How to prepare for the installation of heavy machinery within a factory

These tips have been produced to help busy production and operations managers plan for the arrival of new heavy machinery from the manufacturer.

Top tips for planning heavy machinery moving projects

Our aim is to help you have a better understanding of the heavy machinery moving process from our perspective so that together we can ensure disruption and downtime is minimised and your heavy machinery installation project is carried out safely and in accordance with the agreed timescales. Our ultimate goal is to save you time and your company money.

  1. Appoint an experienced heavy machinery moving specialist

If you are ordering a new machine direct from the manufacturer, choosing who to appoint to transport and install the machine might not be within your control. However, from our point of view, we would welcome dialogue with you as soon as possible as this will enable us to arrange a site inspection and begin building a relationship with those we will be working alongside.

If you are re-locating machinery on a production line, transporting it to another factory, or installing heavy machinery from a dealer and need to appoint your own machinery moving specialist, we advocate looking for one who can demonstrate a track record and past experience of your industry sector and the type of machine you are installing.

  1. Timing

Ensure you know the contact details for the machine supplier’s project manager and have been in touch with them to check all the key dates on the schedule meet with your own production timescales. This is crucial if you are to liaise with other internal departments or suppliers that need to be involved or need be aware of the timing and arrival of the machine. Particularly if out of hours working is required.

  1. Location

Our location assessment includes:

  • Access requirements at the collection and delivery sites
  • Floor conditions at both sites
  • The transport route to your factory and any traffic restrictions
  • The route the machine will travel from offloading into position within the factory
  • Machine pits or production line locations
  • Floor preparation requirements at the installation site

Our ideal methodology for sites that we have not visited before is to carry out a physical visit in order to conduct a site specific risk assessment and prepare a detailed method statement. This process ensures we understand all aspects of the project and can offer you advice which will help the installation run smoothly.

This survey helps to determine the type of transport, if any traffic restrictions are needed and the most suitable equipment to use to ensure the machine can be transported, lifted safely into position, bolted down and levelled ready for commissioning.

It also ensures we can provide you a quote that is an accurate reflection of exactly what is involved and there are no hidden surprises or unforeseen circumstances e.g. Access points that are not wide enough or ceilings that are not high enough.

  1. Installation

It is important to assess floor conditions and the impact of weight as the machine travels to its final position. During a machine move we will use heavy specialist equipment such as trailers, fork lifts, Hiab cranes, mobile cranes, lifting gantries and Versa-Lifts, so we need to know the floor can safely withstand the total weight of the movements.

Electrical power and mechanical service pipework will need to be installed prior to machine arrival. When in position the machine can be connected locally to mains services. Following this, the machine can progress to the commissioning phase.

Anchoring, levelling and alignment are also part of this assessment.


Involving Merritts as early as possible means we have a greater chance of understanding everything we need to know about your project and therefore may be able to offer advice that will help you save time and money and ensure the project completes with the minimum of disruption to production elsewhere in the factory.

If you are considering a heavy machinery movement project and would like advice, the Merritts team will be happy to help. With nearly 100 years of experience, we can deal with any machinery moving scenario.

November 11, 2019 by Lincoln Marks

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