If you are moving in the Dallas area or looking for the right moving company for your move out of Dallas, you are in the right place.
Finding the best company to handle your move starts here. There are many companies to choose from, so you need the information to help you make the best selection. Understanding how movers and brokers work, how they price their services, and what regulations they abide by will help you pick the best one for your needs in the Dallas area.
Household goods movers, like other commercial motor carriers, are subject to regulations. Companies conducting any interstate moves must conform to the strict rules of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA. Intrastate moves (moves that do not cross over state lines, including any local moves) are regulated at the individual state level. In Texas, regional moving companies still need that federal DOT registration in addition to a Texas DMV number.
FMCSA and the Texas DMV have established regulations to ensure that moving companies are honest and transparent in dealing with consumers. Most complaints in Texas are filed in connection with unlicensed movers, so you have a better chance of achieving a positive experience with a licensed, regulated company. Ask any prospective move vendors to provide you with their DOT and Texas DMV number. You can look on the FMCSA website for information about the company’s safety record and any consumer complaints lodged against them.
Contact several Dallas moving companies to obtain estimates—you should get at least three estimates to compare. Registered movers will provide you with estimates that follow specific guidelines. The move estimate, which might be called a quote, will either be binding or non-binding. In Texas, it will include a maximum amount that you can be required to pay. A binding estimate means that the price will not change. A non-binding estimate is subject to change if the mover’s assessment of the time needed to complete the move (or the weight, in the case of an interstate shipment) is inaccurate. The moving company will come to your house and walk through it with you, surveying what will move and creating an inventory. The inventory needs to be complete, so review it carefully. Don’t settle for a phone conversation or filling out a form online—that is not a satisfactory way to get an accurate estimate.
Once you have the inventory, talk to the local moving companies you are considering about the additional services you may need. For example, you might want to include packing services, rather than doing the packing yourself. There are pros and cons to having the movers pack, and it may depend on how much time you have to get ready for the move. Professional movers are great at packing—they can get the job done quickly, and they know how to pack boxes so that your valuable possessions are well protected. They can pack your clothes in those handy wardrobe cartons, and they have the right materials to make the whole job look easy.
On the other hand, those professional movers are going to pack every single thing they come across—the textbooks you haven’t disposed of since you graduated from college, the clothes you meant to donate to the thrift store last year, and the board games your kids haven’t played since elementary school. Packing your house to move is an excellent opportunity to sort through your stuff and take a good hard look at what you want to keep and what it’s time to dispose of or donate. You miss out on that chance if you have the movers pack.
One thing that may help with the decision is thinking about protecting your goods from damage and loss. If you do the packing, the mover is not liable for damage to anything inside a box unless the container is damaged also. If they packed it, they are generally assuming responsibility for having done so correctly. You may want to have the mover pack important or fragile things like artwork. They can build crates designed to safeguard paintings and sculpture if you have these objects.
Liability is a complex topic and another reason to choose your mover carefully and verify that it is licensed and reputable. Your homeowners’ or renters’ coverage will usually not help you with anything that happens while your goods are in transit. The estimate will explain your choices for protection, which is how the industry refers to liability. It isn’t exactly insurance, but it is similar. For an interstate move or a local move in the State of Texas, the minimum liability that the company assumes is provided to you at no additional cost. But it is limited and may not be enough to compensate you for your loss if something you care about is lost or damaged by the movers. The statutory amount is $0.60 per pound. Sometimes a shady mover will make it sound like you can multiply that by the weight of the whole move, and that is what the maximum amount is that you can recoup if something is lost or damaged. In reality, the reimbursement of $0.60 per pound is limited to each item. So, a one-pound item can be replaced for up to sixty cents, and a 20-pound item can be replaced for no more than $12.00, even if it was a brand-new flat-screen television.
The movers will offer you replacement coverage for an additional cost, and you should consider it carefully. The coverage, exceptions and deductibles, and the price will be in the estimate. You need to list any individual items worth over $100 per pound on the inventory, and the overall shipment value needs to be determined and agreed on by you and the mover before loading starts. You can also look for third-party insurance as an option. Also, verify that the moving company you engage with has corporate liability and worker’s compensation coverage.
The moving industry peak season runs from spring through the end of summer. Movers are very busy during this time and may charge more to schedule a move as a result. Most families prefer to move when their children are not in school, which drives the summer home sales peak and the surge in moving that follows. People moving from one rental to the next also tend to move during the warmer months and cluster at the end of the month, since leases usually follow the calendar cycle. If you have flexibility in your move dates, you may be able to locate a bargain by offering to fill in a gap for a company you want to work with. That is a better way to save than by choosing a substandard vendor. Stick with a high-quality, registered organization that you can trust to do a great job with your valuable household shipment.