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redhookfern Reader
9/7/15 2:37 p.m.

In the interest of time and that we want to tour the country a bit, we are electing to use a mover versus a terrible and slow uhaul when we drive from NYC to Seattle. I can't seem to find a single moving company that doesn't have TERRIBLE reviews. Has anyone had any luck with any? We aren't even moving that much stuff to be honest, but enough to warrant a mover. Any help or experience is much appreciated.

Mike Dork
9/7/15 3:04 p.m.
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
9/7/15 4:09 p.m.

Try ABF or Old Dominion.
Though they are self pack services, they can also help supply you with laborers on each side.
Or, source your own laborers on each side.

redhookfern Reader
9/7/15 4:15 p.m.

Yeah that's the plan. We're packing everything ourselves and even going so far as to carry it all down to the street. It's not a lot of stuff and we are more than able bodied so I feel it's a waste to pay like $50 per flight of stairs

Toyman01 MegaDork
9/7/15 4:43 p.m.

Pack it in a POD, ship it across country, unpack it when you get there.

jmthunderbirdturbo HalfDork
9/8/15 2:19 a.m.


redhookfern Reader
9/8/15 9:48 a.m.

I thought that PODs (and I think there's one other similar company) got bad reviews as well? It was actually initially on the list of options since I have no problem packing one myself and almost prefer it. They were definitely not the cheapest option though

mtn MegaDork
9/8/15 10:03 a.m.

No help, but I just hired movers to move my stuff from a Uhaul to my 3rd floor apartment. Worth every penny of the $340 I paid them.

Of course, my guys had great reviews and don't do cross country stuff. Which is why I am no help.

PHeller PowerDork
9/8/15 11:50 a.m.

We used ZippyShell and they stuck to their price, although they failed in terms of drop-off timing (they were 4 days late). $2800 from PA to AZ for a 10x7x7 caged pod, which was enough for two bedroom house, but we didn't move our extra single bed or dining set. If we had not been moving two large couches and several bikes, we could have taken an extra bed and dining set.

redhookfern Reader
9/8/15 1:04 p.m.

Thank you PHeller. I didn't actually know about them. I had looked at PODS (too pricey) and also the UPack system from Uhaul. Honestly I think we are going to go the route of UPack or Zippy. It's not necessarily the cheapest means, but its in line with mover quotes. The advantage is that it removes the scummy moving companies and their BS contracts. Plus, we don't mind loading/unloading which apparently even further reduces the costs for this method. Thank you all for the help and experiences!

HiTempguy PowerDork
9/8/15 1:46 p.m.

Possession is 9/10ths of the law. You give them your stuff, you are at their mercy. It sucks but it is true. You have people being paid $10-$15/h to move others peoples poorly packed crap, do you really think they will care?

At least with the PODS, their only real responsibility is to grab the pod, move it, and drop it off.

Also, as I mentioned in another thread, touring the country while moving across the country are not compatible, I refuse to believe it. Do one at a time, either move and leave a car behind to fly back to (which flights should be pretty cheap) and then take your tour, or just move.

nutherjrfan HalfDork
9/8/15 2:20 p.m.


curtis73 PowerDork
9/9/15 11:22 a.m.

My cousin has used movers four times now for work. I know that once she used Mayflower, once Allied, and once Atlas, but not sure about the fourth.

Every time she got hosed. Massively. Our observations were that the driving/dispatching/scheduling is fine, but they hire the absolute lowest possible minimum wage (or lower) labor for the actual moving/packing. They were rude, damaged thousands of dollars worth of stuff, and refused to pay damages. The movers were obviously day laborers of rather odorous bouquet, didn't know each others' names, had dirty clothing instead of company logos. I'm all for employing day labor, but when they are just average joes with no packing experience, stuff gets damaged.

I have moved myself dozens of times and you can always expect damage. If its in a truck bouncing around, something will get damaged. This last move she made was two weeks ago and she is still tallying damage. Only a few pieces didn't get damaged. Her bed frame was snapped in half, her mattress was soaked and stained from a trailer leak (partly because the loaders bagged it but left the open top of the bag up).

Its quite possible that she just had four terrible experiences, but it sure makes me glad I never went that route.

Last big move I made, I just bought a 26' box truck for $10k. That way I had it for months and could store stuff in it as I packed, could take my time unpacking, and when I was done I had an asset that I sold for $9700. I actually kept it for a couple years and used it as storage.

curtis73 PowerDork
9/9/15 11:45 a.m.

Last time I checked, btw... Pods were not a very cost effective method. One of the things that irked me as well was that their liability is very limited since you do the packing. The fine print when I looked into it basically said that they cover things like if the pod falls off the truck, or if an earthquake swallows it whole. Any damage to things inside during normal transit are your loss.

redhookfern Reader
9/9/15 12:50 p.m.

I think we may skip PODS and go with UPack. The reviews are somewhat good. It's cheaper than PODS and it allows you to pack the unit at their location, and then ship to their other location or to your home. Since Seattle has some rules against units on the streets, we are just going to have them deliver it to their location, rent a van, and move the stuff in ourselves. It's honestly not much, but enough stuff to need a way of moving it. I feel a little more comfortable with us packing the unit than a stranger. It's nothing super fragile, but still. All the movers have been so sketchy to deal with already and those were just for bids.

JohnRW1621 MegaDork
9/9/15 1:07 p.m.

Looks like ABF has rebranded themselves as UPack.
Another company that does the same is Old Dominion. https://www.odmove.com/ODMove/

redhookfern Reader
9/9/15 1:39 p.m.

I looked at them too. The additional charges they tack on are insane. They allow you 1 hour to load everything, as "free" time. Anything beyond that is $100 per hour.

Kendall_Jones HalfDork
9/9/15 1:40 p.m.

I was pretty happy with ABF on my Michigan to seattle move. I mis calc'd the size of the truck needed and rented too small of a trailer (they're online calc was pretty off & I had way more stuff in the garage). It was a nice setup though, you only pay per foot of trailer space & you lock your stuff in . I think I used a 1 month "store it" option as there was some time between houses, but overall went OK.

I hired some craiglist movers at either end and everything went smoothly.

nutherjrfan HalfDork
9/9/15 11:25 p.m.

Can't remember if it was Stossel showing the absurdity of state laws governing the limits on the 'number' of licensed/unlicensed movers in a particular state but such laws don't seem to be helping. I'm lucky my next move will be between 2-6 miles all inside the city limit.

oldopelguy SuperDork
9/9/15 11:42 p.m.

Last time I looked it was cheaper to buy an enclosed trailer than use a POD. Hire someone to tow the trailer out for you and sell it when you get there.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
9/10/15 9:31 a.m.

I saw an ad on the back of an Estes truck yesterday for a moving service they offer. Estes is a big LTL company, at least around here. http://estessuremove.com/suremove/

RealMiniNoMore PowerDork
9/10/15 9:42 a.m.

After hearing the horror story my buddy is going through - stolen gun, missing TV and other electronic cables, broken stuff - and reading other stories here, I think the only honest way to move cross country is to do it your self, as painful as it may be.

Datsun310Guy PowerDork
9/10/15 8:10 p.m.

In 1970 we moved from St. Louis to Chicago and the company hired the movers for the job. At our house in Downers Grove we ended up missing a gray Craftsman tool box with all my dads Craftsman wrenches, sockets, and screw drivers - a fully packed box of decent tools. My dad called the movers and they "mysteriously" found the tool box and returned it to him.

Today I have all these tools and always think about that when I look at that box.

cschario New Spammer
2/12/20 11:18 a.m.

Two years ago I used [a canoe] to move me across the country. It were affordable and honest. You can't really ask for much more from a moving experience. 

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
2/12/20 11:20 a.m.

Feels canoe-ish.

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