I have never owned a planer before and did a lot of research before settling on this one. It came in one crate, mostly assembled. The delivery driver even dropped it in my garage. The final destination was the basement, so you will need a strong friend or two, and an appliance dolly with strap. Putty it together was not difficult using the provided instructions. I managed to install the cast iron indeed and outfield tables by myself as well. If there is one thing I would improve it is the placement of the drain hole for the gear box. They do not ship the planer with a full gear box. I called to ask about what kind of oil it came with so as not to mix the oils, and the rep said to drain the oil that was in it and fill with fresh oil. The drain hole is situated such that you cannot get a container underneath it. I wound up making a kind of trough out of cardboard to direct the oil into an old coffee can. With the trough in one hand and the can in the other I managed, but very messy; put some rags or newspaper underneath the unit catch any oops. Filling the it was not very convenient either. I bought a cheap hand pump to transfer the oil where I bought the gear oil. Think of it as filling the differential on a car.
Another setup item is that the cutter head was coated with a lot of oil, and you cannot easily wipe it off with all the little cutter heads. When I turned it on it slung oil up and down the surface of the bed I had just cleaned and waxed. I would recommend putting some newspaper or rags on the bed, end to end, before turning it on for the first time. That way the oil will quickly be flung off and you can throw away the paper.
Once everything was assembled and tested I ran some scrap wood through the unit. It produced a nice finish without any further adjustment. My 1hp dust collector was able to keep up very well on a 10" wide oak board. It seemed very quiet too. I am completely satisfied with the planer and glad I went for a unit with a helical head. It did not matter which way I fed the board, no tear out and very smooth finish.