What You Need To Know
- What Makes a Move Go Right?
- How To Shop For A Mover
- Level of Guarantee
- Hazards Of Hiring An Unlicensed Mover
- 4 Categories Of Movers – Pros And Cons
Experienced Movers – We run a 5 truck operation. On any given crew, the crew leader generally has 5 or more years’ experience, and may have loaded over 1000 trucks. The helpers have years of experience and generally have loaded hundreds or more trucks.
Adequate Manpower – Among the keys to a smooth move are adequate manpower. The more men, the faster the move goes (the movers will not be in each other’s way). We want to finish the move quickly and efficiently before anyone gets tired.
Adequate Cargo Space – Better to have more cargo space than less. Sufficient cargo space means that the furniture can be loaded smoothly and efficiently, without losing time trying to make it fit, or going back for a second trip.
Is the moving company licensed by MO-DOT, or is the vendor simply holding itself out as a legitimate mover while operating without a license as required by law?
This is among the most important criteria when selecting a mover. In 2008, MO-DOT began requiring that those among us that transport household goods get authority to do so from MO-DOT. At the MO-DOT website you may see insurance requirements.
Workman’s Compensation – Those of us that are licensed carry workman’s compensation in the amount of $500K per man. This means that you, the customer, cannot be sued successfully by an injury attorney on behalf of an injured worker. Medical bills in the $30K to $60K range are now routine, as are lost wages in the amount of $10K to $25K range. When you hire a licensed mover, you protect yourself from this exposure.
General Liability – Those of us that are licensed carry $2M in General Liability. When you hire a licensed mover, you protect yourself from this exposure. General liability does not necessarily pertain to cargo claims, that is, damaged furniture. See below for more information on this type of loss.
Binding vs Non-binding
A binding estimate means that the moving company will do the work for a predetermined set price. A non-binding estimate means that the moving company has quoted an hourly rate, and a non-binding estimated number of hours to do the work. If the move takes more time than estimated, the total price of the move will be higher than the estimate. If the move takes less time than estimated, the total price of the move will be less than the estimate.
The rate per man per hour is an effective analytical number to use when comparing moving estimates, as is comparing one company’s total hourly rate to another company’s total hourly rate, for example, comparing 4 man rates. Again, the level of guarantee that is included, “$.60 per lb” vs “fair market value” is relevant. Choosing a moving company based upon the lowest grand total is not necessarily a rational decision since moving companies charge for actual hours, not estimated hours.
What level of guarantee is included within the hourly rate?
$.60 per lb vs “Fair Market Value” – $.60 per lb on an 80 lb dining room table is $48. Fair Market Value on an 8 year old dining room table that costs $2000, may be in the $850-$1000 range. As you can see, “fair market value” is generally considerably higher than “$.60 per lb”. We offer “fair market value” within our rates, no add-on fee, with the stipulation that you discover and report damage before the movers leave your destination premises. A 10 day claim option is available for a fee.
Among the barriers to obtaining a license is high cost of workman’s comp, general liability, and cargo insurance. Unlicensed moving companies generally do not have these kinds of insurance. Hiring an unlicensed moving company is an assumption of risk on the part of the customer. The losses from medical bills and lost wages paid by work comp carriers for a single injury can be tremendous. General Liability claims are extremely rare. Cargo claims are very low relative to work comp claims. The best way to avoid tremendous exposure is hire a licensed mover.
Agents for Van Lines
Pros – Always licensed. Generally experienced. Generally competitive hourly rates.
Cons – Generally limit liability to “$.60 per lb.”, with a substantial add-on fee.
Pros – Always Licensed. Level of liability / guarantee generally higher than $.60 per lb.
Cons – Rates generally higher than that of independents or agents for van lines.
Pros – Licensed. Rates generally lower. Level of liability may be higher than “.60 per lb”.
Cons – Level of liability may be “.60 per lb.”
Pros – Very low hourly rates.
Cons – Substantial exposure due no work comp / general liability.
Four Weeks Before the Move…
- Call At Your Service Moving and schedule your move.
- Tour your house and decide which items should be discarded or donated to charity. Consider a garage sale.
- Call physicians and dentists. They may recommend a colleague near your new home.
- Get copies of renewable prescriptions.
- Arrange transfer of school records.
- Check homeowner’s insurance policies to see if moving is covered.
- Be sure your new home is protected by transferring fire, theft and other personal-property insurance. Transfer personal insurance records.
Three Weeks Before the Move…
- Plan to use up most food items before the move.
- Check and clear tax assessments.
- Arrange to have major appliances serviced before you move them.
- Movers can’t take aerosols, flammables, corrosives or ammunition. It’s best to use them up or give them away before you move. Propane tanks must be emptied as well as lawnmower fuel tanks.
Two Weeks Before the Move…
- Make your travel reservations for the trip.
- Notify the Post Office and get change of address forms. Notify magazines to which you subscribe. Note: You must fill out a change-of-address form for each person receiving mail at your address.
- Close or transfer all charge accounts.
- Return library books and other things you’ve borrowed. Collect things you’ve loaned, and items in layaway, cold storage, etc.
- Arrange to discontinue utilities and delivery services.
- Take the time to fill out the “Welcome To Your New Home” data sheet for the new owners. Protect your shipment from damage by disposing of cleaning fluids, acids, caustic drain cleaners, etc.
One Week Before the Move…
- Transfer bank accounts, and ask your local credit bureau to transfer your records to your new city
- Reconfirm travel reservations.
- Arrange for cable TV disconnection.
- Arrange connection of utilities in new home. Draw up a floor plan of your new home, and indicate placement of furnishings. It makes moving in twice as easy.
- Arrange to have cash, certified check or money order ready to pay driver before goods are unloaded (unless your employer is paying the charges or you’ve arranged to pay by credit card).
- Set aside maps, games, snacks, flashlight, and other items you’ll take in your car.
- Gather medicines and important papers for the car trip.
- Your local phone company business office can help you with phone service for your new home, as well as disconnecting service at your present home.
- Drain water from all garden hoses.
- Start packing suitcases.
- Drain gasoline from lawn mower.
- Anything At Your Service Moving is packing should be left in place. It’s easier and safer; for example, to pack glassware right from the cabinet it’s kept in.
The Day Before the Move…
- Get name, address and phone number of your destination agent.
- Put cleaning supplies, toiletries and a coffee pot in special box to be loaded last and unloaded first.
- Finish packing all suitcases.
- Defrost, clean and dry refrigerator.
The Day of the move…
- Be on hand all day to answer questions, accompany driver during inventory, sign bill of lading, and confirm your new address and delivery date. Be sure to advise him of your enroute accommodations and telephone number, if known.
- Make final check of every room and storage area. Make sure windows and doors are locked, keys are transferred and lights are out.
Downloadable Moving Checklist. Click here!
12 weeks before you move, have you …
- Chosen your mover and signed the acceptance note?
- Sorted through basement, loft and garage?
- Resolved what to do with prohibited items?
- Made proper provision for pets?
- Decided whether or not you are taking your car?
10 weeks before your move, have you …
- Disposed of the things you don’t want to take?
8 weeks before you move, have you…
- Started to prepare your mailing list of people who need your change of address?
- Notified banks, savings accounts, credit card companies, magazine subscriptions, hire purchase and rental companies?
- Started to round up passports, birth/marriage certificates and other family documentation?
- Applied for any necessary visas?
- Checked that electrical goods will work in your new home?
6 weeks before you move, have you …
- Separated favorite toys?
- Made sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date?
- Arranged for mail to be forwarded?
- Decided whether or not to buy any new household goods – check tax refunds.
4 weeks before you move, have you …
- Decided which clothes travel with you?
- Started to dismantle climbing frames/garden furniture?
- Agreed an insurance value and terms with your mover?
- Made arrangements of connection of services at your new home?
- Returned library books?
- Canceled milk, newspapers, subscriptions?
- Found new homes for your plants?
7 days before your move, have you …
- Defrosted the refrigerator/freezer?
- Planned simple meals for moving day to avoid using appliances?
- Separated luggage items you need for personal travel?
- Cleaned garden tools, bicycles and any other gardening equipment?
- Emptied the tanks of powered tools such as mowers?
- Checked you have enough medication for at least two weeks, and ensure you have copies of any necessary prescriptions for use at destination?
- Collected travelers checks or local currency?
- Arranged for someone to look after the children on moving day?
- Clear out unwanted goods – hold a garage sale.
- Get rid of flammables – paint, petrol, gas cylinders.
- Empty fuel from mowers, clippers, trimmers and so on.
- Clothes – do you need them all? Charity shops may want them.
- Separate books – disposable, family reading, valuable.
- Check all electrical goods – will they work in the new home?
- Start making up your change of address list.
- Arrange to have mail forwarded.
- Arrange termination date for electricity, gas, oil, telephone and other main suppliers.
- If you are taking electrical goods such as a stereo, see if you still have their original boxes. Have rugs cleaned.
- If you have children, separate cherished toys to travel with you.
- Round up personal documentation – marriage/birth certificates, driving licenses and so on.
- Keep passports separate so they are not packed.
- Want to take the car? Check on import regulations and the duty payable.
- With regards to family pets– make sure vaccinations and documentation are up to date.
- Will your new home be ready? If not, you need to arrange temporary storage.
- Shops, schools, theaters, life styles – it’s never too early to find out about your new home.
- Start running down freezer stocks.
- Arrange your finances – close or transfer bank accounts, savings accounts and so on, if necessary.
Packing Materials Use only strong, corrugated cartons with covers. We can supply you with specially made cartons, for everything from mattresses to clothing and mirrors. The added protection of mover-provided cartons may avoid damage that results from the use of poor-quality packing materials. Your alternative is to collect boxes discarded by your grocery or liquor store. Save old newspapers for use in packing, but remember that ink may rub off and stain clothing or other items. *WARNING: Insect eggs and insects such as roaches can travel in food boxes. Keep this in mind when getting boxes from food stores. Here’s a list a packing supplies that will come in handy:
- Plastic bags and labels for easy identification.
- Foam peanuts, Styrofoam pellets or “popcorn.”
- Tissue or craft paper for delicate packing jobs.
- Corrugated paper rolls for figurines and fragile items.
- Gummed tape (1 1/2 to 2 inches wide) and/or strong twine for sealing cartons.
- Markers and labels for identifying contents of cartons.
- Notebook and pencil for carton identification log.
- Scissors and/or sharp knife.
Packing Pointers Before actually packing-up, you need to have a game plan. For example:
- Pack one room at a time. This will help you when it comes time to unpack.
- Pack a couple of cartons a day, starting well ahead of the move.
- Mark all boxes, designating room and box number. Make a carton identification log to show the number of boxes packed per room, and the total number of cartons packed. It’s a good idea to leave space in your log for a special comments section to note carton conditions or location of high value goods. Notify your mover of any high value items.
- Be sure to have plenty of “filling” material available.
- Be sure that the bottoms of all cartons are secured and will hold the weight of the contents.
- Packing tape or gummed tape is better than masking tape.
- Pack heavier items toward the bottom of the box and lighter items toward the top. Try to keep a per-box weight of 50 pounds or less; it makes moving a lot easier. A general rule to remember on carton size — the heavier the item, the smaller the carton.
- Select a medium-sized carton (or mover provided dishpack) and line the bottom of the carton with crumpled packing paper.
- With packing paper stacked neatly in place on a work table, center one plate on the paper.
- Grasp a corner on several sheets of packing paper and pull the paper over the plate until sheets completely cover the plate. Stack a second plate on and, moving clockwise, grasp a second corner and pull sheets over the second plate.
- Stack a third plate. Grasp remaining two corners, folding two sheets of each corner (one at a time) over the plate.
- Turn your wrapped stack of plates upside down onto your packing paper.
- Re-wrap the entire bundle: start with one corner of packing paper and pull two sheets over the bundle, cover bundle with next corner, then the third corner; and finally, the fourth.
- Seal the bundle with packing tape.
- Place the bundle of dish-ware in a medium-size box so that the plates are standing on edge Use this process on all saucers, bread and butter dishes, and other dishware. When packing smaller dishes, you may choose to stack in greater quantity.
- With packing paper in place on the work table, position one cup six to eight inches from one of the corners. Now pull the near corner of the paper up and over the cup.
- Nest a second cup directly on top, with handle to left (second cup should “nest” itself in packing paper folded over the bottom cups).
- Pull the two side corners up and over, one at a time, and tuck corners inside the top cup.
- Hold the bottom and top cup in position and roll cups to the remaining corner. Fragile mixing bowls may be rolled in the same manner.
- Delicate cups, like china, should be wrapped one at a time. Antique glass or china should be stuffed with crumpled tissue and wrapped one at a time.
Packing Glasses and Stemware
- Stuff glasses and stemware with crumpled tissue or packing paper before wrapping.
- Lay on the corner of packing paper and roll it one or two full rotations (depending on size); pull sides of packing paper up and over glass/stemware and continue rolling to the far corner. Corrugated paper rolls or cellular boxes may be used for added protection.
- Place glasses and stemware toward the top of your box. Heavier items (dish-ware, pitchers,etc.) should be placed toward the bottom of the box.
- Delicate glassware and stemware should be placed in an upright position, not on its side.
No matter what you’re packing, you should use crumpled packing paper in between each layer to assure a snug fit wherever there’s a gap. All boxes with “fragile” items should be marked accordingly. Specialized Packing Tips The list of individual household items is endless. Most can be packed by following our packing pointers. Here are some additional packing tips for major items. If you want a more comprehensive list of how to pack special items, drop us a line. Bureau Drawers– Don’t overload. Too heavy a load can cause damage. Remove firearms and any items that might break or leak. Firearms, along with serial numbers, must be registered with your van line representative before the move. Canned Goods and Other Non-Frozen Food– Pack upright with no more than 24-30 cans per carton. Don’t attempt to move perishables. Wrap glass containers and boxed foods individually and pack in small cartons. Frozen Foods and Plants– Because of the delicate and perishable nature of these items, your mover is prohibited from accepting these packed items when your shipment is being transported more than 150 miles and/or delivery will not be accomplished within twenty-four (24) hours from the time of loading. Frozen food shipped within these guidelines must be packed in a freezer which at time of loading is at normal deep-freeze temperature. Clocks — Remove or secure pendulum in large clocks. Grandfather clocks should be prepared for moving by expert servicemen. Drapes and Curtains — Hang drapes over crossbars in wardrobe cartons, or pack folded in clean cartons. Remove curtains from rods, fold and pack in cartons or bureau drawers. Flammables and Combustibles — Flammable liquids and aerosol cans must not be packed. Changes in temperature and pressure can cause them to leak, or even explode. For your own protection, you should know that if you pack these items and they cause damage to your shipment or others, you, not your mover, may be held liable. Lamps and Lampshades — Remove bulbs, harps and shades. Roll up cord. Pack lamps with bedding or wrap separately and place upright in clean, tissue-lined carton. Wrap harp and finial (decorative knob) with packing paper and tape to inside wall of carton that contains shade. Wrap shades in tissue, not newspaper. Place upright in large, tissue lined cartons. Medicines — Seal caps with masking tape. Wrap and pack upright in small cartons. If needed during travel, carry with you. Mirrors, Paintings and Pictures — Tell your agent about valuable paintings for special care. Wrap small mirrors, pictures, paintings, and frames and place on edge in cartons. Place large pictures and paintings on edge in heavy cardboard containers. Large wall or dresser mirrors will be taken down by the movers and placed in special cartons. For added safety, place tape diagonally across mirror to protect better against damage. Do not place newspaper directly against paintings. Personal Computers and Video Recorders — Pack valuable electronic equipment in original cartons when available. Otherwise, use strong, corrugated cartons and place protective padding on the bottom of the carton. Wrap an old blanket or protective pad around the item and place it in its carton. Place additional padding between the carton and the computer or video recorder. Wrap cords separately, label to identify usage and place in a plastic bag away from delicate surfaces. Non-detachable cords should also be wrapped. Place cords between the padded computer or video recorder and the carton. Be sure your personal computer is “parked” and ready for transport. Silverware — Wrap each piece in cloth or low sulfur content paper to prevent tarnishing. Use an old blanket or moving pad as a wrap to prevent scratching the silverware chest. Tools — Drain fuel from power tools (do not ship Flammables under any circumstances). Pack tools in small, strong cartons. Wrap separately if valuable. Waterbed Mattresses — Drain all water from the waterbed and, grasping internal baffle systems with external vinyl, fold mattress 20 inches at a time. Adjust folds to avoid making creases across individual baffles. Consult your owner’s manual for special instructions concerning the care and transportation of your mattress. Do not place your mattress in a carton with sharp or pointed objects. Cars and Motorcycles — Cars and motorcycles shipped on the moving van should be drained nearly empty of fuel. Motorcycle batteries should be disconnected. Automobile antifreeze should be ample to protect against severe cold in winter. Barbecue Grills and Propane Tanks — Wrap grates and briquettes separately in a newspaper (or place all briquettes into a grocery bag) and place parts in carton. Pad carton with paper to reduce movement of contents. Propane tanks cannot be moved. Consult your local gas grill distributor for the safest method.
As lampshades are fragile and difficult to work around, the Customer should move lampshades or put them in a box prior to move day.
Refrigerators and deep freezes should be turned off and emptied before the move day. It is best for the appliances if you wait a few hours before plugging them in after delivery to allow fluids to settle.
The Move Process
Depending upon the size of the move, there may be as many as three or more men in the moving crew. Generally, one man will act as the supervisor to oversee the move. Loading a truck is a process, which involves a progression of steps or building blocks.
Two of the movers may bring the furniture to the loader, who will place items in the truck to maximize available space. The mover loading the truck will come off the truck as time permits or as the situation dictates.
You may leave clothing in dresser drawers. However, please do not leave pens, papers, books, or jewelry in drawers. A good mover can move a piece of furniture and make sure that the drawers do not come open.
However, items other than clothing may escape over the top of the drawer, into the furniture, and ultimately, onto the ground. Wardrobes are available for closet clothing at a price of $16.00 per wardrobe.
The price of your move is based upon the amount of time it takes to perform the moving services you request. To save time and money, you should be completely packed and ready to go on moving day. Boxes should be taped shut, top and bottom.
If you want items delivered into a specific room, please write the name of the room on top of the box with a thick black marker. Furniture surfaces should be clear. You may be able to save money and/or wear and tear by taking off a refrigerator door (if there are no water or electric lines on that door).