Self Service Moves Versus Doing it yourself

by : Timtim

The first and most common discrepancy between what was quoted to you and what you pay, is the space you use on the truck. When you use a self service moving company you usually are paying for linear footage on the truck. If you order 14 feet of truck and you use 16 feet of space you will be charged for the additional 2 feet of space. (In some cases that space has been reserved and you must stop loading at the point you ordered).

The second most common extra charge comes from a customer not being able to accept their shipment in their delivery window. If a carrier is forced to hold a shipment longer than agreed upon contract customers will be charged for layover. A truck earns on average $800 to $1,200 a day if that truck can't deliver they will make up the lost revenue by charging the customer.

The Third most common extra cost in self service moves comes with vehicles. Most self service movers will allow you to ship your vehicle with your shipment. The extra cost comes in on loading and unloading of the vehicle. In some cases the weight of the vehicle will require you to pay for a "Roll Back Tow Truck" to pick up your vehicle and load it on to the back of the semi. If the semi has auto ramps you should be fine on vehicles weighing up to 4,000 Lb's. Some semis do not carry auto ramps and some vehicles weigh to much for the ramps. In these cases you are looking at an additional charge of $50.00 to $100.00 for the tow truck on each end. Be advised that most auto clubs and some car insurance policies will cover this cost.

Final Bill Suprises: It is very important to order the correct amount of space when using self service movers. If you use the space you ordered and you take delivery in the time frame you agreed on you shouldn't have any surprises on delivery day.

Service: Self service movers will in most cases provide you with the equipment you need for your move. (NOT ALL DO, ASK YOUR SALESMAN). This generally includes furniture pads, hand truck, tie down straps and a ramp. They will however not assist in the loading of the truck. These carriers do not hold HHG authority. It would be against the law for them to do so. Reality is that some drivers do assist for tips.

A major distinction between Full Service and Self Service is liability. The carrier is not responsible for damage to your belongings from improper loading or handling. To put it simply the only claim self servive movers cover are if it is damaged due to an accident or in the case of theft.

You must think of the drivers as U-Haul drivers they come with the semi you load it they show up at your new home you unload it.

PROS: The cost of self service moves is far less than full service. In many cases it is cheaper than truck rentals when you factor in all costs like fuel, tolls equipment rental ect. Another is the size of the semi a 24' rental truck would compare to about 18' on a semi in cubic footage. If you have a large house or you want to ship your car with your goods a semi can hold much more for the money if it came down to renting 2 rental trucks. Your final bill will rarely be different from your quote.

CONS: The major con to self service comes down to damage if you have damage with a full service company insurance will cover it. As I said before self service moves move the burden to the customer for damage. The same of course is true for renting a truck. U-Haul will not cover a broken chair or picture. There is also a problem with availability. Some companies do not have or own trucks they are merely brokers. They will connect you with one of their partner carriers. In a small percentage of cases there is no truck availability. You are left scrambling a day or two before your pick up trying to find alternate ways to move. One way to avoid this is by getting the drivers cell phone two to three days prior to your move. If they can't give it to you be worried.