How To Select A Mover

Helping You Find a Dependable Moving Company

To download a printable version of the below content, please click these buttons to open a PDF of the specific sections.

Mover Selection Checklist

(Please print and give a copy to the Movers, also keep a copy in your move file)

Due to the number of rogue movers it is not recommended that you search online for movers but rather use our suggested preferred suppliers or national Van Line agents.

  • The mover should be affiliated with a major Van Line (Mayflower, North American, Allied, United or Atlas) for geographical coverage, stability, and responsibility.
  • The mover must do an in-home visual survey or a video survey. (video this form)
  • It is the Mover’s responsibility to identify any building access difficulties at origin and place any added costs on the estimate.

Moving Process

Long-distance moving is done over a number of days and you should expect to be in the process of moving over an extended period of time. In order to be prepared for your move the following is a quick overview of our industry processes. Your move coordinator is your best contact for specific information on your move. (International moves can take much longer and are not addressed in this article)

In-Home Survey:

A local representative or moving consultant will set an appointment to visit your home to view your goods and do a survey. They will ascertain the weight of your goods and size of your shipment. They will identify the need for special services, third-party services, automobile shipping, truck accessibility, dates, etc. It is important to fully disclose all of the goods being moved and discuss your preferred timelines. (Keeping in mind that there are set transit times, see below)


Packing this is the process of preparing and packing all the smaller items into boxes, pots, pans, dishes, clothing, paintings, etc. It also includes any special crating. In most cases, there is a packing team that comes to your home; in some case, the driver may provide the service. This service is at an additional cost and you may elect to do this yourself or ask for a partial pack of just breakable items. Items you pack are referred to as packed by owner or (PBO). 

Packing usually takes place a day prior to the move, all goods are packed, the beds are left up and the kitchen is left in a functional state, in that most of the items will be packed but some essentials can be left out, for example, a toaster and a few plates.

Pre Packing:

In the busy season, the mover may request to do a pre-pack, packing non-essential items like the garage ahead of time. On large moves, packing may take two or three days. 

Load Day:

Load day is when the goods are physically moved into the truck. The driver shows up with a crew to disassemble and pack the mattresses and the few items in the kitchen and load the goods. They will do an inventory of all the goods to be moved, referred to as tagging and listing or an inventory. The crew places a numbered colored tag on every box and item being moved. They list the item, and the corresponding tag number and the condition the item is in. They also identify any boxes that had been packed by owner as PBO on the inventory, prior to loading. This is the inventory of all your goods.

All everyday items are dissembled by the loading crew beds, tables, etc. and reassembled at destination. If special services are needed or electrical work required third party companies may be called in. The third-party company is contracted by the mover.

Third-Party Servicing:

Any third-party appliance servicing of items such as washer, dryer, TV, electrical fixtures, exercise equipment etc. are usually done on pack day by a third-party service company. Some exceptions are made based on the items needing servicing.

Important Transit Time:

When the truck is loaded, you will be running on what is referred to as a Transit Time Guide (TTG). Long-distance Moving trucks will almost always have several shipments on the truck.

Your goods are identified by the inventory and colored tag and are separated from the other shipments. The moving trucks in most cases do not directly drive to your destination unless your shipment takes up the entire truck, the load is expedited (you pay for an entire truckload), or there are other shipments going to the same town already on that truck. (Loading your goods into a container and shipping by a freight service may expedite the process but local pick and delivery may extend the timelines).

Be clear as to your door-to-door time lines. 

By law, our drivers can only log so many hours driving and in most cases, they are picking up or dropping off several shipments on route to your destination. The transit time accounts for that activity. (The smaller the shipment the longer the transit time, pack your patience). The driver will have a good idea of when the goods will arrive at the time of load but there are a number of variables involved.

Moving is done on a postal code to postal code or zip code to zip code basis so you always have variables. The driver will provide you with their cell number and you can always check with your move coordinator for schedule updates. If the driver exceeds the published transit time (TTG) the mover will pick up reasonable out of pocket expenses for the delay.

Auto Moving:

If the automobile is not on the moving truck with your goods it will be shipped third party. Third-party companies have their own transit times and the auto could take a longer or shorter time to arrive pending on when it is picked up, again check with your move manager for TTG on Autos.

Delivery Day:

The driver and crew will arrive to unload your goods, place the items in the proper room and reassemble the items they disassembled. When the goods arrive you will be given a bingo sheet (a list of numbers), and as your goods are delivered the crew will call out the number on the tag and you check off the number on the sheet. This ensures you get all the goods loaded. If a number is not checked off, the driver will sign the sheet indicating you are missing that item. If there is obvious damage, bring it to the driver’s attention. This expedites the claims process.


Unpacking may be done on the day of delivery however in most cases a unpack crew will be set up to come and unpack the following day. Like the packing crew at origin, the unpack crew unpacks the boxes and sets them on flat surface, they do not place items back in cupboards unless a premium shelf-to-shelf service has been paid for. If you decide to do some unpacking yourself the used boxes are picked up at a later date. Keep in mind that in the busy peak season it is sometimes difficult to get boxes picked up and in the USA there is a charge for pick up. Place boxes online for sale, for free or recycle them if you cannot wait for the Mover to get around to collecting them.


If you find any damages caused by the move report them at once. Call your move manager or your local destination agent and ask for the claims department. You have a month to report any damages but the sooner you get the process in motion the better. When you report the damages, you must keep the items, as the mover has to go through an insurance process ascertaining the goods were damaged in the move and ensuring the damage was caused by the mover. Important PBO boxes can be challenged as to the way they had been packed and unless there is obvious damage to the exterior of the box, PBO claims are for the most part declined.

Realistic Expectations:

Setting realistic expectations and staying in contact with your move manager is essential when moving. Keep the lines of communication open and your expectations realistic. Ensure your move manager has all of the most current contact information for each transferee. Movers want your goods delivered as safely and as efficiently as possible. There are many people and a great deal of logistical organization involved and hopefully, this will explain the process and set reasonable expectations.

10 Ways to Spot a Moving Scam

Be very careful when receiving moving quotes online. Some moving websites sell your information to anyone that will buy it. Be very cautious, although many unprofessional movers have professional looking websites these scam artists are easy to spot.

Here are 10 red flags when looking for a mover.

  1. If they have no address, be very careful. If they do have an address (looks under contact info on their web site, Google or search the address on google maps. If it is in a nondescript warehouse with no signs on the building, be very careful. Many of them show up as parking lots or abandoned buildings; do not use them period.

    Professional movers want people to know where their offices are, they encourage folks to visit their warehouse, they don’t hide in non-descript buildings with no office.

  2. If you see Trucks in the yard on Google Maps and they are white with no signs or contact info on the truck, be careful, again they may be hiding. Trucks are rolling billboards in the moving industry; names, numbers and email are all displayed proudly on reputable mover’s trucks; they want people to see them and find them.