FAQ

Are you Insured?

Yes! Cumulatively, we’re insured in the neighborhood of more than a million dollars or so. We have:

  • Auto insurance
  • Cargo insurance
  • General liability insurance
  • Workman’s compensation insurance

There’s probably more, but while I’m reflecting on the costs associated with the above insurance here, I’m depressed and don’t want to think about it.

Additional coverage

In order to make MTB closer in alignment to industry regulations, practices, policies, and procedures, we now offer additional forms of coverage at very competitive rates. For more on our additional coverage, please check out our insurance page.

Can you move my picture frames?

Yes, though it is highly recommended that you wrap them or pack them in picture frame boxes. The reason is two fold; one, it’s easier and faster for us to move/pack them in the truck that way, and two, we technically cannot be held responsible for “unpacked fragile items” that break during transport. We’ve moved thousands of “unpacked fragile items” with minimal casualties, and we always try to do the right thing, but it’s important that you’re aware we’re not technically responsible for unpacked items you have us move.

Do I need to empty my dresser?

It’s highly recommended. Generally speaking, it makes it easier for us to move, especially if we need to put it on end to get it around a tight corner. It’s particularly recommended for Ikea (and Ikea-like) dressers whose structural integrity is suspect to begin with, let alone when the drawers are packed with clothes. It’s also important to keep in mind that our insurance does not cover particle board furniture.

Do you accept tips?

We pride ourselves at being the best movers in the D.C. and Northern Virginia area and a tip is always a great way to let us know that we are living up to that standard. But, people always ask how much is customary, and I still don’t have an answer for that. $20 seems to be the minimum, but sometimes they guys have been very pleasantly surprised by $100 or more.

Ultimately it comes down to what you feel is good and whether they’ve earned it. Anything is much appreciated by the guys.

Do you disassemble and reassemble beds?

Yep! No extra charge beyond the normal hourly rate. However, keep in mind that beds requiring a lot of disassembling and reassembling can add significant time to a move. If it’s something you can’t or don’t want to mess with, my buddies will help you out, but if you’re really cost-conscious you might want to considering doing that part yourself.

Do you ever rent out your trucks?

Unfortunately, no. I’m pretty sure my insurance doesn’t cover that, and even if it did, we’re usually using the trucks. They’re also nearly my sole source of income, so I’m extremely nervous about letting them out of my sight.

If all you’re looking for is a truck rental service, I personally prefer Penske, particularly the 515 S. Van Dorn St. branch. They have a huge inventory and the folks there are incredibly friendly and helpful.

Rates seem to vary wildly between rental companies, so shop around. Pay attention to the mileage fees — you may only be moving 10 miles between points A and B, but you also have to drive the truck from the rental lot and back again. And if you get thrown off your route and have to take a massive detour, you’re going to wrack up mileage costs pretty quickly.

I have some other thoughts on the hows and whats of truck renting in our Moving Guide.

Do you help with packing?

Not yet.

I’m not ready to say “No, never,” but it’s not something I have a lot of experience with. I’ve always just dumped all my stuff in a box the night before moving day. (I know that a lot of you do the same thing, too. You know who you are…). I mostly avoid packing because it eliminates a lot of potential liability problems. We’re really good at safely transporting your boxed items from their place in your homes and taking them to your new homes. One thing I’ve learned while building this business is to stick with what you’re good at. So, for now, that doesn’t involve packing.

However, we partner with Janet over at Basic Organization. She does a fantastic job helping people get ready for their move, and getting their places in order afterward.

How (and for what) do you charge?

We try to keep it simple, and I think we do a pretty good job of it.

However, as with all simple things, we should probably flesh it out a bit. It seemed to make sense to compile all of the most frequent questions relating to charges in one mega-FAQ.

Two charges

For most of our standard moves (Point A to B, or A to B to C), there are only two charges, the base rate and the hourly labor rate.

The base rate: This is the charge for the first two hours. It is a flat fee based on the number of men required, the size truck needed, and the distance the move is from our headquarters in Alexandria, VA. The range for this fee is $455 (for close-to-HQ kinds of jobs) to $995 (for much larger jobs and/or jobs that start or end far from HQ). The exact fee will be specified in your estimate.

The hourly labor rate: This is the standard hourly rate we charge for work performed. They typically range from $140/hr and $280/hr depending on the number of men required. (Most jobs require only two men). After the second hour, it’s pro-rated by the quarter hour. So, for example, if a move takes two hours and fifteen minutes, we would call that 2.25 hours.

When we start charging

The crew starts the clock when they arrive at the pick-up location.

Charging stops when the last item is in place where the customer wants it. For example, if the last item is a couch, and the customer wants to see what it looks like in different places around the living room, the clock is still ticking while they feng shui it.

Deposits

Right now we don’t charge deposits.

Minimums

We charge a two-hour minimum on all jobs, which is about two hours less than the industry standard of three hours.

Travel Time

Only in some cases. In general, travel time is accounted for in our zone fee, but if we know it’ll take an hour or more to get to your pick-up location, for example, we might charge a travel fee. You’ll know this up-front, though. THERE ARE NO SURPRISE FEES, GUARANTEED.How much for this fee? Usually around the cost of one hour of labor.

How does buying boxes SAVE me money?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but spending a little bit of money on moving supplies actually saves you money in the long-run. Often, a lot of money. How?

  • Basically, the fewer trips we have to take to/from an elevator, truck, and back again, the less time the job takes. If the job takes less time, you pay less. If we encounter a job where nothing is packed, that means we have a lot more “stuff” to carry. For example, it’s much easier to carry a box of 50 books than it is to carry 50 un-boxed books. Likewise with other random stuff.
  • Boxes make everything stackable. If we can’t stack things on top of other things, then “random” items must all have their own floor space in the truck, which can mean (and often does) that we will have to take a second trip, which takes more time. (And note, I will take two or more trips on “random,” un-boxed loads. Putting things in a pile isn’t safe for your belongings.)
  • Similarly sized boxes speed up the packing process. Some people have had the right idea and boxed everything — literally, almost anything that could fit into a box — but kind of missed the point. They used around 100 boxes, but literally no box was the same size or shape. Now, I spent a lot of time in college playing Tetris, but projects like that tend to tax my modest Tetris skills. One (or perhaps as many as three) sizes of boxes is idea. They fit on carts better, they load better. They therefore save a lot of time and money.

Until recently we sold our own custom boxes, but the demand wasn’t high enough to keep it going. So, I can highly recommend www.usedcardboardboxes.com. The boxes aren’t USED used — they’re usually just factory misprints and things like that. Delivery is free, so that’s awesome.

How long does it take to get an estimate?

We do our best to get estimates out as soon as we get them. During the slow season that’s often within a couple hours of your request. During the busy season we are processing many many many requests every day and it takes a little more time, but our goal is to get back to you within 24 hours. If you submit a request and don’t hear back from us within 24 hours, please contact us to ensure we got your request.

How much does a typical local one-bedroom apartment move cost?

A note about rates: We’re committed to offering the most fair, competitive rates possible. By “fair” we mean affordable for our customers, and enough that we can keep gas in the trucks and the lights on. We understand that moving is often prohibitively expensive, but I can assure you that we strive to make our services accessible to as many people as possible.

Every move is different. However, a general rule of thumb is this: If someone offers you a surprisingly cheap rate, there’s at least one catch. The most likely catch is that you’re not dealing with a legitimate moving company — shady operators often offer rates as low as $50-$60 per hour, but they’re not paying for things like cargo insurance, general liability insurance, workman’s compensation, etc. You also have to wonder what they’re paying their guys — it can’t be much, and in this industry, the truism “you get what you pay for” is more true than many other areas in life.

Now to actually answer your question… An average 1 bedroom apartment move takes about 3.25 hours. We charge a base rate for the first hour and then an hourly labor rate billed in 15 minute increments for the balance of the job. So average 1 bedroom apartment move would cost just under $500. This is for a “typical” 1 bedroom apartment at current rates (June 2013). Over the years, I’ve learned that “typical” for one person is not “typical” to another, so please fill out an request/estimate form to get a more accurate estimate.

The real determining factor is how well prepared you are.

For example, if everything is boxed up and ready to go, we’ll be on the low end of the scale (or lower, as is often the case). If you decide to start packing 30 minutes before we get there, well, it’s going to take a while longer and cost a lot more.

Other factors include the size of the elevators, whether they’re fast or slow, whether there are any long walks, three-floor walk-ups, etc.

How does buying boxes SAVE me money?

I don’t have the original box for my flat screen TV. Is that a problem?
The Truck Buddy Research and Development Labs are about to make a breakthrough in environmentally friendly smart foam that molds and hardens around delicate items, but until then, we have a couple of tricks up our sleeves. The main solution here is to ensure the TV is immobilized (perhaps obviously), and high and away from potential shifting objects. To achieve this, we usually place the TV on top of a dresser or other squarish, flat-topped base. Then, depending on whether we have couch cushions available, we place those between the back of the TV and the wall of the truck. When it’s all in place, we wrap a strap around it and secure it to the wall.

The TV is then immobilized and cushioned.

We’ve transported hundreds, perhaps thousands of TVs this way with only a couple casualties.

While we are very good at transporting unpacked TVs, it is important for you to be familiar with our insurance, because ultimately we cannot be held responsible for unpacked TVs.

Do you charge for cancellation or rescheduling?

Do you charge for cancellation/rescheduling/

Nope!

We don’t charge a fee if you have to cancel or reschedule. All we ask is that you let us know as soon as you know you’ll need to do either. When we book a move, that spot is reserved exclusively for you. In the summer months, it’s fairly easy to fill that spot at the last second, but for the rest of the year, that can be a costly hole on the schedule.

Expert Moving From My Truck Buddy

Big or small, we’ve got the moving solution when you need it.