I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Our open community forum is for general moving related questions, comments, and useful information about local and interstate moves.

I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby pete » Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:04 pm

We are moving from CT to AZ on August and I have tried to read and learn all I could before I started. I got 4 quotes with a lot of differences and several questions so here goes:
The transportation charges include the shipping, origin and destination charges, fuel surcharge and insurance surcharge.

Capitol Moving - United
estimated weight 14245 lbs.
full pack 146 boxes

HB Meyers - United
estimated weight 13570 lbs.
full pack 141 boxes

Grabel Movers
estimated weight 16400 lbs.
full pack 153 boxes

Fallon - Mayflower
estimated weight 12000 lbs.
full pack 116 boxes.

Each of the estimates are fairly even (the low is $63.6/ctw to $67.2/ctw) if I base the cost per lb.
Grabel is ~20% higher on the packing cost based on total estimated weight, the low was ~$16.3/ctw Grabel was $$19.7/ctw. This is the best I could figure since each of the movers gave me a packing price based on number of boxes not weight.
Additionally, I asked each of the movers to give me a price for in transit storage since our house is sold and we will move in with relatives till we buy a house. The reason we did this is that we have saved a lot of breakable stuff over the last 30 years and they tell us that if we go into self storage then we can not claim damage once they drive off! One of the movers charged me for a fuel surcharge and an insurance surcharge for the in transit storage just like the transportation adders. The others did not.
All are all willing to provide me a not to exceed binding estimate by adding 10% to their estimate.

I have moved with Grabel before company paid and they did a great job but the wieght is so high. How can I be sure that I will get an accurate weight to minimize my cost.

Please help, comments, suggestions, ideas anything will be welcome.

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

Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 04, 2005 7:44 pm

I can't find "HB Meyer." Are you talking about "William B. Meyer" United with website www.meyerunited.com? If so, it seems to be a very large United agent that has won a number of awards for commercial work. That doesn't always translate into being good for household moves, but it might. Knowing nothing about any of the individual companies, I would say that Meyer looks the best to me on the surface of things. Capitol Moving looks to be a smaller agent, judging from the size of its warehouse.

You say that Graebel performed well for you on a company-paid move, but moverpros posting here have said that they don't always do so well on moves paid for by individual customers. Judging from their website, they have only one agent in AZ (in Phoenix), so if you're moving somewhere somewhere other than Phoenix it could be problematic for the driver to get unloading labor, etc.

I can't find "Fallon" either and I wonder whether you're referring to Fallon Reynolds, which is an Atlas agent. As a van line, Mayflower (like Graebel) is generally considered to be somewhat lower quality than United, although I know nothing about the particular company you mention.

It's really difficult for us on this website to answer queries like yours because unless someone happens to have posted reviews of particular companies, we know nothing about them. In this case I don't believe that anyone has ever even mentioned any of the four. Just on the basis of size, and having won awards for commercial work, and being a United agent, I guess I would vote for William B. Meyer, which says on its website that it was founded in 1915.

It seems to me that all of the storage-in-transit quotes should have the same elements--i.e. if one has a fuel surcharge they all should, or the reverse.

If you can get Meyer to give you a GNTE estimate even though there is storage in transit involved, I think I would take it.
Last edited by Diane on Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby Guest » Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:03 pm

Thanks Diane,
I appreciate your comments. You are correct about the Meyer, I made a mistake when I wrote my note. I did some checking before I asked for quotes and I did find a lot of information about Grabel, (I did a search on this site and there were over a hundred hits talking about them, most positive) They are a private company that have only one agent per city where they do business, and I am going to Phx. I looked at the others as "majors" and did not find any info about the specific movers in my area good or bad.

My big concerns are how to make sure that I can make sure that I can control the weights properly, am I allowed to view the initial weighing of the truck to be sure that the shipment is weighed properly.
Also, how do I make sure that the packing does not get out of hand since everyone wanted to quote by box not as a cost per lb. They all said that is would be cheaper for me to pay for packing as a per box price not a percentage.

Also, is there anything I can do about the fact they tell me that if they were to move into self storage then I have no avenue to complain is later when I open a box there is breakage. Is there anything or other insurance I can get to find hidden damage once I come out of self storage?

Sorry for being so long and complicated. we are a little too old to be able to self pack and move so we are kind of held hostage to this type of move and just want to be as smart as I can.

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

Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:18 pm

Hi again,

Please note that I asked you a question about Fallon in my edit above.

Regarding Graebel, it's true that the van line is mentioned many times here, but no one has mentioned an agent in CT that I'm aware of. As I said, people have commented that they generally do better on company-paid moves than otherwise.

Regarding observing the weighing, yes, you have a right to do that, but I am unfamiliar with the details of how and where it's done. I seriously doubt that any of the companies would try to cheat you on the weight. People have posted here that the drivers are most likely to do that on shipments where the discounts are high and therefore the drivers' profit is small. It seems to me that there is probably a lot of profit built into your move.

Regarding charging by the carton for packing, people have posted here that this is the norm with the van lines.

Regarding not have insurance coverage if you move into mini-storage, I believe that's correct--the van line's responsibility will cease if you don't use their storage, because you will have broken the chain of responsibility. I'm not aware of any insurance you can buy to cover yourself for damage such as scratches, dents, and breakage in such a situation. The things will be viewed as under your control as if they were in your home. Your homeowner's insurance might possibly cover you for catastrophes like a fire in the storage unit or negligent damage such as a roof leak, but you would have to ask.

If I can make a suggestion, you could hire an independent company to pack your things and transport them to mini-storage, and then come back and load a Broadway Express truck for you when you're ready to move to Phoenix. In Phoenix you could hire a company from www.eMove.com or employees of a local moving company to unload you (and unpack also if you want). I seriously doubt that much damage would take place in the mini-storage unit if the things were packed and stacked properly. You could look for a high-rated company on www.eMove.com or look into Delancey Street Movers in Brewster, NY, which isn't too far from Hartford, to pack and move you into mini-storage. Delancey might even lend you paper pads to protect your goods in the mini-storage, which I don't think the van lines would do.

Just as a point of interest, if you have 14,000 pounds that is about 31 linear feet in a BE trailer. Looking at their interactive online cost calculator, I see that it would cost you $4784 to move that amount of goods from CT to AZ - http://www.broadwayexpress.net/household.html - plus you would have the cost of packing, loading, and unloading, maybe another $1000 or so. I don't know how this compares to your other quotes but I am guessing that they might have been around $8000 to $9000.

All I am saying is that if you can find a reliable company to pack your things and move them to mini-storage, the final outcome of your move with BE might be indistinguishable from your outcome with the four companies you are considering, except for cost.
Check out domestic companies on this thread. Click here for a detailed, authoritative article on international moving.


Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby Guest » Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:19 pm

Thanks again Diane,
Fallon can be found at www.fallonmoving.com and Graebel is at www.graebel.com I was told that Graebel is a family owned business that owns it's service centers, that is why there are only one in an area they service. At their site you can click on the service center page to get the individual address of the center for each state.

Fallon 12000 lbs
move $8000
pack $2020
intransit unload and deliver $2700
$18/day storage
not to exceed binding estimate for $11200

How does this work if they underestimate the packing or weight with this type estimate?

Graebel 16400 lbs
move $10650
pack $3230
intransit unload and deliver $2550
$17/day storage

Willing to give a NTE binding estimate but did not tell me how much it would be.

W. B. Meyer 13600 lbs
move $9040
pack $2200
intransit unload and deliver $2140
$18/day storage

Told me would give a NTE binding estimate but not the $.

These costs are all based on various weights so the comparison is not quite the same. I am concerned that if I agree to a NTE binding estimate and they underestimate the costs I will be in trouble since they will have everything we own.

The intransit storage and fees add about 50% to the bill assuming I stay for 2-3 months.
Can you tell me how to find an independent packer? I am not sure if there is time for me to get this done but I will try. We have to be out of the house here by mid August. Could they pack and then load into the BE the next day? I would prefer to have things in storage in PHX.

Thanks for helping

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

Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:43 pm

Hi - if any of these companies give you a GNTE estimate, that means they cannot charge you more for packing or transportation even if the weight is greater than the estimate, unless you add items that you didn't show to the estimator. If you add items, people have said that it usually isn't a problem if it's a very small number of items relative to the overall number of items. It's only when people try to add half a roomful of items or something that the driver could conceivably challenge the estimate and you would be asked to authorize increased charges. I'm sure that is very unlikely to happen in your case. One moverpro (Michael) said that in his entire career he had seen only 2-3 cases where the driver challenged the estimate and even then, the driver didn't prevail in all of them.

Could you tell me exactly where you are located in CT--are you near Hartford?

If you're at all interested in BE, I would call to see whether they could move you (about 31 feet) on the day that you want. Then, I would call Delancey Street Movers in Brewster, NY to see whether they could pack you one day and move you into a BE truck the next day. Here is a review thread about them including contact information for Delancey-NY - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2377

I am not sure about their packing abilities so I suggest that you also look into other companies closer to you that might know how to pack and load. Look on www.eMove.com to see whether there are any listed in or near your city. Ask specifically about packing. Delancey seems to be about 60 miles from you if you're in Hartford, which is pretty far if they have to come on two separate days. You could ask them for suggestions.

I agree that it makes MUCH more sense to have your things in storage in Phoenix than in CT. It may be difficult for you to get your things moved to Phoenix when you want them, even in September or October, but if they're in mini-storage in Phoenix you can get them out when and as you need individual items.

If all this just seems too complicated after you investigate it a little, you can always fall back on one of your full-service companies. I couldn't choose between Fallon and Meyer, but in general, I think that one of them is likely to do better than Graebel.


Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby Guest » Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:59 pm

Thanks again,
I guess I will finish watching the fireworks and then in the morning check out some of the ideas you gave me. Yes I am in a suburb of Hartford, and did check emove and did not find any packer reviews.

One question, if I accept the lowest NTE binding estimate with Mayflower and the day of the move they turn out to be wrong and it is heavier and/or there is much more packing who looses, the packer, the driver, the estimator? It strikes me that there will be some very upset people and I am a little afraid that my belongings will be the worse for their problem. What am I missing?

So if I pick a good company I should not be too concerned about self storage in PHX since if they packed it well there should not be much hidden damage for me to find when I unpack. We have a lot of art stuff like paintings, ceramic stuff and glass stuff.

This sure is a big thing to get figured out.

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

Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby Diane » Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:12 pm

Anonymous wrote:One question, if I accept the lowest NTE binding estimate with Mayflower and the day of the move they turn out to be wrong and it is heavier and/or there is much more packing who looses, the packer, the driver, the estimator? It strikes me that there will be some very upset people and I am a little afraid that my belongings will be the worse for their problem. What am I missing?

So if I pick a good company I should not be too concerned about self storage in PHX since if they packed it well there should not be much hidden damage for me to find when I unpack. We have a lot of art stuff like paintings, ceramic stuff and glass stuff.

Hi - I feel that I'm getting a little out of my depth here so I hope that one of the moverpros will jump in to comment at this point. I can't imagine that the packers would take revenge on your things if the estimator underestimated the weight. However, if you have expensive things as you describe, I think you should go with experienced packers from the van lines rather than random people from eMove.com. As for having damage in mini-storage, you could have damage even in the van line's warehouse. We just had a report on something like that with All Chicagoland and Ace United. When the driver arrived with the things that had been in storage he announced to the customer that one piece of furniture "didn't make it."

I'll try to find out something about Fallon for you. It's sounding to me as if they may be the way to go, especially if they can load your goods into the long-haul truck directly rather than from your residence into their warehouse and then your warehouse into a truck. You should try to avoid that scenario if possible.

Graebel could have intentionally overestimated the weight if they thought your move was still being paid for by your company.
Last edited by Diane on Tue Jul 05, 2005 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby Fred0844 » Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:25 am

Diane. I though that it was against the guidelines of this forum to suggest the use of a particular carrier. However, you have openly. in the above post and in other recent posts, suggested the use of "Broadway Express" and "Labour Ready" when the original question was about a full service mover. You seem to have the right to "sell" these services even though you admittedly never used them yourself. I am surprised that Mr. Walker allows this since he set the guidlines.


Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby Guest » Tue Jul 05, 2005 6:01 am

I am new to moving on my own, and appreciate the comments of Diane. I will probably use pro's for my move since we have had very good experience before.
Can you give me some comments about the questions I asked about storage and costs?
I would appreciate any help so I can get this organized.

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

Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby Diane » Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:14 am

Pete, I'm going to try to involve a couple of our volunteers who are with the van lines in this discussion by sending them PMs asking them to wade in here. This is a very busy time for them so it may take a while. As I said, I feel that I'm getting out of my depth in some of this and I don't want to give you incorrect information. I AM somewhat worried about your things being in a mini-storage unit in Phoenix that's not temperature controlled now that I know that you have good things.

Fred, this website openly endorses moving yourself if possible, and if that's not possible, using the freight companies ABF or Broadway Express. That is stated right in the first paragraph of the "How to Find a Reputable Mover" article linked to in the box with the smiley face at above left. Only if the first two alternatives aren't possible or desirable do we advise using full-service movers. In Pete's case, if you read this whole thread with an open mind you'll see that my thinking was going back and forth as I tried to figure out what would be best for him. I have nothing to gain financially or otherwise regardless of who he uses. At the end, when I realized that he could probably afford a full-service mover and he was mainly concerned about his things being damaged or held hostage, I stated that using a full-service mover with experienced packers "may be the way to go."


Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby Guest » Tue Jul 05, 2005 9:30 am

Good Morning Diane,
Your analysis about my move is correct. I want to be a good consumer and make the best deal I can. But very important to us is to make sure that our things that we have acquired over the years make it to PHX intact.
Thanks for forwarding my stuff to the pros, I look forward to receiving their comments, I would like to try to get things organized soon so we can move next month.
FYI, the reason I am so interested in a NTE binding estimate is that I asked each of the movers to estimate everything in the house and once things are settled I hope to start cleaning throwing out a lot of accumulated stuff that when my company moved me I did not worry about. I figure that between sorting and throwing plus making a trip to PHX driving a SUV (I can take a lot of heavy stuff like my tools and maybe a TV or 2) I can reduce the weight by 1000 lbs and save on packing and shipping.

thanks again

Posts: 1077
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2005 5:52 pm
Location: Orange County, California

Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby hardatwork » Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:33 am

A few things to consider using the van lines and going to the mini storage.

1. If you tell the van lines in your delivery instructions that you are deliverying into a mini-storage at destination what incentive do they have to pack to the highest standard as they know you cannot file a claim for damages in cartons? Not saying this would ever happen but you should consider it also.

2. If you move via a van lines into a mini-storage how are you going to protect your furniture. The van lines will wrap your goods in blankets when they load it but remove them at destination when you put your shipment into a mini-storage. You will have to arrange to wrap all your furniture when you place it into the storage unit. at an additional cost.

3. Not sure how the van lines work regarding placing the goods into the mini-storage unit. Will they even load all your goods into your storage unit or leave it outside for you to load? If they do load into the unit how much will driver care about doing it right, as he has no claim resposiblity anymore and the quicker he is out of there the more money he saves in labor costs. The driver is not going to stand by while you wrap all your furniture and then load it inot the mini-storage unit. Also it is very difficult to check off the inventory when goods go into a mini-storage unit if a number is missed and they have loaded all the goods into the unit they will have to unload to find any missing numbers.

4. So if you figure out a way to protect your furniture while it is in storage, at additional costs to you, how about moving it again from the mini-storage to your new home? Are you going to pay a mover to do it for you? Movers are going to charge by the hour and there is a good chance for damages, load and unload, without any coverage. If you place the goods into a van lines warehouse they deliver to your new home and set up furniture as required, and your goods are still covered for all the extra handling if there is any damages.

The little cost saving you are going to have if you go to a mini-storage verus going into the van lines storage might not be worth it if you have one of your valuable items damage or lost and have no coverage.

Just my personal thoughts.


Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby Guest » Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:52 am

thanks for your comments, I am concerned about many of the things you brought up.
The big issues are why the cost, for example if I go to self storage the movers will charge me ~$150 extra to pack into the storage area, but if I go into intransit storage with them they charge ~$700 to put it into storage. It seems to me that they are doing the same thing unloading the truck and packing it again, but a big difference in cost to me.
When it comes out of storage the movers want an additional ~$2000 to load it and then unload it at my new house.
Then they want ~$600 a month to store it (plus insurance) versus ~$175 in self storage. I understand the wrapping issue and one offered to provide multi layer papers that they would wrap furniture for self storage.

I do understand the issues of breakage and liability and am still leaning toward in transit storage.

Do you have any comment regarding the costs, the different companies I interviewed and other issues I asked about above, especially probablems if the company undedrestimates the packing and weighingon a NTE binding estimate?
One additional thing how much of a quote is negotiable versus regulated? like the unloading into intransit storage and out for delivery?

Posts: 2255
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 7:24 pm
Location: California

Re: I hope someone can unconfuse me!!!

Postby Nancy » Tue Jul 05, 2005 11:11 am

It is very hard to compare the cost of a mini storage versus full service storage. The levels of quality in the warehouses are totally different, as is the service you receive.

The charge for delivery into mini storage for stacking is less than the warehouse handling into the full service warehouse because the labor is different. Into the mini storage, you will be present and will check off the items. Into the warehouse, they have to have an employee doing this. Into mini storage, it goes just into the space you have already located and rented. In the warehouse, their labor pulls the vaults with a forklift and stages them all for the delivery. Into mini storage, you need to go out and purchase paper pads or blankets to wrap and secure the goods. Into warehouse, they provide them. So there are a lot more services being provided by the full service warehouse. With the mini storage, YOU do a lot more coordinating and footwork.

Mini storage unites often get dusty and dirty, full service facilities are dustproof by sealing your goods into vaults. Also, you do not need to be present at the full service facility for the delivery or the loading. Using a mini storage, you need to be there at both moments.

Comparing the costs only (and not the services performed) are like comparing a limo driver with a rental car. Of course the full service costs more for the delivery in and loading out, they are performing more services for you!

Return to “Open Community”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests