Chair & Table Movement

Moving Rental Tables & Chairs:

It is always best to move chairs and tables with a dolly if you are on a smooth and level surface (like cement). Then, when you are setting up or taking down the equipment, you can move throughout the event area without having to walk back and forth. This will save you energy and time – both of which are usually in short supply before an event.

If there are any bumps or larger imperfections on the floor (or ground) you will need to strap the load to the dolly. Not doing so may result in the load shifting as it is being pushed when it hits a large enough bump (the dolly will stop and the load will slide off the top of the dolly). If you are lucky, the load will just fall on the floor/ground – if you are less lucky it may fall on you or others. Not to mention the damage to the nice wood floor… It is always good to have a second person to help you maneuver the loaded dolly over any area that is less than perfect.

Before moving any load, look at the entire path you will be pushing along. If you have any doubts about the smoothness or incline, you will need to carry the items.

One of the secrets to carrying anything is to always use the biggest and strongest muscles you have – your legs. You walk every day, and exercise them –whether you want to or not – so they are in the best shape. Never bend and use your back.

The other secret is to use balance (as Miyagi would have said). When you pick up a table, if you don’t have it at the exact center, it will be much harder to carry. You won’t be just using your legs to carry it, you will be using other muscles to try and keep it from tipping. At best, this will tire you out fast - at worst, you may injure yourself.

If you are not in decent shape, enlist the help of others to help you carry tables and chairs.

Standard Rental Tables:
-6’ long plywood tables weigh between 45 to 50 pounds.
-8’ long plywood tables weigh between 55 to 65 pounds.

Non-standard tables can be much heavier:
-A 6’ long table made from particleboard weighs 72 pounds.
-This is the type of table that would have a Formica top.

Carrying Techniques – Folding Tables:

Two-Person Single Table Horizontal Carry: A rectangular table laid on its long side with the top facing you will have a “runner” on the opposite side. Both people use this “runner” as a handle to carry the table.

Two-Person Two Table Horizontal Carry: Two rectangular tables laid on their long sides with both tops facing you (as above) will have a “runner” on both sides. Both people hold a “runner” in their left hand and their right hand to carry two tables at a time (a “people” sandwich).

One-Person Single Table Horizontal Carry: A rectangular table laid on its long side with the top facing you will have a “runner” on the opposite side. Grab the “runner” in the middle of the table to carry it. Test it first by lifting it to find the balance point.

One-Person Single Table "Suitcase" Carry: A rectangular table laid on its short side (standing tall) with the top facing away from you with the folding legs showing. Grab the lower leg at the horizontal brace as if it were a suitcase handle and use the other hand to balance the table by its edge to carry it. Make sure to look overhead first to determine if there is enough space for the table (some ceilings and doorways can pose a problem). This is a very easy way to carry a table over great distances. If there is a low door to go through at the end, you can switch to the “horizontal carry”.

One-Person Single Table Forearm Carry: A rectangular table, laying on its long side in a delivery truck with the top facing you will have to be unloaded and carried. Grab the table by the top and bottom edges and slide it out of the truck until you can lay it on top of your lower forearm. This arm should be your strongest (dominant arm) as it will bear most of the weight. Using this method, you will easily out-carry anyone trying to hold the table in both hands. When you are ready to put the table down, rotate it to the floor/ground from the balance point and once it is down continue to “roll” it onto its long side to get ready to open the legs.

Opening the table legs: Every so often I see tables set up that do not have the leg locks engaged. The legs hinge open and then there is a bar that should be pushed. It will snap into place securing the folding leg. When the time comes to take down the table, the lock is pushed in the opposite direction to release it. There are many types of tables in the world, and many types of locks. The type mentioned above is the typical Rental Table lock. Another type is the gravity lock which will fall when the table is turned upright – then they have to be slid back to release the legs.

Carrying Techniques – Folding Chairs:

In the table-carrying section above, tables can weigh anywhere from 45 to 65 pounds. Chairs are much lighter and normally carried in groups. A Standard “Samsonite-style” folding chair weighs 7 pounds, while a standard garden chair weighs 10 pounds. This weight will determine how many chairs you can comfortably carry.

If you can easily move thirty-five pounds, then you should be carrying 5 “Sams” or 3 “Gardens” per trip.

Seventy pounds is an upper limit for most strapping young lads who work in the event rental field (for multiple “carries”) and would dictate moving 10 “Sams” or maybe 7 “Gardens”. I say maybe because the garden chairs are bulkier than the regular folding chairs so are more difficult to handle.

Chairs, because of their small size, lend themselves to being carried by one person. Many folding chairs lock together nowadays and that makes them easier to carry. Some of the older style wood garden chairs do not and that raises the level of difficulty.

To get ready, position the chairs in front of you. If they are standing folded leaning against something, grab five (or 10 if that is your comfort level) and lock them together. Then bend your knees and reach through the chairs with one arm just below the seat (this is close to the balance point). Lift with your legs while “hugging” the chairs to your midsection with both arms.

If the chairs are laying flat on a dolly or the floor, pick your amount to carry and lift the top of the chair (the part your back would lean against while sitting in the chair) while reaching through.

Put them down by reversing the process.

Mark Saponaro Email me


  1. Great Information. I need this.
    For additional information, if you need Trusted AC Rental Service in Indonesia for event in Indonesia, you can try to reach us Arthur Teknik.

    Thanks admin.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Chair Layout Part 1 - How To Design A Layout To Fit Your Event Space

How to design a Poster Board Layout