Household Goods Dispute Settlement Program

Welcome to the Arbitration Dispute Settlement Brochure of Moving Authority. This brochure focuses on using arbitration to resolve household goods disputes. Arbitration can solve many disputes related to interstate household goods shipments. We recommend that you read the entire brochure to learn the basics of arbitration. Please contact us if you need more information about our Dispute Settlement Program. We can send that information to any consumer or company. Plus, Moving Authority can provide you with a copy of sample forms and program rules.

How Can I Request That Arbitration Take Place To Resolve a Household Goods Dispute? 

There are options for requesting to resolve a dispute through arbitration. Most people begin the process by giving the Moving Authority team a call. But you’re also welcome to email or fax our organization. You can even message us on our website. The request should get submitted within 90 days. That time frame applies to the mover denying your claim. Or, within 90 days of the mover supplying you with a final written settlement offer. 

When you request arbitration, please include your name, phone number, and address. Also submit the name of the mover. If the shipment has an identification number, please include that number. You’ll also want to include the name under the shipment if it’s different from your own name. Please also provide the location and date for where the shipment got picked up. (And also the location and date of where the shipment got delivered.) Let us know the exact dollar amount that you're seeking to recover by way of arbitration. It’s best for you to also provide a short description of the dispute. The description should state how you think the claim should get resolved by the mover.

More About Requesting Arbitration for a Dispute Settlement

Keep in mind that settlements often take place before the arbitral process starts. Thus, DO NOT provide an administrative fee with your first request. Also, there’s no need to supply detailed documents that support your position at first. Instead, Moving Authority can ask you to submit that information at a later time. This will happen if your moving dispute cannot get settled. If that happens, the case can proceed to arbitration through our forum.

Let’s say that Moving Authority receives your information. Our team can notify the mover about your request to arbitrate. Now, assume that your dispute falls under our program guidelines. And a settlement with the mover does not take place. Moving Authority can forward you program rules and required forms. Next, you’ll have thirty days to fill out the forms and give them to the forum. That is when you will pay your part of an administrative fee. This means it’s now the mover’s turn to send over documentation. Plus, your mover will pay its own part of our administrative fee. Once these steps are out of the way, the arbitration process can begin. Arbitrators make most of their decisions within thirty days. This time frame applies once arbitrators view forms and documents.

How Much Does Arbitration Cost?

The administrative fees of the Moving Authority arbitration program can vary. The forum charges specific amounts based on the claim of each dispute. Please contact Moving Authority to receive an estimate for our arbitration services. We often divide the costs of each claim into a mover’s share and consumer’s share. But the charges get based on the total amount of a claim in dispute.

Sometimes an arbitrator will apportion a fee as part of the final arbitral award. The arbitrator does so by figuring out which party must pay specific costs. Oftentimes, a party must pay part of the total arbitration proceeding cost. This can include the cost of starting the process of arbitration. Sometimes an arbitrator will decide to refund part of the administrative fees. Again, the process varies based on the circumstances of every dispute.

What Is the Purpose of Arbitration? 

Arbitration is a top-rated US dispute resolution process. It’s where a neutral arbitrator resolves the dispute of two or more parties. This way, an arbitrator replaces a jury or judge in court. Parties within each dispute come to an agreement on which arbitrator to use. The arbitrator then reviews the dispute and resolves it. So, how does a final arbitral resolution take place? An arbitrator renders an award or decision that has legal binding status on the parties.

Litigation is not that different from arbitration. But arbitration has a much better reputation. In fact, arbitration is often a faster and more cost-efficient process. Think of arbitration as an adjudicative process. Its purpose is to resolve specific legal issues. In this case, these issues can get submitted by a mover or by you. Unlike litigation, most legal rules of evidence do not apply in arbitration. Plus, arbitration gets conducted in a private setting instead of a public forum. Many parties prefer arbitration because it avoids the high costs of lawsuits. Most arbitrations save parties a lot of time and money compared to court sessions.

How Does the Arbitration Settlement Program Function? 

Moving Authority can function as an association that represents agents and carriers. These are the agents and carriers of the household goods moving industry. So, why do we sponsor a dispute settlement program? So that members can adhere to all federal rules and regulations. One of the rules involves providing a fair mechanism for resolving moving disputes. These disputes focus on articles in a shipment claimed as lost or damaged. (This happens during a move.) Other disputes involve charges billed by a mover once the delivery of a shipment happens.

Moving Authority can use an arbitration forum to administer our arbitration program. A forum refers to a nongovernmental, independent organization. It’s an organization without affiliations to any household goods moving company. The forum can provide a panel of neutral and independent arbitrators. These arbitrators include law professors, attorneys, and former federal/state judges. The mission of these arbitrators is to resolve moving disputes in a fast and fair manner.

More About Our Arbitration Dispute Program

The forum can charge an administrative fee when arbitrating a legal dispute. Most administrative fees get divided between two parties. (Unless a mover decides to pay a party’s share of a fee.) The parties during a proceeding are you and your mover. Meanwhile, the forum serves as a neutral program administrator. 

Moving Authority itself does not take on much of a role in any arbitration proceeding. We also cannot influence the outcome of an arbitration decision. Instead, Moving Authority functions as a clearinghouse. Our goal is to ensure that your mover accepts your request to arbitrate. Otherwise, the mover could violate a key federal statute. Keep in mind that Moving Authority will respect your right to privacy. And a high level of privacy extends to the arbitrator’s binding decision.

When Should Arbitration Take Place?

Many moving disputes become eligible for arbitration. The disputes concern unresolved claims for interstate shipments of household goods. They relate to individual consumers that might experience loss or damage. (This is about articles contained within a shipment.) Or, a dispute might focus on extra charges billed by the mover. These charges take place once the delivery of a shipment happens. Many disputed claims of damage and loss have eligibility for arbitration. That’s because mandatory arbitration provisions are often at play. But only certain disputed charges can lead to arbitral proceedings.

Does your dispute involve charges collected by a mover when a shipment got delivered? If so, this form of dispute isn’t subject to mandatory arbitration. But say a dispute concerns extra charge billed by a mover once a shipment’s delivered. This type of dispute is eligible for consideration through mandatory arbitration provisions. Here is an example of how moving arbitration works. Let’s say your mover charges you an extra amount once your shipment gets delivered. The amount of extra billing can become subject to arbitration. But not the amount that you already paid the mover when your shipment arrived.

What Is an Award Granted by an Arbitrator? 

An arbitrator can grant any relief or remedy that he or she feels is appropriate. This takes place within the scope of you and your mover’s agreement. The agreement must adhere to the rules of the arbitration program. Each amount of an award cannot exceed the mover’s liability through the bill of lading. Or, let’s say the arbitral proceedings involve disputed charges. An amount of an award cannot exceed the total amount of disputed extra charges. 

Each arbitrator considers all laws when making crucial legal decisions. The arbitrator will also study the provisions listed in the mover’s tariff. Plus, the arbitrator will base a decision on common practices in the moving industry. Keep in mind that an arbitrator doesn’t have jurisdiction to consider many claims. These can include mental anguish, loss of wages, alleged fraud, and punitive damages. Please contact Moving Authority if you're unsure if a dispute can go to arbitration.

Contact Us To Learn More About Settling Your Mover’s Dispute Through Arbitration

Do you have questions about the Moving Authority arbitration program and forum? If so, please give our experts a call right now. You can also send over a message on our website or send out an email. We know that the concept of arbitration can seem confusing. But our team’s ready to provide crucial information that you need. This way, we can help you settle the dispute with your mover. We look forward to providing you with premium moving dispute settlement services.

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As we've learned the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was crucial in the construction of the Interstate Highway System. Described as an interconnected network of the controlled-access freeway. It also allowed larger trucks to travel at higher speeds through rural and urban areas alike. This act was also the first to allow the first federal largest gross vehicle weight limits for trucks, set at 73,208 pounds (33,207 kg). The very same year, Malcolm McLean pioneered modern containerized intermodal shipping. This allowed for the more efficient transfer of cargo between truck, train, and ships.

The Motor Carrier Act, passed by Congress in 1935, replace the code of competition. The authorization the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) place was to regulate the trucking industry. Since then the ICC has been long abolished, however, it did quite a lot during its time. Based on the recommendations given by the ICC, Congress enacted the first hours of services regulation in 1938. This limited driving hours of truck and bus drivers. In 1941, the ICC reported that inconsistent weight limitation imposed by the states cause problems to effective interstate truck commerce.

In 1971, author and director Steven Spielberg, debuted his first feature length film. His made-for-tv film, Duel, portrayed a truck driver as an anonymous stalker. Apparently there seems to be a trend in the 70's to negatively stigmatize truck drivers.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 40 million United States citizens have moved annually over the last decade. Of those people who have moved in the United States, 84.5% of them have moved within their own state, 12.5% have moved to another state, and 2.3% have moved to another country.

There are certain characteristics of a truck that makes it an "off-road truck". They generally standard, extra heavy-duty highway-legal trucks. Although legal, they have off-road features like front driving axle and special tires for applying it to tasks such as logging and construction. The purpose-built off-road vehicles are unconstrained by weighing limits, such as the Libherr T 282B mining truck.

Popular among campers is the use of lightweight trailers, such as aerodynamic trailers. These can be towed by a small car, such as the BMW Air Camper. They are built with the intent to lower the tow of the vehicle, thus minimizing drag.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is an influential association as an advocate for transportation. Setting important standards, they are responsible for publishing specifications, test protocols, and guidelines. All which are used in highway design and construction throughout the United States. Despite its name, the association represents more than solely highways. Alongside highways, they focus on air, rail, water, and public transportation as well.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is an agency within the United States Department of Transportation. The purpose of the FMCSA is to regulate safety within the trucking and moving industry in the United States. The FMCSA enforces safety precautions that reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

DOT officers of each state are generally in charge of the enforcement of the Hours of Service (HOS). These are sometimes checked when CMVs pass through weigh stations. Drivers found to be in violation of the HOS can be forced to stop driving for a certain period of time. This, in turn, may negatively affect the motor carrier's safety rating. Requests to change the HOS are a source of debate. Unfortunately, many surveys indicate drivers routinely get away with violating the HOS. Such facts have started yet another debate on whether motor carriers should be required to us EOBRs in their vehicles. Relying on paper-based log books does not always seem to enforce the HOS law put in place for the safety of everyone.

Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) are fundamental to the FMCSA's compliance program. The purpose of the CSA program is to oversee and focus on motor carriers' safety performance. To enforce such safety regulations, the CSA conducts roadside inspections and crash investigations. The program issues violations when instances of noncompliance with CSA safety regulations are exposed.   Unfortunately, the CSA's number of safety investigation teams and state law enforcement partners are rather small in comparison to the millions of CMV companies and commercial driver license (CDL) holders. A key factor in the CSA program is known as the Safety Measurement System (SMS). This system relies on data analysis to identify unsafe companies to arrange them for safety interventions. SMS is incredibly helpful to CSA in finding and holding companies accountable for safety performance.  

In 1893, the Office of Road Inquiry (ORI) was established as an organization. However, in 1905 the name was changed to the Office Public Records (OPR). The organization then went on to become a division of the United States Department of Agriculture. As seen throughout history, organizations seem incapable of maintaining permanent names. So, the organization's name was changed three more times, first in 1915 to the Bureau of Public Roads and again in 1939 to the Public Roads Administration (PRA). Yet again, the name was later shifted to the Federal Works Agency, although it was abolished in 1949. Finally, in 1949, the name reverted to the Bureau of Public Roads, falling under the Department of Commerce. With so many name changes, it can be difficult to keep up to date with such organizations. This is why it is most important to research and educate yourself on such matters.

The 1950's were quite different than the years to come. They were more likely to be considered "Knights of the Road", if you will, for helping stranded travelers. In these times truck drivers were envied and were viewed as an opposition to the book "The Organization Man". Bestseller in 1956, author William H. Whyte's novel describes "the man in the gray flannel suit", who sat in an office every day. He's describing a typical office style job that is very structured with managers watching over everyone. Truck drivers represented the opposite of all these concepts. Popular trucking songs glorified the life of drivers as independent "wanderers". Yet, there were attempts to bring back the factory style efficiency, such as using tachnographs. Although most attempts resulted in little success. Drivers routinely sabotaged and discovered new ways to falsify the machine's records.

The 1980s were full of happening things, but in 1982 a Southern California truck driver gained short-lived fame. His name was Larry Walters, also known as "Lawn Chair Larry", for pulling a crazy stunt. He ascended to a height of 16,000 feet (4,900 m) by attaching helium balloons to a lawn chair, hence the name. Walters claims he only intended to remain floating near the ground and was shocked when his chair shot up at a rate of 1,000 feet (300 m) per minute. The inspiration for such a stunt Walters claims his poor eyesight for ruining his dreams to become an Air Force pilot.

The decade of the 70's in the United States was a memorable one, especially for the notion of truck driving. This seemed to dramatically increase popularity among trucker culture. Throughout this era, and even in today's society, truck drivers are romanticized as modern-day cowboys and outlaws. These stereotypes were due to their use of Citizens Band (CB) radios to swap information with other drivers. Information regarding the locations of police officers and transportation authorities. The general public took an interest in the truckers 'way of life' as well. Both drivers and the public took interest in plaid shirts, trucker hats, CB radios, and CB slang.

By the time 2006 came, there were over 26 million trucks on the United States roads, each hauling over 10 billion short tons of freight (9.1 billion long tons). This was representing almost 70% of the total volume of freight. When, as a driver or an automobile drivers, most automobile drivers are largely unfamiliar with large trucks. As as a result of these unaware truck drivers and their massive 18-wheeler's numerous blind spots. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has determined that 70% of fatal automobile/tractor trailer accident happen for a reason. That being the result of "unsafe actions of automobile drivers". People, as well as drivers, need to realize the dangers of such large trucks and pay more attention. Likewise for truck drivers as well.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) conducted a series of tests. These tests were extensive field tests of roads and bridges to assess damages to the pavement. In particular they wanted to know how traffic contributes to the deterioration of pavement materials. These tests essentially led to the 1964 recommendation by AASHTO to Congress. The recommendation determined the gross weight limit for trucks to be determined by a bridge formula table. This includes table based on axle lengths, instead of a state upper limit. By the time 1970 came around, there were over 18 million truck on America's roads.

The term 'trailer' is commonly used interchangeably with that of a travel trailer or mobile home. There are varieties of trailers and manufactures housing designed for human habitation. Such origins can be found historically with utility trailers built in a similar fashion to horse-drawn wagons. A trailer park is an area where mobile homes are designated for people to live in.   In the United States, trailers ranging in size from single-axle dollies to 6-axle, 13 ft 6 in (4,115 mm) high, 53 ft (16,154 mm) in long semi-trailers is common. Although, when towed as part of a tractor-trailer or "18-wheeler", carries a large percentage of the freight. Specifically, the freight that travels over land in North America.

Ultra light trucks are very easy to spot or acknowledge if you are paying attention. They are often produced variously such as golf cars, for instance, it has internal combustion or a battery electric drive. They usually for off-highway use on estates, golf courses, parks, in stores, or even someone in an electric wheelchair. While clearly not suitable for highway usage, some variations may be licensed as slow speed vehicles. The catch is that they may on operate on streets, usually a body variation of a neighborhood electric vehicle. A few manufacturers produce specialized chassis for this type of vehicle. Meanwhile, Zap Motors markets a version of the xebra electric tricycle. Which, believe it or not, is able to attain a general license in the United States as a motorcycle.

The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) is a non-profit trade association. AMSA represents members of the professional moving industry primarily based in the United States. The association consists of approximately 4,000 members. They consist of van lines, their agents, independent movers, forwarders, and industry suppliers. However, AMSA does not represent the self-storage industry.