I've never used a moving service before and I'm am unsure where to
start. I wonder if anyone can share the benefit of their experience?
I've inherited one piece of furniture, a fairly large secretary. It has
drawers on the bottom half, shelves with glass doors on the upper half,
and a desk that folds down. It's about 7' tall x 3' wide x 2' deep. I
don't know the weight. I want to have it transported from the Carson
City NV area to Boston MA. I'd like to do it as cheaply as possible and
there is no hurry to get it here.
Any suggestions or advice? Someone told me that some moving companies
will collect things for transport and save them until they have a full
load before they start the move. True?
That idea appeals to me in several ways - I love road trips and it's
about time for another one, and I might be able to make the time. OTOH,
the cost of renting vehicle that could hold it + gas, food, hotels,
etc. for a 3000-mile trip would be a lot. And we're coming into winter
and the chance of bad weather is high. I did say that there was no
hurry, but to be more precise, it needs to be out of its current
location in the next few weeks, but can get here at any time.
I just checked the U-Haul site, and a 10' truck (which would be way
bigger than I would need but is the smallest they offer) is nearly
$1500 (excluding fuel, I assume).
There are places that will handle it for you. A quick search came up with
Can you pull a trailer? That should be considerably less and i don't
think they charge a drop fee for trailers if you leave it in Boston.
otoh, I80-I90 can be a very interesting road trip in the winter. Or if
you really want an adventure, take 50. Make sure you stop in Austin for
the obligatory 'I Survived Rt. 50' t-shirt.
On 18 Dec 2015, email@example.com (Scott Lurndal) wrote in
Ah, so there's an actual name for the type of shipment I was thinking
of, "LTL shipping"! That gives me a handle on what to look for. The
article points out that the item will change hands and be moved many
times along the way, which means it needs to be packed very well to
One of the better known LTL truckers is Con-Way. They just became part
of XPO Logistics. You can get an on-line spot quote here:
Don't be surprised if the total is about same as the U-Haul.
Especially if you need extra services such as Residential pickup, Lift
gate, etc. Also they will expect the piece to be crated, not loose
like a "Household Goods" carrier.
When my mother moved from Indiana to Pa., about 45 years ago, there
was a truckers strike and for some reason striking turns a few people
into criminals. They were actually shooting at trucks on highways of
Pa. So the commercial van line unloaded her furniture in Youngstown,
stored it, at their expense, but didn't reload until the shooting was
over. I guess she stayed in a motel for a week or so, almost surely
at her own expense. There was some damage to the furniture, probably
twice as much as there would have been.
Definitely true, but you may have to call around. In fact at some
level it's the standard, because most people don't have enough to fill
a large moving van. Even before computer scheduling, they would
schedule by hand, and pick up one load after another, then unload the
second one first. Sometimes three loads I think, if they were going
Two relevant stories:
1) The first more like yours. When my mother died, my brother took
most of the furniture (that's fine) but when he moved I wanted one of
my dressers back, that I got when I was 5, very high quality. Moving
companies like Mayflower wanted a lot of money. They didn't suggest
any bargain method like collecting and waiting. I called freighting
companies and that was high. I called the post office and UPS and I
guess the post office wont' do it and UPS seemed like a lot of money
but I was biased in all of this because I had another plan in my mind.
I orderered a 4x8 flat bed trrailer from Harbor Freight and had it
shipped to my brother. Then I drove from Balimore to Dallas, a 2-day
drive that I made into 3 or 4 days so I coudl sight-see along the way.
I assembled the trailer, lay down plastic sheeting and moving pads, my
dresser and wrapped the whole thing up, and drove back, also 3 or 4
days with more sightseeing. I worried about rain, since there was no
roof, but it did have a layer of plastic. If the weather was likely
to be worse, I would have put more than one layer. It only rained
once and I looked for an overpass or gas station with a roof, but
couldnt' find one. But it was totally dry inside when I got home.
I worried about someone stealing it or the trailer at night, but it's
not the sort of thing people who hang out at rural motels want to
steal. I did padlock the trailer to the hitch, to make it less easy.
I didn't padlock the drawbar to the hitch, but my car didn't use a
stardard size draw bar anyhow.
Maybe for the cost of shipping you can have a wonderful drive from
Carson City (there used to be a mint there!), with a trailer or a
rented truck. (One way rentals cost a lot more than 2-way).
2) A friend moved from Baltimore to Switzerland, and she packed up
about 30 to 40 cartons and left them for me to ship after she got
settlled. This was 20 or 22 years ago. I also started with mayflower
and it was about 2000 or 2500 dollars iiirc. A lot of money. Called
Fedex, they wanted to know the weight so I weighed almost every
carton. Then I went through the yellow pages section on shipping or
something like that. It got gradually cheaper until I found a
company that would ship it for 250, iirc. Their office was right in
the freight area of Baltimore's airport. I managed to put all 30+
cartons in my LeBaron convertible, going 3 cartons above the seat, and
I drove on local roads, at about 20mph, to the airport. They took
all the boxes, put them on a 4" high wooden whachamacllit, piled about
4 feet high, and wrapped clear plastic around the whole thing. Inside
they told me they woudl have picked it up for 15 dollars!! I still
find that price hard to believe. Labeled it in French and English,
with her phone number. They called her before they delivered and
everything went fine.
I realized that for shipping by air, the simplest thing would have
been just to go to the freight area and go office to office
Later, when I was doing 1 above, I tried to find the same shipping
company. Coudln't find them in the phone book, and when I went to the
airport, another company, that wasn't what I wanted, was in their
office. But I asked around and found out for sure that since 9/11 the
average person who ships rarely can no longer ship the way I did, at
least not packages. It might be different with furniture, where you
can open the drawers and look inside. But for cartons, you have to
ship via UPS, Fedex, those two foreign companies, or the USPS.
Like a drone, I laid out the plastic and the padding evenly across the
trailer. When I realized my mistake, it was time to leave and I
didn't want to redo it.
Should have put the end of the plastic on the bttom and wrapped it
over the dresser, so that there were no seams or folds on the top.
Then I wouldn't have cared if it rained.
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