How to Transport A Pinball Machine

Transporting a pinball machine could be difficult. This is due to it being heavy and huge which makes provides a huge risk of breaking easily. Hence, it is important for you know how to transport them easily. In this article, we shall provide you useful information which you would definitely need especially when you are buying or selling a pinball machine.

You could transport a pinball machine either by car or through by a shipping company. No matter whichever option you would choose, you would still ensure that you would pack your pinball machine properly to make sure that your pinball machine would not get damaged during transportation.

How to Pack A Pinball Machine for Transport

If you would be transporting a pinball machine from a store to your house, the first thing you should do is to measure your vehicle first. If you are going to use a van or a big SUV or a truck, then you would not have any problems. However, if you are planning to use a car, there is a possibility that your pinball machine would not fit in your car. Keep in mind that you will have to consider the seats, hatchbacks and trunk of your car when you would use your car as your transportation tool for your pinball machine.

Another thing that you would need to check is the size of your pinball machine. Is it the right size for your vehicle? You will have to ensure that your pinball machine wll not get stuck inside your car.

Make Sure It Fits

Aside from ensuring that your pinball machine fits your transportation vehicle, you would also have to make sure that your pinball machine would fit through your doorways and stairways. You would have to protect not only the items, hallways, etc. of your home, you would also have to protect the machine itself.

Next step is that you will have to remove the balls. You could do this by getting into the glass of the cabinet. Take the backbox off or you could fold it down onto the cabinet. Ensure that you have a blanket or cardboard between the backbox and the cabinet. By doing this, you would be able to protect the backglass and the cabinet glass.

If you are transporting an old EM machine, make sure that you would disconnect the wires from the cabinet and the backbox. This could be accessed through the backbox door with a key. Wrap the machine with the use of a ratchet strap or plastic wrap.

Wrap Everything Up Carefully

You could use cardboard and wood pieces around the your machine. Wrap it also in a plastic wrap. Keep in mind to be careful when wrapping the plunger handle as it sticks out of the cabinet. Hence, do not forget to wrap it up carefully. Once you have secured the machine, you could start moving it by using a chair or hydraulic lift. This would help you avoid the machine from falling while removing the legs.

You could also use plastic wrap and cardboard to protect the legs. It is suggested that you do not tape the legs together as tape could take the paint off. Put the balls into a Ziploc bag whenever you are moving.

Transporting A Pinball Machine By Car

If you are planning to transport your pinball machine by your car, you will have to place your pinball machine inside your vehicle in an area where there is some sort of padding on the floor.

You could also work with foam flooring tiles. This would help you protect the underside of your machine. If you have enough stacked cardboard, you could use that as well together with blankets and styrofoam to ensure you could avoid any damage to the bottom of the machine. This preparation is very important especially when you will be using a cargo van, truck bed or small trailer for transportation.

Transporting a Pinball Machine With A Shipping Company

Though you might think that hiring a transporting shipping company is easier, there could actually be a lot of work. However, if you do not have any other option, then it would be best to ensure that you get a shipping company that is reliable and trustworthy.

The Backglass

Ensure that that backglass of your pinball machine is secured. Put styrofoam and/or cardboard on the back box slot. Keep in mind that the backglass could break easily. It is thin and it could not handle much movements and though the translite is harder, we suggest that you do this for it too to ensure safety.

Start wrapping your backbox with a plastic wrap and repeat this step after putting cardboard and styrofoam.

On the pallet, use ratchet strap to ensure it is secured and tightened against the pallet. Wrap the legs, balls and manuals together with your machine.


North American Van Lines (NAVL) company would surely deliver your pinball machine in one piece without any worries of damages. They use a truck and they deliver with their door to door service. They also offer packaging service with an extra fee. You could get a quotation direction from their website.

STI Movers

This shipping company is based in Chicago and they are highly rated. They offer door to door service and they have real time tracking. For long distance they charge $200 deposit and for local $50. You will have to pay half upfront and half once you received your machine.

Take Some Reference Pictures

Ensure that you take pictures of your machine in all angles before you move or transport your machine. This way you have a reference of how your machine should look like when you receive it.

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