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How to Move a Vending Machine: A Complete Guide

Learn how to move a vending machine by yourself! Our expert guide covers transportation options, tools, and tips to help you move your machine anywhere.

September 18, 2023


Once you’ve got a great vending machine, you have to find the perfect location. Now let’s say you thought you found it, but your lease is up. Or maybe you found an even better location for your snack machines, and are ready to start your moving process and transport your vending machine to its new spot.

There are vending machine movers out there, but you can also do it yourself if you have the right tools and equipment. This guide will open the door to everything a vending operator needs to know about how to transport a vending machine. Entire moving process covered - including what tools you’ll need, how to load it onto a truck, and safety considerations.

How to Move a Vending Machine in 4 Steps

Vending machines aren’t the easiest things in the world to move to an optimal station. You need professional equipment and knowledge to avoid property damage or hurting yourself. There are four steps to moving a vending machine you’ll want to follow:

1. Prep the truck

2. Unload the machine

3. Transport the machine from the truck to its new location

4. Test the machine to ensure its working property

How much does a vending machine weigh?

Vending machines weigh anywhere between 400 to 900 pounds. Check your machine’s specifications to find its exact weight and dimensions. If you don’t have those handy, you can also look up its model online or check our detailed guide on vending machine weight.

The average vending machine weighs 640 pounds, stands 72 inches high, and measures 39 inches wide and 30 inches deep.

The weight and size of the vending device will influence the type of truck you use and how many assistants you need to safely get the job done. Emptying the machine before moving it also helps lower its weight. For example, an Everest ice and water vending machine weighs about 1600 lbs which means you're better off carefully planing your transportation. On the other hand, Piranha vending machine will weigh around 400 lbs and could fit even most pickup trucks.

Personal injury is highly possible if you attempt to move a vending machine without the proper tools or equipment.


Necessary Equipment When Moving Vending Machines

an illustration showing necessary equipment to move a vending machine

There are some key tools vending business owners want to have ready before attempting to move a property. You have to consider personal safety as well as your machine. Additionally, you want to make sure that your vending machine moving equipment and transport doesn’t damage the property, either.

●      Non-slip shoes with good traction to avoid property damage

●      Furniture blankets or moving blankets to prevent scuffs and damages

●      Packing tape to secure furniture blankets

●      Screwdrivers

●      A pallet jack or a forklift tool

●      Helpers or professional assistance (Never attempt to do this alone - it's worse than moving a large furniture!)


If you don’t have a pallet jack, you can contact renting services for the job. Unless you’re moving multiple vending machines frequently, pallet jack rental services are the best option.

When it comes to screwdrivers, bring a set of multiple sizes in case you need to make some minor repairs. You’ll also need the keys to open your machine and unload its inventory. Make sure you have them before heading out.

Part 1: Prep the Truck

You’ll need to rent a moving truck that’s big enough for a job. Look for one that’s capable of carrying a payload of up to 1,500 pounds as vending machines can weigh up to 900 on their own!

For your relocation process, you’ll also need a truck with a ramp or lift gate to make sure you’re able to load the vending device without any risks to you or your helpers. Never attempt to haul, lift, or force a machine into a truck.

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure you have tie-downs to keep your machine in place. If it’s riding in an exposed truck bed from one location to other, then you can easily install these by attaching the anchors to the tie-down points. These are exposed rings you’ll be able to notice by looking on the bed’s interior.

If you’ve rented a truck with a trailer, then you can use ratchet straps to secure your cargo.

Personally, we suggest flat-bed trucks for moving vending machines as they make it easier to secure your property. Open trailers can offer protection from the elements, but it can be harder to keep your vending machine from moving.

Part 2: Load the Machine

an illustration showing all the steps to moving a vending machine from one location to another

Step 1: Measure the machine and area

Measure the dimensions of your machine length-and width-wise. The best thing is to compare this to the exits, entrances, and any hallways you’ll have to pass through, just to make sure that it will fit. You may temporarily have to lean the vending machine to get it out of the room.

It’s best to measure the dimensions in both locations prior to moving. The last thing you want is to wind up taking your vending appliance somewhere it will never fit.

Step 2: Empty the machine entirely

Remove all products, snacks, coins, or bills inside. If you leave anything inside of it, they could break during transport and create a major mess for you to clean up later. Liquid is more problematic than other products (like snacks) because it could damage the machine’s mechanisms.

Next, unplug the machine and tightly secure its power cord in a special compartment. This will prevent it from dragging on the ground, snagging on the door, and you tripping on power cord. You can either feed it back into the machine or wind it into a coil and tape it to the machine.


Step 3: Prep the machine for transport

Wrap the machine safely in furniture blankets, and secure them tightly by winding the machine with packing tape progressing from the lowest position to the upper part. You’ll likely use a full roll during this process. The trick is to wrap two blankets to protect it even better. In addition to sparing the machine from chips and broken glass, it can also protect the walls, doors, and floors of the property you’re moving from/into.


Step 4: Load the machine onto the truck

Now, you’ll want to load the machine safely onto the pallet jack. Make sure that you’ve researched how to operate this equipment the best way before attempting to transport a vending machine. This can be a dangerous job, and you should never do it without the help of at least one other person or professional services.

You can refer to this article about how to safely use a pallet jack.

While you lift the vending machine onto the equipment, have your helper(s) secure it by the side or back panel. This is crucial to avoid it tipping over as you secure it.

Once the machine is loaded, you can start on your exit route to the truck. Take it slow, pausing if you need to. When it’s time to load it into the truck, be mindful about placing it on its back or side. Vending machines with a refrigeration unit should only be placed in these positions for a short period of time.


Step 5: Unload the machine

After you reach your destination, carefully load the device back onto the pallet jack. Make sure that it is secured before moving it off the truck bed. As you lower it to the ground, have someone stand behind the machine to prevent it from tipping over and falling flat on the ground.


Step 6: Refill your vending machine

Once you’ve secured your device in its new location, you can refill it with all its best selling goodies and plug it in! Now you'll be ready to make vending machine sales.

Part 3: Tips on How to Move a Vending Machine

A note for every vending operator - you should always move the vending machine carefully. There’s no rush. There shouldn't be mistake on your account! Go at your own pace, and give yourself and any helpers time to rest as needed. You should also only move the machine if you feel comfortable using all the necessary equipment.

You don’t need to move the machine alone. Professional services can handle the job for you, and they can do so without causing any damage to the appliance or surrounding areas.

Part 4: How to Test a Vending Machine

Once your machine has been carefully unloaded, it’s time to make sure that it didn’t sustain any damage during the job. You’ll want to insert some money and test the machine for accuracy. Each item should dispense properly when you insert the money, use the card reader, and push its selection number.

If the device had to rest on its back panel or side for transport, you’ll want to leave it off for a few hours before it can resettle. Vending machines that use a refrigeration unit will need a little while for the oil to return to its usual position.

Find the Best Spots for Your Vending Machine

You won’t have to worry about moving vending machines constantly or getting a free moving estimate if you get the right spot the first time! We're established vending industry operators that scout the best locations in your zip code. We then send you the contact details for each so you can reach out and start making connections!

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