CO to FL - United seems best?

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gail
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:10 am
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

CO to FL - United seems best?

Postby gail » Fri Jan 07, 2005 12:08 pm

I've been learning from this board for several months. Now that I have estimates, I am seeking feedback on what appears to be my best option.

I am moving from Colorado Springs, CO to Lithia, FL (1762 miles) the end of February. We are estimating load on 02/22/05 but await final date from the builder. There is no storage involved and I am packing my own stuff. All companies that provided an estimates have a clean BBB record. The following prices do not include insurance, which I am still considering but leaning against. All full-service estimates are GNTE. I expected my 94 boxes already packed to disallow a GNTE, but they were numbered and inventoried so they had no issues with them.

UNITED VAN LINES (locally Armstrong Moving & Storage) - 13,367 lbs for $5900 (68% discount).
BEKINS (locally Daniels Moving) - 13,314 lbs for $6151 (67% discount).
MAYFLOWER (locally Arrow Moving) estimated 13,671 lbs for $6389 (68% discount).
BROADWAY EXPRESS quoted me 40 feet for $4370. This comes to $5210 counting labor costs on either end. Labor-ready would have to provide 2 men for 6-8 hours at around $20/hr and BE driver at $30/hr. This is $420 for 6 hours, $840 labor for 6 hrs on each end.

BOTTOM LINE: Since I would only save around $700 by using Broadway Express, United seems to be the best and easiest choice. The DOT and MC numbers matched between the Armstrong web site and the United Van Lines web site. Jess, at Broadway Express, was surprised my other estimates were so low.

QUESTION: Are there any red flags with the above information? Are there any other considerations I may be overlooking? Does my choice sound as reasonable to the experts as it does to me?

This board is a godsend! I couldn't have gotten here without it.
Thank you, Gail

Diane
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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: CO to FL - United seems best?

Postby Diane » Fri Jan 07, 2005 12:29 pm

Gail,

I have always heard that Armstrong is a very good company and I don't think you could go wrong by going with them if the cost doesn't bother you. Moving professionals here may advise you to buy valuation coverage, which would add to your cost.

One question in my mind is whether the linear footage estimate that you are using for BE is accurate. If you have 14,000 pounds (and you probably do, since the estimates are so close to each other), the normal conversion factor is 400 pounds per linear foot on the trailer. Some people even figure 500 pounds per linear foot, but that would mean stacking the goods to the roof of the trailer, which is difficult to do.

Let's say you have 14,000 pounds. Dividing by 400 pounds per linear foot to be on the safe side, that's 35 feet not 40. To ship 35 feet from CO to FL would cost $3825 including the fuel surcharge, according to the BE household move calculator. Then if you add your $840 for labor on both ends, that's $4665, considerably less than the $5900 Armstrong quote.

Also, I have a feeling that you are overestimating the unloading time for LaborReady. Normally it takes much less time to unload than to load. The pros will know better, but I think 6 hours loading time might equate to only 3 hours unloading time. The driver might also charge or expect less than you think for the unload. The main effort for the drivers is on the loading end. Reducing the unloading expenses would knock another couple of hundred dollars off your cost with BE so that it might end up around $4450 or $1500 less than Armstrong. Remember also that you will probably want to tip the Armstrong workers.

Bottom line: I think you will be fine either with Armstrong or with BE. Certainly it will be less hassle for you (as far as arranging things) if you go with Armstrong, and if your weight is less your final cost could be less than their estimate. On the other hand, it could be that your goods will be transferred from one truck to another with Armstrong (you should ask), which always creates the possibility of damage or delay.

razmataz

Re: CO to FL - United seems best?

Postby razmataz » Fri Jan 07, 2005 1:03 pm

Personally, I'd be a little concerned about the company that's using Labor Ready. You could be getting people that are familiar with loading/unloading or you may get someone with absolutely no experience and end up with damage.

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twalker
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Re: CO to FL - United seems best?

Postby twalker » Fri Jan 07, 2005 1:07 pm

razmataz,

Can you cite where this has happend? You should know that Labor Ready does have a training program specifically for their employees who provide moving services.

Tim Walker
MovingScam.com

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: CO to FL - United seems best?

Postby Michael » Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:57 pm

Gail,

I agree with Diane. Either way you go I think your fine, Armstrong or BE. Of course your doing more with BE yourself, with calls and setting labor and so on. I dont think your goods are going to get unloaded in half the time it took to load, but maybe from 6 hours to 4.5-5 hours. Depends on access, stairs, long carries and such at destination.

I am not sure how valuation works with BE, but if its just .60/lb with them, then you can do the same with United.

Best of luck,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: CO to FL - United seems best?

Postby Diane » Fri Jan 07, 2005 4:21 pm

I think she may be underestimating the loading time, now that I look at it again. Review #50 of BE says that it took three professionals 5-1/2 hours to load only 26 feet, and she has around 35 feet. Review #61 says that it took a bunch of nonprofessionals 7-1/2 hours to load 28 feet. On the other hand, review #54 says that it took three men less than 4 hours to load 24 feet, but these were professionals hired from a moving company.

On another topic, if she has 13,600 pounds as the highest estimate says, she has only 34 linear feet at most, which would reduce her BE cost to $3715 plus labor.

gail
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:10 am
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: CO to FL - United seems best?

Postby gail » Sat Jan 08, 2005 8:49 am

I had called BE and spoke with Jess on the estimate. I didn't feel comfortable estimating myself with the online tools since there is so much. I tried that once and came out with MUCH less space than the poundage indicates. Jess stated that 40 ft. would be the safest way to go and I would probably have the van to myself. He estimated 6-8 hours for 2 people plus the driver. I figured if I used 6 hours on both ends it would be close since it should be more than I need on the unload side.

My husband is going down early to start work. Only my daughter, son-in-law, 2-year old grandson and I will be here when the move happens and we all have a history of back problems. That makes me a little nervous about timing van arrival with hired labor.

The house we are moving into has a big driveway (3-car garage) and is a single level home. Access will not be an issue. The estimator said the same driver would be there for load and unload and the truck would not change.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: CO to FL - United seems best?

Postby Diane » Sat Jan 08, 2005 11:28 am

Hi, Gail - if cost is not a big issue for you and you've been assured by Armstrong that the same driver will pick up and deliver with no transferring of your goods, then I think I would go with Armstrong for peace of mind. I still think Jesse was too high on his estimate, though.

gail
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:10 am
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: CO to FL - United seems best?

Postby gail » Mon Jan 10, 2005 8:45 am

Thanks for the feedback. This is a WONDERFUL resource! I'll keep this board posted as events unfold and with details of the final move.

gail
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 10:10 am
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: CO to FL - United seems best?

Postby gail » Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:14 am

Sorry for the delay in reporting the final move but here it is. Everything went very well. Our final cost, with insurance, was $5800. We received $400 back from United since we were under the estimated weight of 13,000 lbs by around 800 lbs. I had 230 boxes that I packed myself. There were some nicks and dings on furniture but they were very minor. I had a guaranteed delivery date, but the mover told me when he came that it would be two days later. Everything arrived just 3 days after closing on the new house, which was just fine. The driver kept me posted the entire way and I was very happy with the process.

TIPPING: The estimater said that either tipping each mover $20 OR feeding them would make them very happy. I tipped each mover (3 to load and 2 to unload) $30 and fed them lunch. I tipped the driver $100 on each side. The loaders were great and very appreciative. The unloaders in FLA were not so great and had attitudes, even with the driver.

I couldn't be more happy with move. Even though I started packing 6 months before the move, last minute packing the night before was grueling. Even though I had cleaners come in after we left, there was still MUCH to do with emptying the fridge, etc, the last night in the house.

The drive from CO to FL took 3.5 days and went surprisingly well considering we had 2-vehicles, 3-adults, one 2-yr-old, 3-dogs and 4-cats. We stayed at KOA campground Kabins and brought a small TV to watch at night for my grandson. We had 2-Kabins at each place for an average of $35 per night per cabin with no pet deposits. This was a lot cheaper than hotels with pet deposits and was really convenient for walking the dogs. Being able to park just outside the doors was also a major convenience. We did tranquilize the cats, which helped make the inside of each vehicle MUCH quieter. We were on the road for 12 hours each of 3-days but, like I said, it went surprisingly well. The driving time, according to Mapquest, was 8-9 hours each of these days but we had a lot of stops for grandson and for animals.

I have found that planning does not eliminate problems, it just provides a little more time to deal with the surprises and problems so they are more manageable. Given all of the stuff I moved I am really glad I didn't try to coordinate load/unload myself. Estimating space for this much was difficult and I believe paying for actual weight with load/unload ended up being close to what I would have paid with the space guesstimate I received from Broadway Express on space.

Good Luck to all with your current and future moves.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: CO to FL - United seems best?

Postby Diane » Mon Jun 06, 2005 9:04 am

Thanks so much for this report on Armstrong (United) in Colorado Springs, Gail. We'll keep it in mind.


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