it, most of the stuff in our shops and garages altogether would weigh about the same as the business end of a 747.
    pitman and Woogeroo like this.
  8. I didn’t move as far as you are planning, but the most economical way I came up with to both move a shop and then store my junk until I could build another shop was buying a 40’ enclosed semi trailer. Not sure what it might cost to have someone tow it, but I was able to buy the trailer for $1200 then have a buddy haul it for me. May not be feasible for that kind of move, but it worked to move my shop and gave me a storage shed as well. I still have the stupid thing even though my plan was to have that junk gone through and in my shop by now... I just found new junk to fill my shop with.
    Joined: Feb 16, 2016
    Posts: 87


    PC122363.JPG I bought an old 42' van "cartage" trailer that included delivery for $2750. Had to have a tire replaced for $500. Paid $350 to have it moved 200 miles. Sold it for $2800 (it did take about 3 months to sell when I was ready) so it cost me $800 to move my shop. I loaded and unloaded it at my leisure. It was a semi-drop-deck which helped with loading but did put tirewells in the way a little. If you bought a taller trailer then you have no obstructions, but do have more height issues getting stuff in and out(mostly). It was not air ride, but that is no big deal. Trailers vary in condition from new to storage. A Cartage condition trailer is still dry inside, but may be a bit rougher outside; not intended for day-to-day commerce but moving from A to B once in a while. That is what I would do again just for the convenience factor alone.
  10. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,171

    Jalopy Joker

    - sounds about right for many of us - "best laid plans", and all that
    guthriesmith likes this.
  11. Guy Patterson
    Joined: Nov 27, 2020
    Posts: 89

    Guy Patterson

    moved mine from Austin to Denver an did the POD route and that worked out well. As for the house stuff the moving company did damage stuff so the POD was nicer on my garage equipment
  12. Another option to consider is the ABF U-pack. You basically rent a trailer's space that you fill up and then ABF transports the trailer to your new location where you unload. No real weight limit, and the way it works is that you estimate how much of a trailer you will need (linear feet) and then they charge a distance amount for transport. You have flexibility in the feet of trailer if you pack tighter or need more feet than estimated. ABF adjusts your cost based on final size. A big wall is placed to seal your stuff, and then ABF loads their regular LTL type freight to fill up the balance of the trailer. ABF can drop trailer at your house, or you can load in their yard (little cheaper, but obviously you have to bring stuff to the yard).

    Note about house movers: they are based on weight and distance. Garage stuff like tools, car parts, etc are very heavy. House movers will be your most expensive option.

    I also agree that moving yourself is the best to save money. You can always sell an enclosed trailer once you get to new location, so the net cost is lowest for the self move.
    partssaloon and Beanscoot like this.
  13. Phil P
    Joined: Jan 1, 2018
    Posts: 342

    Phil P

    I went with the pod idea. I used 3 All told, I had them store them and deliver them one at a time so I could take my time unloading them. I was only moving 50 miles though. A friend of mine rented a semi trailer loaded him self, had it moved and then unloaded it and had it picked up later.

  14. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,425


    I had a friend who moved his shop and belongings from Kansas to Northern Idaho, and he bought a semi trailer and a an older tractor to pull it with. He knew he was moving for quite some time so bought the stuff a year in advance and took his time, so he could make sure the rig was ready to make some trips. It took him three months and five trips total to get it all moved, and then sold the tractor to someone, and kept the trailer for storage.

    Yep, for sure it's going to be a lot of driving, especially with a ;)24 inch box trailer.:(
  15. We rented a pod when we moved to Pennsylvania from Connecticut, about 350 miles. we packed it full and heavy. It cost us about $ 2,000.
  16. I knew a guy that bought a school bus from the city auction so it was a decent one that had been maintained. He pulled all the seats out packed it full and moved from Indiana to Florida. He sold the bus when finished.
  17. 55 Ford Gasser
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 573

    55 Ford Gasser

    Pods would be a good idea, but they don't deliver to some areas. For instance, I checked a couple of years ago, when I was thinking about a move to Kentucky, and they didn't deliver to the area I was thinking about.

    In '94, I was in England when I retired from the Air Force. The government will move you, but shop tools and parts are heavy and would put me over my weight allowance. Plus I had 7 Minis to ship as well. I checked with Maersk shipping and I was able to ship all my tools, parts and 7 Minis in a 45 ft container, door to door, for just under $3000. I think I was allowed 6 hrs for loading but, when it got to my destination I paid an extra $100 for them to drop off and pickup later, unloading at my convenience. The whole transaction couldn't have gone any smoother. Container would be another possibility, similar to other suggestions. Ron
    scotty t likes this.
  18. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,419

    abe lugo

    Its good time to see what parts you are actually going to use and what not worth taking along for the ride. Clean up and lighten the load. have a mini swap before you leave.
  19. Remember if you are looking at tractor/trailers. They need to be DOT inspected and road worthy. That bargain trailer you find may have obsolete wheels, brakes, axles etc costing $$$$$$$ to get it to pass inspection. I t may pay off better just to liquidate as much as you can and start over on the other end.
  20. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 5,850


    Assess what you have and what you need once you get to the new place

    I/e take me for example, I have two plasma cutters, two arc welders, two sets of OA, 3 wire welders, multitude of double, triple, etc hand tools and so on.
    If I were to retire, do I really need it all?

    So long before the “need to get out by” date, sell it off at a decent price, not a “
    need to get rid of it” price. I don’t know if you’re in a similar situation or not and also see you’ve been clearing stuff out, but think hard about needs vs wants.

    Figure you’ll end up doing most of the loading yourself, although a semi trailer can hold things up to 10feet high, how to pack it in and unpack it easily. How well can you you box it up to stack it so high, etc.

    I’d look for an older ugly goose neck horse trailer or two, good tires, go through the bearings and fix the lights. Might have to do some floor work, get the brakes up to par Buy a 3/4 ton truck and make the ride with just what I needed to get set up and started again. Since you’d own the trailer you could build shelving in it as you were loading it. Take advantage of all the space.
    pitman, '49 Ford Coupe and Tman like this.
  21. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 5,850


    I might add, I’ve got a somewhat similar situation and won’t go into why ill have to move in the future, but about a year ago I picked up an early 70’s Miley 4 horse trailer, 16 foot deck, for 500 $, it’s a bumper pull. I put new wood down, went through the bearings and have the brakes working now. My plan will be opposite though, I’ll load it with what I need to keep, then move stuff out that I want to sell. Since I’ll definitely be downsizing, I know I can’t take everything with me and certainly don’t want to be building a big shop, adding on, etc when I’m 65-70 years old. I recall how long it took me and my dad to add on to his garage for a shop, 24 x 36, I was in my mid 20s he was in his mid 40’s, but I’m the type that won’t pay someone/place to hang a roll up door for me
  22. I moved 9000 Sq feet shop 30 mins away.
    We Quit counting after 150 pallets but there was more, then there’s all that stuff that doesn’t palletize. 22 pallets is one 53’ semi.
    I had several plans,
    Rent semi trailers, buy shipping containers, pods. On the loading end semi trailers worked best but not on the unloading end because of lack of driveway issues. Shipping containers seemed like a great idea but nobody could load a full container onto a chassis save a giant crane and finding chassis was nearly impossible. Pods were a lot and they were bitching about how many i wanted.
    How we ended up doing it was I called everyone I knew with a trailer. I had them park at old shop and 3 of us loaded trailers all day. When they were all loaded (couple days sometimes) everyone would come haul to new place and there’d be 12 of us to unload. Unloading went quick nobody work too hard or kill themselves but it’s been two years and I’m still trying to unpack.
    Don’t do it in winter like I did, spend more time planning the pack so you get things unpacked like shelves up before the stuff,, that kind of stuff. It’s hard but harder if you don’t.
    That was 9000 into 8200 so it’s a little cramped but I have plenty of room now. The last load took the last square inch of floor space. Absolutely no room except for 12” isles between pallets. I had to throw stuff as far as I could to make a 30’x12’ spot to build my first mezzanine. Then hand load the damn thing with all the crap I threw a few days earlier.
    I bet things got moved around 15-50 times. Pallet jack and forklift
  23. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,848

    from Brooks Ky

    Couple of things you haven't mentioned. What kind of tow vehicle do you have ? Do you have a place to unload and store/install your stuff when you arrive?

    My son moved from Arizona back to Ky when he got out of the military. We purchased an enclosed trailer and loaded all his stuff inside. I flew out and drove back with him. We paid about $5k for a new enclosed trailer. That combined with the diesel pickup weighed about 18,000 lbs (+/- my memory) The good thing about doing it that way was that we could store/unload at our convenience or just leave everything in there. Then we could sell the trailer and recoup most of the money. We priced renting a much smaller trailer from one of the major rental places and they wanted about $1500 because it was a one way rental. Worked out really well.

    Second idea is to check into buying one of those "containers" and seeing what it would cost to ship it, buy you might have trouble with loading and unloading time.

    I bought a 20 ft trailer thats rated for 9,990 lbs because the legal requirements change at 10,000 lbs. It cost me just over $4k but its a very nice one. Buy one of those metal "containers" and have it placed on the trailer and maybe bolt it in place temporarily. You would need to verify that one will fit between the trailers fenders before buying. Then you can do whatever you want at your convenience and again, sell everything later.
    Virtually anything you do where you have to pay rental and hauling fees will be more expensive and probably less convenient.;)
  24. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 1,545


    ABF will also rent shipping crates that fit inside their van trailers. They will deliver them to your place, you load the crates and seal them, ABF picks them up and runs them into their trailers. Much the same as PODS. Another option already mentioned here is to rent or buy an export shipping container. Use every available inch of space you can because you're paying not only by weight but by floor space.
  25. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,571


    On the the contents of the shop.
    Parts that are designated for a current project is a given. Box or crate them together and catalog them.
    It would be a good idea to get a spiral binder or repurpose one and makes lists of what you have parts and tool wise.

    Hand tools are a given. That doesn't mean don't sort them out and do something with at least some of the excess. It might be time to weed some of the excess 5/8 wrenches or sockets that you seem to have ten of though.
    Shop equipment that is hard to replace or was hard to come by over the years has to go with you. Welders, torch set, special tools. The cherry picker so you can lift what you are moving on both ends of the move.

    First thing I'd do though is to actually go though and sort what I had.
    Dig out the burned up angle grinders and electric drills and other damaged things that you saved because you might need a part of it someday.
    Get rid of that cheap engine stand that you were afraid to stick a V8 on and haven't used for 8 years.

    My problem is after I moved back from Texas in 1977 and weaned out what I had and moved with a 16 ft U haul towed by my 48 I have accumulated for 44 years and every time I have moved since the moves have been short and I never got rid of anything. In fact I have stuff out in the sheds that I put there 36 years ago when I moved from one house to another and more that got stuck there after 6 more moves. I've got to do the clean out even though I most likely will never move again.

    SIDE NOTE: make sure that you actually have what you intend to move sorted out and separated from the "not taking it" stuff that you haven't got rid of yet. When I moved from Texas in 1977 My father in law helped me load the trailer and along with having to restack everything he put in the trailer until he got the idea of how it needed to be placed I ended up unloading a trash can full of trash the morning after we got here and unloaded the trailer.
    Tman likes this.
  26. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 2,590


    I inventoried all of my tools and took photos of all so I had a record of everything before it enemy on the moving truck. If your moving it yourself it may not matter.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  27. chevyfordman
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 987


    Put this in your notes somewhere, when you get to Indianapolis, Ind., don't take I-70 to Kansas City, take I-74 west to Kansas, its a very flat and barely traveled 4 lane highway in good shape and you will miss all the traffic and crowded cities and up and down hills of Missouri.
  28. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,012


    I helped a friend who moved to the south. He had a fairly large shop and a lot of tools. He packed every tool that was in his toolboxes and sold his older too chests. The amount of space that was saved was incredible. The first purchase he made after they closed on the new place were two decent matching toolboxes.

    Plus he sold a bunch of stuff he didn't use, worn out, didn't want to move, or things that were inexpensively replaced like metal chop saw, engine hoist, air compressor, lawnmower, etc.
    mrspeedyt likes this.
  29. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 4,855


    Like mentioned, get rid of all but the stuff you need. Then contact a local trucking company that will work with you and rent the largest trailer they have. Have them bring it out an drop it a few days before you leave. Put all your stuff in it tying it down very good, did I say very good! Then,be ready to head to Kansas and beat the truck there. Then have the driver park the truck at your new shop and unload it! This will take a little logistics and know that every day the trailer sets cost money, negotiate this in advance. Also pull a small trailer behind your truck!

    mrspeedyt and Hot Rods Ta Hell like this.
  30. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,099


    My only advice is to NOT do it if you're over 70. Took me forever to get settled.

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