How To Move A Vending Machine (Safely)

While the vending machine business is a very profitable business, it is certainly not a passive one.

You have to actively stock the machine, check the maintenance, ensure security, and most importantly move your vending machines from one place to another.

This challenging task of moving your vending machines requires some specific guidance.

Hence, let’s address the three magic words – What, How, and Why- for a complete guide for how to move a vending machine.

What All You Require Before Moving Your Machine?

Professional vending machine movers know the exact prerequisites for shifting your machine.

However, if you must move a vending machine without professional assistance, then you must have these necessary types of equipment:

  • Pallet jacks for forklifting the machine.
  • Pressurised air pads can also be used for lifting and moving purposes..
  • Furniture blankets to protect the surface of the vending machine during transport.
  • A transportation vehicle to safely move your machine.
  • Basic essentials like screwdrivers, packing tape, etc.
  • Helpers

How To Move A Vending Machine (Safely)

Moving a vending machine requires a very systematic plan.

A thorough draft of the whole process before you begin with the process helps to avoid multiple issues.

A detailed overview of the process is mentioned in the following steps.

1. Preparing the vending machine for shifting

The first step is to ready the vending machine in a moving state. For this, you will have to follow three steps.

  • One, empty the machine from all its items like snacks, drinks, money, coins, etc.
  • Second, unplug the machine and properly secure the power cord. Do not hastily coil the cord as it can cause tripping of the machine or a person. You can either place the cord in a slot provided at the back of the machine in a few vending machines. Otherwise, you can tape the cord to the upper part of the back panel of the machine. Secure it properly with quality packing tape on at least.
  • Finally, cover the machine with furniture sheets.

2. Grab your Measuring Tape

Once your machine is ready to move, you have to ensure that the machine does not get stuck anywhere in the moving route. For this, you first have to measure the dimensions of your machine.

Then take a walk along the exit route and measure the hallway and door gap to ensure that the machine can comfortably be wheeled out. Don’t forget to measure the vertical length of the machine after accounting for the extra space due to the pallet jack or hand-truck, whatever equipment you are using to wheel out the machine.

In case of a Space Crunch

So after measuring your machine and the doorway, you realise that your doorway is not wide enough for your machine to pass.

There are two solutions here.

First, you can either take off the door by taking off the hinge. This is very similar to the process when you are shifting your furniture. Otherwise, you can try considering taking the door of the machine off. The vending machine door mostly takes a significant shape and it can be reassembled easily

Pallet Jack to the Rescue

The pallet jack is your most vital tool in the moving process. However, try to gather a prior understanding of how a pallet jack works before actually using it. You need to take the following directions with a pallet jack.

  • Lower the pallet jack in its lowest posit
  • Get its forks all the way under the machine.
  • Situate the forks at the center of the machine to prevent the machine from tipping over
  • Pump up the pallet jack to lift the forks and in turn the machine.
  • Make sure that your helpers are holding the bulky load all throughout for double safety.
  • Navigate the pallet jack machine toward your shipping vehicle.

In case you don’t have a pallet jack, pressurized air pads or a hand-trolley can also be used as alternatives. From, a cost-benefit perspective, it’s better to rent these pieces of equipment instead of buying them.

pallet jacks

3. Loading the machine on the vehicle

At this step, you must ensure that the vending machines should always remain upright. Laying them down or by the side could cause problems in the refrigeration unit or other delicate parts. A ramp can be extremely useful to shift the machine from the pallet jack to the moving vehicle.

4. Transportation route

You must have the whole route mapped out before starting the journey. The route should avoid bumpy terrain, even if it consumes more time. Smooth driving is obvious and therefore seeking professional help is advisable.

5. Time to unload, finally!

Once you have arrived at your destination, lower it down slowly. Make sure that your helpers keep it steady all the time. Place it again on the Pallet jack and situate it at the finalized spot.

6. Touch-ups

Unwrap the furniture blankets and clean the machine for any dirt acquired on the way. Re-stack your machine with the required goods. Fill in the coin changer with coins.

Lay the machine to rest a few hours before plugging it in. This is to ensure that in case the machine was laid on its back or side during the haul, the oil of the refrigerating unit settle back to normal.

Why Moving A Vending Machine Is A Challenging Task

Moving a vending machine is a tricky task, for obvious reasons. An average machine weighs between 400 lbs. to 900 lbs. (when empty). Their extreme bulkiness makes transportation even more difficult.

Hence, it is advisable to take professional assistance for relocating your vending machine. Any inexperienced handling can be proved to be very costly in case there is damage to the machine.


Overall, the right tools, the right guidance, and most importantly, the right dose of common sense, are all that you need for moving your vending machine.

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Anjali Singh
Anjali Singh

Meet Anjali, a seasoned content writer with a passion for education, innovation and all things outdoorsy. With five years of content writing experience in diverse product-based companies.