Need Advice About Long Distance Moving Services

Thread Starter

Glenn Holland

Joined Dec 26, 2014
I'm planning to move abut 1800 miles from California to the Plains states.

I've contacted some of the "big name companies" and their prices seem to be about the same. So I'm considering finding a smaller company that does interstate moves.

However I don't want to deal with some Joe Sharkbait company that might give me an initial low price, but then I get held hostage down the road (figuratively and literally). In other words, I don't want to get a call that their truck ran out of gas and they need another $1000 or I will never see my furniture ever again!!! :eek::confused:

This will be about a 5000 Lb. load, however the move is from an apartment to a house and all of my stuff will be essential for my new home.


Joined Oct 3, 2010
I worked for a United Van Lines subcontractor during summer before my junior & senior year of HS. The guys that move your stuff are called "lumpers"; they're generally crack heads who only work when they feel like it. They are paid cash and they are not employees of the mover. They show up at the dispatch office in the morning and wait outside the gate for a driver to stop and pick them up for the day. kind of like the undocumented immigrants who wait outside home depot in the morning.

You get insurance with the move but if something comes up missing or broken it's still a process (some might say battle) to get paid. The mover will fill out a form documenting the condition of your goods before leaving your house. Make sure that everything of value that you own is on that manifest, or chances are it won't arrive at your destination. Make sure the mover doesn't document damage that isn't there.

It's hard to claim on that insurance because almost every person that moves, makes a claim, and usually it's bogus.


Joined Jan 18, 2008
I have used three options:
1) Rented a truck from Budget, UHaul, Ryder, etc. While that approach was popular in the 20th century, I suspect that today, it is advisable only for short distance moves.
2) Used "UShip" ( ) -- rates can be quite attractive depending on how hungry a driver is. All carriers are DOT licensed and insured. I have used it several times for single pieces of heavy or large equipment (e.g., a small excavator) with no problems. I have no relevant experience and would have some concerns about shipping a lot of individual items, unless they were pre-packed into a single crate. There are companies that now rent small containers you pack, then they pick up and deliver to your new location.
3) Used a freight bundler who leased me a 24' pup enclosed trailer. I had a few days to load and unload at each end of the move. Put my entire maintenance shop, including some heavy tools like a mill, lathe, welders, brake on the single trailer. Locked it up got a call when to expect delivery a couple of days later. As it turned out, the actual carrier was a UPS truck. Entire cost was about $1,000 for an 850-mile move, including going through Chicago. That was considerably cheaper than any truck rental would have been. Most important for me, there was no weight limit; although, weight is not an issue in your situation. Here's a picture of the trailer:

As luck would have it, it started raining the day the trailer was delivered for me to load. The original truck sent to move it got stuck, and it took quite an effort by two trucks to get it unstuck. There was no additional cost to me.

That was in 2007, and I don't remember the name of the freight bundler. After that experience, there is no way I will drive a rental truck the same or greater distance. In fact, from the West coast, it is likely your trailer would be loaded onto a rail car. They will rent/lease a partial trailer by the foot, but I do not know what short of inconveniences that might entail.

For what you describe, I suspect the best way would be to rent a small container or lease a full or partial pup trailer.