HOW TO SPOT ROGUE MOVERS

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Red Flags: Rogue Movers



  1. Finding a Trustworthy Moving Company 
  2. Know Your Price
  3. D.O.T. Number
  4. Arbitration
  5. Get Everything In Writing
  6. Moving Authority Is Eliminating Online Moving Scams
  7. But Wait, There's More!
  8. Does The Company Have An Actual Address?
  9. Did This Company Quote You Significantly Lower Than Others?
  10. Is There No Name On The Moving Truck?
  11. Did You Get Everything In Writing?
  12. How Long Has The Company Been In Business?
  13. Take All Of These Factors Into Consideration

1. Finding a Trustworthy Moving Company 

It is important in any business transaction to know who you can trust. The relationship between the person moving and the movers themselves is a delicate one. When all of your personal items, your memories, and your belonging are in the hands of someone else your anxiety can be high. It is imperative that you keep yourself informed because all moving companies are not created equal. Finding a moving company that you can trust is easy if you know the important key elements to look for.

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2. Know Your Price

Of course, it is a good idea to get a fair price and a good rule of thumb is to get a quote from 3 companies to compare quotes. But beware... if you get quoted a shockingly amazing deal, it probably is too good to be true. If the quote of one moving company is less than half of their competitors you should probably look into the details of this company to be sure they are a real and legally operating moving business. All of these actions, from getting a quote from 3 companies to looking into companies can be done with the help of Moving Authority.

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3. D.O.T Number

A DOT number is something that all legal companies have to prove that they are licensed movers. This stands for the Department of Transportation, a government agency that issues a unique license number to each moving company. Many movers cut costs by not operating with one. Operating without a proper DOT number is illegal. Should something go wrong the company can literally go off into the night, disable their phones and you may never be able to trace that they ever existed (This may sound harsh but these type of occurrences are more common than you think)

4. Arbitration

Ask if they have Arbitration. This is something that all moving companies are legally required to have. An arbitrator is a legally designated mediator that can help to settle any disputes between the movers and the moving company (if they arise) without going to court. If a moving company does not have one, this is another red flag they are not legitimate.

 

5. Get Everything In Writing

If you are making a verbal agreement on the phone but have no written or legally binding and signed paperwork, this is most likely not the price you will end up paying. Since this company will have all your belongings, you will be at their mercy to pay what is almost a ransom for your items to be returned. Proper companies will email you legal forms. READ ALL OF THEM. It's in the small print where you may find something that you don't agree with. Do not sign away your rights to your own stuff!

Make sure you find a list of real moving companies that are reputable and adhere to the above guidelines. The more you know the better you are at making informed decisions.

6. Moving Authority Is Eliminating Online Moving Scams

Online moving scams are on the rise and trap thousands of American families every year. Moving Authority has a mission to educate consumers while at the same time, juggling to help connect people with reliable and trustworthy moving companies. Perfect timing because with summer coming things are going to get warmer summer 2017.

With summer just about to heat up, it means that what is known as moving season has officially begun. May through September is when most people and families move so this is generally the busiest time of year for moving companies. The warmer weather frees up roads from extreme weather conditions and the break in school is often an ideal time to relocate if you have children without them missing any school.

With many moving companies being booked to full capacity during this time it is an ideal scenario for what is known as rogue movers to strike. These moving companies are operating outside the law without the proper paperwork or a proper conscious. Often times they will severely damage, ransom or all together steal your items.

Moving Authority has made it their mission to do a background check on all the moving companies that are reviewed on their site and only connects consumers with reputable moving companies.

In addition, Moving Authority creates helpful and informative articles and videos that help to educate the public on how to spot rogue movers and stay safe during this summer of 2017.

7. But Wait, There's More!

Moving Authority knows that June marks the official start of summer, along with rogue movers in the industry as they attempt to take advantage of unsuspecting customers.

Moving Season, as it is known, is from May-August but June marks the height of the season with the official date of summer coming up on the 20th of this month. Moving Authority wants to remind everyone to stay safe and make sure to hire reputable movers near you.

Moving Authority has always made it their mission to educate the public on how and what to look for when hiring movers. Their website gives you all the information that you need to avoid being a victim of rogue movers this summer.

8. Does The Company Have An Actual Address?

Do they answer their phone with a generic “movers”? This is common for rogue movers because they want to stay vague to avoid being found after they pull their scams.
All moving companies must have a USDOT number, which is a United States Department of Transportation number that means they are a legally registered moving service. This number should be displayed on their website as well as their trucks.

9. Did This Company Quote You Significantly Lower Than Others?

 Usually, a low-ball estimate means that this company cuts cost by cutting corners. Rarely is this the actual price you will pay in the end.

10. Is There No Name On The Moving Truck?

 This is a definite red flag that there is something wrong with this company.

11. Did You Get Everything In Writing?

 Do not let the movers take your things on a ‘handshake’ deal. Legally everything should be in writing and make sure that you have all your paperwork and the companies “moving tariff” which is simply a menu of services and their prices.

12. How Long Has The Company Been In Business?

This is not to say all new movers are suspect. But, in the moving business so many companies come and go, especially over the summer. Most companies will want to display or promote their years of experience as a selling point.

13. Take All Of These Factors Into Consideration

Moving Authority continues to strive to eliminate rogue movers from the marketplace. This is no small task but Moving Authority makes sure to do their homework on each and every moving company that you can find on their site. They don’t list companies at random but rather put in the time and research to make sure the companies match all the legal requirements the United States Department of Transportation sets for them.

Use Moving Authority as a resource so this summer your move is as painless as possible. Hire real moves and save yourself from the common moving scams that plague this industry.

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In American English, the word "truck" has historically been preceded by a word describing the type of vehicle, such as a "tanker truck". In British English, preference would lie with "tanker" or "petrol tanker".

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 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.

With the partial deregulation of the trucking industry in 1980 by the Motor Carrier Act, trucking companies increased. The workforce was drastically de-unionized. As a result, drivers received a lower pay overall. Losing its spotlight in the popular culture, trucking had become less intimate as some unspoken competition broke out. However, the deregulation only increased the competition and productivity with the trucking industry as a whole. This was beneficial to the America consumer by reducing costs. In 1982 the Surface Transportation Assistance Act established a federal minimum truck weight limits. Thus, trucks were finally standardized truck size and weight limits across the country. This was also put in to place so that across country traffic on the Interstate Highways resolved the issue of the 'barrier states'.

In 1999, The Simpsons episode Maximum Homerdrive aired. It featured Homer and Bart making a delivery for a truck driver named Red after he unexpectedly dies of 'food poisoning'.

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.

The American Trucking Associations initiated in 1985 with the intent to improve the industry's image. With public opinion declining the association tried numerous moves. One such move was changing the name of the "National Truck Rodeo" to the "National Driving Championship". This was due to the fact that the word rodeo seemed to imply recklessness and reckless driving.

Within the world of transportation, bypass routes are often very controversial. This is mostly due to the fact that they require the building of a road carrying heavy traffic where no road existed before. This has created conflict among society thus creating a divergence between those in support of bypasses and those who are opposed. Supporters believe they reduce congestion in built up areas. Those in opposition do not believe in developing (often rural) undeveloped land. In addition, the cities that are bypassed may also oppose such a project as reduced traffic may, in turn, reduce and damage business.

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.

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.  

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues Hours of Service regulations. At the same time, they govern the working hours of anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in the United States. Such regulations apply to truck drivers, commercial and city bus drivers, and school bus drivers who operate CMVs. With these rules in place, the number of daily and weekly hours spent driving and working is limited. The FMCSA regulates the minimum amount of time drivers must spend resting between driving shifts. In regards to intrastate commerce, the respective state's regulations apply.

The USDOT (USDOT or DOT) is considered a federal Cabinet department within the U.S. government. Clearly, this department concerns itself with all aspects of transportation with safety as a focal point. The DOT was officially established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, beginning its operation on April 1, 1967. Superior to the DOT, the United States Secretary of Transportation governs the department. The mission of the DOT is to "Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life for the American people, today and into the future." Essentially this states how important it is to improve all types of transportation as a way to enhance both safety and life in general etc. It is important to note that the DOT is not in place to hurt businesses, but to improve our "vital national interests" and our "quality of life". The transportation networks are in definite need of such fundamental attention. Federal departments such as the USDOT are key to this industry by creating and enforcing regulations with intentions to increase the efficiency and safety of transportation. 

Although there are exceptions, city routes are interestingly most often found in the Midwestern area of the United States. Though they essentially serve the same purpose as business routes, they are different. They feature "CITY" signs as opposed to "BUSINESS" signs above or below route shields. Many of these city routes are becoming irrelevant for today's transportation. Due to this, they are being eliminated in favor of the business route designation.

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".

Throughout the United States, bypass routes are a special type of route most commonly used on an alternative routing of a highway around a town. Specifically when the main route of the highway goes through the town. Originally, these routes were designated as "truck routes" as a means to divert trucking traffic away from towns. However, this name was later changed by AASHTO in 1959 to what we now call a "bypass". Many "truck routes" continue to remain regardless that the mainline of the highway prohibits trucks.

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 year of 1977 marked the release of the infamous Smokey and the Bandit. It went on to be the third highest grossing film that year, following tough competitors like Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Burt Reynolds plays the protagonist, or "The Bandit", who escorts "The Snowman" in order to deliver bootleg beer. Reynolds once stated he envisioned trucking as a "hedonistic joyride entirely devoid from economic reality"   Another action film in 1977 also focused on truck drivers, as was the trend it seems. Breaker! Breaker! starring infamous Chuck Norris also focused on truck drivers. They were also displaying movie posters with the catch phrase "... he's got a CB radio and a hundred friends who just might get mad!"

The rise of technological development gave rise to the modern trucking industry. There a few factors supporting this spike in the industry such as the advent of the gas-powered internal combustion engine. Improvement in transmissions is yet another source, just like the move away from chain drives to gear drives. And of course the development of the tractor/semi-trailer combination.   The first state weight limits for trucks were determined and put in place in 1913. Only four states limited truck weights, from a low of 18,000 pounds (8,200 kg) in Maine to a high of 28,000 pounds (13,000 kg) in Massachusetts. The intention of these laws was to protect the earth and gravel-surfaced roads. In this case, particular damages due to the iron and solid rubber wheels of early trucks. By 1914 there were almost 100,000 trucks on America's roads. As a result of solid tires, poor rural roads, and a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour (24km/h) continued to limit the use of these trucks to mostly urban areas.

Some trailers can be towed by an accessible pickup truck or van, which generally need no special permit beyond a regular license. Such examples would be enclosed toy trailers and motorcycle trailers. Specialized trailers like an open-air motorcycle trailer and bicycle trailers are accessible. Some trailers are much more accessible to small automobiles, as are some simple trailers pulled by a drawbar and riding on a single set of axles. Other trailers also have a variety, such as a utility trailer, travel trailers or campers, etc. to allow for varying sizes of tow vehicles.