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How to ensure safe and convenient Long Distance Moving

Here we will discuss Interstate Moving, a.k.a. Long Distance Moving, and how to be best prepared for this day. When choosing a long-distance mover, you’ll want to do research, ask the right questions, and properly plan for your Interstate Move.

The first thing you will want to do is find a mover that fits you best. To get more information on choosing a great mover, check out our blog Now that you have chosen your list of movers that you feel meet your quality need, now check and make sure they are registered with the DOT. You can check if the moving company is properly registered for Interstate Moves by looking on

Now that you have made sure the moving company has the proper licensing, you’ll want to make sure they have the right insurance. Ask them to provide their Certificates of Insurance for their auto, Cargo, and liability. If your truck gets in an accident on the road and your stuff gets damaged, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper coverage in cargo insurance. Remember, your cargo insurance payout will be based upon the level of coverage you selected for your move. If you selected the free $0.60 per pound reimbursement, that’s likely what insurance will pay. For long-distance moves, I’d always choose a replace or repair option in the event of damage. In the event a company is using a rental truck for your move, you’ll still want to ensure they provide you copies of their cargo insurance. Rental companies do not offer cargo policies. They’ll only cover the vehicles in the collision, not the contents.

So, you have a company you feel fits you well, have the right licenses, and is properly insured. Now you should think through your move and kind of plan the logistics. This way you can give the moving company an idea of how you would like the move performed. In this next section, I’ll cover some basic planning on how to plan your Long-Distance Move.

The first thing to do is plan the travel. You want to think about how long it will take to load your belongings, how to calculate for the drive, and what day the unload will happen.

How long the load up with take: For a rough estimate, you can estimate it’ll take 2.5 hours to load every 1,000 square feet. For example, a 2,000 square foot home would take about 5 hours to load up. This is only for long distance moves because it takes extra protection, planning placement, and maximization of space.

How long the drive will take with a moving truck: So, there are a couple of things to take into consideration. * How many drivers per truck: Per FMCSA regulations, movers can only drive 11 hours in one day and work 14 hours in one day. So that means that a moving truck can go 14 hours in 1 day if the truck is occupied by 2 drivers. If the truck only has 1 driver, the truck will only be able to travel 11 hours per day. To determine how far the truck will go, multiply the number of hours the truck is allowed to travel by 57 miles per hour. This will include breaks, fuel stops, and everything.

So, let’s do a quick example move. Let’s say you are moving from Austin Texas and moving to Portland Oregon. First, you would want to see how many miles that is. That is 2,052 miles. Let’s assume you have a 1 truck move and you have 2 drivers driving. This means if they load up your 2,000 square foot house, they will take about 5 hours. Due to the 14-hour work day restriction, they can drive 9 hours. So, you’ll do 9 hours multiplied by 57 miles per hour which make 513 miles. Day 2 they will be able to drive about 800 miles over the 14 hours. That means Day 3 they will drive the final 789 miles. Day 4 they will be ready to unload. Knowing this information will help you have a productive conversation with your moving company and have some understanding of the things they should be able to speak to. If your moving company doesn’t go by FMCSA regulations, that is a huge red flag. Safety regulations are there for a reason and you don’t want your stuff or their employees at risk. (This is all applicable to moving companies using box trucks, not 18 wheelers)

Now, call your perspective moving companies and explain your move. They will likely have their own recommendations. Ask questions like:

  • Do they contract out any part of the move?
  • Do they combine other people’s furniture with yours?
  • Will your furniture be handled multiple times before it gets to its destination? (It’s not uncommon for van lines on Interstate moves to switch around people’s stuff to get it in the proper route.
  • Can they provide copies of their drivers DOT medical cards?
  • What are the regulations they follow while being on the road?
  • Can you have access to the GPS on the truck?
  • Who will you have direct communication to during your move?
  • Will the people who load you, be the same people on your move?

At this point, you have done all your research and asked all the questions you can to get the best gut feeling about the company. You want to narrow it down to the final 2-3 companies. Now that you have narrowed it down, call and request an in-home estimate. Make sure they know the in-home estimate is for an Interstate Move. Make sure you estimator shows up on time, prepared, and doesn’t have to reschedule or change anything. These are all signs on how the company operates. Make sure the company provides a quote that is bound by the number of trucks and not the contents. If you are bound by the contents, the moving company can easily try and nickel and dime you. If you are bound by the number of trucks, then the content doesn’t matter. You’ll want to make sure to get in writing, “Moving with 2 trucks to Portland Oregon is a fixed price of $X,XXX”. Also, try and make the company commit to their estimate. If they say it is going to take 1 truck, don’t let them add a 2nd truck and costs on move day. Try and get something in writing to the effect of “We did an in-home estimate and determined this job to take two 26’moving trucks. If there is a 3rd, as the moving company, we will take the costs due to misquoting” Some moving companies won’t commit to that, which is ok. But if you can get that, it provides you a lot more protection. You really want to choose who you trust the most. The price can be a factor but shouldn’t be the determining factor. A simple Google search can tell you the horror stories that happen on long distance moves when you choose the wrong company. If your belongings are important to you, pick a company that you feel will make your belongings important to them.

Now, the next thing you want to think about is the packing of your boxes for your long-distance move. Know that if you pack your own boxes, they won’t be covered under any of the coverage options you select. Moving companies can’t cover items they didn’t pack. To get tips on packing, check out our blog It may be worth letting your moving company pack your highest value items, that way they maintain the coverage for those items. Packing for a long-distance job, where the terrain varies, has its challenges. If you pack yourself, you want to spend some time watching packing videos on Youtube.

Move day is here. You are packed and ready to go. You crew shows up and will get your belongings loaded. Some things you can do during the loading period that will help ensure quality are:

  • Make sure they are wrapping all of your items with some type of furniture pad and stretch wrap or tape.
  • You’ll want to periodically check the back of the truck and make sure your stuff is being loaded with care and not just being thrown into the back of the moving truck.
  • You’ll want to make sure they are keeping all of your hardware with the pieces. An even better idea would be to take Ziploc bags and have them put the hardware in there, label it, and give it to you. You don’t want to get to your destination and not be able to set up your bed because you are missing the hardware.
  • You’ll want to make sure your moving truck has locks. This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many moving companies will take your stuff across the country and never lock it.

Your load is done and now you just have to meet them at the unload. At this point, you have done everything you can to ensure your interstate move goes great. I’d recommend at least touching base with the driver of your moving truck once per day. This will help you make sure they are sticking to their timeline.

In the event you have items damaged and your moving company won’t take responsibility, make sure you contact the DMV where your move started and the DMV where your move ended. Remember, they are only obligated to reimburse you whatever valuation coverage option you selected. Your coverage option is your leverage as a consumer.

If you are moving to Texas or out of Texas, Blue Beaver Movers would love to be the company you select. We provide an all-inclusive, unique, and trusting long-distance experience that will ensure quality and delivering on our commitments.

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