Nowadays, we witness a growing number of rogue movers, whose only desire is to perform moving scams and earn money. Luckily, there is a way to check whether your movers are licensed and whether they have exactly what you need. The farther your move, the bigger the risk of losing your belongings and/or your money in vain. A top moving company will have something called a US DOT number, which you will be able to verify on the FMSCA site. We will now see why it is so important to check this and what will you be able to find out with it.
Let us begin by explaining what is actually a US DOT number. All interstate moving companies and certain intrastate moving companies must have a license. The unique identifier that they receive once they get the license is called a US DOT number. Using this license number, you can easily research audits, compliance reviews, crash investigations, inspections, etc. of a moving company. As we already mentioned all interstate moving companies are required to obtain the license, and all intrastate moving companies that are transporting hazardous materials in certain types and quantities. Besides, here is a list of states that require moving companies to have a license in order to be able to work:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
In order to check whether your moving company is properly registered with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the USDOT number is the perfect way to do it. Go to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association site, and click on the mover search tool to proceed with the investigation.
There is a number of things you can find out simply by checking the mover`s license number. Here is a list of things that you can easily research:
It is always better to speak to a person directly, instead of using only e-mails, for example. If a moving company does not have a physical address on their site, it is a red alert that means the moving company is probably fake.
A phone number, e-mail, and fax number can easily be found through the USDOT number.
This is really important as you will be able to see whether their license is valid, and not expired or pending for example. Only hire a moving company if their registration status is active.
Find out if your moving company is a carrier, broker, or freight forwarder. A broker, for example, is not a moving company at all. They arrange your move by hiring movers that are registered with FMCSA. They do not have moving equipment, trucks, or movers, but they will find a suitable moving company that will fit your needs.
If there is one thing that you will want to know about your mover it is whether there were a lot of complaints made against them. Namely, when you get your goods delivered to your new house, you can file a complaint if something went wrong. You can file a complaint about loss and damage, insurance, pick up, and delivery. So, basically, you will be able to see just how much were people satisfied with a certain moving company through the number of complaints made against them.
Basically, you will be able to see everything about the maintenance of vehicles, the number of crash accidents, on-road performance, hazardous materials compliance, etc.
Through the mover`s license number, you will also be able to see how many moving trucks does the moving company have. Also, you will be able to check how many movers, tractors, and trailers there are.
The moving company that you choose must have a valid license, for sure. This is the primary factor that you should take into consideration when comparing moving companies. There are other factors that you should take into consideration before you decide which moving company will you hire. It is important that you are satisfied with the service provided. Here are the most important trait of reliable movers:
You should be able to choose between a binding estimate, a non-binding estimate, and a binding not-to-exceed estimate. Depending on the type of your move, choose the moving estimate that suits your needs best.
It is vital that you can call your movers when you have a problem. They should give you advice on how to proceed, and how to solve the situation in the best possible way.
Reliable movers will have all the agreements in writing. Otherwise, you may not receive a full service. Before you sign the contract, carefully read through it and check whether something is missing.
Your movers must have proper training, and knowledge about how to handle your move from the beginning to the end. Feel free to ask your movers whether the staff has enough experience to move your valuable items.
You will recognize the best moving companies by their license number, and by their behavior on an everyday basis. If your moving company is not registered with the FMCSA and does not want to give you their USDOT number, it is better to keep searching for the right movers. It may take some time, but you will be satisfied with the end result. Good luck!
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