Every year, Mover-Help.com takes a deep dive into the moving industry to find that “diamond in the rough” moving company that is making the right moves. This year, Mastodon Moving has really caught the attention of our staff. Besides being a mover for athletes and celebrities – many high end realtors in the Boston area say this is the only mover they will recommend.
So, what is it about Mastodon Moving that really stands out from the other movers in the area which include past winners like Monster Movers and Gentle Giant.
Uniformed, Trained Professionals – Every one of Mastodon’s employees show up ready to work and in uniform. Since the pandemic, many residents have said movers are coming in ripped pants, sweatshirts and sometimes even sandals. Mastodon Moving reminds us of the old-school companies coming in simple black and white lettered trucks with lettered jackets and steel-toed boots. The movers themselves are not allowed to take personal calls, smoke or use poor language on any move and this is something the operation manager takes seriously.
Reliable – Every other moving company we looked at had at least one review where the crews did not show up on time and/or didn’t come at all. On moving day, this can create a load of un-needed stress.
Responsible – It is clear that the owner, JJ runs a tight ship. Every person on the moving team takes clear ownership of how moves are performed.
Facilities – You will be hard-pressed to find a nicer moving facility than the storage at Mastodon Moving. While the pandemic forced many moving companies into cheaper, smaller and less secure warehouses, Mastodon doubled down on safety. Their facility is so clean and managed 24/7.
It is really difficult to find a good moving company these days, but we are sure Mastodon is the best choice for 2023.
Moving Services – Prices, What’s Included and Decoding Your Moving Estimate
So, you have a bunch of moving estimates – all with different moving services, prices for each service – but do you really understand it? All moving services are not created equal by any means so we are going to break it all down for you starting with some moving slang vocabulary words, moving on to help with what moving services are availble, and of course what you should be paying for any moving service.
Moving Services – Terms
When planning a move it’s often difficult to navigate through all moving services and fees for moving services. Here are some terms you will need to be aware of when hiring movers and getting a moving estimate:
full service mover– a mover who provides the broadest range of moving services including local moving, long distance moving, packing, crating, overnight storage, short or long term storage, etc
binding estimate– means that the price quoted in the estimate is the amount you pay for moving services regardless of your shipment weighing more or less than than estimated. The binding estimate for moving services must accurately describe the shipment and all the services the company will provide which means you have to be completely honest with your movers. If you asked the moving company to provide additional services, such as long carry charges, shuttle servies, etc.
binding, not-to exceed estimate – the same as a binding estimate so you will pay for moving services in relation to the weight without a minimum. If the actual weight of your shipment is more than the written estimate, you still pay the amount quoted. However, if the actual weight is less than the written estimate, you pay the lesser amount.
List of Moving Services
Full services moving companies should offer a variety of moving services. Because things can change quickly when moving and waiting for closings it is best to hire movers who offer packing and storage services as well just in case you get caught in a bind.
Long Distance Moving
Packing Material Delivery
Full Service Packing – Your moving company should have the ability to pack your entire home in detail. Movers are trained to pack your home with the utmost professionalism and respect for your belongings.
Piece By Piece Packing – For items that are delicate, breakable or irreplaceable in value, we encourage you to let us know so that we can pack them with the utmost care. Your moving company should offer full service or pay by piece packing services
Material Delivery – If you are planning on packing your own boxes, your movers should offer free material delivery. Don’t get your boxes from home depot, walmart or the like – as expected they are usually cheap and not the best. Your movers will have high quality moving supplies
Basic Household Moving Services
Loading – Loading your moving truck. Your movers should provide moving blankets shrink wrap etc. Your personal contents are systematically loaded onto our moving trucks where they will be transported to their new location.
Transportation – The transport of items to the new residence
Unloading – Part of a basic moving service means movers will carefully place all of your boxes and furniture into each room.
Additional Household Moving Services Available That Usually Have an Additional Fee
Private local and long distance movers don’t usually charge for the services below but van lines usually do – here are the approximate fees for these moving services:
Unpacking – Unpacking of boxes. COST $120/hour
Crating – Customized crates designed to provide optimum protection for your electronic equipment, as well as large, expensive items that cannot fit into standard moving boxes and packaging. COST $100-250/crate
Cars/Boats – COST $1,200-$2,000
Assembly/Disassembly – Most moving companies incude this in their basic services but van lines will not and usually charge for this. COST $400-$600+
Third Party Services – For additional assembly and disassembly services, as well as disconnection, reconnection and cleaning services, we provide third party resources who specialize in the household moving process. Again most private moving companies will do most of these things for you including disconnecting washer/dryer etc. but a van line will charge. COST $300-$1000+
Shuttle Services – Private moving companies do not charge for this as they usually don’t use 53foot tractor trailers for your move but a van line charges. COST $700-$2000+
Storage – Varies depending on number of days/weeks/months but expect a charge. COST $150+/month
What You Should Expect from Your Movers
Full service options
Quality customer service
Moving can be a stressful task, full of its fair share of unwelcomed surprises, but what should not come as a surprise to you is the total amount you see on your moving invoice once your move is completed. Ask your movers for a binding and binding not to exceed estimate.
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.
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.