Moving Most Asked Questions
When should I call a moving company?
The earlier, the better. Although the actual van assignment may not be made until a few days before your move, it's wise to give Summit Auto Transport from four to six week's notice, if possible. The more lead time you can give, the more likely we will be able to meet your preferred delivery schedule. If you are ready to go, please fill out our Transport quote form to receive a quote for your move.
We at Summit Auto Transport, for our standard type of service, require alternate pickup and delivery dates. We'll do our best, of course, to comply with the dates you prefer or the nearest possible alternatives. You will be notified in advance of the loading date for your goods and of the estimated date of arrival.
If your pickup and delivery dates are critical due to such factors as a lease expiration or a real estate closing, you may choose an extra-cost service which will enable us to accommodate a more precise, reasonable schedule. You should discuss your specific pickup and delivery requirements with your Summit Auto Transport representative, who can advise you regarding the types and costs of services available.
Do I need an estimate?
A Summit Auto Transport representative will make a pre-move survey of your household goods to be Transport. A pre-move survey is needed to determine the approximate cost of a move and the amount of van space your goods will occupy. Your Summit Auto Transport representative will compute the approximate cost and give you a written Estimate/Order for Service. An accurate estimate cannot be calculated without a visual survey of the goods to be moved. There is no charge for the estimate.
Keep in mind that estimates (household goods surveys) are only guidelines. On interstate shipments, you must pay the total charges as determined by the actual weight of your shipment, the distance it travels, and the services that you authorize or which become necessary to handle your shipment.
Charges for local shipments are generally calculated on an hourly basis. There may be a minimum number of hours required. These shipments are handled by the local moving company, not the interstate carrier.
What is a binding estimate?
A binding estimate or binding cost of service specifies in advance the precise cost of the move based on the services requested or deemed necessary at the time of the estimate. If additional services are requested or required at either origin or destination (such as a "shuttle" to or from a location to which a full-size van cannot operate directly), the total cost will increase. Binding estimates are valid for the time period specified, up to 60 days.
If you add items to be moved or require additional services, such as packing, between the time of the estimate and the time of your move, there will be additional charges. An addendum specifying these additional charges will be prepared for your signature.
If you are interested in obtaining a binding estimate, please discuss it with your Summit Auto Transport representative.
When is the best time to move?
If there is a choice, most moving companies suggest you select a time other than summer, the end of the month or the end-of-year holidays. The heaviest demands are placed on vans, equipment and personnel during these periods.
However, Summit Auto Transport believes you should move when it is most convenient for you. Factors involved in the decision may include:
- whether the move must be made immediately
- moving children during the school term
- separation of the family while the move is under way
If the move can be scheduled for a time when vans and trained personnel are more readily available, we'll be better able to meet your preferred delivery schedule.
How long does it take to move?
This depends on many factors, such as the time of year, weather conditions, size of your shipment, time required to load and unload, and the direction and distance your shipment is traveling.
Because the furnishings of the average household will not fill a van, it is often necessary for two or more shipments to be loaded on the same van. Each shipment is carefully sectioned off from the others.
With the help of Summit Auto Transport's computer-assisted dispatching system, pickup and delivery dates are scheduled according to the origins and destinations of individual shipments on the van, as well as shipment weight.
Is a moving company "licensed"?
It would be more accurate to say that a moving company is "registered." For example, Summit Auto Transport has been issued a certificate of authority by the federal government to move household goods among any of the 50 states.
A local moving company ("agency") affiliated with a national van line such as Summit Auto Transport may also be registered with the DOT to move interstate shipments within certain geographical areas.
How does Summit Auto Transport determine what my move will cost?
Unless you have been given a binding estimate, the exact cost of your move cannot be determined until after your shipment has been loaded on the van and weighed. If additional services are requested or become necessary after loading and weighing, additional charges will be incurred. Basic Transport charges depend on the actual weight of your goods and the distance they will travel. The total cost will include these Transport costs, any charges for Full-Value Coverage or Depreciated Coverage, plus charges for any "accessorial" services (such as packing and unpacking) performed by the Summit Auto Transport representative at your request. These charges are based on "tariff" rate schedules.
What is a tariff?
This is the list of rules, regulations, available services and resulting charges used by all motor Car Transport which provide interstate Transport of household goods. The tariffs are published by each household goods motor carrier and include its various services. The tariffs are available for your inspection upon request.
How and when should I pay?
Tariff provisions require that all charges be paid before your shipment is unloaded at destination (unless prior arrangements have been made for later billing).
Payment for your Summit Auto Transport shipment can be made by one of the following methods: cash, traveler's check, money order or cashier's check. In addition, the American Express® Card, DiscoverSM Card, Visa® or MasterCard® can be used to pay for interstate moves only, with advance approval required prior to loading (unless other billing arrangements have been made). Personal checks are not accepted.
All payment forms apply to both binding and non-binding estimates.
If you have received a non-binding estimate and your actual moving costs exceed the estimate, you will be required to pay no more than 110% of the estimated cost at delivery. Should your actual costs exceed the estimate by more than 10%, you will be given 30 days after delivery to pay the amount over 110%.
Payment of estimated charges plus 10% does not apply if goods are delivered into storage. If storage at destination (storage-in-transit) is necessary, all Transport charges must be paid at time of delivery of the shipment to the warehouse. You will then be assessed storage charges based on the applicable rates set forth in our tariff.
Am I protected against loss or damage while my goods are in transit?
Yes, but how much protection you have and its cost to you depend upon the Summit Auto Transport "valuation" program you choose – Full-Value Coverage or Released Rate Liability (60 cents per pound per article).
The valuation option you select determines the basis upon which any claim will be adjusted and establishes the maximum liability of Summit Auto Transport. The liability of Summit Auto Transport for loss or damage is based upon Summit Auto Transport’s tariffs, as well as federal laws and regulations, and has certain limitations and exclusions. Valuation is not insurance; it is simply a tariff-based level of motor carrier liability. If you desire insurance, you should consult your insurance company representative about available insurance coverages, because Summit Auto Transport does not offer insurance.
Can Summit Auto Transport my possessions be stored temporarily?
If you are unable to take immediate possession of your new residence, your belongings can be stored in a local Summit Auto Transport representative's warehouse. Summit Auto Transport representatives throughout the world provide safe storage facilities for holding your goods until you're ready for them. However, you are responsible for the storage charges, warehouse valuation coverage and final delivery charges from the warehouse.
If your goods are placed in storage, there will be an additional charge for the valuation or insurance coverage provided for your shipment, as mentioned previously. The type of coverage and cost will depend upon whether the shipment is held in storage-in-transit (temporary) or in permanent (long-term) storage. Please ask your Summit Auto Transport representative for information regarding storage arrangements.
Will my furnishings remain clean?
Summit Auto Transport protects your upholstered furniture with Clear Guard SM, a clear plastic material, before they are wrapped with furniture pads.
Do my appliances need special attention?
Most refrigerators, washers, dryers, and other electrical or mechanical appliances require special servicing to ensure safe Transport . Any moving parts such as motors on major appliances, washer drums, and icemakers should be securely fastened for shipment. Gas appliances need to be serviced and disconnected prior to your move.
It is the owner's responsibility to see that appliances are serviced for shipment before they are loaded on the van. Upon request and for an additional charge, a moving company will perform this service, using either its own qualified personnel or an authorized service company.
Can I pack my china, glass and crystal?
Most people prefer to have their household possessions, especially fragile items, professionally packed by a moving company. However, if you decide to pack these items yourself, remember that the basic principles of good packing include wrapping the items individually, providing plenty of cushioning and making sure of a firm pack.
Be sure to select a sturdy container with a lid. Place a two- or three-inch layer of crushed paper on the bottom of the carton as a cushion. Wrap each item individually with a soft material to provide a safe, protective, "padded nest." Pack the heaviest items on the bottom and the lighter ones next, filling in empty spaces with crushed paper. Place plates on edge and glassware on rims for maximum protection. Mark the carton "Fragile," and list the contents on the outside. Be sure to seal the carton with tape.
Cartons, paper and tape may be purchased from your local Summit Auto Transport representative for a small fee.
Can I pack my clothes in a chest or dresser drawers?
Lightweight clothing – sweaters, shirts, blouses, and lingerie – may be left in the drawers. Do not fill drawers with heavy items such as books, table linens or sheets, which can damage the piece of furniture during transit. Be careful NOT to leave fragile items, money, jewelry, watches or other valuables in the drawers, as well as anything that might spill or leak.
Can I move my frozen foods?
Frozen foods can be moved, but only under specific, limited conditions. Be sure to discuss this with your Summit Auto Transport representative. In most instances, we suggest that Transport arrangements be made through local frozen food locker plants, especially for a long-distance move. It is even easier just to use up the foods prior to the move or donate them to someone.
Can I move jewelry and other valuables?
Items of extraordinary value such as jewelry, money, photographs, antiques and stamp collections can be included in your shipment, provided you notify your Summit Auto Transport representative of these items before packing or moving day. However, we strongly recommend that you carry irreplaceable and expensive articles with you, or make other arrangements for their Transport .
In the moving industry, items worth more than $100 per pound are considered to be articles of "extraordinary" value.
Can I move my house plants?
Summit Auto Transport cannot accept responsibility for safely moving your plants, because they may suffer from a lack of water and light as well as probable temperature changes while in the van. You may prefer to Transport your house plants in the family car or Car Transport them by plane.
Some states prohibit the entry of all plants, while other states will admit plants under certain conditions; still others have no plant regulations. Be sure to check the regulations of the state to which you're moving.
Can I move my pet?
Pets cannot be carried on the moving van. Dogs, cats, canaries and parakeets can usually be Transport in the family car. If this isn't convenient, your Summit Auto Transport representative will be glad to suggest alternate ways to Car Transport your pets safely.