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Best Rated National Moving Companies

Best Rated National Moving Companies

  1. Choosing a Reliable Moving Company You Can Trust Isn't Always Easy
  2. How We Decided On The Best Moving Companies
  3. Ideally, Company Websites Had To Answer Basic Questions
  4. A Bearable, If Not Pleasant, Quote Procedure
  5. Visible Claims Departments, Or At Least Existing Claims Handlers
  6. Let's Voyeur On The 500 People Surveyed On Their Recent Move
  7. And The Contenders for the Top Moving Companies Are...
  8. Runner-Up
  9. The Old Standbys
  10. Other Maybe Considerable Moving Companies
  11. You Should Know This: Quotes & Estimates
  12. The Meat and Potatoes of Moving
  13. Take Action
  14. American Moving Trends
  15. Top States People Moved to in 2015
  16. Top States People Left in 2015
  17. Invest in the Right Company For You and Your Needs

1. Choosing a Reliable Moving Company You Can Trust Isn't Always Easy

Relocating your worldly goods is not to be taken lightly, and there are just so many available options. So what we did was review a survey conducted on 500 people and the associated telephonic quotes from 20 moving companies, to ascertain whether it’s best to get a buddy to move you or fork out for full-service professional relocation. Of course, no-one promised you a rose garden, the best one can shoot for is reputable moving companies affording a pleasant quote experience.

If you look at it logically, the average Joe Soap might move house less than a dozen times in a lifetime, whereas professional movers do it day in and day out, almost every day. So a comparison between your bowling buddy packing you up, for a couple of beers and a burger, and the international van line relocating you is quite unfair.

It’s no mean feat to organize moving your entire worldly possessions, and possibly auto-transporting your family car, however people trained to do so with all the best resources have a great advantage, you’ll agree.  These resources include less obvious imperatives such as appropriate insurance, licenses, and accreditations to safeguard the customer should the untoward occur, like Great Aunt Milly’s ancestral crystal heirloom plummeting from a great height. The top achievers in the survey, Atlas and Bekins service the entire U.S, cut to the chase with pricing and services, and follow through with a no-fuss claims procedure.

2. How We Decided On The Best Moving Companies

Having started with 82 Contenders in the Moving companies who claim to move-anyone-anywhere category, we whittled this down to the best two. This is how we did it:

Although local movers are invaluable in their communities, being that they know the lay of the land and everyone living on it, we focused on hard-core national movers. The reason for this is that we’re interested in ascertaining the best in the market for ‘moving anyone anywhere’, therefore highlighting ‘Movers Not Shakers’ operating throughout Small-Town, the USA wouldn’t help ‘Prospective-Migrant’ from another state.

Of the available options who seemed to meet the criteria to ‘move anyone anywhere’, it was soon discovered that, while many companies could indeed move to anywhere, they were limited in the ‘from anywhere’ part. So they were not considered. Furthermore, only legally compliant contenders were eligible, backed by valid Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) licenses. Risking your possessions to an unlicensed mover may result in lost or damaged goods and your household being held ransom for payment exceeding their estimate.

3. Ideally, Company Websites Had To Answer Basic Questions

Laying out their services concisely online saves you the time and hassle of laboring through a phone call with a moving company who turns out not to provide what you’re looking for (storage, full service, etc.).  The best sites have a helpful FAQ’s section and a concise list of the services or resources they provide. A live chat help or full day customer service feature isn’t a deal-breaker, but it certainly is noteworthy.

  • Eliminated: 16 Contenders

4. A Bearable, If Not Pleasant, Quote Procedure

This is by no means fun, but you really need to eliminate companies who are not worthy of moving you. Get a minimum of three free, written estimates from the market at the get-go. Disregard quotes far above or below the average price.

There are a few ways to acquire quotes: A company representative conducts a home visit; You provide a video which they use to quote with; on-line questionnaires.

In the quest to reveal the top moving companies, the contenders were tested on their estimate process. It was found that the average phone quote was done-and-dusted in 10 minutes, but it is important to note how easy or difficult it was to get to speak to a human, and once shared, how helpful the human proved. Some calls were never answered, some failed to respond to voicemails and others required the traversing of time-consuming phone trees.

While it can be warming to deal with a company representative who seems knowledgeable, willing and professional, beware of the pushy sales staff. Moving company scams are real, and you should never be pushed into paying a deposit during your quest for written estimates. By entering into such an agreement you may well face a stand-off with the scam movers holding a truck-load of your possessions ransom for extra money. A pushy salesperson who insists on money-up-front relegates their company to non-Contender status.

  • Eliminated: 7 Contenders

    excellent moving companies ranked

5. Visible Claims Departments, Or At Least Existing Claims Handlers

This is tricky to test when you haven’t actually had goods transported, and so none could get damaged or lost. What was required therefore was to ascertain the availability and usability of the company’s claims department? Most people have a disinterest in the mechanics of ensuring goods in transit, they simply want to get paid out if their possessions fail to reach the new home in the same condition in which they left the old one. The first step to getting reimbursement is filing the claim, and contenders without a clear-cut claims lodging process were sent packing.

Case in point was PODS. PODS and U-Pack are companies who passed the website test but failed on the accessible claims department test. It’s all very well having a storage unit delivered to your door and then onward to your new door, but without a means to claim, what happens when mayhem strikes between the two doors?  

  • Eliminated: 7 Contenders

6. Let’s Voyeur On The 500 People Surveyed On Their Recent Move

This is how it was done:

We asked - Who did you hire? and How would you rate your experience?

They responded using the classic 1–5 scale (1 = terrible, 5 = excellent)

The results were not unanimous or similar. Respondents’ scores on the same question ranged from very low to very high and everything in between, averaging most companies out at a rating of 3.  No matter the planning and research behind it, hiring a mover may simply be a roll-of-the-dice on who is going to land up on your threshold on moving day.

Amongst the remaining contenders, Wheaton and Arpin were clear losers in this rating, with most of the respondents citing their moves as a negative experience:

7. And the Contenders for the Top Moving Companies are:

Let’s just skip the fuss and go right ahead with the winners:

  • Atlas Van Lines is tops for no-fuss scheduling and the only claims service offering “delay” claims. The findings revealed Atlas Van Lines as Best Overall, with happier clients than the other contenders. Findings proved them to provide friendly service and exhibit flexibility with scheduling.

Getting the Quote:
This proved a welcoming experience, traversing from phone tree to human, ready to schedule our in-home estimate, in a mere minute-and-a-half. As front-line, our human was pleasingly reassuring when we raised the horrors experienced by home-movers we know. She offered us their first availability in three days, with a flexible time schedule spanning all day from morning to early evening.

Their claims process affords you separate forms and procedures for lost/damaged items or delayed items.
Atlas has a user-friendly website, without the bling. All you need, from quotes to claim forms, can be found here. They are the only company to insure you if your shipment arrives late, which helped them earn 69% surveyed customers with a positive experience.

8. Runner-Up

Bekins Moving

  • Bekins Moving and Storage, for their high profile and reputable status, earned a well-deserved Runner-up position. They have a proven track record of customer satisfaction.

Getting the Quote:

Bekins were more transactional and less friendly than Atlas, but they were efficient and fast. Our in-home estimate was booked within 8 minutes, having covered all the basic questions needed regarding our relocation. Our attempts at an on-line quote proved Bekins response to be slower than Atlas. 62 percent of past clientele surveyed came up happy, having had a positive experience, with half of them awarding 5 stars.

9. The Old Standbys


Getting the Quote:

United Van Lines and Mayflower have been moving people for around 90 years, making them two of the US’s oldest movers. They are competitors, owned by the same parent company, UniGroup, and share a common process. Our phone operator was cheery in a non-committal kind of way and kept us on the line for 7 and a half minutes, of which a minute and a half was spent waiting to be connected. 

  • Mayflower was on a par with their stable-mate, United Van Lines.

Getting the Quote:

Refer to our review of United, same minute and a half on hold before Joanie clicked on the line, who was all procedural with the questions and without any banter. This had our in-home estimate booked and us off the line in under five minutes.

United and Mayflower achieved a smack-in-the-middle between terrible and excellent from 29 percent of past customers surveyed.

10. Other Maybe Considerable Moving Companies

Who knows whether they could have given our winners a run for their money? You have to be in it to win it, though, and if we can’t access you, you can’t move us.

Wheaton’s website was thorough and reassuring, with FAQ’s, all-encompassing resources, how-to suggestions including video-packing demos and a blog guiding you to pack like a pro. Of course, they’re a moving company, so they suggest to pack like a pro, you should just hire the pro.

Their online response was fast, affording an immediate confirmation response to our request. We had their estimate in our e-mail inbox within 24 hours.

59 percent of our survey respondents cited a negative experience, which seems to fall more in line with our phone-in experience than our website one.

With a majority (35% of respondents) awarding a 1-star rating of “Terrible”, 43 percent surveyed had a neutral or positive experience. MyMovingReview.com shows similarly bad ratings.

Getting the Quote:

Our online request for an estimate was never answered, but our phone call was pleasant. The phone was immediately answered, whereupon Arpin’s representative bantered a while before assessing our moving needs. Our estimate was duly scheduled for six days anon, with flexible times and dates offered.

We had a good time, but the people have spoken, and with such low marks, we’re moving on.

11. You Should Know This: Quotes & Estimates

In-person quotes are best, preferable to email and telephonic estimates which may hide surprises. Having a representative walk through your home ensures an accurate and exact estimate, which should be followed up with a contract stating a price. The FMCSA requires that all interstate moving companies conduct an in-person visit to homes within 50 miles of their location unless the customer waives this in writing.

Basic estimates need to know: how far you’re going and how much your stuff weighs? Having an agent assess this in person makes for a precise evaluation of your possessions, without the risk of inadvertently omitting items from the inventory. There’s also a big difference in the evaluation of a Target bedstead compared to a solid brass antique bed.  

An in-person evaluation will ascertain exactly which of their resources you will need, from full-service packing and unpacking to safely shipping your baby Grand.

Quotes are not all created equal, and preliminary estimates are merely rough guides and are not binding. A ballpark quote is what you get when you’re still determining what needs moving and you hop online or call to get an idea – it’s really a guesstimate since your actual cost is related to weight and company tariffs. It remains safe to assume that your final bill will be higher than your estimate, and remember to get written confirmation of tariffs up front.

Movers are obligated to honor a binding estimate, and you are not required to pay for their mistake if they underestimated the weight of your load. However, if you have additional items to those included in your estimate, you will be liable to pay extra for them. So anything that didn’t sell on your auction is not the mover’s problem.

Should the company have overestimated the weight, their company policy will dictate whether you pay the agreed-upon amount or whether it is reduced accordingly. They will provide you with a written outline of their policies.

Any claim lodged will have a settlement period before you are paid out.

You should be around while the Movers note the condition of your possessions during the drawing up of the inventory. Make sure you agree with their findings. When they deliver your possessions, the inventory will be checked for damage incurred in transit. You are expected to lodge a claim timeously if required. Although you might have up to nine months to do so, the sooner you submit a claim the better. Claims can be filed online or telephonically, depending on the company’s claims department and process. A claims adjuster will usually inspect the damaged property within a week of the claim being lodged. The claim will then be processed before a settlement is made.

12. The Meat and Potatoes of Moving

Moving remains a bother despite having the best moving company. The upside is that friendly and efficient service across all lines - online, telephonic and personal – will take the edge off. A mover with a reputable track record will up the chances of you being moved without being scarred.

13. Take Action

Time and Research are your friends in planning a Move. By pre-determining any loopholes and potential pitfalls, you’ll avoid landing in them. Entangled in a moving company scam is not where you want to end up, so a good move should present with less than ten complaints when you research, and these should all be resolved.

Don’t procrastinate, you should have estimated at least five weeks before you want to move, to ensure you find the best fit, date-wise, and service wise.

Once you’ve chosen a mover, make sure your contract (Bill of Lading) details all aspects of your move – estimates, resources, and services – before signing. All charges involved in your relocation must be itemized down to whether or not bubble wrap is included.

Regardless of ensuring that everything chargeable appears on your Bill of Lading, be equipped to pay up 110% on delivery. It is entirely feasible and possible that you overlooked something, which then hiked up the fee, and most movers will expect 10% of any extra’s plus the original estimate upon delivery. The remaining amount due will be payable within 30 days.

High Rated National Moving Companies

14. American Moving Trends

Americans are always on the move in all different aspects of their lives. This relates to our jobs, our personal lives and with where we live. On average, some predict that most Americans will have had 12-15 jobs within their lifetime. They find this especially true with younger generations. That number correlates with statistics that the average American moves 12 times during their lifetime. Which, when compared to other countries, is very high. We are in a constant state of pursuing something different. Whether it be our careers or our own personal dreams that consistently landing us in different parts of the city or country.

Moving season is almost here, which is made up of the months May-August which is when most people are making their moves. Warmer weather makes some roads more accessible during those months. For families with kids, this offers up the summer holiday as a perfect time to pack up and head out.

Generally, the trends from last years moving season are a good rule of thumb to predict what will also be the moving trends for 2016. Moving trends generally stay constant over the course of a few years.

Below is a list of the top states that Americans are moving both in and out of.

15. Top States People Moved to in 2015

1. Oregon
2. South Carolina
3. Vermont
4. Idaho
5. North Carolina
6. Florida
7. Nevada
8. District of Columbia
9. Texas
10. Washington

16. Top States People Left in 2015

1. New Jersey
2. New York
3. Illinois
4. Connecticut
5. Ohio
6. Kansas
7. Massachusetts
8. West Virginia
9. Mississippi
10. Maryland

17. Invest in the Right Company For You and Your Needs

Many families or individuals have reasons for moving but overall it is important if you are moving from state to state to find the best. You want the ideal candidates for the jobs at hand. Generally, it can be hard to find trustworthy and reliable movers interstate. You want to invest in best of moving companies state to state. Larger cities have so many choices it can be hard to filter the good from the bad. However, while in more remote areas it can be difficult to get coverage where you currently live.


Using a specialized search engine tools will be the best bet for anyone that is looking to or at least thinking about moving to find exactly what they are looking for. Moving from state to state is no easy task! Moving Authority has now expanded to cover all 50 states! (Yes that now includes Alaska and Hawaii) A state-by-state moving tool is the easiest way to get you on your way. Happy Moving!


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Did You Know

Question

The trucking industry has made a large historical impact since the early 20th century. It has affected the U.S. both politically as well as economically since the notion has begun. Previous to the invention of automobiles, most freight was moved by train or horse-drawn carriage. Trucks were first exclusively used by the military during World War I.
 
After the war, construction of paved roads increased. As a result, trucking began to achieve significant popularity by the 1930's. Soon after trucking became subject to various government regulation, such as the hours of service. During the later 1950's and 1960's, trucking accelerated due to the construction of the Interstate Highway System. The Interstate Highway System is an extensive network of freeways linking major cities cross country.

Question The decade of the 70s saw the heyday of truck driving, and the dramatic rise in the popularity of "trucker culture". Truck drivers were romanticized as modern-day cowboys and outlaws (and this stereotype persists even today). This was due in part to their use of citizens' band (CB) radio to relay information to each other regarding the locations of police officers and transportation authorities. Plaid shirts, trucker hats, CB radios, and using CB slang were popular not just with drivers but among the general public.

Question 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.

Question Trucks of the era mostly used two-cylinder engines and had a carrying capacity of 1,500 to 2,000 kilograms (3,300 to 4,400 lb). In 1904, 700 heavy trucks were built in the United States, 1000 in 1907, 6000 in 1910, and 25000 in 1914. A Benz truck modified by Netphener company (1895)

Question The number one hit on the Billboard chart in 1976 was quite controversial for the trucking industry. "Convoy," is a song about a group of reckless truck drivers bent on evading laws such as toll booths and speed traps. The song went on to inspire the film "Convoy", featuring defiant Kris Kristofferson screaming "piss on your law!" After the film's release, thousands of independent truck drivers went on strike. The participated in violent protests during the 1979 energy crisis. However, similar strikes had occurred during the 1973 energy crisis.

Question The Federal Bridge Law handles relations between the gross weight of the truck, the number of axles, and the spacing between them. This is how they determine is the truck can be on the Interstate Highway system. Each state gets to decide the maximum, under the Federal Bridge Law. They determine by vehicle in combination with axle weight on state and local roads

Question A semi-trailer is almost exactly what it sounds like, it is a trailer without a front axle. Proportionally, its weight is supported by two factors. The weight falls upon a road tractor or by a detachable front axle assembly, known as a dolly. Generally, a semi-trailer is equipped with legs, known in the industry as "landing gear". This means it can be lowered to support it when it is uncoupled. In the United States, a trailer may not exceed a length of 57 ft (17.37 m) on interstate highways. However, it is possible to link two smaller trailers together to reach a length of 63 ft (19.20 m).

Question A business route (occasionally city route) in the United States and Canada is a short special route connected to a parent numbered highway at its beginning, then routed through the central business district of a nearby city or town, and finally reconnecting with the same parent numbered highway again at its end.

Question In some states, a business route is designated by adding the letter "B" after the number instead of placing a "Business" sign above it. For example, Arkansas signs US business route 71 as "US 71B". On some route shields and road signs, the word "business" is shortened to just "BUS". This abbreviation is rare and usually avoided to prevent confusion with bus routes.

Question “Writer-director James Mottern said he was influenced by nuanced, beloved movies of the 1970s such as "The Last Detail" and "Five Easy Pieces." Mottern said his female trucker character began with a woman he saw at a Southern California truck stop — a "beautiful woman, bleach blonde ... skin tanned to leather walked like a Teamster, blue eyes.” - Paul Brownfield

Question In the United States, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 established minimum requirements that must be met when a state issues a commercial driver's license CDL. It specifies the following types of license: - Class A CDL drivers. Drive vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or greater, or any combination of vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or greater when towing a trailer weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Transports quantities of hazardous materials that require warning placards under Department of Public Safety regulations. - Class A Driver License permits. Is a step in preparation for Class A drivers to become a Commercial Driver. - Class B CDL driver. Class B is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including driver) or more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation. This includes, but is not limited to, tow trucks, tractor trailers, and buses.

Question 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.

Question

Truckload shipping is the movement of large amounts of cargo. In general, they move amounts necessary to fill an entire semi-trailer or inter-modal container. A truckload carrier is a trucking company that generally contracts an entire trailer-load to a single customer. This is quite the opposite of a Less than Truckload (LTL) freight services. Less than Truckload shipping services generally mix freight from several customers in each trailer. An advantage Full Truckload shipping carriers have over Less than Truckload carrier services is that the freight isn't handled during the trip. Yet, in an LTL shipment, goods will generally be transported on several different trailers.

Question Logistics is generally the ability to organize and put in place many complex operations at a single time. It is the management of the flow of things to meet the needs of customers or corporations. Resources managed in logistics includes tangible items such as food, materials, animals, equipment, etc. Not to mention the items that are not tangible such as time and information. This means that the movement of physical items, such as in the moving industry, involves a clear understanding of solid workflow. Such logistics can involve the handling of necessary materials, producing, packaging, inventory, transportation, warehousing, and often security.

Question Relocation, or moving, is the process of vacating a fixed location, such as a residence or business, and settling in a different one. A move might be to a nearby location such as in the same neighborhood or a much farther location in a different city or even a different country. Moving usually includes packing up all belongings, transferring them to the new location, and unpacking them. It will also be necessary to update administrative information. This includes tasks such as notifying the post office, changing registration data, change of insurance, services etc. It is important to remember this step in the relocation process. 

Question In 1991 the film "Thelma & Louise" premiered, rapidly becoming a well known movie. Throughout the movie, a dirty and abrasive truck driver harasses the two women during chance encounters. Author Michael Dunne describes this minor character as "fat and ignorant" and "a lustful fool blinded by a delusion of male superiority". Thelma and Louise exact their revenge by feigning interest in him and then blowing up his tanker truck full of gas.

Question Business routes generally follow the original routing of the numbered route through a city or town. Beginning in the 1930s and lasting thru the 1970s was an era marking a peak in large-scale highway construction in the United States. U.S. Highways and Interstates were typically built in particular phases. Their first phase of development began with the numbered route carrying traffic through the center of a city or town. The second phase involved the construction of bypasses around the central business districts of the towns they began. As bypass construction continued, original parts of routes that had once passed straight thru a city would often become a "business route".

Question Smoke and the Bandit was released in 1977, becoming the third-highest grossing movie. Following only behind Star Wars Episode IV and Close Encounter of the Third Kind, all three movies making an impact on popular culture. Conveniently, during that same year, CB Bears debuted as well. The Saturday morning cartoon features mystery-solving bears who communicate by CB radio. As the 1970's decade began to end and the 80's broke through, the trucking phenomenon had wade. With the rise of cellular phone technology, the CB radio was no longer popular with passenger vehicles, but, truck drivers still use it today.

Question In order to load or unload bots and other cargo to and from a trailer, trailer winches are designed for this purpose. They consist of a ratchet mechanism and cable. The handle on the ratchet mechanism is then turned to tighten or loosen the tension on the winch cable. Trailer winches vary, some are manual while others are motorized. Trailer winches are most typically found on the front of the trailer by towing an A-frame.

Question Words have always had a different meaning or have been used interchangeably with others across all cultures. In the United States, Canada, and the Philippines the word "truck" is mostly reserved for larger vehicles. Although in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, the word "truck" is generally reserved for large vehicles. In Australia and New Zealand, a pickup truck is usually called a ute, short for "utility". While over in South Africa it is called a bakkie (Afrikaans: "small open container"). The United Kingdom, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Ireland, and Hong Kong use the "lorry" instead of truck, but only for medium and heavy types.