Licensed moving companies follow strict guidelines to protect you, your family, and your belongings. As licensed movers, we are mandated by what we can charge per hour and per mile. Every moving company follows a tariff, which describes exactly what the charges must be based on certain parameters.
The best way to compare a company’s total costs is to look at their hourly rate and match them apples to apples. If one company offers 2 movers and a truck quote, get your next quote at 2 movers and a truck. Ask for mileage charges, when they start and stop the clock – basically, find out when they start charging you, and when they stop.
Some moving companies may have the same hourly rate. However, one may charge terminal to terminal, and the other may charge origin to destination. This makes a difference because you don’t want to pay for drive time when they don’t even have any of your possessions. Most licensed movers in Portland are trained to give you a non-binding estimate that best reflects the time it takes to move you entirely. While this is difficult for any estimator because of unknown elements and variable, we try our best.
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The reason I bring this up is that you may have to companies who charge exactly the same hourly rate, but their final estimates differ widely from each other. The biggest reasons for this is some estimators like to plan for the worst, while others low bid to earn your business.
After all, what are you going to do if your move goes over a couple hours? This is where it’s important to look at the overall picture, and ask important questions: What is their hourly rate? When does their clock start and finish? And what’s their online reputation?
Keep in mind that Portland movers are supposed to have background check done on all of their employees, and make sure all drivers pass a medical exam and have earned a medical DOT card. This ensures that movers in Portland are abiding by safety regulation while transporting your goods.
ODOT continuously audits licensed moving companies to make sure they are following the rules…but how do they know if companies are charging the correct rates? If a mover arrives at your door without filling out any type of paper work, this is a huge red flag, and you should send them on their way packing. As movers in Portland, we are required to give out a Bill of Lading (BOL). This BOL shows what rate you’re being charges, the times you’re being charged for, and your valuation declaration. This is important to have in writing so you know that the mover can’t change the rates on you mid-move.
Other than the fees paid to the state, and other small things, that’s pretty much what you need to know when it comes to hiring a licensed mover. This is why it is so important to know who you are hiring. I you’re curious, we’ve compiled a list of all licensed movers in the state of Oregon. You can see all the movers in Portland on the map above.