Having been in the Navy for 22 years, I've done no less than 10 moves.
Fortunately for me the Gov't advocates for us. Non-the-less, its a painful
and losing proposition. I've got one more upon retiring. I'm doing part of
it by myself... the part that has all the woodshop stuff in it. I'm getting
a tractor trailer container and will fill it myself.
Funny thing everytime I move regardless of my rank, the movers have always
charged me within 100lbs of the maximum allowed weight for my rank. This
move I'll be over weight for sure, hence the container idea, that and I have
control over everything.
On my move from Germany, I had a box whith a hole in it... The only things
stolen was my humidor full of Cigars (cuban of course) and a Waffen SS
dagger I found in an excavation, two items I couldn't clam loss of....
Bastards knew exactly where to look and what to take.
"Too_Many_Tools" <too_many email@example.com> wrote in message
When I was crating my stuff to leave the US Army back in the '70s,
one of the jerks working with hold baggage said, "that's a really nice
stereo. Too bad it'll never reach its destination." I smiled and told
him, "I'll have all my weapons out of storage and ready to use by the
time the crates arrive, and I've managed to save enough to make a round
trip back here, in case something comes up missing. BTW, do you guys
build plywood coffins?" Not only did they arrive the way I packed them,
they stuffed some boxed office supplies as filler. I didn't need to by
pens or pencils for a couple years.
Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
Another way to move that I have found to be very easy, is to use a
Ryder Truck or equiv. and hire day laborers to load and unload it.
Since one usually has to drive to the new house anyway, puit the wife
in the car, and you drive the truck. Day labor runs about $10-20 per
hour. and 4 hours, two guys, will empty most houses. And you, and your
friends, don't get sweaty!
Since you pack it yourself, any damage is due to your own ineptness,
and it's hardly worth stealing from yourself! My move this spring will
be in two phases, first to get all the junk, hobby stuff, trinkets out
of the old house to ease the sale, and the 2nd move to grab the rest of
the furniture. First move gate my wife's car out there, 2nd move gets
my truck out. I've got to drive anyway, so I might as well drive a big
truck, hang with the semi's, use the truck stops. Kinda fun.
My experience in four long distance moves, is that the day labour
plugs are the source of almost all the damage suffered.
They drop stuff, whang it off corners, and generally don't really give
a damn about your stuff, because they are just lift and carry labour.
After all, "Whatch gonna do, fire me!"
The guys that were full time with the moving Co. have been much better.
On my last move, we lost one china teacup, and had a couple scratches
on some very used bookcases. Total damage costs came to far less than
the cost of the lunch I bought these guys. I was very pleased with the
service that they provided.
I did one move recently out of my own pocket (vice work related) and
hired a four man crew and a truck, from the same van line, to move
anything that was too heavy to lift myself, furniture, shop tools, and
Cost me a grand for the one day, had zero problems or damage, and all
my friends are still talking to me. Best of all, they were insured, both
against damage to my stuff, and damage to my house.
I think this has a lot in common with the conversations that come from
hiring riggers to move machines. Some get good ones, some don't, and
usually the guy that goes cheap, gets what he pays for.
Indeed. When we moved into our current house, we hired movers. They put
some small scratches on a couple of pieces - no big deal. They hauled all
our furniture down 12 steps (or 24 if it was on the top floor) to our front
door, and then 67 steps to the street. Then they hauled stuff up 15 steps
to the front door and half of the stuff up to the second floor. They earned
every penny we paid them that day.
On one of my later moves one of the loaders was picking up two 60 to
eighty pound boxes and trotting with them down my 40 odd yards of
driveway and up into the truck.
This guy was not big, a bantamweight boxer.
He said that the guys that went to the gym three or four times a week,
pretty much didn't know what hit them, once he got in the ring after the
Great guy, careful and fast. Was on the crew that unloaded at my new
Right - Let the pros do the heavy work, but get as much of the
little stuff done ahead of time so you don't have to pay them for it.
Get a pile of apple boxes from the local market, or ask Karl to ship
you a pallet of those out-of-date printed apple boxes from 3 years ago
he's been stuck with. ;-)
Pack up all the fragile and everyday stuff yourselves first - take a
few weeks and get everything that you can packed securely ahead of
As for hiring movers, use caution. The games they play on you with
under-estimating costs and holding your stuff for ransom are endemic
in the industry. The workers might be great at treating your stuff
with care, but the supervisors and owners are even better at
separating you from your money given half a chance.
Get a step ahead of them - Know pretty closely how much your stuff
weighs and the volume it will fill when packed before the movers
arrive (you can weigh and mark all the pre-packed boxes) and compare
that to the estimate.
If you don't mind signaling that you'll play hardball, know where
the closest certified scales are and offer to meet them there before
they arrive at your house for loading, and again as they leave. That
can cut off the issues of "your load was way over weight!" as you
know the true weight.
--<< Bruce >>--
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