Help me move a treadmill from online to my basement.
May 13, 2010 5:31 AM   Subscribe

Help me move a treadmill from online to my basement.

I'd like to buy a treadmill online, both for light running during winter and for walking during freelance work (gym and local stores aren't an option); the thing will go in my basement. I've realized that many retailers (e.g Costco, maybe Amazon/UPS) will only ship to your curb. I also read that there may be a union requirement preventing delivery people from exceeding that drop-off point, so offers of extra pay or cookies might get the treadmill past the curb--and I don't want to bank on a friendly delivery person helping me, then end up with someone having a grumpy or busy day and a treadmill stuck on my curb.

I'd like to get the treadmill up my normal-suburban-length driveway and down five steps into the basement, and given physical constraints I probably won't be able to just drag it myself. Other than finding friends or paying strangers to move the thing, does anyone:

1. know of shipping outfits that will carry something a reasonable distance to your front door or inside?

2. have experience ordering a treadmill or other large exercise machine online and getting it delivered into your home? (from where did you buy, and who did the shipping?)
posted by ollyolly to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I ordered an Epic treadmill from Costco and they delivered to my door. They used a generic shipping carrier. You would probably need at least 4 people to move a treadmill which most carriers only have one or two guys on their trucks. You could try calling and asking the vendor or shipping company.
posted by wongcorgi at 5:43 AM on May 13, 2010

the easy solution is to find a temp agency and hire a couple of guys for an hour to move it.

That said, I moved a treadmill from my car to the second floor of my house, by myself (I was a skinny 50 year old when I did it). Part of the key was unpacking it downstairs and moving it up in pieces. (most of them need pretty extensive assembly when you buy them new.
posted by HuronBob at 5:44 AM on May 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

Data point: we have a treadmill from Smooth Fitness. They will deliver to the room of your choice for an extra fee. As I recall it was about $100 extra, but that was a few years ago. We went for curbside delivery to save money and really regretted it because that thing was a beast to get up the stairs. The way the wiring is designed, it's not meant to be disassembled into smaller pieces - believe me, we tried.

We got one of their lower-end models and we're happy with the quality - the only issue is that it's fairly noisy.
posted by beandip at 5:52 AM on May 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

When moving one of my grandparents from a first-floor to a ground-floor flat, my aunt hired a local removal company who sent people to help carry heavy things. I believe she found them through 'yellow pages'.

If you have a hand truck and a garage, you could use the hand truck to wheel it to your garage, then you could get some friends, neighbors or family members to help you move it down the stairs at a time convenient to them - so they wouldn't have to wait around for the delivery truck.

Another option would be to get a smaller/lighter treadmill, which you could lift on your own.

That said, I moved a treadmill from my car to the second floor of my house, by myself [...] Part of the key was unpacking it downstairs and moving it up in pieces. (most of them need pretty extensive assembly when you buy them new.

Could I ask what type of treadmil it was, and what parts it was split into? I would have thought the component weights and the amount of assembly would depend on the model, and though you'd expect the side rails and control console to be removed for shipping, wouldn't the deck be shipped almost assembled?

One would think the deck would contain the majority of the weight; and from home shopping websites I see treadmills can weigh anything from 25kg to 150kg; with a heavier model, even if you moved the side rails and console separately, you could still end up with a part that would need several people to lift it.
posted by Mike1024 at 6:09 AM on May 13, 2010

Definitely have more than one person on hand on the day of delivery - my treadmill is 350lbs and only the side rails and console are in separate pieces. The base ramp/motor is usually in one piece and is the heaviest.

It took two people about 30 minutes to get it inside my house from the doorstep.
posted by wongcorgi at 6:32 AM on May 13, 2010

UPS and FedEx will not cross the threshold of your door. Local delivery guys, however, can almost always be bribed into moving things further into your house.
posted by schmod at 6:34 AM on May 13, 2010

This is what neighbors and friends are for. I've moved a bunch of heavy stuff over the years in exchange for nothing more than the knowledge I would have one "can you help me move something heavy" call in the bank.
posted by COD at 6:37 AM on May 13, 2010

The deck (and the motor) is definitely where the weight is located. The treadmill we have is somewhere north of 300 pounds and removal of the control panel and the arms that hold it up don't really amount to much weight at all. Thankfully we had movers when we went from an apartment to a house.
posted by mmascolino at 7:00 AM on May 13, 2010

If your shipper uses a local delivery company (and not Fedex or UPS) I've found you can generally get them to put stuff exactly where you want it with the appropriately-sized tip.
posted by Runes at 7:22 AM on May 13, 2010

Often the local classifieds or "Buy and Sell" type papers will have ads for people with pickup trucks or small cargo trucks that will "haul anything, any time." Even the one-person outfits can usually round up an extra person or two to do in-house placement of large items like this, and are usually cheaper than the bigger shipping firms.

As an aside, have you measured the height of the treadmill at max. angle, and added your height to make sure the ceiling in the basement accommodates this number? This tip comes from personal experience - add several inches for comfort. Right now if I want to use my treadmill I have to accept the ceiling tiles brushing against my hair on each uptake.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:27 AM on May 13, 2010

Usually local retailers will offer "install and setup" for an extra charge. This may be worth it, treadmills weigh a ton, and are a bitch to move.

Also, check your room. It's really sad to get your new toy and find out you can't use because your space is too small, or the ceiling is too low.
posted by Marky at 10:18 AM on May 13, 2010

I've ordered fitness equipment from Sears before (online). According to their current home delivery terms, the delivery team will put your treadmill where you want it and assemble it for you at your request. You may have to pay extra for assembly.
posted by tastybrains at 11:47 AM on May 13, 2010

This might be a good time to go brick-and-mortar. There are some things that it is just better to have a person to look at and talk to about. If you have a fitness store within fifty or so miles, it might be worth the drive over, the (maybe) slight additional cost and the ability to say to a human, "This is the situation. Can you deliver and set it up for me at no extra cost?" This is not a pair of shoes. It is a big-ticket purchase that carries with it some leverage if you say the right things. Anyway, wouldn't you like to see and try it out before you commit to it forever? You are planning to use it forever aren't you?
posted by Old Geezer at 3:16 PM on May 13, 2010

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