long distance moves

Home » long distance moves

Get A Quote

Customer Name:
Your Email:
Phone:
Moving Date:
Move Size:
From Zip Code:
To Zip Code: Find Zip Code
Comments:

The Types Of Local Moving Estimates – What’s Best For You?

in Local moving by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment
Image courtesy of the Lead Republic.com

Image courtesy of the Lead Republic.com

Thanks to a lot of recent press about moving companies – a lot of it negative, customers are becoming more savvy. Most customers are doing their due diligence and getting at least three in-home estimates before choosing a company. Unfortunately, that’s where things might get confusing.

There are several basic types of estimates that moving companies will provide, both for local and long distance moves. As we talk about each, you might find that one has a clear advantage for the customer and in most cases you might be right, but there are exceptions.

If you are moving locally (within the same state and within approximately 200 miles):

1. By the hour – Moving companies all charge by the hour. You’ll find that rates probably don’t vary that much from company to company, but there are additional charges such as packing materials. If you aren’t sure what you’re moving or how much you will be able to pack before moving day(yes, that does happen), an hourly move will probably be your only option. Your moving estimator might give you an approximate number of hours, but that estimate is meaningless. It will ALMOST ALWAYS go over that estimate.

2. Binding – A binding estimate protects both the customer and the mover. It is a flat/guaranteed price for the move. There are a couple of disadvantages in binding estimates, though. First, the customer needs to read the fine print very closely. The contract might not include all the services the customer expects, like packing or sometimes, with less scrupulous companies, the tape used to wrap furniture. If the move takes less time than estimated, the customer will pay the estimated price, regardless.

3. Not to Exceed – Not to exceed estimates are, for the majority of customers, the best option. If it costs less than the estimate, the customer will pay less. if it’s more, the customer will not pay more than the estimate. As with a binding, though, you should always read the fine print and make sure that you carry out your end of the bargain, such as the agreed amount of packing. Otherwise, the estimate will be voided.

Next week, we’ll talk about long distance estimates.

How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Three (Short Hauls)

in Local moving, Long-Distance moving by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

ninja_truck1

Short hauls, or moves less than about 250 miles or within the same state from the origin, are, in the eyes of a moving company, sort of a strange breed. They are a hybrid between a long distance and a local move.

Unlike with a long distance move, a short haul is typically delivered in the same truck and by the same crew as when it was picked up. With long distance moves, you generally have to wait days or weeks for delivery (because shipments need to be consolidated) but with short hauls, delivery is typically made the next day.

However, unlike with a local move, short hauls are not charged by the hour. They are charged similarly to how long distance moves are charged – by a formula of weight and distance. If a moving company tries to charge you by the hour for a short haul, run as fast as you can. It’s one thing to run into a 30 minute traffic jam between San Jose and San Francisco. It’s quite another to run into a several hour traffic jam between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

You also want to avoid companies that charge by volume. There are too many variables in the way movers can pack a truck and frankly, there are too many ways to cheat a customer if they are paying by volume.

Since you are being charged based on the weight of your items, it’s imperative that you have a representative of the moving company come see everything that is being moved. Ask your moving estimator if he or she can give you a guaranteed or binding price.

If you do need storage between pick-up and delivery, most moving companies have that service available – at an extra charge. You will also have to pay for the time involved in unloading and reloading the truck, which is normally done fairly quickly.

 

 

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part One (Local Moves)

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Two (Long Distance Moves)

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Three (International Moves)

 

 

How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Two (Long-Distance Moves)

in Long-Distance moving, Moving Costs by Wendy Gittleson Leave a comment

970963_10152049856778065_1353210290_n-1In theory, no matter how far you move – whether it be across town or across country, the moving process doesn’t change. Your home is packed and then loaded onto a truck. The truck drives to your new home and then the items are unloaded into your new home. In reality, however, distance does make a difference.

A long distance move is generally defined as one that crosses state lines and is more than 200 miles away. From a moving company’s perspective, there are two main things that distinguish a local move from a long-distance move – the way the move is billed and the way it’s delivered.

A long-distance move starts very similarly to a local move. A crew of movers pulls up to your home. They might be driving a semi-truck, but more likely, they will be driving a smaller truck. As your items are prepared for the move, however, the process changes a bit.

With a local move, the truck is exclusively yours. You see the items being loaded and you see the items being unloaded. It’s very straightforward. With a long-distance move, unless you have a large home or if you pay a fee for an exclusive delivery, you will be sharing a truck with other customers. For that reason, it’s imperative that the movers take a thorough inventory when the truck is loaded and that they will check each item off the inventory when the truck is unloaded.

Obviously, it’s more time consuming to take an inventory, but that’s okay. Unlike with local moves, you are not paying for time. With long-distance moves, you are paying based on a formula that calculates pricing based on weight of your items, the distance they will travel and the amount of packing that needs to be done. There might be extra charges, like a bulky fee or a piano handling fee, but typically, weight, distance (with fuel) and packing are it. If either of your homes are not accessible by a semi-truck, you will be charged a shuttle fee.

Some moving companies will try to charge you for volume instead of weight. The best advice that can be given if you encounter one of these companies is to run and run fast. When you are being charged by weight, you are entitled to follow the truck to the weigh station and receive a copy of the weight ticket. When you are being charged by volume, you have no such assurances and you will be charged if the mover is inexperienced at efficiently loading the truck.

Avoid over the phone estimates with long-distance moves. There are far too many variables. It’s always best to get a not-to-exceed or binding price, so there are no surprises at the end.

Ask who will be delivering the move. Your goal is not to get the names of the actual people, but the name of the company. Many movers outsource their long-distance moves to other companies. In fact, even big-named van lines (e.g. United, Atlas, Allied, Bekins, etc) cooperate with local agents for long-distance moves. If you need a guaranteed pick-up day or if your home is not accessible for a 53′ semi-truck, you will be charged for a shuttle and your home will be packed and loaded by a local affiliate (or agent) of the van line. The van line will pick them up from the local agent. You’ll want to check the reputation of the local agent as well as the van line.

If you need a guaranteed delivery date or if your new home is not accessible for a semi-truck, you can expect a shuttle and possible storage fee on the delivery end as well.

Like with local moving, all items that aren’t furniture should be packed. Make other plans for plants. Movers will typically not take plants across state lines and even if they do, it’s unlikely they will make the trip alive.

It’s not uncommon for long-distance customers to need storage while they find a home in their new location. Most movers are able to offer this service. Some will give you 30 days of free storage, some will not. Make sure you are very clear on storage pricing since it can add up quickly.

Whether you want your delivery as soon as possible or you want some storage in between, your household goods will most likely go through some extra steps. They will be unloaded into the mover’s warehouse and then they will be loaded onto the semi-truck that will take them for the long-haul. To protect your goods, the movers will check the inventory list each step of the way.

Because of these extra steps, it’s always a good idea to purchase extra insurance. Federal law only covers your items for $.60 per pound per article. In other words, if a 20 pound LED TV breaks, you will only be covered for $12.00. Movers should offer insurance if your homeowner’s policy doesn’t cover the move or allow you to purchase a rider for the move.

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part One (Local Moves)

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Three (Short Hauls)

See How Moving Costs Are Calculated – Part Four (International Moves)

 

Page 1 of 11
Customer Name:
Your Email:
Phone:
Moving Date:
Move Size:
From Zip Code:
To Zip Code: Find Zip Code
Comments: