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Moving a Long Distance? Watch Your Weight

You've just been waiting for a reason to dump that old football gear that you haven't squeezed into since '78…

If you're moving interstate or a long distance within a state, now you've got an excuse, because the costs for your move will most likely dictated by how much stuff you're moving, how heavy your stuff is, and the number of miles the shipment will be traveling to your new home.

That's much different from a local move, which is based on the time involved.

Here's how the moving company determines the actual cost if weight is the primary determinant (always be sure your moving company explains to you how it will be setting the moving estimate).

On the day of your move, your driver will weigh his moving truck before loading any of your items – this gives him the "based weight" of the truck. Upon filling the truck with your household items, the truck is again weighed by the driver, and the difference is the basis of your charges.

Because you're paying for the move, you can ask to be involved in these weigh-ins.

First off, you can obtain a copy of your weight tickets to verify that you are being charged properly -- the tickets will reflect the light weight (also known as tare), and the heavy weight (gross).

If you want to see more, you can witness the weigh-ins at the scale used to weigh the truck with your goods. One reason that you may want to invest the time to do this is to ensure that the actual weights used were just for your shipment, which is important if your shipment is not the only one on the truck. For logistical reasons, trucks often carry goods from several different households on the same truck if they have a similar final destination.

You also witness the weigh-in both light and heavy if it puts you further at ease. If you plan on doing this, let your moving company know so they can arrange it with the driver. If for some reason the moving company refuses to offer you the opportunity to see the weighing first hand, it may create some other doubts in your mind about the moving company – think twice about whether it makes sense to go forward with this company.

Cutting the costs for a long-distance move is simple: move less stuff (or less heavy stuff). If you have heavier items that you have not used for a long time, it may be better to dispose of them before moving.

One other factor affecting your move: if you're moving from Kansas to New York, well, you're not in Kansas anymore – the New York end of the journey will cost more because of the differencein labor costs between the two states. Ask the moving companies how this affects the costs.

Also, you might be surprised to learn that the actual weight of your items is much higher than you anticipated. Today's households tend to accumulate more items than was common years ago and this will translate into higher costs for your long-distance move.

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In the Press

A Moving Company's Moving Story
June, 2012

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