May 3, 2006 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Do you have any recommendations on how to move from NYC to Tuscon?

I'd like to use movers, although I have no idea where to start. Do you have any moving companies you'd recommend? Are there cheaper options that I should know about (hiring a shipping container, etc.)? Are there companies I should avoid? (posted for a friend)
posted by bshort to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We're looking at using ABF U-Pack for our Virginia - Seattle move. It looked to be about $1000 less than a U-Haul and seems to have gotten good reviews. With gas hitting $3 a gallon, and U-Haul trucks being notoriously fuel-inefficient (and unreliable) this seems like the way to go.
posted by trey at 9:33 AM on May 3, 2006

I used Upack for a GA to VA moves years ago with absolutely no problems. The drop a pup container at your house on a Friday - you have all weekend to load it, and then they come back on Monday, pick it up and drive it to where you are going. Works the same way at the destination.
posted by COD at 9:39 AM on May 3, 2006

I've made a number of moves... my last one was to NYC from DE. Being both cheap and paranoid about handing over my worldly possessions to moving companies, I've found a compromise to doing the whole thing myself.

I rent the truck myself (U-Haul sucks, try Penske), then hire people on both ends to help me load and unload. I do the driving myself. Craigslist is great for finding movers, and I think the cost for unloading my 20 foot truck with two guys was about $100 including tip.
posted by kimdog at 9:49 AM on May 3, 2006

I found moving scam to be VERY helpful. Check out the message boards and ask for recommendations there -- the moderators are very helpful and there's a list of companies that are "blacklisted". They also have helpful moving tips, etc.
posted by echo0720 at 10:45 AM on May 3, 2006

Do you have any recommendations on how to move from NYC to Tuscon?

I'd use a truck. Thanks, I'm here all week, tip your servers well.

Seriously - be very, very careful if you're hiring movers. There are all sorts of sites out there that will rate the various companies, but a general rule of thumb is, if you haven't heard of them (if it's not Allied, Mayflower, etc...), be skeptical. I got scammed to the tune of $1700 by movers a few years back, and since then I only do it myself, Kimdog's way. Craigslist is good for stuff like that.
posted by pdb at 10:46 AM on May 3, 2006

The relative expenses (movers versus U-Pack versus rental truck) fluctuate widely as real-time market demands change. You can get wildly different quotes from day to day.

If you opt for a rental truck, kimdog is right; Penske's the best.
posted by tangerine at 11:21 AM on May 3, 2006

I have tips.

1. Read this: Basically, you get what you pay for. Don't trust Joe's Movers based out of BFE who for $200 will pack up your stuff, load it in their truck, and move it across country for you. I once spoke on the phone to a very professional company based in Florida (the name slips my mind) who promised all that, and after checking, I found out I almost got scammed.

2. Use Penske! By far the best do-it-yourself moving company. First, all their trucks are not more than 18 months old, and they have great service if your truck breaks down (they'll be there within 2 hours). Never, ever, ever use UHaul, or any other equally cheap service. Have you seen some of the shitty UHaul trucks around? Damn. It's like they just picked it up from the junkyard. Penske trucks are superb. Trust me. of all, Penske will give you a 30% discount off of the listed quote, if you just ask for it. Seriously, the conversation I had for them went like this:

Me: I need a quote for a truck, going one way from Minneapolis to New York City.
Them: Looks like that will be $900.
Me: I heard that if I asked you to give me 30% off, you would. Will you?
Them: Um, let me check...[pause] Yes, that is correct. That new price with the discount is $630.

3. Check with your major credit cards and see if any provide liability insurance for car & truck rentals (lots do). If so, by charging the rental on said credit card, you don't need to fork out an extra benjamin for insurance through the rental agency.

Good luck!
posted by jeffxl at 11:49 AM on May 3, 2006 [5 favorites]

I've moved several times with U-Haul and each time I've had horrible experiences. The last time I delivered the truck back to U-Haul with smoke pouring from under the hood. We found the battery had been replaced but not secured. During the drive it had slid over and against the fan belt. The smoke was the melted & burned battery casing. A few more miles and it probably would have exploded - very likely causing an engine fire.

Up until the nearly-exploding battery & burning truck incident my biggest gripe had been the stoned slackers who work the desk... I think every time I've done business with U-Haul they have either lost my reservation or forced me to take a different sized truck other than the one I reserved.

I'm not some super demanding consumer... but this is just the truck rental biz... hard hard can it be to do right?

(Thanks for the tips on Penske, btw.)
posted by wfrgms at 2:03 PM on May 3, 2006

If you are going to use movers go with one of the big national chains and you are less likely to get ripped off. I am moving (to Tucson oddly enough) this summer and am using Graebel. One thing to note, summer is the peak time for movers, so they charge peak rates, and have long pickup and delivery windows.

Movingscam is a useful site. Follow their tips and you will be fine. Make sure you get multiple quotes, and that the estimates you get are binding, not-to-exceed estimates.
posted by bove at 2:13 PM on May 3, 2006

When last I moved in the states, binding quotes were mandatory by federal law. As this is interstate, federal law is supreme. But that was about 10 years ago, so law may have changed.

Even the best companies can have crappy people. Cut them no slack, they won't cut you any. If they break it, make them pay. It is unlikely they will loose anything. I've moved cross-country, with movers, 3 times. There are always annoying problems. (goodness, I just realized, I've also done it internationally 3 times). I have usually had the luxory of expenses-paid moves that included packing.
posted by Goofyy at 11:22 AM on May 4, 2006

welcome to Tucson, bshort and bove. I found this thread looking for a way out. very helpful all, thanks.
posted by carsonb at 7:56 AM on June 15, 2006

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