Obviously, anytime that you’re preparing for a move it’s important to know how much movers cost, so that you don’t end up paying too much and so that you get the most bang for your buck. That’s why we’ve compiled this blog, which will answer the age-old question of, how much do movers cost? There’s no direct, single answer, especially since there are so many different types of movers out there. But, we will give you some basic information, as well as, some information related to specific types of moves, so that you’ll be ready to pay for your move. If you’re thinking about saving money by taking the do-it-yourself approach, think again (if only for a moment, and if it doesn’t hurt), because you can actually save time, stress, and money by paying up front for quality professional movers. The idea is to spend a little now, so that you don’t have to spend a lot later, replacing items or making up for the time lost taking care of the move (and we all know that time is money). While you reconsider whether to go all DIY on this move, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how much movers cost.
How much do movers cost for local moves? Whenever you make a local move, you will pay an hourly minimum rate (usually two or three hours) for the services of the laborers and the use of a truck. The hourly minimum rate will depend on how many laborers you need, how much stuff you have, and how many trucks are needed. The most common combination is two men and a truck, but the moving company will help you determine how many laborers are needed for your relocation. Additionally, you will pay a fee for drive time, which in the state of California is called the double drive time law. Double drive time provides the customer with a verifiable driving charge, and the company with compensation for the fuel and wear and tear on their vehicle. Essentially, double drive time is calculated by recording the time it takes to get from the pickup location to the drop off destination, and that time is doubled. It’s doubled because the moving company has to drive the truck out to the pickup location, and back to the hub from the drop off destination. It’s important to remember that these are the basic charges for local moves; you may be subject to additional packing charges which will be outlined below.
How much do movers cost for long distance moves. For long distance relocations, you will pay a fee based on either the amount of stuff that you have (interstate and international move), or the total weight of the stuff (intrastate moves). International and interstate moves are based on the total volume of your stuff, measured in cubic feet. The actual rate per cubic foot will also vary per mile travelled, and the maximum and minimum allowed tariffs are set by the Department of Transportation and the Public Utilities Commission. For intrastate moves, relocations of over one hundred miles that stay within the same state, the total weight of your stuff will be measured once it’s on the truck. You can be there for the weighing process, and the company should give you a certified copy of the pre-item weight of the truck, as well as, a certificate verifying the weight of the loaded truck. The weight, along with the mileage, will factor into how much your rate will be, and again the maximum and minimum tariffs are set for the by the DOT and PUC. Long distance moves are also subject to various packing fees, which we’re about to cover.
Packing fees and special service fees are different for both local and long distance moves; however there are a few mainstays for both. First, all pianos will need to be strapped to a piano board and properly packed for the move. This means that you will pay a bulky article or special packing fee for all pianos, as well as, for pool tables (which will need to be disassembled and the slate properly wrapped), artwork (which needs to be crated), antiques (crating), flat-screen TVs (crating), and any other delicate or valuable items. If you need the company to pack for you, you will pay for the labor time and any materials that they provide; moving companies will be able to provide any materials that you need. If you have items that require disassembly and reassembly, you should not have to pay extra for this service, this is a standard option that most companies offer for free (you’ll just be paying for labor time here). For long distance moves, if the movers must use stairs (8 or more steps in a flight), elevators, if there are long carry requirements (movers have to walk more than 75ft from load/unload destination to the truck), shuttle requirements, or if you want a dedicated truck or expedited delivery, you will have to pay a special fee. These fees will vary from company to company, and you need to clearly indicate whether you have any of the above obstacles or requirements.
For auto moves, and moves that require storage (whether temporary or long term) the fees are a bit different. Some moving companies can offer storage with their moving services, usually with a monthly or daily fee depending on how long the items need to be there. Also, you should look for a climate-controlled, secured, storage facility. Auto moves will depend on the type of service you need (closed-crate or open air shipping) and how far you are travelling. The rates will vary from company to company, but try to use an actual auto mover and not a broker so that you’re not paying two companies to complete one job.
As you can see, the answer to the question of, “how much do movers cost”, varies tremendously. The final rate will depend on the company you choose, the size of your move, and numerous other factors. The key to getting a good rate is finding a quality moving company, understanding what services you will need, and getting an on-site estimate.
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