Long distance mover recommendations in Los Angeles?
April 5, 2018 9:08 AM   Subscribe

Moving from Los Angeles to Chicago. Need a good mover to help my stuff get from point A to point B.

Moving from Los Angeles to Chicago (big change!). I'm looking for a reliable long-distance mover who'll get my stuff to Chicago safely and in a not-too-long length of time.

Who did y'all use? Any recommendations?
posted by huskerdont to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you're not working through an employer's relocation contract (where the movers have incentive to not be flaming shitbags) I cannot say strongly enough that movers are a scam. It will look more expensive on paper to use moving pods and hire day labor on each end to fill/empty it, but when your moving truck pulls over one or more times and claims they need another $500 to keep coming, you'll lose whatever savings you thought you were getting.

Make sure you hire the best rated day labor you can find, or ask for recs. This is all about hiring Tetris Masters to load up every inch of your storage pod as efficiently as possible.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:42 AM on April 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Completely agree with Lyn Never about formal relocation services through an employer versus the gamble with privately hired movers. Be very honest with yourself about the worth of your belongings. When I moved from Chicago to California, I calculated the value of my furniture and stuff (I had a large apartment with 3 bedrooms) and what it would cost to move it securely. The move would cost more than the replacement cost of virtually everything I had. I purged and started over with only a van-full of stuff (I bought the van in Chicago, filled and drove it across and sold it in CA for what I bought it for).
posted by quince at 10:37 AM on April 5, 2018

Response by poster: Unfortunately pod is not an option--we have to use a mover for logistical reasons (live on a busy commercial street with weird parking rules).

Relocation contract involves reimbursement from employer, with hiring a mover up to us.
posted by huskerdont at 10:45 AM on April 5, 2018

I'd check out movingscam.com (the site started to help people avoid moving company scams.) They have a list of recommended companies as well as a forum with user reviews. You might check out Corrigan Moving Systems, which is based in the midwest. I saw at least one review in the forum of someone who moved from San Diego to the midwest with them, so they cover that area. Please note: I have never used them, they just caught my eye because of the midwest thing.
posted by bluecore at 11:21 AM on April 5, 2018

I have to disagree with Lyn and quince. I have moved cross-country seven times, four times under a relocation contract and three times on my own, and I did not find any serious difference, and I was always more or less contented (say, six B's and an A-). You will want to find a local mover affiliated with a cross-country company. In my case, the cross-country company was most often Allied, but it was the local company that did almost all the work, and gave me a single number to call when I had questions or needed help. If you have items that need special handling (I had a baby grand piano and some valuable works of art), be sure to let them know right away.
posted by ubiquity at 11:22 AM on April 5, 2018 [2 favorites]

I did the same move a few years back through Berger-Allied, in Fullterton: (www.bergerallied.com,
714-449-6664.) Tony Humphries was the particular guy we spoke with, but I don't imagine it matters. We chose the "you pack the boxes, movers put them on a large shared truck" option. I think there was a few-day delivery window, but we barely had enough time to get the keys before they arrived, despite driving flat out with a cat in the car the whole way.

They weren't the cheapest option, but they did a fine job and were happy to directly bill my employer in Chicago. We had the same driver and assistant on both ends of the trip, and they seemed perfectly straightforward and professional. The local staff who joined them on each side were competent and not obviously unhappy. We had a one bedroom apartment and also bunch of very strange and heavy art objects and art-studio equipment traveling to two different addresses in Chicago. Everything was in great shape and in the right place. They handled tight alleys and cramped freight elevators easily.

We did discover at the last moment that getting parking permits was our responsibility rather than something the company does. If you need that, plan early!

On edit: sorry my link is breaking line wrapping. In the interest of not breaking things even more before the edit window closes, I'll leave it alone.
posted by eotvos at 11:26 AM on April 5, 2018

Seek an estimate from Graebel. They are the only moving company that owns and runs their entire operation, nationwide (as contrasted with any number of truly local shops who simply operate under a big national name). This means that EVERYONE who works for them has been carefully vetted. It also means that everyone follows the same rules and policies when it comes to caring for your stuff. None of that "not my problem" excuse-making.

Graebel's prices will not be the cheapest, obviously.
posted by John Borrowman at 11:55 AM on April 5, 2018

We moved from Chicago to California and my husband's firm did not have an official relo anything (although we did get some reimbursements) and it was totally fine.

We used UPack (ReloCubes which I think are about the same size as the smallest Pods) and had local movers on both ends. However, UPack had a Terminal to Terminal option which meant you could take a moving truck to their facility and load up your cubes (or trailer space). Might be worth looking into.
posted by sm1tten at 7:49 PM on April 5, 2018

2 cross country moves originating from Los Angeles here. I used north star moving both times. They were fast, affordable and reliable. They should have an affiliate in Chicago... as this is what they do. They get your stuff, ship it as freight, and then a local affiliate mover in Chicago brings it to your new home.
posted by pazazygeek at 8:02 AM on April 6, 2018

Seek an estimate from Graebel.

Graebel Van Lines is bankrupt. Graebel Relocation Services is still viable company but they are relocation focused and not a van line so not an option.

If you have the money find an agent through a big provider. They will never be cheapest but they are honest.

posted by lstanley at 3:02 PM on April 6, 2018

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