Choose the right questions to ask before you hire a moving company.
Do you work directly for the mover or are you a broker?
Brokers are great with assisting individual’s pair up with the right long distance moving company. However, brokers cannot give a binding estimate and they are not responsible for any loss or damaged belongings.
Does the moving company giving binding or “not to exceed” quotes?
Typically, over the phone you will receive a quote for an hourly rate based on the number of movers you will need for your particular move. A moving company may provide you with a “not to exceed” quote after reviewing your home and belongings in person.
Does this binding quote include any “hidden” charges?
For example – fuel cost, storage fees, appliance charges, and overnight parking charges etc. Most of these charges only apply to long distance moves, but be sure to ask these questions to avoid any surprises.
Will my items be transferred on a long-distance move?
Some long-distance moves may require that your items be moved from one truck to another. Be sure to ask if this process will be occurring with your belongings. A transfer increases the chance of any damage to occur.
What type of insurance is included in my quote? Do you offer additional insurance?
Typically moving companies have a standard insurance of 60 cents per pound. However, if you would like additional insurance, most moving companies offer such coverage at a low rate or you may consult a 3rd party insurance company for the additional coverage.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We recommend that you avoid moving companies that ONLY accept cash as payment. Most companies that have a merchant account will accept credit cards. Ask before scheduling your move!
Tips for Moving Electronics
Electronics can be some of the most expensive (and important!) items you will move when moving day arrives. Here are a few tips that can give you the confidence that your beloved electronics will not be damaged on moving day:
1- If possible, packing electronic items in their original box or packaging is always ideal. Most people do not hang on to the boxes their electronics come in, but if you do happen to have them, original packaging is a great way to pack them for a move.
2- Take pictures. After moving everything into your new home, you will have to face the task of plugging all of your electronics in, hopefully correctly, so that they work. Taking a picture of the back and side of the television or computer can be a huge help. Having a picture of which cord gets plugged into which port can make it much easier/faster to hook everything back up the correct way.
3- Once you remove all cords, use a twist tie to secure them so they do not unravel during the transport. Once all cords from each device have been removed, place them in gallon size Ziploc bags, and label each bag with a permanent marker. This will ensure that each bag will be placed with its correct device, and that all cords for each device will not get mixed together during the move.
4- Packing popcorn and bubble wrap are extremely helpful when moving electronics. Some smaller devices such as printers, laptops and desktop computers can be pack in boxes, filled with bubble wrap and taped off. The bubble wrap or packing popcorn will protect the device from banging against anything that could damage the surface while in the box. Remember to always use a permanent marker to label “Fragile” or ”Electronics enclosed” on each box. Also, “this end up” is a good label to place on a box that you do not want to be tipped over or flipped upside down. This will give the movers the knowledge to handle these specific boxes with extra care.
5- For printers, scanners, fax machines, always remove the ink cartridges before packing them for a move. Place the ink cartridges in a sealed Ziploc bag, in case they were to spill or leak.
6- It is always a good idea to create an inventory list of all electronic items that will be moved from one place to the next. When doing this, it is also good to include the serial numbers of each item on the list.
By keeping these 6 tips in mind, you should be able to move your electronics successfully, with ease, on moving day!
Changing your Car Registration/Address Information
Upon moving, changing and updating your car registration and address information is one of the most common forgotten steps. You will need to go to your local Department of Motor Vehicles in order to change your address, update your car registrations, and get a new drivers license. These 4 tips will make this process go smoothly:
1- Get online or call the DMV to determine the required information to bring on the day you go in to make changes. Different states and cities require different documentation, such as social security card, birth certificate, and/or documentation of your new residence. You may also want to ask them what the best time of day to come is, that way you avoid waiting in long lines.
2- Be sure to fill out a change of address form with the post office. Your old address will continue to receive your mail unless one of these forms is completed. By completing this document, your mail will be forwarded back to the sender, supplying them with your new/current address, and then will be forwarded to you.
3- Check the deadlines in your new state of residence for having all information updated. Some states require new information to be updated within 10 days of moving there, while other states have a longer grace period. It is important to know which rules to follow, in order to avoid any late fees.
4- If your move is after a new marriage, be sure to bring all documents proving your new name change. Your social security card and marriage license are two documents you will want to bring with you to the DMV.
These tips will help to ensure that once you move to your new state of residence, all of your personal information regarding your address and license information will be up to date.
To help you better understand terms and conditions section of your moving contract we are providing you with a short list of moving dictionary.
- Accessorial (Additional) Services - These are services Packing, Unpacking, Appliance servicing (connecting/reconnecting), etc.
- Advanced Charges - These are services performed by someone other than the mover. (Craftsman for wooden crates), other professional. Mover pays for these services and adds fees in your contract.
- Bill of Lading the contract for transportation and receipt for your goods.
- Carrier - Mover transporting your goods.
- Cash on Delivery (COD) - This means payment is required at the time of delivery, at home or warehouse.
- Expedited Service - This is an arrangement made with mover (long distance) by a set date in exchange for charges based on higher minimum weight.
- Flight Charge - A charge for carrying items up and/or down stairs (long distance only).
- Guaranteed Pick up and Delivery Service - Guaranteed dates of pick up and delivery (long distance moves), mover will provide reimbursement for delays. This premium service has higher tariff or higher minimum wight requirements.
- High value article (Article of extraordinary value) - Items valued at more than $100 per pound, or $220 per kg.
- Household Goods - in connection with moving means personal property used, or to be used, in a dwelling. You must request these items to be transported and pay mover for the transportation charges.
- Inventory - a detailed descriptive list of customer's household goods showing the number and the condition of the item.
- Long Carry - A charge for carrying article excessive distance between the truck and the residence. (Long distance moves only).
- Mover - A motor carrier engaged in the transportation of household goods.
- Order for Service - A document authorizing your mover to transport your goods.
- Pick up and delivery charges - Separate transportation charges applicable for transporting your shipment between short term storage and your residence.
- Reasonable Dispatch - The performance of transportation and delivery on the dates agreed upon by you and your mover and shown on your contract "order for service".
- Shuttle Service - A use of smaller truck to provide service to residence not accessible by mover's regular truck.
- Storage In Transit (SIT) - A temporary storage of your shipment, pending further transportation, with or with out notification to customer. If customer can not accept shipment on the agreed date, mover can place goods into warehouse (with out notification). In this case customer is responsible for SIT charges, as well as warehouse handling, and final delivery charges.
- Tariff - An issuance containing rates, rules, regulations, classifications or other provisions. California issued a Max 4 tariff for moves with in the state (contains of maximum rate, which movers can not exceed). Federal Department of Transportation, for moves across state lines, requires movers to post tariff. The tariff must contain 3 (three) specific items. First, description of services offered to public. Second, the specific applicable rates, (or basis for calculating rates), and service terms for services offered to public. Third, has to be arranged to that customer can determine the rates for services applicable to their shipment.
- Valuation - the degree of worth of the shipment. The valuation charge compensates a mover for assuming a greater degree of liability than is provided in base transportation charges.
- Warehouse handling - A charge may be applicable every time SIT service is provided. This charge compensates the mover for physical labor of placing shipment into storage and than taking it out.
When you are planning a local or long distance relocation of household goods keep in mind that your moving company is experienced at relocation of furniture, small and large appliances, electronics, home office equipment, kitchen and dining goods. Most of the time they handle relocation of used household goods.
If you own and must relocate such items as art work, collectibles, antique furniture and other items of high value - you must submit a list of those items with the description of each items and their value, separately, as well as fill out a section of Articles of Extraordinary Value on the shipping document (bill of lading).
High-Value Article - these are items included in a shipment valued at more than $100.00 per pound ($220.00 per kilogram).
Your mover is liable for loss of, or damage to, any household goods to the extent provided in the Transportation Board's Released Rates Order.
All moving companies are required to assume liability for the value of the goods transported. However, there are different levels of liability, and you should be aware of the amount of protection provided and the charges for each option. Ask you mover for their Full Value Protection (FVP) and the Rates and Deductibles that may be associated with them.
Under the FVP level of liability, movers are permitted to limit their liability for loss or damage to articles of extraordinary value, unless you specifically list these articles on the shipping documents.
If it is possible you should try to keep cash, valuable papers, jewelry, etc. with you at all times and out of reach of others, however if this is not possible make sure to study your responsibility of this provision carefully and make the necessary declarations.
This is the Section on the Moving Contract that has to be filled out. If you have more than 6 items please provide a separate list. Make sure you and the mover sign it, and get to keep a copy for yourself, until the delivery has been made.
Here is the Declaration of Value Section
Here is the Terms and Conditions from the back of the moving contract. We highlighted the area pertaining to Articles of Extraordinary Value.
Obviously, your movers will do everything in there power to protect your goods, they will disassemble your furniture, wrap it in blankets and other packing materials. However, despite their best efforts the items are sometimes get lost or destroyed during a move.
You should file a claim as soon as possible. If you file to file a claim within 9 months, your mover may not be required to accept your claim. If you institute a court action and win, you may be entitled to attorney's fees. If you submitted your claim to the mover within 120 days after delivery or the date delivery is scheduled (whichever is later); and (1) the mover did not advise you of the availability of arbitration program as a means of resolving disputes; (2) a decision was not rendered through arbitration within the time required by law; or (3) you are instituting a court option to enforce an arbitration decision with which the mover has not complied.
In addition to any money you can recover from your mover to compensate for lost or destroyed articles, you may also recover the transportation charges represented by the portion of the shipment lost or destroyed. Your mover may disregard this paragraph if loss or damage was due an act or omission by you. Your mover may require you to pay any specific valuation charge due.
Your mover is forbidden from collecting, or requiring you to pay, any freight charges when your household goods shipment is totally lost or destroyed in transit, unless the loss or destruction was due to an act or omission by you.
Terms and conditions of a contract between the mover and the customer are most vital information that every customer must be familiar with. However, terms and conditions are located on the back of the bill of lading and is printed in hard to see small print. Even though movers provide their customers with a copy of bill of lading, majority of customers don't check the back side and actually don't read the terms and conditions section.
Terms and Conditions describe:
Below we have a copy of the Terms and Conditions, scanned from the bill of lading.
Please ZOOM IN for normal size font.
There are three ways to transport motorcycles
Riding your motorcycle is the preferred way of transportation. Especially, if your destination does not involve any off-road or the destination is not too far from your original location. When moving out of state or to destinations of over 250 miles, riding a motorcycle may not be the easiest way of transportation.
Transportation inside of a specialty trailer is the second best choice for moving your motorcycle. You can rent a good quality motorcycle trailer from a number of places, one of which is uhaul, or you can purchase a good quality trailer for just under $1,000 and have it customized for your bike.
When using a trailer to transport your motorcycle you must follow some basic directions. 1) Load your bike onto the trailer front-end first. 2) Tie it down with special straps. 3) Have the front wheel pressed tight to the front tire locator. 4) Crisscross tie-down straps placing cloth underneath the place where straps hold your motorcycle. 5) The tension applied by your tie-downs by lowering front suspension down 25% to 33% of the available travel. This will keep your motorcycle secure, while your trailer is going over any pot holes or bumps. 6) Strap the back wheel of your motorcycle in the similar manner as front, preventing it from swaying the back end of the motorcycle while the trailer is making turns.
Movers will transport your motorcycle in a regular box truck or trailer designed to transport household goods. Make sure that your movers have experience transporting motorcycles, as well as the insurance options they may offer, for any motorcycle related damages. An experienced mover will place your motorcycle at the very end of the load for two reasons. 1st your furniture and boxes will not surround your bike and keep it independently secured inside the box or trailer. 2nd the movers will have to stop after first 10 to 15 minutes of the ride to adjust the straps securing your motorcycle in place.
Inside a regular box or trailer your motorcycle will be secured to the side of the box. This means that one side of your motorcycle will be next to the wall of the box. The movers should create a thick padding between your bike and the wall, usually they use regular moving blankets. As many as half a dozen for the front and the back end.
Movers are required to take inventory of the customers goods at any time the delivery will not be made the same day. During local moves with a distance of under 100 miles, and delivery to be made on the same day as pick up, the movers are not required to inventory customer's items. The customer can request movers to inventory their shipment, however local moves are charge hourly and inventorying shipment will add extra time which will be added to the total cost of relocation. Most customer choose to simply follow the moving truck in route to their new location. Some customers have asked us if they can lock the gate of the truck with their own locks. This option is not available, as the truck can be pulled over by highway patrol for a random inspection, and the driver must provide officers with access to the truck. If the driver can not open the truck's gates the officers can impound the truck for complete inspection. Once the truck is police's position, they will cut off the locks and can request movers to off load the entire shipment, and cite the driver for not complying with the officers request in the first place.
Movers will inventory the shipment as part of their job's requirement with out additional cost to the shipper, in case of long distance delivery which will be held on the truck for over day, or the shipment is taken to mover's warehouse for storage.
If your mover/driver refuses to inventory your shipment, you should report this to the moving company. In case the moving company refuses to inventory your shipment, consider finding a different mover. In case there is no other mover available to be hired, you need to take a detailed inventory of your shipment yourself. Your goal is to list every item and its condition before loading it on the truck.
Each inventory form must have your name, the name of the moving company, write down the trucks description and its license plate number, driver's information, your pickup and delivery addresses, every item of your shipment and description of the items condition. All forms must be signed by both you - the shipper and the mover/driver. Keep the original copies of the forms you created and give the copies to the driver. If the driver/mover writes the inventory, he get's to keep the original and will provide you with it's copies. Make sure that you agree with the movers description of your articles condition. If you disagree with it, make a note on the original forms.
If there are items missing or damaged, your subsequent ability to dispute the items lost or damaged may depend on your notations on the inventory forms.
The copies of inventory forms must be attached together with bill of lading as an integral part of the moving contract.
Just having the notes on your inventory forms does not necessary guarantee receiving the disputed amount for damaged or lost items. The shipper/customer must file an official claim with the moving company. Do not take the word of the driver promising you "not to worry, that he will take care of everything himself". Make sure to take pictures of damaged items and the condition of the box they arrived in and amount of padding inside the box. If you packed the boxes yourself the burden of proving that the items were properly protected will fall on you.
Insurance companies prefer professional movers to protect your valuables. We recommend our customers (if they are on budget) to pack all the non-breakables, and items of lesser value and leave the most valuable articles to be packed by our movers.
One of the first rules you need to know when preparing to move is to have a clear understanding of the items which movers are not allowed to transport with household goods.
To keep the shipment safe in transit, the state and federal laws have an number of items that are considered hazardous and are illegal to be transported.
Some of the materials most common to household use are indicated below:
A. Combustible Liquids:
Lubricants (Motor Oil);
Photographic Acid (used in developing film);
Batteries (wet or dry);
Water Purinfying Agents (used in swimming pools);
Small Fire Arems Ammunition
Wood Oil Stains;
Petrol - Chemical Based Garden Spray;
Paint or Varnish;
Paint or Varnish Removers;
Butane or Propane or Gasoline Garden Equipment;
E. Compressed Gasses:
Scuba Diving Tanks.
If you have any questions please contact mover's office. We would be happy to go over your options with you.
Appliances need to be cleaned and serviced before the move date to guarantee safe transportation.
Here are a few tips.
Moving appliances from one home to another requires a great deal of preparation.
Movers are supposed to do the heavy work - the actual transporting of the appliances from client's home into the truck and then safely out of the truck into the new residence. Our movers will do anything possible to ensure that appliance gets to its destination safely.
However, the preparation of major appliances and other home furnishings is an important activity for you to schedule. Some of it needs to begin days before the actual move day.
These preparations must be done by the customer, a professional technician, or moving company can set up their partner (Reputable Appliance Tech.) who will do it, in any case let your mover know which of these options you prefer ahead of time.
Preparing appliances to withstand handling during transit or while in storage.
This process can include bracing a washer tub, disconnecting an ice maker, capping off a gas line, and special handling of satellite dish components.
Most Movers do not:
o Disconnect appliances (ice maker, washer, dryer, etc.) or reconnect them in the new residence;
o Disconnect utilities;
o Repair appliances;
o Remove or install window air conditioners or television and radio antennas;
o Perform wiring, plumbing, electrical or carpentry services.
• Use mild detergent to wipe off the exterior finish.
• Before cleaning the interior, dispose of perishables and unplug the power cord.
• Wash removable parts such as shelves and drawers with a mild detergent or in a solution of warm water and baking soda (about one tablespoon. of baking soda to one quart of water). Ice trays and ice storage bins should be washed in lukewarm water only.
• Wash the interior walls and any non-removable parts with a mild detergent or baking soda solution.
• Leave the door open for at least 24 hours. Allowing all moisture to evaporate. If your refrigerator is not a frost-free model, allow extra time to complete defrosting and drying.
• Secure all loose plastic parts.
• Glass shelves should be removed, cleaned and carefully packed in a carton for protection during transit.
• Be sure the appliance is totally empty and clean. A refrigerator which is not cleaned before transit can develop an unpleasant, permanent odor, making the appliance unusable at destination.
• After cleaning, place an odor and mildew preventative in your refrigerator.
• At the bottom of the refrigerator, remove the base covering and vacuum the condenser or compressor.
• Empty and clean the evaporator pan; allow time for it to dry.
• Turn off the water and disconnect the water line if you have a cold water dispenser or automatic ice maker. You should also empty the water reservoir.
• If your refrigerator is an older model, you may need to have the motor or compressor bolted down. The majority of refrigerators now are sealed units that do not require this service.
• At destination, do not operate the refrigerator for at least 24 hours after delivery. This allows the oil time to settle, preventing possible damage to the compressor.
• Ice makers and water dispensers must be connected to a water line. Installation service or parts can be obtained from an authorized dealer. Copper tubing, a shut-off valve and fittings may be required. Once the ice maker is in service, dispose of the first few batches of ice because of possible impurities from opening a water line.
• Use appliance cleaner to wipe off the exterior.
• On the inside, clean lint filter and tub.
• Leave the lid open so that any moisture will evaporate.
• Turn off water faucets, disconnect and drain hoses.
• Wrap the metal connector ends of hoses in a towel and place inside the washer.
• To ensure the safe transport of the washer, it should be serviced to prevent swaying of the tub.
• All water should be drained from the tub because shipments can travel through a variety of climates and terrain.
• Ask our specialist about third-party appliance servicing. There are more than 20 different washer moving kits available from various appliance manufacturers. The cost for third-party servicing is nominal, especially for the protection it provides to your washer.
• After your move, be sure to have the washer connected by a qualified installer.
• Unplug the dryer or turn off the electrical power to the appliance.
• Remove any debris from the lint screen with your fingers or a dry paper towel. Do not use water on the screen.
• Wipe off the exterior with an appliance cleaner and soft damp cloth.
• You can remove dust from the interior with a damp sponge.
• If the dryer drum is discolored, try a mild liquid household cleaner or a paste of laundry detergent and warm water. Rub the area until the discoloration is removed. Wipe thoroughly. Then reconnect to electricity and operate the dryer with a load of old rags to remove any soap residue and to thoroughly dry the drum. Remove the rags when finished.
• Disconnect the electrical supply to the appliance.
• For a gas dryer, the appliance should be disconnected and the gas line capped off before moving day by a qualified service technician.
• At destination, use a qualified installer who is familiar with requirements for gas and or electricity, as well as the exhaust system.
When choosing a moving company, you should request written estimates from two or more movers so you can compare prices. Written estimates are binding, which means once the services described on the estimate the price for those can not go up.
All written estimates must be based on visual inspection of your goods and location and must describe services and total charges. A verbal rate quotation (hourly rate or price per pound) is not an estimate.
Remember verbal estimates are not binding, to avoid problems in the long run, choose between written estimates.
In describing your wishes (required services) be as consistent as possible with each mover you talk to; this will make it easier to compare estimates. Be sure to tell prospective mover of all goods that need to be moved, any special services you require, and condition that may effect pickup and delivery (e.g. stairs, narrow road). It is especially important to tell movers everything about your new home that may effect your move. This ensures a more accurate estimate of cost, and reduces the chance of misunderstanding and/or unexpected charges on moving day.
A carrier's rates for long distance moves are based on constructive miles, which are miles accounting for driving conditions and the size or the weight of the shipment. If the move is over 100 constructive miles, it is considered a long distance move and in California must be charged on miles and weight basis. Any move crossing state boarders is also considered long distance moves, but those moves are governed by Federal agency called Department of Transportation. DOT allows carriers/movers to charge based on miles and weight or size of shipment. If your move is 100 constructive miles or less, and is with in California state, it is considered a local move and is usually charge by the hour. In local moves that may be completed just in a few hours, movers don't find it cost effective to send out an estimator to view your residence if it is smaller that a 2 bedroom house or 3 bedroom apartment. Movers will quote you an hourly rate. You should still try to find a mover willing to go out and give you a written estimate. If you are unsuccessful, in getting written estimate for a small move, hire the mover with better reputation, don't need to hire the mover with the lowest hourly rate.
Most movers have minimum charges. For example, on hourly moves, a carrier may charge a minimum of 3 hours, even if your move only takes 2 hours or less. Similarly, on long distance moves, a carrier may have a 5,000 lbs minimum weight. Even if your shipment weighs 4,000 lbs you will be charged for at least 5,000 lbs.
Movers will charge separately for packing services on long distance moves. There also will be a charge for elevators and stairs past first floor. If it is impossible for mover to park the truck with in 75 feet of front door of your residence, a long carry charge will apply.
If you add items, or require/request extra services that were not in the estimate, the mover will provide a Change of Order for Service form, either at time of pickup, or before performing service, and, of course, you pay for additional services. Make sure to keep a copy of that form for your record. Remember, the mover can not charge more than the written estimate, unless there were new services performed that were not on the initial estimate.