Think You Are Cut Out to be a Mover? Find Out Here
Every spring moving companies receive calls from college student athletes requesting employment opportunities. One by one, the students come in and shortly ( usually after a week or two of “moving” ), they leave. Don’t get me wrong – there are those few crew members that stick it out – those that handle the everyday precarious positions that moving twists, turns, bends, squeezes, rotates, wrenches, and distorts your body.
Its not about muscle. Being strong is of course an important characteristic of being a mover but not the most crucial. Many mover wannabees who are “jacked” don’t understand how they cannot hang with other movers. The answer is:
ENDURANCE is #1. Twelve hours, up and down flights of stairs. This is not easy – period, let alone carrying boxes, couches, mattresses, desks, safes, appliances, etc. Then, when you think you can take a break – get up the next morning and do it again.
Spacial Recognition is key. Some great movers have excellent space recognition skills and can negotiate objects easily. Think a huge game of 3D Tetris with really heavy things.
Kindness and Compassion above all else. Moving is extremely personal. Essentially, movers are coming into someones home and taking everything they own. You can only begin to imagine the intense feelings that sometimes accompany this difficult job of a mover. Being kind and compassionate, treating the furniture like it belongs to your grandmother – this is what a great mover can do.
The best moving companies hire movers who frankly just love to move. They love the daily challenge that moving a person’s household goods comes with. Those are the movers I would want to move my home.
I must say, I have been patiently waiting to write this post on the worst advice we’ve heard about movers for a long time. Having been in the moving and storage industry for over 20 years, we have come across our fair share of horrible advice when it comes to movers. Here is our all time crappy advice list:
Use a Van Line for Long Distance Moves – Just. Don’t. I cannot believe the moving and storage industry is so out-of-touch with current business practices. Millennials, baby boomers and those in-between have grown accustomed to getting anything they want – fast. Long gone are the days of a van line sticking your stuff on a truck and delivering it 14-21 days later! This just doesn’t make sense anymore. There are innovative moving companies applying tech and big data to their systems making long distance movers ultra-efficient.
Trust Moving Reviews. Okay – this one you can take with a grain of salt because some moving review sites work, like moving company reviews from customer lobby. Others, like yelp and bbb are actually paid sites. Movers will have to pay to post reviews on yelp and pay to become “accredited bbb movers.” Now researching the BBB isn’t a bad thing – this outlet gives a rating and if you see a big fat F or even a E or D – stay away. BBB “paid members” always have A ratings even if the reviews are horrible so… I would suggest the best movers have a ratings without being accredited which means they didn’t pay for their A
You Don’t Need Insurance. It is more likely that your things will be damaged in transit than sitting at your house. If you do have homeowners/renters insurance, I would always suggest purchasing additional coverage. All movers in the USA are liable for $.60/pound/article which doesn’t equate to much. Find movers that offer additional coverage for a reasonable rate – this should be around $200 for a 2-3 bedroom home or up to $750 for a 5000 + sq. foot home.
The Best Movers Rank High on Search Engines. The “internet of things” tends to rank national sites like yelp and van lines over smaller niche markets which seem to rank movers instead of a higher quality move. Searching with the term movers near me will give some great local results – you can even search at www.moversnearme.com . The best movers are active in their state/community and have a long history. You can do a corporation search to see how long your movers have been in business.
You can move yourself. LOL, No ROFL. Please, hire movers! The damage you can do to your vehicle, back, friend’s backs, furniture, dishes, etc. is not worth the amount you save. Trust me, hire professional movers – they do this everyday and are experts! Moving is so hard if you aren’t properly trained. And, if your friend, etc. gets hurt you could get sued!
I hope this article on the worst advice about movers has helped you in your search and shed light on some of the “good advice” you have heard!
Moving Companies have a notorious history of scamming consumers. Even movers with stellar customer reviews have been known to take advantage of customers. This handy-dandy article will guide you through 14 of the most common misconceptions about moving companies so you can protect yourself.
All movers that operate are licensed. Licensing of moving companies requires the movers to have insurance as well as a drivers license, etc. Make sure your mover is licensed and check the numbers! There are estimates of approximately 25% of movers are not licensed, which usually means the company in uninsured
All moving companies do background checks on their employees. A simple CORI check is so easy these days – find a mover who, at least, checks to make sure employees are not felons.
All long distance movers are created equal. Long distance movers need a specialized license awarded by the DOT. Find a long distance mover that gives a flat-rate price and guaranteed moving dates, trust me.
The movers are responsible for any damage. Moving companies are responsible, by law, for $.60/lb/article. Essentially if you have a table that weighs 100 lbs – you mover is responsible for $60. The best moving company offers full replacement value coverage as well – you know you are getting great movers or they would not offer this option.
All movers are shady. Some untrustworthy moving companies have really ruined this industry’s reputation. Truthfully, most moving companies are going to do a great job for you but consumers expect there to be an issue. Relax, hire Monster Movers.
Moving companies are disorganized. These days, movers have updated systems like truck tracking, moving company software and advanced logistical systems that make the industry much more smooth and organized.
Moving companies are too expensive. Whether you have a small studio moving in-state or a large home going across the nation – moving companies are always the better option.
It is common knowledge that moving from state to state can be taxing. When looking for an out of state mover, this simple advice can shave hours off of your search as well as keep some dollars in your pocket.
1. Below is a simple state to state relocation pattern – granted this is for 2011 but similar trends are said to continue for the next 10-15 years. The moving flow into a state means more people are moving there. If you are moving from a state where many move out of and to a state where a lot of people are moving to – expect to pay higher rates per pound. I am sure you remember this “supply/demand” concept from your middle/high school economics course. To put this into perspective:
Moving from Boston to Florida is a very popular for those moving from state to state. Therefore, you can expect to spend a little more money for your state to state relocation.
On the flip side, if you are moving from Florida to Rhode Island – not as popular, and not as expensive per pound.
2. Long Distance Moving is least expensive during off peak times of the year. If you can plan your state to state move in say February or March, this will greatly reduce your moving fees by up to 20%!
3. Another kernel of advice is figure out if all of your furniture is “worth” the out of state moving fees. Sure, some items are sentimental and can’t be given a declared value per se. You can expect on average of $.50/lb for an interstate move. So, you have an ikea table that you have had for 3 years – scratched. At $.50/lb x the tables weight say 150lbs. That equates to $75. You have to decide if the table is actually worth $75. Thanks to various outlets like craigslist and the Salvation Army, donating furniture is easier and may be a better option than moving everything from state to state.
4. Packing for your state to state move is extremely important. Here are some state to state packing tips. Remember to ask you long distance mover if they provide complimentary materials to help you start packing.
5. Finding the best moving company for your state to state move starts with comparing movers. This is a quick link to a printable spreadsheet to compare movers for your state to state move.
6. Organizing your state to state move is incredibly important. A helpful tool is a moving state to state checklist to assist in the organization. Of course, everyone will have their specifics to add to this list but it is a great start.
Can you move me? The most important question to ask your movers – let me explain… It’s getting close to moving day. You have an offer on your house and your buyers are just about to sign the purchase and sales agreement. Now is the time to find some movers. The first thing to ask is can you move me. You may waste a long time going through all of the other moving questions (below) and find out that your preferred movers are booked on the day in question. Here is some moving help for you.
After asking your mover Can You Move Me there are some other questions to ask your prospective mover during the initial phone conversation:
1. Rates! Rates for Two Men and a Truck should be around $99-$140/hour and rates for Three Men and a Truck should be around $120-$175/hour.
2. Travel Time! Make sure travel time is flat-rated. This means that you will not pay if the movers are late/in traffic/got lost.
4. Licensed and Insured! If a member of the crew gets injured at your home this could be a headache for you.
5. Any Additional Fees! Ask your mover if there are any additional fees aside from the ones they are telling you. Examples would be fuel surcharge, taxes, tolls. For long distance moving examples would be mileage charge, long haul, or shuttle fee.
Moving in the snow is probably one of the most annoying things in the entire world. Carrying a 200 lb. dresser across slippery ice – a problem for most moving companies but movers in Boston and other New England movershave been practicing the art of “moving in the snow” for many cold, frost-bitten years. Our moving crews have been moving for over 37 winters of snow and are happy to share some really important moving tips for those wintery months.
SAFETY IS NUMBER ONE – There are so many things that can go wrong during winter moves. But safety of the crew members, you and your furniture is the top priority. We highly recommend hiring movers during winter months. The inside of your home and the truck itself can get as slippery as the ground outside and most people don’t realize this until its too late. All of our moving crews carry shovels, rock salt and sand with us but you should always call your mover anyway and make sure they have these things handy.
DRIVING A MOVING TRUCK IN THE SNOW – Unless you are an expert truck driver – don’t do it. I have seen other moving trucks literally slide down the hills of Boston. Snowy roads are not something for an awkward moving truck to be travelling in – leave this feat to the experts. In the case that you do get stuck – call roadside assistance immediately and place the orange markers out. Our moving trucks get winter overhauls but renting a truck you may be shocked to find the lack of winter snow tires and/or moving chains.
BE PREPARED – Things you will need for a move in the snow – ice melt/salt, sand, shovels, window scraper, floor and truck runners to minimize slipping, heavy-duty gloves – hands get slippery in the winter too.
DON’T RISK IT – I remember a customer who wanted us to move a hot tub that had just been unhooked ( leaking water ) across a football field of ice an down icy steps. We did everything we could to get that across but the ice was a foot deep and did not melt with all of our salt, ice melt and sand. We did our best without it but in the end we needed to use a crane to get that bad Larry out. Sometimes there is nothing that you can do about the weather – better safe than sorry.
WATCH THE WEATER – It can change drastically. A sunny day in the North East can easily turn into a blizzard before your offload.
WINE BOTTLES BREAK IN COLD WEATHER – I know, it’s not fair. If you are doing a long distance move – or one that is going into storage during winter months, please make sure you hire a mover with climate-controlled storage or your expensive wine collection could be ruined. Also, overnight storage is not recommended for bottled liquids. They may break overnight in the cold.
ELECTRONICS and PLANTS DON’T LIKE SNOW – Like wine, plants don’t fair well during winter month moves. When hiring long distance movers in Boston or other snowy cities, make sure your mover is using climate-controlled storage facilities and not offloading your shipment into a warehouse. Electronics generally do fine in the winter but may need a thawing period.
TURN THE HEAT ON – Make sure your heat is on in the new house or this will only prolong your moving issues.
Moving in the winter can be a challenge but by following our mover help, you will be prepared to weather any winter storm.
1. Make friends before you go. Network with new employees, send flowers, candy anything. Trust me. They will have smiles on for your first day. There’s nothing better than everyone knowing your name before that first day!
2. It’s a fresh start. You can be whoever you want to be. So, get out that superman suit and rock it!
3. Do lots of research on your new city. Moving from CT to TX, I thought the cost of living would be about half. Well, yeah if I lived in the middle of nowhere but in the city of Dallas it is $$$. I had sticker shock because the areas were situated much differently.
See that picture up there with the people with the boxes on their heads? This was me during my first corporate relocation experience. Literally. I could have fit the entire contents of my studio apartment on my bike trailer and rode it from Connecticut to North Carolina. Instead, my employer had to spend over $3,000 to move me from MA to NC. And I sat there and shook my head as the movers crated my only picture ( worth about 4 whole dollars). I mean it cost more in packing materials than the picture was worth. Five more corporate relo’s (see I’m so experienced I have slang) and I have decided to write an actual blog post to help others ( paying it forward). Here’ s to the corporate movers I have had in the past:
1. Friggin’ Negotiate. I didn’t know my employer would have given me $1,000 to bike my load of crap from CT to NC. Holy Cow! Yes, I said 1k not 3k. That’s the negotiation – you do it yourself – they will pay you less. Some employers I have worked for when I had more experience actually did not offer this, maybe they thought I actually might not move myself. If they moved me using a corporate relocation , I had to back to work, right?
2. Van Lines are not the best corporate relocation companies. Most don’t know but almost all van lines – united, allied, north american, etc have all been bankrupt. How is this possible when they charge an arm and a leg for moving services you ask? My guess is claims. I had a van line move my belongings one year from NC to TX. They did a fabulous job wrapping everything I was so confident it everything was going to arrive safely ( this was at a more advanced stage in my life) I didn’t think about it the whole two weeks the shipment took to get to me. Apparently in the two weeks my shipment was offloaded and reloaded 6 times, placed in 4 different storage facilities (don’t ask), touched by over 30 different sets of hands. So, in short, my 42 inch TV was lost/missing, along with my Trek bike, my kayak ( how do you lose a freaking kayak!?!), and 13 boxes. It stunk, they gave me about $200 according to their coverage and sent me on my way – lesson learned.
3. Your employer will most likely have a mover already and you will not get a say in who moves you. Again, negotiate and hire a corporate relocation mover that guarantees delivery dates, and can provide your employer with a flat rate. Employers usually pay a high premium for corporate moves. Some moving bills I have seen for my employer have been upwards around $10,000 including packing for a 2 bedroom condo. I have even felt guilty about it knowing .
How does a long distance moving provider price moves? This is a loaded question so I will throughly explain this. Legally, a long distance mover must weigh your move. Period. There are movers who claim they don’t “weigh” customers’ shipments and they will provide a total based on square footage that the long distance moving truck after it is loaded. I suggest not using movers who go by “square foot, here’s why:
1. If you hire a long distance moving company going by square foot, they may not load your shipment “high and tight” instead they can essentially load the shipment to take up more space if they need to fill a truck… I am sure you understand this concept.
2. It is really quite hard to estimate a shipment that is charged by square foot simply because of whoever is loading your shipment. Remember that Atari game from the 80’s called Tetris. Some people have a good eye for seeing empty spots and some don’t. When your shipment is priced by weight, it is an indisputable number. There is no confusion whether or not the people loading the truck did a good job or not.
Guaranteed Dates for Long Distance Move Delivery
At this time there are only a handful of movers that can actually guarantee delivery dates. These are the best movers to use. This means they have great logistics and services. Find one of these movers near you.
Laws, Rules Regulations for Long Distance Movers
Long distance moving companies must cooperate with DOT regulations and laws regarding licensing and weigh stations.You see, when a moving company is traveling across state lines/past weigh stations, they have to make sure the truck isn’t overweight ( or there are huge fines enforced). Good long distance moving companies will have their licensing numbers clearly on the door of their truck. Their drivers also need health forms and log books at all times. I suggest making sure your long distance mover has full time labor and drivers that stay with the shipment. The last thing you want is a poor crew on the offload of your shipment in your new home. Make sure your mover has full time labor and experienced drivers.
Coverage aka. Insurance for Long Distance Moving
There are no moving companies that provide insurance. They only provide coverage which is bound by their insurance company. Please, make sure your mover is insured – ask them to provide proof of insurance. I love to support mom and pop businesses but, honestly – this is not the industry that I would suggest trusting anything anyone says over the phone. Ask for proof, ask for paperwork. If they want your business this should be easy to provide. Here’s how long distance moving company coverage works – every moving company, by law must cover good for $.60/lb/article. I always chuckle when movers add “basic coverage included” in their estimates – it’s required by law and movers cannot charge an additional fee for this basic coverage. Some, great movers offer full replacement value coverage. Choose a long distance mover who does. Even if you don’t opt for the full replacement which is always an additional fee – you know they have quality movers that will do a great job. The additional fee for full replacement coverage for long distance moves is based on weight. Some moving companies charge an exorbitant amount for full replacement coverage. Also, some have a deductible. Get all of these fees in writing. Some movers make you choose this coverage before the move. I kind of steer clear of movers who do this unless you plan on taking the coverage. It’s kind of like saying okay – if you pay extra, we’ll send you a good crew. I would suggest movers that let you choose on the day of the move.
Long Distance Moving Resources to Make it an Easy Move:
Somehow my post on moving with a pet ended up longer than my previous post about moving with kids… The actual moving with a pet does present more of a challenge – unless your kids are “animals” too.
Here is a long-winded list on how to handle moving with a pet. The first section of this post is really for moving long distance with a pet. If you are moving close-by you can skip to the bottom of the post to where I discuss getting your new pet acclimated to his/her new abode.
If you are hiring movers, make sure your pet is at a relatives house or put in an area of your house so they do not feel threatened by the new movers. Also, when the movers are there, it may be unsafe if a pet is running around. Let your movers know that you have a pet and hire pet-friendly movers.
Section 1 – Long Distance Moving with a Pet
Call the vet and schedule an appointment as soon as you can. If you wait until the last minute you may not get an appointment – my vet is scheduled 3 weeks in advance
If your pet has a condition your vet will suggest treatment or sedation techniques for the ride/flight.
You will need vaccine records and licenses if you are traveling. If you are moving to Canada – you will not cross the border without this. I should mention those moving to Hawaii will need to quarantine their pet for months before their move. This can be an annoyance most are not aware of.
If you are flying, you will need a sedative for your pet. I don’t suggest putting your pet on a plane in winter as it gets really cold for them. My vet has always given me a light sedative so my pets are not “out cold” but they are comfortable – this really eliminates the stress of the situation.. This is also helpful if you have a pet that you know doesn’t travel well, is cage aggressive or could bite movers.
Get copies of vet records and vaccination certificates. You need to have actual license papers for any long distance moves or when you are flying with your pet. If your pet has a rabies tag – this does not count! They won’t let you fly without paperwork from your vet.
If your pet is traveling by air, you will probably need a health certificate from the vet, and there may be a time requirement so plan accordingly.
Make your airline reservations directly with the airline if you are flying to your new destination with your pet. Cats and small dogs can often fly in a small carrier with you in the cabin. Larger pets and large carriers may require transport in the cargo area. The latter is probably the most stressful and dangerous mode of transportation for your pet–see Warnings below, and check out How to Minimize Risk to a Pet in the Cargo Area of an Airplane.
Confirm they accept pets. Keep in mind airlines have very specific regulations for pets transported in the cargo area. They will not allow a pet to fly in temperatures in departure, layover or destination cities if the temperatures are too hot or too cold. It may be a pleasant 75 degrees F in Atlanta but it may be 40 degrees F in Chicago. The decision may not be made until the day of your flight.
Travel on the same flight as your pet if your pet is going to be in the cargo area. Ask the airline if you can watch your pet being loaded and unloaded into the cargo hold. When you board the plane, notify the captain and at least one flight attendant that your pet is traveling in the cargo hold. If the captain knows that pets are on board, he or she may take special precautions.
Find out what additional cost is involved.
Inquire if you must fax your vet records beforehand (always keep a copy with you).
Ask what specific maximum carrier measurements are allowed. Your pet should be able to turn around freely and not be cramped. Food and water should be available for cargo transported animals. You may be able to buy a cheaper carrier online so shop around if you have time.
Section 2 Local Moves with a Pet
Schedule your dogs to be groomed the week you leave. They will smell clean, their nails will be trimmed so not to ruin your car’s interior and you won’t be taking a dirty dog into a new home. Consider having long hair dogs shaved or heavily trimmed. You may also want to give your cats a good brushing, since they might shed more when they’re stressed.
If you are sensitive to scents, make sure you agree on the fragrances/cologne spray used. Some shampoos also help with shedding and itching. Ask your groomer. You don’t want your dog itching for the entire trip. Not only is it noisy but it is also hard on the pet since the dog may not have enough room to scratch.
Make your grooming appointment early and don’t wait until the last week. You’re making special requests and you should give them plenty of notice about what you want done so they can schedule the appropriate amount of time and personnel needed Make your reservations early to make sure you can bring your pet and get one of those rooms. The most important thing is to speak with someone directly at the hotel. Make a note of their name and department. Get a direct phone number if you can. Do not make assumptions based on what you read online!. Make sure to plan ahead and book pet friendly hotels!
Make a list of things you will need for the road and make sure they aren’t packed to go on the moving truck. Always bring a plastic bin with your pets things with you while you are in the process of moving. Give your pet plenty of love during th e move.Let them sleep in the bed, take them for walks, take time out to play and feed them their favorite food or treats. It will improve their spirits for the actual move day. Pets are often the last thing on people’s minds during a stressful move. The pets begin to feel unloved and neglected which can bring about more stress and bad behaviors.It is not uncommon for pets to refuse food and water while away from home or in a stressful situation. Keep a close eye on their intake. Try to take time every few hours during moving and travel to walk your pet, set out food and water and try to get them to drink. If their appetite doesn’t improve, you should contact a vet. Some sedatives can cause your pets to become thirsty and if not addressed they become dehydrated. Make sure they have access to plenty of water.Keep a log of when and how much sedative you give. It will prevent you from double dosing should you forget in all the chaos of moving.
Things to consider when you are moving long distance – or out of state are much different than trying to find a local mover.
First, if you are moving locally and there is an “issue,” taking your mover to court is pretty easy. What happens if there are issues for long distance moves? Well, the law states that you must take the company to court in the state that the move started in. Yeah, its a horrid law. Essentially, you are at the mercy of your interstate mover when they have all of your possessions in their truck. Unless you feel like flying back to your old state for court dates. And that’s just insane.
I don’t mean to scare you but I want people moving out of state to realize that choosing a long distance mover is an important decision.
Of course I could offer all kinds of tips and advice for hiring movers for your out of state move but I will go over the three most important items to help with your research:
1. Choose movers that have door to door service and don’t take your things off of a truck – called truck swapping. Large van lines claim they can handle offloading shipments, sticking them in a warehouse, putting them with another shipment, offloading and repeat. The more your items get shifted around, the better the chance of broken or missing items. The least amount of times a shipment is transferred, the better.
2. Make sure your movers are experienced. There are only a handful of movers between a huge van line and a “craigslist mover.” These are the moving companies that are large enough to offer great rates and have all licensing required by the DOT and keep your things on the truck without offloading.
3. Try not to wait until the last minute. Many movers will see this as an opportunity to charge the highest amount possible while they think you may not find any reasonable movers at the last minute. If you do need last minute or emergency movers for an out of state move, call Monster Movers. The rates are always flat rate moves for long distance shipments and do not change based on any dates.
Some other useful tools for your long distance move: