Long Distance Movers Near Me
Published on 2020-10-16
If you are one of the three million Americans planning to move to another state this year, you are probably looking for a professional moving company to support you in your long distance move. It’s one thing to round up some friends and pick-ups for a DIY move when moving between the same state, but you are likely to need the help of professional movers with great customer service for a long-haul interstate move and a great moving experience.
What Is A Long Distance Move?
Any move across state lines is classified as long distance move, although some movers classify this type of move in mileage; 100 miles, 400 miles, or more. Long distance moves are also known as interstate move, cross country move, and long-haul move.
Even if you are moving from within a short distance from your current state to a neighboring state, it is still considered a long distance move because federal laws apply.
You need a moving company that is registered with federal authorities to carry out your long distance moves safely, effectively, and securely. Many long distance movers also assist with packing and unpacking, house cleaning, and storage services in cases where your new home is not ready yet and you need temporary storage services.
How Do I Find Long Distance Movers Near Me?
When finding a long distance mover, start with a move plan and an understanding of how the moving industry operates, and you can find the right long distance moving company to work with on your long distance relocation.
FMCSA – Long Distance Carriers Regulator
The Department of Transportation regulates interstate moving companies like they do other motor carriers that travel between states. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, known as FMCSA, is charged with reducing accidents and casualties on interstate highways. It is also responsible for protecting consumers from fraud perpetrated by out of state moving companies in line with federal laws.
To that end, FMCSA requires all interstate movers to register and maintain a database of information on their safety records and complaint history. FMCSA regulations apply to move brokers (a moving broker facilitates moves by making connections between consumers and movers) and moving companies.
Most states have rules like those adopted by FMCSA, but they may not be as stringent or as well enforced, so if you are engaging in local moves, your service provider may not follow the same rules.
What are the rules for long-distance movers?
Interstate moving companies must visit your home to conduct an in-person inspection of what you are shipping. FMCSA established this rule to ensure that movers provide a thorough and accurate estimate of what the move entails. There are exceptions when the mover does not have a representative within 50 miles of the residence, or the customer waives the survey. If a company asks you to waive the visual walkthrough, you are better off just choosing another long distance mover.
Reluctance to conduct the in-person survey is a red flag for potential misconduct on the part of the mover. Even a reputable long distance moving company cannot get a complete understanding of your move’s nuances without seeing the home. There are many differences in the amount of furniture and other contents between homes of similar size. While one family may have tons of saved possessions, another family might be minimal collectors who have much less to move.
How Much Do Interstate Moves Cost?
Once the vendor completes the survey and evaluates all your moving needs, it will provide you with a written estimate of the average cost of the service, often called a quote. For long distance moves, the mover will base the price on the weight of the shipment. The average weight for a 3-bedroom house move is 10,000 pounds. It may be higher or lower, depending on your circumstances. The estimate will be binding, non-binding, or binding-not-to-exceed.
A binding estimate is a commitment. If the shipment’s weight is lesser or greater than what the mover forecast, the cost of the long distance move stays the same. If the estimate is non-binding, it is more of an approximation, and the price of the job will go up or down once the final weight is known. If you get a binding not-to-exceed estimate, then the move’s cost will not increase if the weight is more than predicted, but the long distance moving cost can be reduced if the actual weight of the shipment is less.
Some things will result in a higher final price, no matter which type of estimate you obtain from the vendor. Along with the transportation charges based on weight, the quote includes the cost of add on services needed or requested for the move which might include the packing process. Packing services are charged on an hourly basis by most movers. If you engage the mover for packing, you will also pay for the materials they use in the packing process (boxes, bubble wrap, paper, and tape).
What about packing and unpacking?
Many people enjoy having full service movers take over this part of the moving process as well, while others prefer to personally perform the packing. One argument in favor of engaging full service packing is that they have the best quality moving supplies that they use to protect your fragile items for the move. In addition, they can pack more quickly and efficiently than you can.
One negative result is that they will pack everything without considering whether it is time to donate or discard some items you may no longer need. Definitely consider having the movers oversee the preparation of specialty items like artwork. Anything that is valuable needs expert preparation and the item may not be covered by the movers’ liability if you try and pack it on your own.
You will also pay extra for stairs or elevators if the movers have to use them to complete the move. If you have a long steep driveway or other obstacles that prevent their truck from staging adjacent to the house, you may see additional fees for that as well. Those conditions apply to the destination as well as the origin.
Sometimes these circumstances are not apparent in advance, and if that is the case, the (hidden fees) may appear on your bill at the end of the delivery. The mover can only demand a percentage equal to 15% of the total charges at the time of delivery but can invoice you for additional costs later.
Similarly, if you have a non-binding estimate, the amount due on delivery of the shipment will not be more than 110% of the forecast, but if the total charges are higher, you will receive another bill after 30 days.
How Do I Know If The Mover Is Following The Rules?
The best way to protect yourself from an unscrupulous mover is to only work with long distance moving services that are registered with the FMCSA. A registered full service company will have a motor carrier number; it will provide you with a written estimate, an order for service, and a bill of lading.
Know your rights and responsibilities when moving
You can find out more about the requirements for long distance moving companies in a publication called Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Are Moving, which the moving companies will provide to you, either in written form or via a link to the FMCSA site. You should obtain estimates from at least three registered long distance moving companies and before you settle on one, check its references. Ask for recent customers and then call them.
Talk to previous cutomers
Talk to the customers about their experience, and if possible, verify that the employees are the same. You can also look online for reviews of long distance movers online based on customer experiences. You will find both satisfied customers and unsatisfied ones.
Check FMCSA database of moving companies
Be suspicious if you have trouble contacting the company that provides you with a quote, or if you can’t find evidence of the business name in the FMCSA database. It could be a shell operation, changing names to stay ahead of authorities, and you might be the target of a scam. Likewise, if one vendor’s estimate is significantly lower than the others, that is a red flag.
Legitimate companies don’t request large deposits
The company could be planning to load your household goods into their truck and hold them hostage until you pay a great deal more than you have agreed. You should also be wary of a request for a large deposit or a cash deposit. Most legitimate long distance moving companies expect their payment when they deliver the shipment.
If they have the money upfront, they have no incentive to perform as agreed. Using a credit card gives you the ability to dispute the charges if something goes wrong.
Only sign a complete contract with a moving company
Finally, never sign a blank or incomplete contract or receipt. Read through any documents the moving company gives you before you sign. This practice is good common sense for any business transaction, and following it will help you avoid the rogue operator and stick with the honest movers for your long distance move.
More FAQs About Long Distance Moving
Still got questions about long distance services and moving? We have lined up answers to some popular questions on long distance moving below.
Popular Areas We Service
Three Movers services is one of the best long distance movers you can find with nationwide availability. Our innovative service brings stress free local moves, state to state, cross country, and international moves.
We also provide customers expedited long distance moves and guarantee arrival times. If you are moving to a new location, feel free to contact us and we’ll send our professional movers and a moving truck.
We are committed to bringing the same level of excellence and reputation we have with our customers to make your moving hitch-free.
Below are some of the most popular areas we work in:
Frequently Asked Questions
Long distance moving is cheapest during winter or late fall and early spring, typically between the end of September to end of April. This is when the demand for long distance movers is at its lowest. However, if you have children, the best time to move is when they are out of school, and that’s summer, another time to move is in the middle of a school year.
If weather is a factor for timing your long distance moves, spring and fall are the best seasons to move. It is generally recommended to move mid-month and mid-week when demand will be at its lowest.
Contact moving services six weeks ahead of your planned moving date for visual survey and estimates and decide on a moving company at least four weeks to your moving date. Ensure that you have an agreed schedule with the mover on packing, loading, and delivery dates, based on your proposed move in day to your new location. During off-peak periods, you may not require much length of time to contact interstate movers.
To find long distance movers, ask for recommendations from family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. They might be able to recommend some van lines best services they have used in the past. You can also ask trusted local moving companies if they do long distance moving or if they have partners they can recommend.
Once you have a list of moving services, carry out a “trust search” with the Better Business Bureau, and look for a moving company with a remarkable average rating and outstanding customer care.
Some of the top long distance companies are Three Men and Truck, International Van lines, American Van Lines, Allied Van lines, and United van lines.
Interstate moves regulation requires companies to obtain auto, cargo, and general liability insurance. You should confirm that your mover has these requirements. Otherwise, contact other long distance carriers who have the insurance requirements.
You can check the websites of moving services for their licenses and insurance. You can also ask for their DOT and MC license numbers when contacting them.
Long distance movers are prohibited from moving the following items:
Gases and Propellants including LPG, gasoline, fire extinguishers, kerosene, oxygen, acetylene, compressed gas cylinders, etc..
Corrosive chemicals and poisons including drain cleaners, pool chemicals, photography chemicals.
Batteries (alkaline or acid), including automobile batteries except if it’s a vehicle being shipped.
All flammables and explosives such as flares, ammunition, and gunpowder, fireworks, industrial explosives, detonation device, wax candles especially those made of paraffin wax, aerosol spray cans.
Household cleaning products, including drain cleaners, pool chemicals, photography chemicals, lawn and garden chemicals (pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, bug bombs).
Live animals or plants
Any illegal and banned items, and substances such as drugs and narcotics.
Since live animals and plants are prohibited by long distance movers, you might be wondering how can transport your plants and pets on long distance moving. The best way to handle pets and plants is by moving them yourself.
However, you will also need to check the regulations of your destination whether they allow foreign foliage. Some states do not allow some plants to be moved in from other states.
Estimates of distance movers vary from one mover to the other. However, you can expect to be charged for Moving truck fee which covers the mileage, fuel, and other utilities such as furniture pads, straps, and dollies used for your long distance moving. You will also be charged based on crew size, the total weight of goods being moved, the cost of additional industrial coverage, and other costs.
For example, if you are hiring for full service moves which might include full or partial packing options, there will be other charges as well.
Most long distance carriers will require a moving deposit, which is usually about 15% of the estimated fee when making your booking. The balance will be expected before your goods are unloaded at your new location. There are also flexible payment such as credit cards, bank checks, money orders, and more.
The basic contract to sign with a moving company is called the bill of lading. This contract should be signed before they bring their moving truck. Read the contract step by step, only sign when you are satisfied with all the terms and conditions, you can hire a moving broker to ensure that you are getting a fair deal for your long distance moving. Also, keep the bill of lading document until you have a successful move and all charges and claims are sorted.
There are different reasons why you may need to hire a moving broker, getting fair contracts and filing for damages and losses. Also, when companies knows that you are using a broker, they will likely act more professionally.
Moving services are expected to be as detailed as possible to their customers when it comes to estimates, billings, and contracts. As a customer, you have FMCA-sanctioned rights and responsibilities which the mover should make reference with you in your conversation.
International van lines suggests the following checklists in preparation for your long distance move:
Confirm your moving date at least a month before your move, and make a reservation with a moving company of your choice.
If doing the packing yourself purchase the required packing supplies, but if you hire a full service mover, this would be covered in the estimate.
Organize your garage and closets and discard the things you don’t need. You can donate unwanted stuff to charity.
If you have children, start contacting the local school to transfer records.
Get a change of address card from your local post office.
Start notifying all vendors of your address change.
Your move is will require packing, loading, and unloading at the destination point. Are you packing yourself or using the same movers for packing? If hiring full service, you might expect faster packing which helps you gain time.
Another factor that affect the duration of your packing is how close the truck can get to your door so loading can be faster. Other main factors that affect a long distance move include the size of your house, volume and magnitude of your household goods, and the distance of the final destination. Generally, you can expect to complete your long distance moves in two weeks.
It’s possible that you experience a delay in moving to your new location, you can get storage services for your long distance move. That can be because your new home is not ready yet. Some companies offer secure and safe temporary storage for your non-crucial items pending the time your new place is ready.
Some other companies also offer long-term storage facilities as well in case you sold your house and you’re not ready to move to a new place yet.
To ensure that your first night in your home is a smooth and enjoyable one, it is good to have a “first night” box where you pack items you will need for personal hygiene, cleaning, eating, and unpacking. Here’s a quick list:
Cleaning Supplies including disinfectant, broom and dustpan, brush, toilet cleaner, rags, paper towels, dish soap, trash bags, pliers, screwdrivers and screws, drill and drill bits, flashlights, light bulbs, shower curtain, etc.
Food and beverages including fast snacks, canned foods, and fruits, disposable plates, cups, and cutleries, napkins.
Linens including mattress cover, pillows, sheets, blanket, bathmat.
Clothing including pajamas, sweatshirt, a pair of slippers each for everyone, a sweatshirt, outfit for the next day.
Unpacking tools including scissors, box cutter, furniture assembly tools, trash bags, first aid kit, etc.
Your moving company can also advise you on how to pack your first night box and put it among the first item to offload.