Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

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InvisibleAerobar
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Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:12 pm

In the past, I've always hired movers who probably paid Uhaul to advertise for their services. I've done this a total of 3 times, and save for the one occasion when the movers arrived 3-4 hours late, they all went well and without incident.

This, however, was before I had a sense of workmen's comp issues. Presumably, liability issues would be minimal (my items or the place I move into/out from receives minor damages); however, workmen's comp issues won't be minor should something happen. The website (either Uhaul or movinghelp.com) makes no mention of liability and workmen's comp coverages (I assume no license would be needed here), and as such, would the presumption that they won't carry coverage be valid?

For comparison:

Uhaul rental: $235 (includes the vehicle insurance)
Fuel + toll: $40
Workers: $400 (~$200 on either end)

So $700 in total. The moving company might charge me $1k (or perhaps more) for their services, which includes everything (including furniture disassembly and wrapping of furniture). Everything would point to the moving company as the better selection, as they carry liability and workmen's comp. Given the above, how much more expensive would the moving company need to be before one should consider the DIY option?

Good Listener
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by Good Listener » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:21 pm

I would only use a licensed moving company and the DIY just seems too risky at many levels.

LarryAllen
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by LarryAllen » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:07 pm

Professional moving company every time. Just not worth the risk in my opinion.

Top 10 pet peeve in life is friends who make decent incomes asking their friends to help them move. That was fine at 20 but not at 50. Embarrassing. I realize you aren't asking for that. I am just going off topic. :)

Wilderness Librarian
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by Wilderness Librarian » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:26 pm

Here is my cut & pasted reply I gave not long ago to a similar question. My experience is that it is worth every penny to have a "real" moving company do the job.


I moved twice, once from the Tacoma area to Alaska then 18 years later (retirement) back to the lower 48 doing this both times. I was impressed with the speed and efficiency the crew operated. Single person household but going up 4 man crew had me cleaned out in less than 2 hours and coming back 2 man crew in 4 hours. Second crew only rested for 10 minutes or so and never used the bathroom. I had books and some easy stuff packed and sealed but it took me a long time to do so. Even this much might be questionable unless you have a lot of time. Kept valuables and some heavy books as well as enough clothes etc. to be on my own for awhile in the car and drove that myself. Only caution: their time estimate on delivery both directions was way off (granted this was to/from Alaska) but I would multiply their est. time to delivery by 1.5 or even 2. Make sure you can live comfortably without your stuff for that long.

The hardest move my family ever made was when I was a teenager and my parents purchased a new house 1/2 mile away. The tendency of course is to throw small batches into the car every now and then and string the process out forever causing confusion where anything is at the moment.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:39 pm

The answer depends on whether your move is intra-state or iter-state.

Licensed interstate movers use a tractor-trailer picture in their advertisements and listings. Intrastate movers don't. Be sure you use somebody licensed.

In my most recent interstate move, almost two decades ago, the licensed firm's driver told me if I bribed him and his assistant $75 and $25, respectively, he would knock $200 off his employer's price. I turned him down.

Both of my bookcases were irreparably broken when they were delivered. If I went through and won an arbitration process my maximum recovery would have been $20.

I'm still glad I didn't give in to the corruption.

PJW

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Sasquatch
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by Sasquatch » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:21 pm

I use only licensed, bonded,insured professionals. Allied did my last move which was many years ago and did a good job. No complaints.

I work for a company that also uses outside contractors. They will occasionally post ads on craigslist for day labor. I don’t know why but about 30% are quite good but the rest are not. Even if you can get them to show up the work ethic and ability to follow instructions is not very good. YMMV

Momus
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by Momus » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:26 pm

I move myself at least 10x now with uhaul and drove the truck myself + a car dolly. Took a while but I save $500-2k everytime.

Katietsu
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by Katietsu » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:49 pm

If the difference is really only going to be $700 vs $1000, I would be inclined to go with the full service company.

I will say that there is no license needed to operate a moving company within my state. I would guess that hiring a full service moving company within the state would not alone guarantee insurance coverage. And I have had experience with local moving help and local landscapers who did have appropriate insurance. So, while I agree that the tendency will be for the full service mover to have insurance and the local help not to, I don’t think either is a guarantee.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:54 pm

LarryAllen wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:07 pm
Top 10 pet peeve in life is friends who make decent incomes asking their friends to help them move. That was fine at 20 but not at 50. Embarrassing.
That's the thing about getting older. "With the kind of back problems I've been having! No way."
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

gouldnm
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by gouldnm » Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:17 pm

Sasquatch wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:21 pm
I use only licensed, bonded,insured professionals. Allied did my last move which was many years ago and did a good job. No complaints.
I used Allied back in 1989 when I got my first job out of graduate school. I had to move from Ohio to New Jersey. I had gotten a job with a major Fortune 500 company, and Allied was the company they used. I was happy enough with their services that I used them again for several subsequent (within state) moves.

I'm glad to see that they're still in business. I will probably give them call in about 4-5 years when I'm ready to retire and move back to the Midwest!

itaos
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by itaos » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:22 am

Licensed and bonded mover unless you do not care about the condition of you possessions.

I have used the Uhaul linked movers 10 times or so and got burnt on the last move. Never again.

daveydoo
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by daveydoo » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:09 am

We recently used Isaac's for one out-of-state household into four, when moving a late relative's furniture to many destinations all around the country. The stuff was worth less than the cost of the move but had sentimental value. They were great -- very professional at both ends. But I mean they are movers! Some of the interstate movers just pick up day labor and give them shirts for the day. I used to be able to drive by the pick-up spot here in town. We clearly had day labor helping with one of our move many years ago.

For this type of move, we have always tipped a lot at both ends. The move costs thousands but the "guys" don't make great money so your extra hundred to them goes a long way. Many years ago for a paid corporate-type move for spouse, I got into a disagreement with the head "guy" who would be driving the truck cross-country. It ended semi-amicably, so spouse and I gave him the couple hundred bucks that we were planning to for this $10K move. He was delighted and drove day and night and got there two days early! We took our time flying (dawdled a few days) and he almost beat us to the opposite coast.
"I mean, it's one banana, Michael...what could it cost? Ten dollars?"

RickBoglehead
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by RickBoglehead » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:59 am

Regardless of which moving company you select, many use drivers that own their own rigs, and the company provides day labor on each end.

We hired a major moving company for a move, owner of rig was ill, his son drove the rig. Day laborers caused damage almost immediately. Default per pound coverage is useless, you need to pay for better coverage. Damage was repaired after delivery.

If you are moving a short enough distance, try to get the moving company to put in writing that only company employees will do your move.

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lthenderson
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by lthenderson » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:03 am

Having moved myself and hired a professional moving company, I will always choose the latter from here on out. By paying extra for the professional moving company:

1. I gain several weeks of time before the move not having to pack up things or make repeated trips to the uhaul place to buy things like boxes and bubble wrap.

2. My body thanks me because on moving day, the heaviest thing I do is lift a cold beverage and answer any questions.

3. On the day I receive my possessions, the heaviest thing I have to do is lift a cold beverage and point out which room unlabeled things go in.

4. I find I have much more energy after a move to settle into my new house because I didn't exert it all getting my possessions there. I don't spend the next week recovering from sore muscles in all parts of the body.

InvisibleAerobar
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:48 am

lthenderson wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:03 am
Having moved myself and hired a professional moving company, I will always choose the latter from here on out. By paying extra for the professional moving company:

1. I gain several weeks of time before the move not having to pack up things or make repeated trips to the uhaul place to buy things like boxes and bubble wrap.

2. My body thanks me because on moving day, the heaviest thing I do is lift a cold beverage and answer any questions.

3. On the day I receive my possessions, the heaviest thing I have to do is lift a cold beverage and point out which room unlabeled things go in.

4. I find I have much more energy after a move to settle into my new house because I didn't exert it all getting my possessions there. I don't spend the next week recovering from sore muscles in all parts of the body.
certainly a good point. i chip in on the moving even when i'm hiring day labor help, and it does get tiring. as i get older, whatevr strains and nicks i do pick up takes longer to repair
RickBoglehead wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:59 am
Regardless of which moving company you select, many use drivers that own their own rigs, and the company provides day labor on each end.

We hired a major moving company for a move, owner of rig was ill, his son drove the rig. Day laborers caused damage almost immediately. Default per pound coverage is useless, you need to pay for better coverage. Damage was repaired after delivery.

If you are moving a short enough distance, try to get the moving company to put in writing that only company employees will do your move.
did you need to pay for extra insurance in order ti have the damaged item repaired?


itaos wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:22 am
Licensed and bonded mover unless you do not care about the condition of you possessions.

I have used the Uhaul linked movers 10 times or so and got burnt on the last move. Never again.
if you are at liberties to do so, could you elaborate a bit on what happened?

open_circuit
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by open_circuit » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:52 am

I was very glad to have a full service move in our last interstate move. Employer move assistance program chose the mover, so I did not have to make the same decision you are evaluating, fortunately. This was my only experience hiring movers, and it went far better than I expected.

The only point of stress for us was the uncertainty of when the items would arrive. The moving truck had contents for two families, so there was a window of several days when the truck might arrive at our destination to unload our things. I believe the company that we used was Mayflower, and I would have no problem hiring them again if all of their crews are as helpful and careful as the crews I had for my last move.

Slacker
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by Slacker » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:42 am

Just moved cross country.
Allied quoted us $7500 (with us driving our cars ourselves).

We did it with hired labor and a rental truck with one car dolly for $3000 total including all the rental truck insurance options.

We're not yet in our 50s, and I felt that the$4500 savings was worth it. We did not have any friends or family provide labor.

Slacker
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by Slacker » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:46 am

Just an additional note: we work from home and so I also didn't want to have to take additional vacation days waiting on the movers schedule to get our office setup vs being able to arrive at location with our office gear and get right back to work. Prefer to use my vacation time for actual vacations.

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wabbajack
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by wabbajack » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:04 pm

LarryAllen wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:07 pm
Professional moving company every time. Just not worth the risk in my opinion.

Top 10 pet peeve in life is friends who make decent incomes asking their friends to help them move. That was fine at 20 but not at 50. Embarrassing. I realize you aren't asking for that. I am just going off topic. :)
At $700 vs $1000, it sounds like OP is moving across town or likely within 1 hour distance.

The first time I hired professional movers (think Two Men and A Truck types) was when I was 25. Here's what happened:
  • I boxed everything up the week leading up to the move
  • Movers arrived promptly in the morning and started wrapping furniture and loading boxes
  • Movers hauled my washer/dryer with appropriate care and tools into the truck
  • Movers were done loading a 800 sq ft apartment in an hour
  • Movers drove to new residence
  • Movers unloaded everything and placed furniture where I instructed
  • Movers were done before noon
I could have gone into the office that afternoon if I wanted to. The amount of time and effort saved easily justifies the cost.

donall
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by donall » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:34 pm

If you are in your 20s you can probably find enough friends to help you move. You will need to provide plenty of beverages and be on call for your friends’ moves. Of course your apartment is probably not fully furnished since you got a lot of the furnishings from the prior tenant or Craigslist.
If you are older I would use a professional mover.

Hypersion
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by Hypersion » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:04 pm

I did the move from San Fransico Bay Area to the Los Angles area last month. I made two trips, my father-in-law one, and my wife three. We didn't rent a Uhaul or hire any movers. We had a family friend help us get the house ready to sell and help us pack.
Looking back I should have helped my wife purge more stuff, she tried her best but every item we tried to donate or trash was a battle with the other people helping us to move. They didn't realize until the end that we didn't have room for all that junk in the moving automobiles or in our new smaller house.

srmach05
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by srmach05 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:41 pm

Slacker wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:42 am
Just moved cross country.
Allied quoted us $7500 (with us driving our cars ourselves).

We did it with hired labor and a rental truck with one car dolly for $3000 total including all the rental truck insurance options.

We're not yet in our 50s, and I felt that the$4500 savings was worth it. We did not have any friends or family provide labor.
+1 Had a similar situation, albeit only a 3-4 hour drive between homes. The distance + time required for loading/unloading necessitated the professional moving company to require a hotel night stay for each mover, not to mention the $200+/hour charge for driving there & back. Quote was a little over $4k.

Ended up renting a massive Uhaul truck + extra insurance and hired labor on both ends through Uhaul's labor service and cost ended up around $1800.

Normally I'm more of the "pay experts to do the work" type of a guy, but the cost discrepancy was too significant to ignore in this case.


As an aside - remember there is an inherent benefit to the estimator to underestimate the cost/time of the move somewhat, so the actual cost may end up being higher than the quote.

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amp
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by amp » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:18 am

I recently completed a cross-country move, and had luck using a website called Uship. I listed the contents of what I wanted to move online and shipping companies made bids. The shipper I picked was licensed and bonded, and they came in about 30% less expensive compared to the big household names (United, Allied, etc.) I paid in advance through the Uship website, but the movers only received the payment once the move was complete and I released it to them.

InvisibleAerobar
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:26 am

amp wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:18 am
I recently completed a cross-country move, and had luck using a website called Uship. I listed the contents of what I wanted to move online and shipping companies made bids. The shipper I picked was licensed and bonded, and they came in about 30% less expensive compared to the big household names (United, Allied, etc.) I paid in advance through the Uship website, but the movers only received the payment once the move was complete and I released it to them.
i'll look into that. thanks

fwiw, the trip is from NJ to PA; a 2-hour drive separates the two places. one other thing that makes me circumspect about hiring Uhaul moving help is that i've almost always had to chip in on the effort myself; currently, my back is acting up a bit (nothing major), but i really don't want a slipped disc or anything resulting from it

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gunn_show
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by gunn_show » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:28 am

LarryAllen wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:07 pm
Professional moving company every time. Just not worth the risk in my opinion.

Top 10 pet peeve in life is friends who make decent incomes asking their friends to help them move. That was fine at 20 but not at 50. Embarrassing. I realize you aren't asking for that. I am just going off topic. :)
this x1000 to both parts of Larry's response

Hire the best Yelp-reviewed mover in your neighborhood, period. Worth every cent. We moved 4 years ago and found an amazing crew, new 26 foot truck, showed up with 5 guys (one was a quarterback that ran the team and fit everything into the truck like a perfect puzzle, one guy had a tool box and dis-assembled and re-assembled every piece of furniture on both ends), and were done moving by 1pm. I paid them a handsome tip, had sodas, beers, etc. I have recommended them to friends and nextdoor.com no less than 50 times.

#2.. huge pet peeve is older professional friends, with families, kids.. that still ask people to help move. Like Larry said, maybe at 20, but into 40s and 50s.. dude no. Save the extra few hundred bucks and hire a mover. One of the best ROI you'll ever find.
"The best life hack of all is to just put the work in and never give up." Bas Rutten

Slacker
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by Slacker » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:41 pm

amp wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:18 am
I recently completed a cross-country move, and had luck using a website called Uship. I listed the contents of what I wanted to move online and shipping companies made bids. The shipper I picked was licensed and bonded, and they came in about 30% less expensive compared to the big household names (United, Allied, etc.) I paid in advance through the Uship website, but the movers only received the payment once the move was complete and I released it to them.
That sounds like a great option.

I just want to make sure everyone knows to VERY CAREFULLY read the fine print!!!

I've had friends that used the lowest cost shippers and didn't pay attention to the details in their contract. The truck arrived within 100ft of their front door (as indicated in the contract) and refused to move any closer unless additional fees were paid. Otherwise, the truck driver and helpers were ready to just unload the truck right at the corner. (the last time I've seen this happen was in 2012).

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amp
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by amp » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:02 pm

Slacker wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:41 pm
amp wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:18 am
I recently completed a cross-country move, and had luck using a website called Uship. I listed the contents of what I wanted to move online and shipping companies made bids. The shipper I picked was licensed and bonded, and they came in about 30% less expensive compared to the big household names (United, Allied, etc.) I paid in advance through the Uship website, but the movers only received the payment once the move was complete and I released it to them.
That sounds like a great option.

I just want to make sure everyone knows to VERY CAREFULLY read the fine print!!!

I've had friends that used the lowest cost shippers and didn't pay attention to the details in their contract. The truck arrived within 100ft of their front door (as indicated in the contract) and refused to move any closer unless additional fees were paid. Otherwise, the truck driver and helpers were ready to just unload the truck right at the corner. (the last time I've seen this happen was in 2012).
Very good point. The contract I signed explicitly said that there would be an additional charge if the 50-foot tractor-trailer was not able to come to my residence and a shuttle truck was required. It wasn't an issue in my case, but it's something that needs to be discussed in advance.

However, refusing to walk an extra 100 feet to unload without paying extra just sounds like a shakedown. Unfortunately, the moving industry is rife with these kind of scams.

InvisibleAerobar
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Re: Moving soon; whom to hire to help me move?

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:40 am

Thanks again to all who chimed in.

In the end, I picked a company whose price is between that of Allied and what is offered on UShip. I have a lot of items to move (110 for a 1Br), with most of these being in boxes. Will probably need 3 movers two hours to do the prep work (wrap/disassemble furniture) and the loading. The quote from UShip is ~$1350 for the 90-mile, interstate move, and UShip will tack on another $100. The company my family has relied on in the past charges a flat $1650, and Allied charges a flat $2700.

In comparison, the DIY route (now for 3 movers for 4 hours) would be $900. Definitely looks as if I underbudgeted in my original post. Next thing after the move would be to do some sorting and see what I should toss out. Holy s***, I've accumulated a lot of stuff for a 1-Br...

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