How to Hire a Mover- 7 Tips
People will tell you that selling your house is the most stressful thing you can do, but right up there is the actual move itself. How do you hire the right moving company?
Let’s face it, they’re going to be transporting your household goods - clothes, furniture, art- in that big moving van. As you see it drive away, you can do more than just hope to see it again at your new address.
It begins with hiring a good mover… not the cheapest, but a professional, licensed experienced mover with a good track record.
Here are 7 tips to help you hire a moving professional.
1.Ask for recommendations from friends and local Facebook sites like Gotta Guy in South Florida.
2. Do some preliminary investigative work online, call the Better Business Bureau, etc.
3. Interview at least 3 companies, and have their Estimators out so that you can ask them questions, and they can see what you have to move.
What to ask them * see below
Their full company name, address, website address, and email.
Ask for names and addresses of references
Get their USDOT (US Department of Transportation) license number as well as their Motor Carrier License Numbers
Ask them if there are charges for additional items not covered that you need to be aware of.
You should receive a USDOT booklet that informs you of your full rights. If your move is intrastate, then their moves are regulated by the state’s department of transportation.
What you need to tell them-
Show them everything that you will be moving.
In several of our moves, the company has had to bring out a crew to build crates for a mounted turkey (in flight). If they aren’t aware of these special items, it could delay the move as well as add charges that you weren’t prepared for.
If you are moving a boat, for example, they will need to know.
Our bass boat was moved inside the moving van and had a special structure built around it so that boxes, etc could also be loaded.
Let them know of special considerations at your new home…. stairs, an unusually long and winding route to the building for example or even a street where it will be difficult for the van to maneuver or turn around. Many condominium associations, for example, will not allow moving trucks after a certain hour in the day.
4. Find out what kind of insurance the company offers. What I have found is that the company does not cover what they don’t pack. For example, if you pack your china and crystal yourself, it may not be covered for breakage by the moving company.
Ask your own insurance company what, if anything, it will cover in your move. Some will cover your personal belongings while they are in transit.
5. Read, know and keep your contract or bill of lading.
You know how you sometimes skim a contract. Well now is not the time to do that. Make sure you understand what is and is not covered.
Make sure it has your correct addresses (where you are now, and where you’re going) and contact information.
Make sure you understand how payment is accepted, when it is due, and what the move date is.
If you have a question, ask it. If your gut says something is wrong, trust it.
6. Before you sign off on the pick up and delivery day, make sure! You could incur extra charges, for rescheduling or storage, for example, if you have to reschedule.
7. Ask who will be packing your household goods.
Some companies have their own crews whose responsibility is packing up houses.
Ask who will load and unload the van. In our moves, the Driver hired a local crew to load while he supervised. And, hired a crew to off-load at the final destination.
*I asked Janelle Dowley, owner of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK-PALM BEACH, what questions a consumer should ask when hiring a moving company. These are primarily for a local move but are still applicable for most any household move.
They are licensed by the State and/or County as well as the U.S. Dept. of Transportation
Accredited by Better Business Bureau
Will you receive a detailed written estimate ( or just a general price quote)
Does the company use day labor or independent contractors or their own employees
Do they do background checks and random drug testing
Is pricing done by weight (which final bill is determined after the truck is loaded) or by time(what are the increments 15 mins or half hour)
Any additional charges like pads, stretchwrap, dollies, gas, tax ( some places have a fuel charge of 10% and it’s based on the total charge not just drive)
If you need boxes and supplies how are they charged- can you return any unused supplies.
Here are some additional sites for you to check:
American Moving and Storage Association (moving.org)
Rip-Off Report (ripoffreport.com)
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (fmcsa.dot.gov)
Don’t find yourself in the position of having your household goods held hostage. Do your homework before you hire a mover. Don’t pick strictly by who charges less.
This post was written at the request of Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 my very good ActiveRain friend.