Our name is Continental Machinery Movers and we are located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. We move planes, entire factories, silos, earthmoving equipment and many other things every day to any location. We've worked in Japan, Mexico, and all across the US and Canada. Here's an imgur link with proof.


Website/Facebook http://continentalmachinerymovers.wordpress.com http://www.facebook.com/continentalmachinerymoversofkentucky


Edit: Due to request, here is a picture of the fighter jet we moved. http://i.imgur.com/7jOQx5o.jpg

Second Edit: Thanks to everyone who participated in this AMA whether by asking a question or lurking. It has been nothing short of wildly successful in my book. I'll still be around to answer questions for a while so if you're curious don't think it's too late!

Comments: 137 • Responses: 59  • Date: 

Mike-Ehrmantraut28 karma

What's the heaviest thing you've ever moved, excluding your mom?

ContinentalMachinery17 karma

That's just the natural progression of the question hah! No worries. The biggest thing we have moved as far as weight is concerned was an 800 ton press. I wasn't around when we did that, but I've heard it was a monstrosity.

Fadic412 karma

Lol. Do you even lift?

ContinentalMachinery38 karma

We lift up to 800 tons bro, haven't maxed out yet though.

ShellOilNigeria1 karma

Do you frequently move things via rail?

I imagine that it would be a lot easier because there are no redlights, telephone poles, traffic, ect.

If so how do you go about it and how do you normally restrain your cargo?

ContinentalMachinery2 karma

We have used rails on occasion but usually for pick up then to transport on our own trucks. I imagine that we don't use rails because it would be more expensive than fuel and slower than an interstate, but don't quote me on that.

We would restrain our cargo on a train car the same way we would with a flatbad, strategically placed straps and chains. Rigging things to trailers is not that difficult and does not take much thought. You and I could probably restrain a daily large load (100,000-200,000 pounds) in about an hour by ourselves. Getting things out of tight spaces and onto trailers and railcars is the real challenge. If you go to the link below you'll see the chains and straps we use from a distance and close up. But anyway take a look!


ShellOilNigeria1 karma

Oh I know ;)

I'm in the same business dealing mostly on the rail side of things (smaller scale, last load I helped with was 174,000 pounds) and we actually manufacture heavy duty industrial grade strapping.

I was just going to see how much business you guys do via rail to see if I could help :D

ContinentalMachinery1 karma

My e-mail is [email protected] You should send me some info about your business. Very curious!

Mike-Ehrmantraut6 karma

Where was it moved from and to? How would that be done? I can't even wrap my head around the logistics, I had enough trouble moving a wardrobe down some stairs at the weekend.

ContinentalMachinery6 karma

We use a gantry system like the one in the imgur link at the bottom of this post. It is basically a system of rails and skates to move very very heavy things very slowly. Then we can lift these things with the gantry and back a heavy duty hauling trailer under it. Then we lower the object we are moving, tie it down with chains and ropes, and we're good to go. Rinse and repeat for a factory full of equipment. Understandably takes a long time to move even one piece this size onto a truck.


Mike-Ehrmantraut3 karma

Very interesting thanks, I'm sure Stalin could have moved his factories a lot quicker during Barbarossa if you chaps had been around to help.

ContinentalMachinery23 karma

We would like to think so. We might have been able to move Gus Fring's factory in time to get the DEA out of their hair too.

Jamesd883 karma

You're still just a small fry in the grand scheme of heavy lifting.

ContinentalMachinery6 karma

We know that for sure! The logistics of logistics must be mind numbing!

therumble12 karma

I once moved six bicycles, four canoes, and a dozen kayaks across a campground using only a Club Car, a tiny trailer, and my bare hands. Only took me four trips and nearly getting knocked in the back of the head by shifting watercraft.

That's all I wanted to say. Love what you're doing here.

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

Got more than a chuckle out of this. Keep Rumblin!

workaccountrofl7 karma

Person claims to be company.

Looks like companies are people after all.

GOP: 1
Dems: 0

ContinentalMachinery4 karma

Nothing to contribute to this but got a good reddit snort out of it.

timtamnewport6 karma

If anyone says "DO YOU EVEN LIFT" I will disembowel them. Just you wait, it'll happen.

How does one go about moving a factory?

ContinentalMachinery7 karma

Slowly, and piece by piece. Think of moving all of your stuff into a new house, you take your bed frame apart and put it on a trailer with your other boxes. Now imagine that each piece of that bed frame weighs 40 tons and the boxes all weigh 15 tons. You just use more and bigger trailers.

1x9fF4z6 karma


ContinentalMachinery2 karma

A lot of the equipment we move has a great deal of technology and computing power in them. We don't move anything as delicate as a piano, but if a piece we are moving hits a wall or the floor a little harder than we want it to, it can be seriously damaged. Therefor we treat most pieces as if they are made of glass.

Seanus4u5 karma

are you hiring?

ContinentalMachinery11 karma

We are always accepting applications for riggers and truckers. Welding and other skills are a huge plus as we do a lot of fabricating in the shop. If you're interested in working for us, send an e-mail to [email protected] describing your skills and abilities and we can get you an application!

randygiesinger3 karma

Where are you guys located out of? Im a pipefitter with EPRI rigging certification as well as gantry, multiple crane (including load transfers) and helicopter long line rigging experience.

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

Our warehouse is in Bowling Green, Kentucky but we work all across the country! We work with and for pipefitters all the time!

AnneFrankIsAJew2 karma

Ahhh, BG. I feel like there are only factories and Ollie's skatepark in Bowling Green.

ContinentalMachinery2 karma

Not far from the truth at all.

sketchapocalypse5 karma

Hey guys thanks for hanging out. 1) Whats the strangest thing you've ever moved and 2) Whats the longest distance you've ever moved a thing?

ContinentalMachinery6 karma

We often move old presses from the New York/New Jersey area down to Mexico. We also moved a factory from the east coast to California, piece by piece. As far as the strangest thing we've ever moved, I'd have to say it was the T-8 fighter jet, you just don't see something like that everyday.

Khrevv4 karma

What is a t-8 fighter jet? I tried to look it up, and the closest thing I was able to find was a a prototype to the (russian) Sukhoi SU-25.

ContinentalMachinery4 karma

I'm looking for a picture of the one we moved on our crane, will update once I find it.

ContinentalMachinery4 karma


I may be wrong about the name. But here it is!

GrepZen4 karma

I think it might be a T-33 trainer --Wiki

ContinentalMachinery5 karma

Thanks! Unfortunately I was only 25% correct with the T.

the--dud5 karma

The heaviest thing I can imagine is a giant black hole, they often weigh as much as 5-7 billion suns.

How would you go about moving this from one galaxy to another, and how much would you charge?

ContinentalMachinery32 karma

In the event that we were granted the project of moving a giant black hole there would be a great deal of planning necessary. First we would start with a nice steak at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe to do some research. Then we would create a more dense object and use its gravity to pull the black hole to where it needs to go. Dinner will cost more than the job. Thank goodness we use American Express.

KnightlySir5 karma

You should prank someone and move their house while they are on vacation.

ContinentalMachinery5 karma

We could if we had to! Companies like us have moved light houses so a small house would be easier with normal logic, I'm not sure what hazards a project like that has though. See Cape Hatteras light house move if you are interested in that.

Bigpapajames4 karma

Has anyone ever died or had a really bad accident while transporting something? Or a very bad accident? Have you ever moved classified items?

ContinentalMachinery9 karma

We used to do some subcontracting for the government and we've placed a couple of bids with Lockheed Martin which included instructions on wrapping materials in black due to their classified status, but we haven't worked for the government for a while. Talk about red tape, that's a minefield.

We've been pretty lucky to not have any deaths or major injuries as we are very careful about what we do. Things like this happen everyday though. We've actually got a page on our website dedicated to the bad accidents that can happen. It's entertaining and reminds us to be safe.


jasonsizzle5 karma

Just an FYI - your website breaks on the homepage when you roll over the first image at the bottom next to Pages and Posts.

ContinentalMachinery2 karma

Thanks for the heads up. These free wordpress sites are a pain sometimes.

davidrab3 karma

how did you get into your line of work? how many employees do you have?

ContinentalMachinery2 karma

Our owner started as a rigger in the late 80's or early 90's. He worked for our sister company for many years before he was promoted to the sales department. He was very good at that and developed that business quite well. One day his boss offered him his own separate branch, and now we are our own separate business. We employ about 30 people but sometimes a great deal more but usually no less than 20.

Topicale3 karma

So, no one yet has asked what it COSTS to move something. Take your average large thing, with your average disassembly and reassembly, and average distance - (1) what are those averages, and (2) what would it cost, and (3) what is the proportion of getting the thing disassembled and out, then assembled and in, as opposed to the actual transportation of it?

ContinentalMachinery5 karma

The following text is based solely on estimated averages based on the sort of jobs I see day to day, not exact amounts, but not far off I don't think.

Our average job is 100 miles away from our warehouse. The average disassembly can take about 2 days, then it will be taken to another location by one of our trucks. This will take 1 day. This second location is about 50 miles from the original one on median, not mean because there are huge outliers here. Then reassembly will take about 3 days (it always takes longer to put together). This means our average job is 6 days with about 300 miles driving distance for 4 men and a trucker. This costs somewhere between $15,000 and $30,000. This is business as usual. We do bigger jobs often, but not every day. Does that answer your question? If not I can try again.

Topicale2 karma

That's pretty good, thanks, but I guess I forgot to ask, how much is that "big thing"? I'm guessing it costs more due to complexity, rather than weight, but if it was complex and heavy? How heavy is the average "large thing"?

ContinentalMachinery2 karma

I call anything over 200,000 pounds or 100 tons officially large. I suppose there is no average here. Don't equate heavy making more money. Moving 10 average sized pieces will cost more than moving one big one. But every single job is different and requires special attention.

IamMostlyME3 karma

I've always been under the impression that if an oversize piece could be dismantled it would have to be to transport legally since it doesn't actually have to be an oversize piece. Is this true?

ContinentalMachinery2 karma

I'm not a trucking guy but here's my take on it from what we do. The states only care so much about the way we load things, just that we take the correct precautions in the way we move with them. Having it secured, correct weights and everything. But what you say maybe true I'm not sure.

There is always an exception. Some pieces are going to scrap and have too much rust to be taken apart and we have no choice. Some pieces taken apart are still too big for a normal trailer without a specialized permit.

NotAYankeesFan3 karma

How involved in the qualification of underground utilities (culverts/ buried cables)are you? Do you just give another company your haul route and total weight and let them do it or does your company handle all that as well?

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

This is part of the permitting process. If a load is over a certain weight in the state we are trying to get a permit in, the state will get an employee in the permitting office to look at our route, and tell us where we can and can't go, and what solutions we need to devise for each route.

Recently we had to have traffic stopped so a truck could cross a bridge at 5 mph max, alone. Nerve wracking for our trucking department!

conversionbot6 karma

For our non-american friends:

5 mph ---> 8.05 km/h

I am a bot! This reply was generated automatically. If you have any suggestions, questions, concerns or would like to report a bug, please contact the owner of this bot.

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

This is great!

0011463793 karma

what's involved in the planning process to prepare for each job?

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

First we have to see what we are going to move. If it's just one piece, we get the dimensions, then decide if we need to take it apart based on those dimensions. If we do, then we have to figure out the best way to take it apart, how many loads will it take, how long and what we will need to uninstall the equipment and all the same questions are asked for re-installation. Rinse and repeat for multiple pieces, and no, it's never just one.

thedrewdotcom3 karma

I wish my companies way of moving stuff was closer to your way. I work maintenance in manufacturing, we jack up machines on some rollers and pull or push them across the shop with a forklift. Heaviest we have done is a 24 ton Mazak. That was a royal pain in the ass.

ContinentalMachinery2 karma

You should give us a call! We can move stuff like that for you easy and quick! I'm sure that was a pain to move like that!

rockpork3 karma


ContinentalMachinery4 karma

Replied! Thanks a bunch!

Donkey_Kong20123 karma


ContinentalMachinery3 karma

We are always taking applications! Send me an e-mail at [email protected] with any skills you might have and we can definitely get you an application at the very least!

Donkey_Kong20123 karma


ContinentalMachinery2 karma

Definitely, looking forward to talking with you!

Cintx3 karma

As a person who supervised the breakdown, moving and reassembly of a 200 ton injection molding machine, I salute what you do. It was a three month project from open to close, heck of a ride.

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

Thanks! Keep us in mind if you need more work done!

lovesfunnyposts3 karma

when does your reality TV show air?

ContinentalMachinery5 karma

Coming this fall to the History Channel. Machinery Divorce Court Movers.

conc3 karma

Your company clearly moves big things -- but are there levels of 'moving company' beyond yours that move even bigger things? Just curious to know where you fit in on the scale of 'big movers'.

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

The only levels that exist are how much money the company has and how big their equipment is. Though other companies have bigger and more equipment than us, we are always competing with one another, and the lowest bid usually wins no matter who you are. The only cut off is what your company is willing to do to get the big jobs. We could easily rent the equipment for the really big stuff that we don't get to, but often the cost of renting makes our bid go up and we lose. So no actual levels, we're all on the same field.

conc3 karma

Cool! Thanks for taking the time to answer.

NPETC2 karma

Does your company/industry employ Proposal Writers to win these bids?

ContinentalMachinery2 karma

Our project leaders write up their own bids as they can be very complicated and usually require visits to the job site prior to the bid.

Kizwik3 karma

How difficult would it be to move megalithic ton stones as used in ancient structures? How, if possible, would you fathom they moved them?

ContinentalMachinery5 karma

I feel like no one considers the possibility that the Stonehenge creators were amazing with a chisel and Andy Dufresned a mountain.

Honestly I can't fathom this one, and that's my best guess at the truth. But as far as moving those stones today, a major crane is your best shot with some rope to tie around the rocks in strategic places. We have trailers we can use that would fit these huge rocks. The troublesome part would be setting the rocks on their side.

TL;DR I have no clue.

guitarguy130933 karma

Would you rather move 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?

ContinentalMachinery9 karma

Well for the simplicity of tieing it down, the horse-sized duck certainly. Step 1: Tranqualizer Step 2: Tie Down on a rollback (cheaper than a tractor/trailer) Step 3: Go

With 100 duck sized horses we'd have to employ the national guard and Steve Irwin's ghost to take care of that.

Always try to do it cheaper, easier, and safer.

Vyscosity3 karma

and more of the heaviest things you can imagine

Have you ever removed a mattress from a filled swimming pool?

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

No but we did put in the glass in a large aquarium in America. That's kinda related right?

enferex3 karma

Have you ever turned-down a job, just because it was so horrifically complicated and/or absurd?

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

Never turn it down until it is impossible. Absurdity is rarely a concern. Rigging is sometimes an artform.

CopernicuSagaNeilDT2 karma

I imagine you have a lot of red tape to move things like that. About what kind of time is involved for preparing for a move like that and what kind of prep work - as far as permits, licensing, cleared roadways, etc- does it take to get to move, let's say, a factory or an airplane?

Also, this is pretty cool. That is for the opportunity to ask some questions.

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

For huge jobs like moving major portions of factories, there is about 2 years of planning from the bidding period until the job start time. Permits are a major problem for trucking mostly and we have a trucking department that specializes in that. 80% of their day is securing permits for oversized loads in all the states they will go through, 20% of their day is dispatching our truckers.

The thing is, no matter what it is, dimensions rule how difficult a project is going to be. We moved a T-8 fighter jet and it was treated the same as a wide load. If it fits on the trailer and weighs under a certain limit, things will be very simple. But more often than not, we are way oversize. Glad I don't have to do that job.

The clearing of roadways is usually up to the pilot car service we use. They are trained to stop traffic in a safe and legal way temporarily. Hope that answers all of your questions feel free to ask more!

CopernicuSagaNeilDT3 karma

Wow! Two years of planning? Ever have someone call you and say, "We'll, never mind; we went out of business?"

Also, out of curiosity, what was your most expensive move?

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

Deals fall through all the time. Usually our contact is speaking with someone higher up in the company. Right now we are waiting on a company who makes something related to cars (I won't say anymore due to confidentiality) and since the bid we've been waiting a year just because of complications with corporate (major international company). This would also be our most expensive move so far as our bid is over $10 million dollars. I cannot disclose how much over 10 million it is, but that's a lot of money for anyone.

CopernicuSagaNeilDT5 karma

I - and I think everyone else here - understands confidentiality with a professional environment. $10m, though... I feel like a wuss for complaining about the $80 for a U-haul.

Has there ever been a job that you looked at and just said 'No' To? Like too complex or risky? What's getting insurance like to protect a business like yours? (Meaning for the customer's property, other property, liability, etc) I imagine you don't just go to Progressive or State Farm and sign up online.

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

Declining a job usually comes down to what equipment we have at the time we need it. For instance we had to turn down a job in the fall to set a radio tower because all of our cranes that were big enough were not available due to another job going on. I wish I could tell you about the insurance but I would guess that the owners have the property insured and that we have accident insurance through Machinery insurance service. Definitely not state farm but I'm not privy to the details.

CopernicuSagaNeilDT3 karma

Okay... Now, I have to ask. How tall is your tallest crane? What kind is it, if I may ask? And what is the tallest thing you've ever moved?

ContinentalMachinery2 karma

I can tell you less about cranes than I can about forklifts since our sister company houses the bigger ones whereas we house all of our forklifts. I do know that we have a hard time competing on tall objects over 300 feet due to limited crane access. This job is impossible without the exact equipment you need and having it in good condition. Those two things don't always happen when you need it to. Sorry I couldn't give you any numbers!

CopernicuSagaNeilDT3 karma

Oh, that's fine. I understand. I'm sorry to bogart so much of your time; this is actually the most fascinating AMA I've seen in some time.

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

Glad to be of service!

therumble2 karma

As a machinery moving company, which superpower would you rather be granted: Flight or invisibility?

ContinentalMachinery2 karma

I think in this scenario, flight has many more advantages. If we were invisible, we could make things seem to float... that would be fun. We'll get back to you.

redcupsme2 karma

Why do your clients hire you guys instead of breaking something down and shipping it normally?

ContinentalMachinery2 karma

Because our clients hire us to break things down for them. You have to understand that the machines we move are large and very complex. They are used to make the things you use everyday, and are very expensive. They pay us to take them apart in the most efficient way possible, and this often takes time, and then to move it for them, and then put it back together at the new location. Our clients do not know how to do this, don't have a trucking department to use usually, and do not own the right lifts and cranes for the job. It's just less of a headache to spend a little more money on doing the job right, then to loose a machine that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Edit: Accidentally a letter

therumble2 karma

Do your employees have a favorite song to listen to while on the job?

ContinentalMachinery12 karma

We all have iTunes libraries full of engine sounds and the back up alerts on big trucks. We like to keep it topical.

therumble5 karma


You sure it isn't this?

ContinentalMachinery10 karma

Though we always like to move it, we don't always like to move it, move it.

fabor9872 karma

Did you guys help move the space ship?????

ContinentalMachinery2 karma

Unfortunately no, but we were paying attention for sure.

erozen2 karma

Ok, nobody asked this, which i'm surprised.. But did you ever have an accident? I'm sure with this type of a job, casualties happen.


ContinentalMachinery2 karma

We've been lucky to not have any major accidents, and that's because we like to be overly safe. I responded to someone else asking this more in depth, it's around here somewhere.

SonofnIrishman2 karma

Who gets the blame in this one? The strap maker, or the moving company? What kind of regulations are there out there to control these things?


ContinentalMachinery2 karma

Looks like a bit of both. The weight of that train spread out so far between the two riggings is just train dangerous. Who knows what kind of condition those straps are in. There could be so many problems that it's hard to tell which one kills you sometimes.

Il1KECH33SE2 karma

Nacho Cheese or Cool Ranch?

ContinentalMachinery6 karma

Oh god cool ranch. No hesitation. We can see the benefits of nacho cheese, mostly that it's notchyours.

VichyssoiseOfVerbage2 karma

Great IAMA.

Near here, Guinness recently moved 10 x million-pint brewing vats from the port south of Dublin to the main Guinness Brewery at St James's Gate. They had to take down telephone wires and traffic lights along the way. Can't even imagine the planning involved.

You should bid for the next one of those, great excuse to come to Dublin!

ContinentalMachinery3 karma

Oh wouldn't that be something! We get to work in distilleries a lot, but never at a brewery. Thanks for the article!

Arkhamina2 karma

I once went on a power plant tour, and I swear to god, 1/4 of the plant was full of defunct HUGE machines. I asked why they left them there, and the tour person said it would cost too much to move/disassemble them because it's full of Asbestos. Do you ever handle Hazmat things, or have to take things apart before getting them out of buildings? (IE. Where the build the giant things inside, or change the doors?)

ContinentalMachinery2 karma

We often have to wear hazmat suits due to this reason exactly. Other times the machines come in contact with dangerous chemicals. We have multiple precautions including a comprehensive MSDS book on every chemical we might come into contact with.

As far as taking things apart to fit through doors, if it's too big to fit, we'll take apart whichever is easier, or whichever we have permission to do. Sometimes we don't have permission to take either apart, and we have to get creative...

schadly2 karma


ContinentalMachinery2 karma

An Aviation park in Bowling Green, Kentucky

Vt4121 karma

I did something similar working with heavy cargo in the army, we used RTCH/ Kalmar more than forklifts, did use the occasional crane... What is the most commonly used lifting equipment? What's your most common load? (Sorry if you already answered, love this job :)

ContinentalMachinery1 karma

Sorry for the delay on responding. Our most common load is usually something like a D-6 dozer, or a couple dies for a local corporation. We typically use forklifts between 3,000 and 40,000 pounds but have other things that can lift more.

Dire_Crow1 karma

I imagine you work with cargo planes all the time. Ever had to charter the An-225? How much of a hassle is it air-shipping huge items?

ContinentalMachinery5 karma

We don't work with planes as often as we work with manufacturing machinery. Unless you'd like me to pretend to be that cool, I'll get back to you with some exciting made up stories if you'd like.