28 Jan 2013

How to Transport Your Printer When Not In Use

Many people damage their printers with carelessness when moving offices or putting them into storage; printers are an expensive investment, so good care should be taken to transport them in the correct way. This article will explain how to transport your printer when it is not in use.

This first point may seem obvious, but it is essential to turn off the printer properly. Once switched off be sure that all the ink cartridges/toners are removed from the printer; this will prevent damage happening from the ink spilling inside the printer whenever it is moved.

Cartridges that are removed from the printer should be placed into the original container, if you still have it, if not use any other small container.  Some machines offer bespoke cartridge holders to stop the ink cartridges from drying out.  Ensure the container is locked and sealed to prevent any accidental leaks.

Some machines will actually be OK to move with the ink cartridges still remaining in the machine and pose very little risk of a leak - but where there is a spittoon (a part which fills up with ink waste) these parts become the primary risk for leaking ink and machine damage.

As soon as the printer is tipped, ink can spill from the spittoon and wipe out the electronics components or damage carpets etc. In this case, the machine needs to be stripped and the spittoon removed or replaced prior to moving the printer.  As long as you keep the printer in upright working orientation and don’t need to tip it (e.g. to move it a few feet into another room) then you should be fine.

Most printers have a detachable paper tray, if not it is recommended to collapse it or fold it as this will make it easier for you to transport the printer. Next, take out the printer cables including the one that connects the printer to the computer, USB and the power cable. Once removed ensure the cables are neatly wrapped up and secured using tape or rubber bands.

You can use adhesive tape to secure the removable panels to keep them from shifting during the transportation.  If the machine is in storage for some time, avoid using packing tape directly onto either the cables or printer as over time the tape becomes more difficult to remove and leaves an unsightly sticky residue which takes time and effort to remove properly.

Packing peanuts inside the box where the printer is stored can add protection and prevent damage; it is also recommended that the original cardboard box and polystyrene end blocks are used if still available. If packing peanuts are not available other items such as wrapping paper, bubble wrap or newspapers will have the same affect.

The cardboard box should then be sealed with adhesive tape, and with a permanent marker, the words “Fragile” and “This Side Up” should be written on all sides of the printer. Doing this ensures the printer is handled with utmost care when it is being transported.

Since it is a heavy item, it’s also useful to mark the final location of the printer so it can be taken to the correct place first time – noting that a site survey should have been carried out prior to the removal, to ensure corridors, doors or lifts aren’t too small to accommodate the printer.

When moving the printer across pavements or uneven flooring, it is far better to lift the machine. The wheels of the printer are easily damaged and can buckle if not lifted – as they are designed to be wheeled over carpet not tarmac.

Ensuring that a printer is stored correctly will prevent any mishaps from happening that may cost a business a lot of money. Knowing how to look after a printer when not in use is just as imperative as when it is in use. It is impossible to prevent all accidents from happening, and if there is ever a problem there are professionals out there who can assist in plotter or printer repairs or removals.

Sarah-Jayne Culver

About the Guest Author:

By Sarah-Jayne Culver; a Search Consultant at http://www.fdcstudio.co.uk/ providing Digital Marketing Services throughout the UK.