Should You Self-Perform Your Rigging and Machinery Moving?

Oct 1, 2020

My father-in-law is a jack of all trades. He can perform most any vehicle repair himself. I’ve learned from him that “figuring it out” is just as satisfying as performing the work. He also loves to save money. In fact, I know he gets frustrated with the fact that I pay for an oil change.

While performing a vehicle repair and lifting a heavy object are dissimilar in many ways, these two activities do share at least one fundamental question. That is, should I perform the work myself or not? Afterall, most of us would like to try and save money and enjoy the thrill of accomplishing a challenging task.

When it comes to moving a heavy object, such as a machine or piece of equipment, there are a few critical considerations to keep in mind when making this decision. Some of these include:

  • How heavy is the object? 

Sounds far too simple, yet the weight will determine the type of equipment needed to lift and transport the object. This can get complicated quickly, especially as you ponder the DIY option.

  • How much time do I have to move it? 

I once tried changing the brakes out on my truck. It seemed straight-forward, and I had an entire evening to get it done. I hit some unexpected snags that night, and I didn’t have a ride to work the next morning. If you are attempting to replace a heavy CNC machine for instance, you might be pressed to do it quickly. Can you afford to deal with surprises that lead to delays? Basically, how important is a predictable outcome?

  • What type of rigging equipment is needed? 

Should you use chains, slings, jacks, skates, etc.? How can you tell if the rigging equipment is strong enough for the weight of the object? Getting this wrong is extremely costly…and sometimes fatal.

  • What liability do I assume if I self-perform the rigging and lifting? 

Liability extends beyond the actual machine or piece of equipment. It includes property, people, regulations, etc. For instance, are you equipped to abide by OSHA regulations related to lift planning, rigging inspections, equipment maintenance, operator qualification, etc.?

I can technically replace the brakes on my truck. I might also be able to replace a 10,000lb CNC machine at the shop. Before choosing the DIY method for these tasks, it’s critical to stop and think through some key considerations. While it usually costs more to take my truck to the shop or source rigging help to replace my CNC machine, the benefits can be tremendous. This is especially true when uncertainty exists with the weight of the object, timeframe, type of equipment needed, liability, etc.

So, should you DIY the rigging and heavy lifting? The answer is…it depends. The DIY method might be right for you, or you may need some assistance. If you need help thinking through these variables, we’d be glad to discuss. Feel free to reach out to us at