Shipping a pinball machine is not recommended.
The best way to buy and sell a pinball machine is in person.

However, there are times when buying or selling long distance is necessary. These are photo's of a Taxi pinball machine that I had shipped from Mexico, Missouri to Springfield, Massachusetts.

Here it is ready to go (minus strapping to the pallet)

The pallet that I used was one that I had received a pinball machine on. The pallet is 58 inches long, 33 inches wide and 5 inched thick (2 x 4's with 1x8's screwed in place). Pinball machines are roughly 30" wide (facing the backglass), 76" to 80" tall and about 56" deep. Folded with the legs removed they are approximately 30" x 30" x 56".

The early stages

Everything was removed from inside the machine. The coin door and back box were locked. Keys, bolts, extra parts, bulbs, balls and the manual were packed into the coin box. I laid a piece of Styrofoam on the backglass and I put small pieces of soft foam on top of the Styrofoam to support the translite and a second piece of soft foam to support the speaker panel. Then the back box was folded down.

The cardboard was cut out from the corners allowing the corners to fold around the cabinet with a double layer of cardboard for protection.

Cardboard formed over the back box

I taped a thick piece of Styrofoam against the plunger handle to help protect it. Then I formed the cardboard over the back box. Taxi has a plastic topper that looks like the light on top of a taxi. I wanted to be sure and protect it during shipping. It's not shown in the picture but the coin box packed with all of the loose parts was taped in place in front of the topper on the white Styrofoam.

The first layer complete

I then formed the cardboard over the topper and coin box, taped it in place and wrapped the whole thing with plastic. I used some extra legs to support the cabinet a few inches off the pallet so that I could wrap the plastic under the machine. I placed two of the legs on the edge of the back box to protect the top edges and placed the other two legs on top of the back box sticking out over the topper to protect it.

The second layer covers the top

I taped pieces of Styrofoam to the sides and then taped a second layer of cardboard to the sides. I topped it off with cardboard over the top from front to back. After taping it in place I wrapped the whole thing in plastic.

Ready to get strapped to the pallet

Now it's ready to get strapped on to the pallet and delivered to the trucking terminal.

Strapped and ready to go

A local shipping company (SOS) strapped the package to the pallet for me. I delivered the pinball machine to a CCX (Con-way) trucking terminal 25 miles away. The personnel were very helpful and in no time at all, a forklift operator picked the pallet up out of the bed of my truck and it was off to Springfield MA. The machine was scheduled to arrive in Springfield two days later at a cost of $170 (Feb. 2001) for terminal to terminal delivery.

    Taxi arrives in Springfield, Massachusetts --->    

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