I was very excited to finally be getting the piano on which I practiced as a child. It left Florida at the beginning of October and has been winging its way to Sausalito ever since. It was delivered today. Well, maybe, kinda, sorta.
I stressed to the company that our street was exceedingly steep. I told them about how the company that moved all the furniture from LA had to make special arrangements with pickup trucks and an off site staging area. The lady felt confident that the piano moving company‘s short truck would work just fine.
The truck got wedged trying to make it up the hill when it turned off of our adjoining street onto our street. I suspect that it might have made it had the driver gone at the street at a much sharper angle than he did. But, at any rate, the truck was totally and completely stuck.
It couldn’t back up (a large metal beam on the undercarriage was grinding against the sewer manhole cover which wasn’t going anywhere. And it couldn’t go forward because the Tommy Lift beams on the side were embedded into the roadway itself and needed to go lower to clear the hill. Couldn’t.
The dispatcher refused to call a tow truck and insisted that the drivers figure it out. Nothing could be done. A tow truck had to be called. After hours, the dispatcher called a tow truck. When I found out how much the tow truck charged, I completely understood why they didn’t want to call it.
This was no ordinary tow truck. This was a monster machine! I think it could lift a semi from the bottom of the ocean! The company the tow truck driver works for charges $225 per half hour starting from the time the truck leaves the company until it returns to the company! (This was rush hour! with crawling traffic!)
Once the piano moving truck was unstuck, they parked it on the side of the road and decided they would push the piano up the hill on a dolly with a pneumatic tire system. These were young, in shape men, but I was convinced they simply couldn’t push the piano that far, especially with the precipitously steep incline of the hill. They would die of heart attacks. They were confident they could.
By the way, you could see where the back passenger-side tire dug a hole in the pavement from spinning around and around without gaining any traction.
They got the piano out of the truck, put it on the dolly, “tied themselves” to the dolly and started up the hill. One of my neighbors and I were standing there talking. When he saw they were really going to do this, he said he was going to go ahead and start up the hill ahead of them. He’s no fool! He didn’t want the piano to coming rolling back down the hill and squash him.
The movers pushed the piano up the hill two whole steps! The guys then stopped, realizing this would not be possible. They packed up the piano saying they would have to return on their next run with an ATV pulling a cart up the hill with the piano on it.
I have such wonderful neighbors. They were very patient with the ordeal. One said “That hill just eats trucks!” Several had to park their cars at the bottom of our street and walk up the hill because the truck was totally blocking the road. For hours and hours!
So far away!
This reminds me of my grandfather telling us about him and a friend loading up an old upright to take to a friend’s house to whom they were giving it. It was large and very, very heavy. Any my grandfather and his friend were 70 years old. They struggled with it for hours trying to get the piano into the pickup truck.
En route, they hit a large bump in the road and the piano bounced up into the air and went of the side of the truck and came crashing down in the middle of the busy road. He said the noise was like nothing he had ever heard in all of his life. They were horrified, threw the pickup into reverse, leaped out of the truck, and literally tossed the piano in a single motion back into the truck bed.
He laughed heartily as he talked about the hours it took them to get the piano in the truck originally. Yet, when their adrenaline was pumping, they picked it up as if it only weighed a few ounces.