Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

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ncolt
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:07 am

Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby ncolt » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:16 am

Hi, I am moving from my 1100 sq. ft. house at the end of this month to Houston (sudden job transfer). I am considering the following agents/companies:

Berger Transfer (Allied)

Mohawk Moving and Storage (United Van Lines)

and also a local outfit, Bester Bros (dot #242288).

Bester seems highly regarded as a local mover here. They also do interstate moves with their own trucks and drivers. I talked with John on the phone at Bester and he said they send down two guys in the truck, who will also do the unloading -they don't hire any temporary help. They guarantee exact pickup and delivery dates. Has anybody used this type of company (or this company in particular) for a long distance move before? They are a family-run business since 1917 and I'm familiar with them from some business-related moving about 9 years ago, so I'm not afraid they are a fly-by-night operation or anything like that. I'm getting any estimate later today but I imagine they might be more expensive (costs are reimbused by my employer, but I don't want to go too crazy with high costs).

Diane
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Re: Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby Diane » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:46 am

Hi - I just did some preliminary research on Bester Bros. and it looks good to me. Often I am dubious about these arrangements where a basically local/intrastate company tries to go long-distance, but what the owner is proposing sounds as if it will work. The distance is not TOO great and sending two drivers is a plus.

farrah7031
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Location: Tallahassee, FL

Re: Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby farrah7031 » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:47 am

Well, Bester has been licensed to do interstate moving since 1983 so that's great. I'm from Minneapolis (moved to FL last year) and I haven't heard of them before - but that doesn't mean anything.
http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/p ... ath=LIVIEW

They do have 13 trucks and 23 drivers per the DOT so they could do a run down to TX.

Make sure they give you a guaranteed not to exceed quote instead of a non-binding quote.

Good luck!

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

Re: Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby Diane » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:49 am

You probably also saw that Bester has good comments here - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtop ... 7652#57652

ncolt
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Re: Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby ncolt » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:58 am

Thanks for the tips. Bester does have a solid reputation here (AngiesList has tons of glowing reviews, though only about local moves - no reviews for long distance). If they aren't outrageously expensive compared to the other two I will probably go with them.

ncolt
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby ncolt » Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:44 pm

I have gotten quotes from Berger Transfer (Allied agent) and Bester Bros. Both estimate 7000 lbs/1200 miles and are giving full replacement value coverage.

Bester can guarantee delivery on a specific date, about 3 days after loading. Their bid including packing is $8050. It is a guaranteed bid but they need to verify another load that is going down to Houston at the same time -otherwise the cost will be $9500 (!!!)

Berger does not guarantee delivery date, but rather a 5 day to 8 day timeframe for delivery after pickup. Their GNTE bid including packing is $4986.

Anybody have any thoughts on this? I am still leaning a bit towards Bester due to their extremely strong reputation, but the cost is obviously quite a bit higher. My employer may balk at the high cost.

Michael
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Re: Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby Michael » Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:50 pm

Twice as much and you are still leaning towards them??? I know if I was your employer I know I wouldnt pay twice as much as the next guy (who is very reputable) no matter what.

And their cost is more if they cant find another load?

Do you understand why you have a spread with Allied? Do you understand that its more cost effective to keep a truck as full as possible for the driver and the company to make a living and stay in business.

Bester may be a great local company, but there is a reason they stick to local business and why they have been in business for so long. Because they stick to what they are capable of handling and doing a great job at.

Your not a small shipment by any means, and you could have a great move. But I dont think the company would go for it if both estimates are presented to them. I would be shocked if they did.
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

ncolt
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby ncolt » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:00 pm

If the cost is $9500 then it is probably too expensive. What the difference between $5000 and $8000 might buy is lower risk. As they say, time is money; if I have to spend 3 or 4 days of time screwing around because the mover goofed, then it will cost my employer more than $3000 because I won't be working for those 3 or 4 days. I'm just not sure how much of a difference there is in the risk factor between Berger vs. Bester.

farrah7031
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Re: Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby farrah7031 » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:01 pm

I agree with Michael. With the huge price difference (even though you are getting a guaranteed date) I would go with Berger.

Also, the driver will stay in contact with you and let you know probably 24 hours prior to delivery which day he will be there. You shouldn't miss any work that way (or maybe 1 day for unloading).

Michael
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Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby Michael » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:08 pm

ncolt,

Thats a very good point and one many agents use in signing national account business. If you know your goods are not going to arrive for 5-8 days and your boss knows this ahead of time, I am sure he isnt losing money.

Most companies can give you a 24 hr call prior to the day of delivery. Most drivers can tell you on the day of load when they plan on delivering your goods to residence.

So in essence your losing one day of work. If its on a weekday. One your boss is probably expecting.

Where issues come into play, is when your goods are delivered late, past the promised delivery or delivery spread. Now your at wits end, you probably dont have enough to get by with. Your tired of sleeping on the floor or an air mattress. Kids are starting school, dont have toys, etc etc etc.

But yes its a good point and one your boss I am sure will make with your opinions included.

Best of luck and keep us posted,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

ncolt
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby ncolt » Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:33 am

Just got a bid from Mohawk Moving & Storage (United agents). He estimated 8425 lbs, so 1400 more than the other two. The GNTE bid from Mohawk is $5665 including packing and full valuation coverage (same as coverage as the other two). So the two big guys are coming in pretty close to eachother.

Berger has offices in both Minneapolis and Houston, whereas Mohawk has an office only in Minneapolis - does that make a difference? Since seem like pretty similar places, I am inclined to go with Berger due to the lower cost and the fact that they have offices on both ends.

Mohawk and Berger are the only two local agents I am aware of with ratings on AngiesList - both get good reviews there, though Berger has more reviews.

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

Re: Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby Michael » Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:32 am

Both are very good agents for their respective van lines. Generally I would give favor to a company that has locations in the the origin and destination city, due to the fact its one of their own moves per say.

In Mohawks defense there are some very good United agents to chose from in Houston and I am sure they have relationships with those agents.

But I would also think your chances of your goods being self hauled by Berger would be better then Mohawk just because of the multiple agent scenario.

I think Berger did have a negative review here, but then again, when your doing thousands of moves a year, your bound to have one flair up, just like I am sure Mohawk has and Bester. Keep in mind too, if Mohawk is wrong on your weight and it is closer to 7000 you cost will be based on that lesser weight.

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

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

ncolt
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:07 am

Re: Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby ncolt » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:11 am

Update: Berger's packers are here. Two nice ladies in Berger uniforms. They showed up exactly on time and seem very professional.

ncolt
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:07 am

Re: *Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby ncolt » Thu May 03, 2007 9:53 pm

Update: The Berger truck showed up today, Thursday. They initially thought they might get here yesterday.

The driver, truck, and one of the helpers was the same as we had back in Minnesota. There were two other local helpers as well. They unloaded us in about an hour (loading took more like 3.5 hours). They were courteous and efficient. So far we have found only two damaged items: a clay planter pot was broken inside a box, and one piece of wood furniture had some dents.

The final weight came in at about 8300 lbs, but since we had GNTE bid of 7000 lbs we get charged for 7000 lbs.

Overall I am very pleased with how things went - especially the speed (load on Saturday, delivery the following Thursday over 1200 miles away).

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

Re: *Minneapolis, MN to Houston, TX, suggestions

Postby Diane » Thu May 03, 2007 10:03 pm

Great - I'll gratefully add your good review of Berger to the Superlist linked to below. To move more than 8000 pounds that distance and do a full pack with full valuation coverage, you got a good price (about $5000).
Diane
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