Riding with the moving company?
October 10, 2012 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Can I ask to ride with the movers?

I will shortly be moving from NJ back to NYC, and I do not have a car. My mother suggested that when I book the moving company, I ask if I can take the trip with the movers. This seems crazy to me.

I was planning on getting to my destination via public transportation (there will be someone waiting for the movers should I not get there before they do), and will probably opt to do that anyway, but my question is: is it even possible to ride with the movers? Is this something that people do? Thanks for any insight.
posted by EggplantPizza to Travel & Transportation (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's crazy. Normally there are three movers in the truck seats and no room for a fourth. And they are really not going to appreciate you sitting in with them.
posted by unSane at 6:28 PM on October 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

I did this once. They didn't seem too happy about it, but they didn't say no. If you want to (though it doesn't sound like you do), it can't hurt to ask
posted by neroli at 6:29 PM on October 10, 2012

A friend of mine did this in DC so I don't see why you wouldn't be able to there as long as there is room.
posted by fromageball at 6:31 PM on October 10, 2012

It's hard to imagine a reason you couldn't *ask*.

You can ask. They might say no.
posted by ManInSuit at 6:36 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can totally ask! Last time I moved in NYC one of the movers drove in independent of the truck and flat out offered to drive me over in his car. It was great! We talked about comic books.
posted by greenland at 6:40 PM on October 10, 2012 [6 favorites]

My movers offered in NYC. It's certainly common enough that you shouldn't feel embarrassed to ask.
posted by telegraph at 6:42 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just got to do this, but it might be a NYC thing. Everywhere else I've hired movers, I had to figure out how to get to the new location on my own.
posted by loriginedumonde at 6:43 PM on October 10, 2012

Sometimes movers collect your things, then go to another person's house and get their things. Then, deliver the other person's stuff (loaded last means delivered first), and then yours. In those cases, they would almost definitely say no.

Plus, it may be a safety violation for them (they don't know you, after all), and an insurance/lawsuit risk if there were an accident or problem. Plus, this is their job. Maybe they wanted to take a break or grab a lunch before delivering your stuff... a break from being around customers (you). You can ask, but I wouldn't because they aren't really running a taxi service.
posted by Houstonian at 6:49 PM on October 10, 2012

I've been to yes and no on that. They really don't want you to ride in the back anymore, for insurance reasons. Four in the front is not allowed either.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:50 PM on October 10, 2012

I asked once, and they said no (due to liability issues, they claimed).
posted by halogen at 6:53 PM on October 10, 2012

I've done four in the front before! It was a little crazy, but it worked out. I just asked nicely.
posted by suedehead at 6:54 PM on October 10, 2012

I also did this in NYC, I agree it might just be an NYC thing. Definitely ask!
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:02 PM on October 10, 2012

I used to be a furniture mover. I don't think the experience would be enjoyable for either you or the movers.

On the other hand, it also depends who is driving the truck. Many moving companies contract out to owner-operators with their own rigs, and these guys seem to be slightly more sociable than your average mover (who, in my experience, are really just a few steps in or out of jail).

So, if it's a guy with his own rig, I would say yes. If it's three guys in a 5-ton, no. The half year I spent with a moving company involved some of the most awkward silences of my life while riding in the cab of the truck.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:22 PM on October 10, 2012 [7 favorites]

I've moved twice in Toronto and both times the movers asked if I wanted/needed to ride along with them. I think it's more common in urban areas where it's less likely that individuals own cars.
posted by kate blank at 8:07 PM on October 10, 2012

The last time we moved (from Toronto to Buttfuck) I watched one of the movers start sniffing glue as the truck pulled away so, no, I wouldn't have wanted to be in that cab.
posted by unSane at 8:14 PM on October 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you do, don't forget to tip!
posted by blue_beetle at 8:20 PM on October 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

It totally depends on the movers. When I moved in NYC twice this year I used the same company and twice they insisted I ride with them instead of taking the subway. They were great. Do you have a company in mind? They are less fancy, not as much insurance etc, but they were fabulous. I don't have a lot of expensive stuff. Memail me if you want their contact info.
posted by the twistinside at 8:30 PM on October 10, 2012

I did this when I moved from Connecticut to NYC. I hired an NYC company. It was just two guys so there was room for me. I asked nicely and it was fine. I sat in the cab and we talked about Harlem.
posted by geryon at 10:22 PM on October 10, 2012

I've done this a couple times in NYC. One time a mover gave me a very cool jacket he had in his van after I commented on it,it was filthy and torn but I had it laundered and mended and I've had it for almost 20 years.

Of course these were like "man with a van" type movers not professional cross country movers.

I bet this is an NYC thing. Many people don't have cars, If you are forced to take th train you could end up arriving at the destination at very different times.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:38 PM on October 10, 2012

Yeah, I think it's a NYC thing. When I moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan I was all prepared to take the subway, but the movers offered me a spot in the cab of the truck like it was totally expected that I would ride with them.
posted by MsMolly at 7:36 AM on October 11, 2012

N-thing I've done this with small NYC moving companies four times. I haven't used a national organization though, or gone from NJ to NYC. Good luck!
posted by BigJen at 7:40 AM on October 11, 2012

I've worked for a large regional moving company (in the Northeast) and we were forbidden to have anyone not employed by the company in the truck.

There are very few reputable companies who are going to allow this and I would worry about entrusting my belongings to any company that did.
posted by cedar at 1:59 PM on October 11, 2012

One thing to point out is that you may be able to give them directions to where you're going, which spares them driving around looking for it. I've used that gambit twice.
posted by saysthis at 6:54 PM on October 13, 2012

Thanks, everyone! I'm still not sure what I'm going to do, but at least I know it's something that sometimes happens (if only in NYC).
posted by EggplantPizza at 8:34 PM on October 13, 2012

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