How to get a Heat Commander into my house

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New Member
Oct 2, 2022
I have a narrow hilly 850 foot gravel driveway and I doubt the truck that delivers a Heat Commander is going to want to come down it (though Fedex, UPS, and Amazon come down it every week). Basically I'm trying to figure out how I get a 750 pound Heat Commander delivered and into my basement. Fortunately my basement does have ground level garage access at the driveway, but even if a truck dropped it at the garage door, I'm not sure how I'd get it positioned at the other end of my basement. I have an appliance dolly, but about 400 pounds is all I care to move with that. How is this sort of problem normally handled by someone without a tractor or forklift?
With pizza and beer. Promised to your friends for after the done.

I'd make a dolly that has the right size, and can carry more. Or borrow a pallet jack.
Time for a better dolly. Even a 9.88$ harbor freight junk dolly is rated for 800#. Buy two!
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You can roll it on pipe if you get one end up to start with. Then roll it along by feeding pipe as you go. I managed to do this alone with both my big wood furnace yrs ago, and again a month ago with my 450lb BK. With two people it would be much easier.
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I agree, get enough help and you can do it.

I recently removed my old stove and brought in a new one. With only the help of my wife and 13 year old daughter. The two of them combined weigh less than me :)
We carried the stove from a trailer and up some stairs.

I’m not familiar with your stove, but on mine I was able to remove a few parts and make it lighter. Door, fire bricks, fan, heat shields, etc.
I moved a Heat Commander into the basement through a basement garage and installed it all by my lonesome...a couple Menards furniture dollies, some pipes to roll it on, and some wood blocks and large prybars (leverage is your friend) makes it really pretty easy.
You can do smart, not hard.
Oh, and if you have any narrow doors, take the reload button off the left is only one screw and a couple wires. (I took it out of the crate in the garage...easier to move that way IMO)
And this is a whole house forced air wood furnace...this thread should be in the boiler room section.
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I have a similar setup to yours. I do a lot of this type of thing, usually by myself. The gravel section is usually the real problem. Here's some of the solutions I've used. Maybe there's one or a combination that works for you. It'll get the creative juices flowing anyway:

Snow and anything that resembles a toboggan - probably not for NC.
Just drag the pallet with a vehicle.
Put pallet on two 4x4 lumber with ends cut to be runners, then screw pallet to these skis. Works great on snow, and much better than just a pallet on gravel. Push/pull/drag as appropriate.
Arrange for an off-road pallet jack (big pneumatic tires and a wide stance). Regular pallet jacks are about useless on gravel.
Carefully push pallet with a plow blade, UTV works best for this. Power angle blade can be a real help.
Any vehicle with a winch is handy to have around.
Extra hands and bodies are good to have around. Strangely, weaker is usually better. The tough guy types often contribute to injury or damage.

If you have a chain or better yet a stout strap, it's amazing what even one person can do in moving palletized items. You just need to be able to pull from a position where you can make some real power, and the chain or strap allows that.

A rock bar or crowbar will allow you to lever almost anything around in very small increments. Also makes a good turning / steering brake when dragging things.

Once on a paved surface, a lot depends on what you're moving and what you're willing to subject your surface to:

Furniture rollers can sometimes be amazing.
Vehicle floor jacks can also be lifesavers.
The old pipe-roll has already been mentioned.
In the push/pull/drag scenario, simply wetting the sliding area can be a real help. Creating a snow-packed sliding surface is good if it's available. Creating ice can be great, or too much of a good thing, depending...
Rock bars / crowbars work very well if your surface can handle the abuse. A small metal plate or piece of plywood can be a handy buffer and you can use the bar under the fork reliefs of a pallet
There are many little moving aids used in the industrial sectors to move machinery, etc. For some unknown reason, I don't have any! If there's a HF version, it may or may not be good enough for occasional use.

If you're patient, creative, and determined, there's little you can't move. Just make sure you can always control the load somehow, especially on ANY slope, you always have an escape, and stay out of pinch points. Heavy tipping things can be fatal. Think at least twice before acting once. Have help nearby or at least a way to summon help on you in case your thinking and precautions fail you. Your spouse can be away for a very loooong time when part of you is pinched to the floor.
If you have neighbor with a loader backhoe they work really well. I used mine to snag a wood boiler out a basement bulkhead last year and used it yesterday to pick oil boiler up and onto a dolly.

I have source of swivel wheels that look like large shopping cart wheels, I make up a wooden dolly to fit the equipment with scrap 2 by 4s and deck screws then screw on 4 of these wheels on the corners. Once a boiler is on wheels it can be tippy but moves fairly easily on flat surfaces. Tractor supply and Harbor Freight both sell lots of wheels.
My guess is that you will need to get it up the driveway yourself. Freight haulers probably won’t want to drive up it.
I would barrow or rent a trailer for the day. 350# was all I could move safely by hand on on my driveway.

4x4 and 2x4 cribbing and two Jacks might be useful
Honestly getting it up the driveway could be as simple as sacrificing a piece of plywood...screw a 2x4 to one end so a rope or chain can be fastened to it...then sit the furnace on the plywood and pull it with what have you...get a free driveway grading in the process too! ;lol
If you keep the furnace back far enough on the plywood the front of the wood should raise up when you pull...assuming your hitch height is adequate...
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I’ve found that skinny smart people are more of a help than big and brawny guys. Work smarter not harder. I built my boiler room around my boiler and storage tanks, forks on a big tractor and able to access all sides . My boiler was 2500lbs and the tanks were 650 each.

How to get a Heat Commander into my house
I’ll chime in when I got my HC I’m lucky enough to be a delivery driver actually so I picked it up myself on my work truck took it right to the front door. That was the easy part it sat in my living room on its plywood sheet for a week until I could gather some people to help get it down to my basement. We left it on the plywood had 3 people at the top with straps connected to where they lift the machine with a forklift then 2 people at bottom just guiding it over the steps I have 25 steps going down to the basement once down there we just guided it on to those furniture moving blankets and pulled it right in to spot.
I’ve found that skinny smart people are more of a help than big and brawny guys. Work smarter not harder. I built my boiler room around my boiler and storage tanks, forks on a big tractor and able to access all sides . My boiler was 2500lbs and the tanks were 650 each.

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And sell the place before anything needs to be replaced ;)

I used to specialize in tight layouts for combined heat and power plants. In most cases the clients told us we had to fit it in a given space that usually was too small. I would spend a couple of days on Autocad moving thing around until I could have enough space for major components to be serviced and removed. In some cases that might include framing in an opening in a new wall and then siding it over in case something big had to go in or out. The contractors didnt like it as they liked a lot of space for easy installation, but it only gets installed once while it needs to run for many years and that might mean major component replacement.
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