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Moving During Covid-19

What To Know About Moving During The Coronavirus Pandemic

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected every industry in the United States and abroad, with the moving industry being no exception. Though moving companies are being considered as an essential business in most places at this time, it is important to remember that the guidelines can change based on new information or unexpected spikes in cases in certain areas. This is a confusing and difficult time for people and businesses around the world and it’s important to us at A-1 Auto Transport that our customers understand the necessary preparation and precautions to take when moving during the current pandemic.

Due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential that you regularly check guidelines and regulations, both with the moving company you use and the local government in the area you plan to move. If you plan to move long distance, this applies even more; if you’re moving internationally, even more so. Regularly checking for information from health organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is highly recommended for anyone planning to move and the further your move, the more important that you do so. The American Moving & Storage Association (AMSA) has a terrific resource about moving during COVID-19 that you should also reference if you plan to relocate in the near future.

Best Practices For Moving During COVID-19

Consult with the moving company you’re using to see if they have any special guidelines that need to be followed. Many companies are now offering what is called contactless moving, meaning that there is no contact between you and the movers. In addition, contactless moving services ask that you not be present when the movers are doing the loading and unloading of your items.

Another best practice is to keep plenty of cleaning supplies on hand before, during, and especially after the move is completed. Even if you use a contactless moving service, you’ll still want to sanitize any boxes and furniture that were handled in your absence. Keep things like Lysol disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer well on hand for your own safety and wipe down everything before handling it. Thoroughly washing your hands throughout the unpacking process is also highly recommended.

Ask the moving company what precautions they are taking before hiring them. Important questions include whether they use masks and gloves while doing the job, as well as if they do any health screenings of their employees. Even if they’re not health care workers, it’s important that they use personal protective equipment to minimize risk, as well as thoroughly sanitizing their trucks between moving jobs. If a moving company is taking all of these steps, odds you’ve found a company that is taking their role seriously during the pandemic.

If possible, it’s recommended that you leave three days in between when your items are dropped off and when you handle them. According to currently medical advice, the virus is not nearly as potent on surfaces after a three day waiting period. If you feel that you are experiencing any symptoms that may indicative of COVID-19 (fever, dry cough), you should not move until your symptoms have cleared and, ideally, you have been tested to confirm that you do not have the virus.

Due to travel concerns, it’s advisable to travel by car rather than plane, even if moving long distance. Airports and airplanes are already a risky proposition when it comes to getting sick and with current developments, they present a legitimate health risk for anyone who flies. If you happen to be moving overseas or to another country, you may not have the luxury of skipping out on air travel, in which case you should take every precaution possible. The U.S. Department of State has international travel guidelines and regulations that you should consult if this is the case.

The final piece of advice we can offer is to have a contingency plan in case of delays caused by the Coronavirus. If one of the workers at the moving company or someone in your own family comes down with something, you may find yourself between homes for a brief period of time. If all proper guidelines are followed, the chances of this happening are very low, but it’s always better to be prepared for a worst case scenario than have to figure out what to do on the fly. Make a note of any hotels with availability that may be on your route as you travel and keep enough of your essential items on hand to get by for at least two weeks to be best prepared.

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Auto Transport Trailer

Types Of Auto Transport Trailers

Passenger vehicles can be transported via truck using auto transport trailers. This type of trailer is also known as a car hauler or vehicle-carrying trailer.

Modern designs are separated into either enclosed or open. The majority of commercial trailers are equipped with integrated ramps that facilitate the loading of vehicles, and with power hydraulics that lower and raise ramps to ensure separate accessibility.

Commercial auto transport trailers

Vehicle carrying trailers sized for commercial purposes are mainly transporting new vehicles from manufacturers to car dealerships. However, another big industry in the United States is the transportation of second-hand cars. It’s used by owners that opt to ship their vehicles, as opposed to driving them for relocation, and even by buyers that purchase used cars (especially on the online market) and need someone to transport them to their address.

Similarly to most semi-trailers, the majority of commercial car haulers are attached to tractors through a fifth-wheel coupling system. Enclosed trailers possess walls, just as conventional box trailers, that ensure more protection to shipped cars while being detrimental to their shipping capacity.

Open trailers allow a greater carrying capacity through their common design with a skeletal steel tube at the cost of greater exposure of the cargo to external elements. A typical commercial carrier fits 5 to 9 vehicles, depending on the size of the cars and the model of the trailer (up to a maximum weight cap of 80,000 lbs. and limited to road vehicles according to U.S. law). However, in other parts of the world they have vehicles with a higher-capacity driving on public roads such as the side-by-side Chinese loading model.

Open commercial vehicle trailers are usually designed with two decks, each of them being subdivided into multiple storage and loading ramps that may be lifted and tilted independently of each other with hydraulic devices. Unlike flatbed towing trucks that usually transport non-driving cars, vehicle carrier trailers do not have winches or loaders, but rely on cars being driven during the loading process.

The hydraulic device of the trailer allows the alignment of the ramps on slopes, which ensures the driving and securing of vehicles with chains, wheel straps, or tied-down ratchets to the ramp floor. Afterwards, optimizing the stacking can be done by tilting the ramp in the needed direction.

Loading cars on the upper deck of any two-deck commercial trailer is done by tilting and hydraulically lowering the rear part of the upper deck in order to form a drive-up ramp directly onto itself. The upper deck is by default loaded in the beginning of the process and unloaded last. This is done because having vehicles on the bottom deck makes it impractical to form the drive-up ramp by lowering the upper deck.

Vital and optional equipment

The hydraulic device of the trailer is operated by a designated box mounted directly onto the trailer.

Some trucks have a special “overhead” meant to expand the storage capacity. These stinger units, as the trucks are called, have the extra storage unit fixated above the cabin, being accessible solely from the upper ramp of the vehicle carrier trailer. It makes it possible to load up to three cars: two over the tires and 1 on the roof.

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Boats on the river

Boat Shipping Costs

Boat owners, just like any other people who own vehicles, may not want to sail them if the distance is too large or if they lack time. If you’re moving to another state or country or just leaving for a few months for work or a vacation, you may not have time to invest in sailing your boat. Furthermore, if the transport must be carried on land, then sailing it will not be possible.

For these situations, you can call a shipping company. Most new clients worry about the price, but it’s rarely as high as you might imagine. It can also be negotiated and adjusted through discounts, cheaper methods, and/or comparing quotes. Next, we will discuss what factors affect boat shipping costs, and which options are cheaper.

Mode of Transport

Boat shipping companies use three main modes of transportation for their services: by road, by sailing the boat itself to the destination, or by ship. The shipping cost is different for each mode. Sailing is the cheapest choice for the transport of large ships, either in the middle of the ocean or over short distances. Although road transportation is a common choice when moving boats over long routes, when going to a destination with poor road infrastructure, it may be better to ship them by sea. The type of transportation used and the distance that must be covered play a significant role in defining the total cost of the shipment.

Method of Transport

Another element that influences the total cost of the boat’s transport is the shipping method chosen by the service providers. Roll-on roll-off shipping and container shipping are two of the most widely used methods of boat transportation.

Container Boat Transportation

The cost of using containers is influenced by the amount of ships loaded in it. You can opt for full services, and your boat will be exclusively hosted in a container. Or, you can choose the shared service or groupage container service, and your boat will be loaded together with multiple others. The groupage option is ideal for people that have to stay within budget, but it does not provide the same security level as an exclusive container service.

Roll-On Roll-Off Boat Transportation

With this transportation mode, the boat gets loaded on a trailer and then rolled on a cargo ship. When it arrives at the delivery site, the trailer will roll off. This method is cheaper than container boat shipping.

Besides the type of transport used, other factors need to be considered: the distance that needs to get covered, the volume or weight of the boats that will be shipped, as well as the weather forecast at departure and during the voyage.

Boat Value

Boat shipping companies take into account the value of the cargo when they calculate the cost of its transport, as it holds importance for obtaining an insurance policy. New ships have a higher value on the market. Therefore, their transportation costs are higher than those of second-hand ships.

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Moving day

35 Industry Secrets to Save Money on Your Move

The time and money you invest in your move can be reduced if you follow a few industry secrets. In this article, we’ll cover how you can save money. The following tips may require a larger time investment on your part or for certain things to work in your favor. However, even if your circumstances aren’t helpful, you’ll still find plenty of ways to save money.

1) Stay organized.

It’s easy to lose track of your finances when moving. Have a notebook where you track all of your expenses, where you list items you need to buy and tasks you need to accomplish. You’ll save time by staying on track and avoiding delays just as much as by using discounts and looking through different offers.

2) Take advantage of the off season.

Starting with October and ending in April, you’ll find most moving companies lower their price and/or release discounts. The weather discourages people from moving during this season, but because employees still need to be paid, movers will try to obtain your patronage in any way they can.

3) Check for cancellations.

If someone cancels their move, the company will probably be much more open to negotiations in order to fill the gap in their schedule. If you’re set on moving on a particular date, you can contact different companies and check if they’ve had cancellations. Then, you can offer to take the place of their last client in exchange for a reduction in price.

4) Get a container

When using a truck, you’ll have to load your belongings on the same day it arrives. This can be difficult to do on your own. You may be left with no choice but to rely on the movers’ help to load everything which will increase costs.

However, if you request a container, they can come by a week in advance and leave it in front of your home. Afterwards, you can take as much time as you need to pack your belongings and load them.

5) Research your options.

Just because you must pay your movers, it doesn’t mean doing it yourself will cost you any less. In many cases, paying a bit for your packaging materials, sacrificing some work time, paying for the rented truck, fuel bills, etc. add up to more than what a professional service will cost. The best way is to calculate all the costs of a DIY move versus what the quote from our company is, and then see for yourself which is cheaper.

6) Get combo deals.

Some movers offer moving trucks and storage as part of the same deal. You may even be able to rent the truck. Remember to ask about any other deals they may have available.

7) Get bundles on your digital services.

You’ll need an internet connection at your new home. Since you’ll be searching for a provider, it’s good to compare offers and get the best deal. Bundles are popular, and you can get some great discounts if you take the time to look for them.

8) Rent a truck.

If you’re moving to the other side of town, you can save some money by renting a truck. You won’t have to drive it across several states, so fuel expenses and time concerns won’t be a problem.

9) Request a fixed moving fee.

The quote you receive from your movers is not the actual price, but an estimate created by taking into account the size of your home, where you’re going, and various other factors. However, you may be able to obtain a fixed price in certain situations. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’ll pay, and there’s no chance of the price getting bigger on the moving date. On the other hand, you may end up losing money if the initial estimate was larger than what you’d have to pay for moving your property.

10) Avoid the beginning or end of a week or month.

When setting a moving date, it’s good to avoid weekends and Mondays. The first and last weeks in a month tend to be busy too. Most people choose these periods out of convenience. The competition is higher and so is the price.

11) Buy recycled boxes.

There may be people who’ve just moved into your neighborhood. They likely have a lot of boxes and packing materials they no longer need and would be willing to sell them for next to nothing. You can also search for used boxes online.

12) Get moving insurance.

If you pack your items, the movers won’t offer insurance. However, you can get it from another source. This way, you’ll recuperate your losses if something breaks. If you have no experience with packing, you may need additional protection.

13) Make sure there are no hidden fees.

Ask the company about it, check the contract, and ensure there are no surprises. If the movers try to give you what seems like a free service, confirm whether it’s actually free before accepting it.

14) Rags, linens, and blankets as packing materials

You can transport your blankets and some of your clothes in the same boxes as your dishes. You’ll keep your fragile items safe and save space at the same time.

15) Friends and family.

Instead of paying a steady fee to the movers to help with lifting the boxes, you can get friends and family for this task. Furniture can be especially heavy, so you may want to get several people in case 2 are insufficient. It will also help you save time.

16) Use large items as storage for smaller ones.

Drawers can hold numerous smaller items inside them. Most of the gaps in your furniture can be used for the same purpose. However, make sure there is sufficient padding between the smaller and the bigger items, so they won’t damage each other.

17) Socks as containers.

Very small items that are easy to lose can be stored within socks. They’ll protect them during the transport too, and you’ll save time and packing materials.

18) Get a neighbor to sell your items.

If someone is holding a garage sale next door, see if they can sell some of your old items. You can earn money without wasting time and get rid of unneeded clutter that would be costly to move.

19) Hold a garage sale yourself.

If you have the time, sell your items on your own. You’d have to give part of your earnings to your neighbor if you leave your items with him. When you want to take a break from packing, why not open up a stall? A good alternative is to sell them online.

20) Cheap packing supplies

It’s very convenient to get your packing supplies from the moving company, but it can be more expensive. You can find packing tape sold in bulk at department and office supply stores.

Use newspapers, gazettes, and used notebooks as free packing materials. If you buy a device that comes in a box and is surrounding by packing materials such as peanuts, keep those too and use them for the move.

21) Sleep at family or friends’ houses

Although it’s not recommended due to the risks involved, if you decide to drive a truck with all of your belonging across the US, you’ll need accommodation. It’s much cheaper and safer to stay with family and friends if they live on your path.

22) Negotiate.

The movers may be willing to negotiate, and it never hurts to try. However, if the answer is no or if they’re unwilling to go below a certain sum, you should respect their decision and move on.

23) Sell the boxes after the move.

You won’t need them anymore and they’ll just take up space. Instead of throwing them out, you can find buyers for them online.

24) Shut down utilities.

Close every contract you have with utility companies for your old home. Even if you’re selling it, make sure the bills are sent to the new owner and not to yourself. If you know the date or period when you’re moving out, you can schedule utilities to be interrupted the following month after your departure.

25) Measure your furniture.

You should check if your furniture can enter the new home and where it will fit. Make sure you have the exact dimensions and double check them at the location. If you cannot move your bed or wardrobe easily, it may better to sell it.

26) Move your non-perishables

If your food won’t rot during the trip, you might as well move it with your other belongings instead of throwing it away. You can even compare prices and transfer non-perishables that are noticeably more expensive in the state you’re going to.

27) Check for fuel sub-charges.

One type of hidden fee is fuel costs calculated/mentioned after the transport. Ask the movers about them just in case.

28) Reconsider moving heavy items.

You may be better off selling your workout equipment than moving it. Your items’ weight is a big factor in how much you’ll be charged for their move. If you own weights and other objects that are very heavy yet not that expensive, it may be better to sell and then buy new ones at the other location.

29) Find a free babysitter.

While you work on the move, you can get a family member or a trusted friend to guard your children. It’s a way in which friends can help even if they can’t assist with the lifting.

30) Check your appliances.

If your refrigerator is way past its warranty and it’s starting to malfunction, you’ll likely save more money by buying a new one. Appliances can be heavy and they break down in time. When did you buy them and how much did you use them? If some of your belongings are likely to break down in a few months, it may be cheaper not to move them.

31) Use the original package.

If you haven’t thrown away the box in which your TV arrived, it will be perfect for moving it. Any boxes you’ve saved from old appliances should be used for those appliances.

32) Cook for your movers.

You will need to feed your movers. Making them some sandwiches at home can be an economical alternative to ordering. If you do order meals, you can get cheap and tasty food such as pizza.

33) Get household items from the dollar store.

You may want to clean the house you’ve moved out of, so the future owners don’t find a mess. You may also need to do a lot of cleaning at your future home. You’ll need enough supplies for both houses, so you may want to get them for cheap.

34) Sell, donate, or throw it in the garbage.

After years of living in an apartment or house, most people have numerous items that used to be useful and are now just gathering dust on a shelf. Whether you forgot to throw them out or kept them as memorabilia, it’s a good time to remove them before they increase your moving costs. If it’s no longer useful and/or won’t fit in your new home, it’s best you get rid of it.

35) Take small items with you.

It’s important you don’t leave your documents and other essentials in a truck. However, you can take other small items with you too, especially if you think they’ll be useful as soon as you get to your new house.

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