How to Hire a Long Distance Moving Company

Now that you know you’re moving, and you’re going to need help from a long distance moving company, it’s time to buckle down and actually find a good mover who will be able to handle the task at hand. Depending on what you are planning on moving, and when this event with occur, the company you choose to hire may differ from one a friend or family member used.

Finding the best one for your needs, however, will mean more than finding someone who can transport your goods on the day you need them to be transported. Here are a few things that can help you find, and hire, the very best solution to all your relocation related needs.

Your Basic Search

Most people begin their search at the beginning. This is a good place to start as it will allow you to get a feel for companies that are out there and what they offer to consumers in your position. Chances are you are going to find many different movers, all claiming to be the best, so here is what you should pay attention to and what you should look for in a potential long distance moving company:

  • A Great Reputation – You can’t buy a reputation, so when you look online and you find a mover who has lots of good reviews from former customers, and great reviews on the Better Business Bureau site, you know you will be getting great service.
  • Lots of Information – A good company should be willing to offer information to customers without them even asking for it. Such information can include tips on packing, ideas on how to make the process easier, or more important things, like license numbers and insurance specifics.
  • Legal Specification – All household goods movers are required, by law, to meet certain guidelines. As such, you should readily be able to review information that proves the company in question actually meets these requirements. Such information includes license numbers, DOT numbers, liability insurance limits, price estimates, and contact numbers.

Narrowing it Down

After a basic search, you should be able to narrow down the playing field at least a little. While there are literally hundreds of different moving companies out there, after your initial search you should have a list of ten or fewer professional long distance movers that you can dig deeper into. Once you have this list, you can move on to the next step, which requires more information gathering.

From each of the companies listed, gather the following:

  • A basic moving quote outlining the loosely estimated costs of the services you require.
  • Actual license numbers, which can vary according to the state you live in.
  • Contact numbers
  • Insurance information and an outline of the claims process.
  • Information regarding extra fees for stairs, fuel surcharges, apartment moving, or other things.
  • A feel for the company based on your interactions with the representative that you speak with.

Once you have all of these things, you can sit down and compare prices, verify licenses and a carrier’s safety record using the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s SAFER system, and rank the different options based on the information that you have collected. This will allow you to create a short list of companies to look even further into.

The Short List: Making a Decision

Your final list should consist of at least two, but not more than three or four long distance moving companies. Three is about the optimal number to work with as it will give you a good cross section to sample, but more than that just becomes complex and difficult to choose from. When you have your list of two or three companies, it’s time for more in depth research. Contact each of these companies again to obtain the following:

  • Get a Binding Moving Quote – A binding estimate is different from the basic moving estimate that you got in the last step. When you get a binding estimate, you are getting a legally binding quote that caps the amount of money the movers can charge you for the services they provide. The company will send a representative out to your home to survey the goods and the location and will give you a detailed estimate that outlines everything.
  • Ensure Your Schedule – Communicate your scheduling needs with the moving company representatives that you speak with so that you can be certain your move can be completed when, and where, you need it to be.
  • Arrange for Insurance – If you are planning on opting for insurance through the carrier, be certain that you communicate that to the companies you are still speaking with. Chances are that it will have to be included in the binding moving quote that you are given. If you are going outside the movers for insurance, start getting your policy together and in place before you start packing.

When you have your binding quotes and the final information from this final step, it’s time to make the decision regarding which long distance moving company you are going to go with. Having this in depth information on hand will make it easier, especially if one of the companies on your list cannot meet your date or budget requirements. Just remember, you will be trusting this mover with all of your things, so take your time and really look over this last bit of information. That way, when you do finally make a decision, you will be doing so with an educated mind and, in the end, you will be sure of your choice.

Hiring a mover isn’t an easy task, but if you keep these things in mind, you will know that your final decision was the right one.