Top Tips on Transporting Theatre Equipment
Whether you’re a travelling theatre company needing advice on transporting equipment regularly, or you’re just a theatre maker looking to import from China, finding the right advice for moving heavy and expensive equipment can be a daunting and confusing process. To help you out, we’ve decided to pull together some of the best tips, tricks and advice for transporting equipment from A to B safely!
Heavy and sensitive equipment can be nerve-wracking to move around, but with the right care it’s easier than you think. If you have screens, make sure you correctly and carefully roll them up, and store them well in boxes with padding. Projectors or other electrical equipment needs to be packaged in padded boxes too, and bumps and knocks avoided as much as possible. Even moisture can become a problem with these sensitive items, so being well packaged and protected is vital for ensuring your equipment stays in top condition with every move it has to undergo. Foam or bubble wrap are good choices for padding, as Styrofoam peanuts can get into equipment and cause more harm than good!
When it comes to transporting heavy equipment or props, securing everything in place and choosing the right vehicle is everything. If the items are on the extremely heavy side, you should even consider calling in assistance from a haulage company that specialises in heavy deliveries. If you do choose to transport it yourself, however, you need to pick the right vehicle. For example, an average trailer might do if your heavy equipment fits neatly in boxes, but for columns, or awkwardly shaped items, an extendable trailer or large truck could be the solution you need!
Lights are often some of the bulkiest, heaviest, and most fragile equipment of your entire load. Both the lights and the tripods need to be protected, so a case is your best bet. But where do you start? Well, really you need a long, semi-hard case that can roll. As eye-watering as it might be to come to terms with, the more expensive the case, the better it is likely to be – and not just in the way of protecting your lights. Think about how much weight could be bearing down on the wheels of your case. Finding replacement wheels when those wear down will be much easier with well-known brands than with a little known brand!
Reconnecting and Setting Everything Up
So you’ve got your equipment to where it needs to go. Everything’s in one piece, nothing’s damaged and you’re ready and raring to go. Except, now you have to reconnect and set everything up… How do you make this easier for yourself? The answer is simple – when you disconnect everything the first time, make clear note of what goes where and what needs to be set up or taken down first. Documenting everything can help you when it comes to unpacking and setting up, from the layout of the wires, to finding everything you need in relaxed seconds rather than stressful minutes.
Transporting your theatre equipment ultimately comes down to packing everything well, ensuring that everything is secured, and planning ahead. With the extra care and consideration, moving your theatre equipment will never have been easier.