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pollyisagoodbird

Shipping and transporting an arcade game

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So I'll be buying an upright, full-size Super Pac-Man machine locally (within minutes of where I live, thank goodness), and need some tips on transporting it. I plan on using a minivan (specifically a late-model Kia Sedona with stow-and-go seats), but am incredibly skeptical about the machine's safety, particularly with the load / unload process. I've seen posts of folks saying it's okay to transport the machine on its back, but no posts explaining a how-to porcess to get the machine in and out of the van without dropping one end. So I have a small list of questions I've compiled:

*Should I wrap it up before transporting it? And if so, with what? The van's floor is carpeted.
*Will it be easy to get in and out of the van? It's a standard minivan, but my concern is loading it in at an angle, since the top end will have to go in first, so I wonder how easy it will be to put it in and out of the trunk. I'm assuming the heaviest part is the monitor.
*Will a standard dolly work, or do I have to get something specific? I live on the ground floor, so I'll just roll it through my sliding glass door.
*The carpet of my apartment is pretty plush. Out it be worth getting plastic sliders to stick on the bottom of the cabinet, in case I want to swap out boards and need to move it away fro the wall? Will this depreciate its value?

Any and all suggestions I'd love to hear. Thank you!
 

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Years ago...I bought my first, and only arcade cabinet...Sega's Turbo.  I was 28 or so at the time, and my dad (who was 65 at the time) and I, went and got it in his Pontiac Aztec...yeah I know, but he seriously loved that thing.  It was about an hour away.  When we got there, the guy had it in his driveway so we backed in and took a look at it.  I had read where people talked about removing the back door to make sure everything was securely mounted (PCBs, power supplies and the likes), before tipping it so that you wouldn't cause any damage.  So I did, and everything seemed to be secured in place as it should be...not simply lying in a pile in the bottom of the cabinet.  We backed his car up near it, tipped the top backwards, and got it to rest on the floor of his Aztec.  We then picked up the front bottom edge to get it horizontal with the Earth, and slid it in.  It was a sunny day so no sort of wrapping or blankets were involved.  I lived on the 2nd floor of an apartment building, with a large outside stairway...but I honestly don't remember taking it up there, but obviously we did.  If you're on carpet in your apartment, you're gonna have a hard time if you want to pull it out, and work on it in the back...so sliders can be a good option.  I know I didn't initially, and besides the hard time moving it around the few times I needed to, the old steel rusty leveling feet stained the carpet where it sat, $50 out of my security deposit when I moved out.  I had a few graphical glitches when I first got it home, but from recommendations I got online, I pulled and re-seated all of the socketed ICs, and all of the cables, which took care of the issues.  I had a few other things to do with it, replace some light bulbs, speakers and the likes, but nothing major.  The 2 times I've moved it since I originally got it, I used an appliance dolley (the kind with the strap), as a buddy has one and it makes moving it a lot easier than obviously trying to just carry it.  With a standard dolley, you can also simply use a ratchet strap around the cabinet and dolley, to kind of create an appliance dolley.  

 

For what its worth, I almost think I remember reading somewhere that it was recommended to transport them on their side (vs back) if you can't stand it up, but I could be mistaken, and like I said I transported mine on its back with little to no peril.  I'm not sure if you're aware but there is a huge arcade community over at the KLOV forums...I'm sure there are threads that could be searched with more info, and if you need help with any repairs when you get it, those would be the guys to ask (or the threads to search).  Good luck.

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I've transported several laying down and had zero issues. I prefer upright as it puts less weight on weird places in a cabinet, but if it's a short distance you'll likely have zero problems. As doubledown states, before you lay it down, look in the cabinet and make sure nothing is loose, not bolted down, or will wiggle around and break things. You could always pull the boards if you're paranoid about it, but frankly there's no real reason to.

 

If it's a rarer game or higher dollar value, I'd suggest getting / renting a refrigerator dolly. They're infinitely easier to move cabinets around with. Most rental places will rent one for the day for $10.

 

Additionally, if it's a high value game, I'd consider just going to Home Depot and renting a truck from them. If it's a close area, they rent at $19.99/hr, and if it only takes an hour to load up and deliver that, plus the fridge dolly, sets you back $30 plus gas for a guarantee the game stays upright and gets properly strapped in. Oh yeah, and always, ALWAYS bring 3x more straps and tiedowns than you need. LOL.

 

What I always do as well is bring a big blanket and a tarp. Set the blanket on the bed of the truck or floor of a cargo van, then you can slide the cabinet in a little better, then cover with the tarp. Always wise to cover the game completely when transporting.

 

I've been doing UHauls for mine because I'm buying Bronze Age games which not only are impossible to repair generally but very hard to find replacement parts for. So I go whole hog with a UHaul with ramps and enough space for upright storage and I have at least 3-4 extra hands on deck at all times, but for like a $300 purchase of a 1942 JAMMA for example that's overkill.

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