Thursday, December 8, 2011

How To Single-Handedly Unload A Subwoofer

So here's the situation. You've got a 160 pound package being delivered containing a 12" subwoofer inside of it….and you're on a remote island. Okay, you're home, but you might as well be on a remote island because you're alone and isolated from all who know and love you (or feel otherwise). What's more, you're going to be by yourself for the entire day. So you've got a choice on your hands: wait 12 to 24 hours until you can get a friend or family member to assist you in unloading the subwoofer, or attempt to do it by yourself. If you're like me, you've concluded that waiting is not an option - time waits for no man, and fortune favors the bold.

This is the situation I found myself in this past week. Knowing that others may some day be faced with the same circumstances, I decided to document my efforts so that my fellow man might benefit and learn from my experience.

Now, before I begin, some may be saying to themselves, "why not have the delivery guy simply bring it into the house and assist you"? Well how nice of you to volunteer his services, but he's got a truck full of other packages that need to get to where they're going, and I think we should let the man get through his day so that he can get home to his family at a decent time. And besides, the delivery guy is paid to deliver it to the house, not inside the house. Yes, I could certainly ask him to go above the call of duty and assist me further, but then I would feel obligated to tip him and quite frankly, this Genelec subwoofer was expensive enough as it is.

So…lets start this tutorial. When the FedEx truck arrived, I met it outside with a handtruck and had them offload the package from the truck directly onto it, providing easy transport to the point of entry into the house (in this case, the garage). Note: unless you're training for the upcoming Strong Man Competition, you're going to want this handtruck, so make sure to pick one up in advance of the delivery if you don't currently have one.

Now the sub is on the handtruck inside the garage, and I'm thinking I'll just wheel this fucker right through the door into the house and into the studio. Guess again. Turns out the dimensions of the box versus the dimensions of the hallway are such that there's not enough clearance to make the 90 degree turn required after getting through the door. So I wheel the sub back into the garage.

I decide my best bet is to open it up in the garage, so as to separate the actual subwoofer from it's packaging, thereby lightening the load and reducing the dimensions. A good plan. Now how do I open this box that looks like it was discovered in an ancient tomb by Indiana Jones?

I carefully studied the hieroglyphics for clues. It seemed to indicate the secret to opening it involved a wine glass, umbrella, and rain water. Unable (or unwilling) to figure out the riddle, I utilized a crowbar and forced each metal latch into an upright position, and removed the top of the box. Boom.

Time to take this baby to greener pastures. Not just yet hombre - this bitch still clocks in over 100 pounds on it's own, and while you may be tempted to grab the sub by its plastic covering in the absence of discernible handles, I'm not willing to risk the plastic giving way and my new sub crashing to the floor. And to make matters more complicated, the remaining crate is seriously hindering my ability to get proper leverage - I'm a pretty fit individual, but at a whopping 5 ft 7 inches I don't have the height of a giraffe, so my strength is nullified by the positioning of the situation (I bet there's a jiu jitsu lesson in here somewhere). If I really gave it my all, it's possible I would succeed, but I'm not interested in throwing my back out to prove how strong I am. So unless there's a crane somewhere inside my garage, it's back to the drawing board.

Got it. Position the crate against the base of the doorway / Position the handtruck opposite the doorway inside the house / Tilt the open end of the crate through the doorway, landing with its side on the handtruck / Slide the crate out backwards, leaving the sub perfectly positioned on the handtruck / Boom.

Nice try asshole. Still not enough clearance to make the necessary 90 degree turn. But at this point, the sub has been freed from it's confines, and two silver handles have become visible through the plastic. So I take life by the horns and move this bad boy into the hallway by hand.

Hmmm. You know what, it's heavy, but not torturously so. Let me carry it the rest of the way into the studio. Boom.

For those who might have another 100+ feet to go once inside the house, you might want to bring the handtruck back into the mix. For those that are wondering, "why didn't you just open the crate in the garage, tilt it on it's side to slide the sub out, and walk it into the house to begin with", all I have to say is hindsight is 20/20. But thanks to my noble efforts above, when faced with the same situation, other people now know not to do a single thing that I've suggested.