How to Move a Commercial Fridge Safely: Tips for Display and Upright Models

Moving a commercial fridge, whether it's a small display fridge or a large upright fridge, is a task that requires careful planning and execution. Due to their size, weight, and the sensitive nature of their components, these appliances demand a nuanced approach to relocation. This guide offers comprehensive advice on how to move your commercial fridge safely, ensuring it continues to operate efficiently in its new location.

Understanding Your Fridge Type

Display Fridges:

Display fridges are integral to retail environments, allowing for effective product presentation while maintaining the required cold temperatures. These units often feature glass doors and multiple shelves. Unique Considerations for Moving: The glass elements of display fridges make them particularly vulnerable during moves. Use substantial padding and secure the doors to prevent swinging.

Upright Fridges:

Upright Fridges are known for their vertical storage space, making them a common choice for kitchens with limited floor space. Unique Considerations for Moving: Their height can make upright fridges top-heavy and prone to tipping. Ensure they are always upright to avoid compressor oil running into the cooling tubes.

Preparing for the Move

Empty everything from inside your refrigerator before moving it to a new location; make sure to clean the inside of your refrigerator very well. Also, unplug the fridge and allow it to defrost for at least two hours. 

Dirt, dust, grime, oil, and other substances can hinder the movement of the appliance, making the process messier and reducing stability. Therefore, cleaning the exterior is also a good idea.

Please make sure that the new location of the fridge doesn't have any rubbish or furniture that will block it. Finally secure loose components, and tape the doors shut.

Be sure to have someone there to help move the refrigerator if not a professional moving company, specialising in the relocation of your refrigerator.

Most importantly, never laid commercial refrigerators on their side and horizontally; this might damage some delicate parts of their inside or scratch their outside bodies.

The Moving Process

Tilting and Lifting: With help, carefully slightly tilt the fridge to slide the dolly underneath. Secure the fridge to the dolly with straps.

Maneuvering: Move the fridge slowly, especially when navigating through doors and around corners. Keep the fridge upright to prevent internal damage.
Special Tips:
For display fridges, remove shelves and secure the glass doors with extensive padding.
For upright fridges, distribute weight evenly and ensure the doors stay closed during the move.

Safety First: Always prioritize safety by employing proper lifting techniques and considering the use of professional movers for extremely heavy models.

Equipment and Materials Needed: Trolley, moving blankets, and straps. These supplies will protect the fridge and assist in a safe move.

Hand Trolley: For moving smaller appliances like a single door or drinks fridge, a regular hand trolley padded with foam or carpet to prevent scratches is suitable. To use, lift the appliance slightly and slide the trolley's toe plate underneath, securing it with straps for added stability. While stabilizing the trolley with your foot (protected by steel-capped shoes), tilt the appliance towards you to transfer its weight to the trolley. You can then carefully wheel it to its new location, preferring to push rather than pull to maintain control and avoid accidents. If necessary, get assistance and choose a side to maintain visibility. Upon arrival, gently lower the appliance to the ground to avoid damage.

Electric TrollyAn electric trolley is ideal for transporting a commercial refrigerator upstairs with minimal effort. It features electric wheels for ease of movement over obstacles and straps to securely attach the fridge. Additional straps can be added through gaps for enhanced security. The process involves wrapping the fridge with straps at the top, middle, and bottom, then attaching and securing the wheels to the trolley for smooth transport. With the fridge securely mounted, it can be easily moved to its destination with the assistance of another person.

After the Move

Setting Up: Place the fridge in a well-ventilated area of its new location, allowing space for air circulation. Wait several hours before plugging it in to let the oil settle back into the compressor.

Post-Move Checklist: Once operational, check the temperature settings and restock the fridge. Monitor its performance closely for the first few days.


Moving a commercial fridge might seem daunting, but with the right preparation and tools, it can be done smoothly and safely. Remember, when in doubt, consulting with or hiring professional movers can prevent potential injuries and damage to the fridge. Your display and upright fridges are valuable investments in your business – treat them with care during relocation to ensure they serve you well for years to come.

Checkout our Difference Between Top and Bottom Mounted Cabinet