Moving FAQs

Below are some of the most common questions and answers regarding moving, responsibilities, Interstate transport, how much moving costs, how far in advance to schedule your move, and many more here at A Better Tripp.

What are the qualities of a reputable moving company?
  • Having an A+ with the Better Business Bureau
  • Having good online reivews
  • Being recognized for Angie’s Super Service Award
  • Being fully Bonded, licensed and insured and displaying your MCC 316547, US DOT 679167 and TxDot No 005972633C.

How soon should I call or schedule movers? (When should the moving company be called?)
For a long distance move, please give the movers a 15-30 day in advance of your preferred moving dates. The moving consultant needs to visit your home and get all of the details of the move and see all that will be packed and moved.

For local moves or intrastate (within Texas), a 7-10 day window is sufficient. If you are wanting a full pack and move, please reserve a date for a moving consultant to visit your home.

Are there regulations for motor carriers that offer interstate transportation?
FMCSA’s regulations apply to motor carriers that engage in the interstate transportation of household goods and brokers that arrange for such transportation. These regulations require your mover to perform certain services and provide you with specific documents. The regulations only apply to your mover when the mover transports your household goods by motor vehicle in interstate or foreign commerce, that's when you move from one State to another or internationally. The regulations do not apply when your move takes place within a commercial zone (defined at the end of this booklet) or between two points in the same State.

What's the difference between legitimate movers and brokers?
Legitimate movers and brokers are registered with FMCSA to engage in interstate operations involving the interstate transportation of household goods. A legitimate mover explains whether they are a broker or a mover. A household goods broker arranges for the transportation of your shipment but does not provide line-haul transportation. A household goods mover actually transports your shipment.

Is there a minimum on long distance moving?
No, there is no minimum on long distance moving and that’s why we ship from one item to a whole household of furniture.

Does your moving company do staging?
As movers, we do not do staging. Staging is the act of minimizing furniture, personal items and clutter to present your home in a way that is most desirable to prospective buyers. We can remove excess furniture and decorative items to help you stage your home.

Do you assemble and disassemble furniture?
Yes, we assemble and disassemble most furniture. Some items need to be assembled and disassembled by someone who specializes, such as some exercise equipment.

What size of moving trucks do you have?
For local Houston area and Texas moves, we use our 26’ air ride box trucks. For interstate moves we use our 28’ box trucks and 18 wheeler trucks.

What is a trip charge?
A trip charge is a flat fee that covers the transportation from our warehouse to the origin, and from the destination back to our warehouse.

What's packed in wood crates?
High end art, marble, antiques or any item can be crated that the customer wants such as pianos, pool tables slates, paintings, grandfather clocks, chandeliers etc.

What do I need to do before the movers show up?
Make sure everything is completely packed and ready to be moved.

What's storage in transit?
Storage in transit is temporary storage until the next location is available to accept the delivery.

What is the order for service?
The order for service is essentially a document that includes the estimated cost of the move, any special requests or extra services required, like packing or storage, and the scheduled pick-up and delivery dates of the move. Every moving company is required to provide you with a copy of this document prior to the move; however, it is not a contract.

What's the difference between a binding and a nonbinding estimate?
A Binding estimate is a written agreement made in advance with your mover. A Nonbinding estimate is what the mover believes the cost will be based on the estimated weight on the shipment and the services requested.

How do determine the cost of the local moves and long distance moves?
The cost for local moves are based on the number of men and trucks with an hourly rate. Long distance moving costs are decided by weight and distance.

What is an air ride truck?
It is a truck with an air ride suspension opposed to a spring ride suspension . It is and invaluable tool in the prevention of damage while cross country moving furniture and delicate items. Not all movers utilize air ride.

What are the customers responsibilities?
As a customer, you have responsibilities both to your mover and yourself, that include:
  • Reading all moving documents issued by the mover or broker
  • Being available at the time of pickup and delivery of your shipment. If you are not available you should appoint a representative to act on your behalf
  • Promptly notifying your mover if something has changed regarding your shipment (i .e . move dates, additional items)
  • Making payment in the amount required and in the form agreed to with the mover
  • Promptly filing claims for loss, damage or delays with your mover, if necessary

What should I know about the pick-up of my furniture for a move?
Be on hand when the movers arrive to answer questions and give direction. Read the bill of lading-the contract between you and the mover. You need to look at Mover’s description of your furniture on the inventory and ensure the mover denotes items that are chipped, dented or scratched. Driver’s Copy and Inventory copy must match up and all furnishings are listed. Keep it with you until your shipment is delivered, and all charges are paid. Have beds striped and ready to be packed. Defrost and dry refrigerators and freezers to be moved. Tell the movers how you can be reached by phone, text or e-mail.

What should I know about the payment of my furnishings?
On long distance moves the driver will ask for payment of transportation charges before the truck is unloaded. Local moves are collected after the move. If there are more than one shipment you pay all at once.

How’s the best way to help your children move into their new home?
Planning ahead and involving your children helps make the move go smoother. Let your children pack a special box of their favorite items with stickers and let it be one of the first boxes unloaded. Have a Family night of pizza the night before the move. Pictures of their new bedrooms will help get them involved and excited. Research your home’s city activities to visit such as museums, parks, lakes, or beaches.

How do you get rid of old stuff?
We deliver clients donations to Boys and Girls Country. Boys and Girls Country is a nonprofit organization for changing the lives of children whose families are in a Christian loving environment. You can have garage sales, sell your items on line or recycle.

Where do you get References from?
Better Business Bureau, Aggies List, Website, Yelp, and Referrals from family and friends.

Should I have everything in writing?
You should meet with the mover to discuss a written proposal of cost, liability coverage, packing, loading, and delivery and claims procedures. Read the bill of lading-the contract between you and the mover for the transportation for your shipment-before you sign it. Keep it with you until your shipment is delivered, all charges ae paid and all claims if any are settled. The proposal should also include when payment is due and what forms of payment are accepted.

What items should you toss?
Toss Items that are in boxes from your last move, gifts that you never opened, expired medicine and foods, paperwork of 7 years or longer, old magazines, books and opening cleaning chemicals. You go room to room to declutter.

What are important documents to keep?
Birth/death certificates Tax returns Social Security cards Credit card statements Passports Medical records Emergency contact information (insurance agents, doctors, family) Retirement savings statements Marriage certificates/divorce decrees Investment records Wills Bills Copies of your driver's license, green card, and other identification cards Paycheck stubs Copies of lifesaving prescriptions (like insulin, asthma inhalers, etc.) Bank statements List of bank account and credit card account numbers Warranty/rebate documentation Inventory of household goods Legal documents

What tax form do you use to figure out your moving expense?
Form 3903 is used to figure out your moving expense. The IRS allows you to deduct moving expenses if you move at least 50 miles from your old house and work full time for 39 weeks within the first 12 months of our move. You can deduct moving, traveling and lodging expenses.

Do you move cars and motorcycles?

What are registered movers?
Make sure the mover has been assigned a USDOT number is registered with FMCSA to engage in interstate transportation of household goods and has proper level of insurance.

What are some pre move checklist?
Send furniture, drapes and carpets for repair or cleaning. Arrange to have appliances and utilities disconnected in your home and arrange hookups for your new home. Make travel arrangements and hotel reservations for your trip. Arrange elevators for delivery day Take care of bills, stocks and bank account. If traveling by car, check your gas, tires, water, battery and wipers Pack an overnight bags.

Does the moving company have to come to your house to give a quote?
An in home moving estimate would be the most accurate estimate you would receive. We will send one of our Sales Consultant to survey all your household items. They will also help to see if you need additional packing, crating or storage.

You should receive during the survey:
Copy of written non-binding or binding estimate
Copy of US Department of Transportation Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move
Copy of Contact information of your sales Consultant

Do you dissemble furniture?
Yes we dissemble furniture and assemble furniture. We have a third party to connect and disconnect appliances.

What should I do before moving day?
Proper planning can save you time, money and stress. You want to have your home clean and organized. Create a detailed inventory of all the items you are moving. You want to make your checklist beforehand. Reserve an elevator or parking space for the movers on moving day. Plan someone to take care of your children or pets that day. Movers cannot move plants, pets, perishable items or hazardous items. Pack an overnight bag for all your immediate needs. You may want to pack coffee, coffee maker, spare sheets, towels, cleaning supplies, medicine, important documents, and spare clothes.

What is Order of Service?
Order of service is a document authorizing the Mover to transport your household goods.

What is Bill of Lading?
Bill of Lading is the contract between you and the mover. This is the customer’s receipt and contract for transportation. The customer’s signature acknowledges that the household goods can be loaded on the moving truck and released to the carrier. This should be given to you before the mover loads your household goods.

What is Gross Weight?
Gross Weight is that of the van and its contents after goods are loaded.

What is Storage in Transit?
Storage in Transit is the temporary storage of a customer’s household goods in the warehouse of the carrier’s.

What is A Survey?
A Survey is performed by the Agent to examine the customer’s goods in order to develop an estimate of move charges.

What are Inventory Sheets?
Inventory Sheets are a detailed list of the items in the shipment and the condition before the truck is loaded. The customer’s signature on the inventory acknowledges that the goods have been delivered in the same condition as received by the mover for transportation.

What are things you cannot ship?