What is moving company shuttle service?

Christopher Noblit
Moving Company Shuttle Service

Moving company shuttle service is often misunderstood by consumers. This article was created to help consumers who are moving better understand what moving company shuttle service is, why it is sometimes necessary when it is required, how it works, and what it costs.

What is a mover shuttle truck service?
Each mover who provides you with a moving cost estimate assumes they can park their tractor-trailer moving truck within a "reasonable distance" of your new residence at the destination. Our company considers a "reasonable distance" to be no more than 200 feet from the residence (as we believe 200 feet is the longest distance our movers can safely carry items from the truck to the residence). Some movers will include 75 feet from where the truck can park to the residence for free, and then they charge you for each extra 50 feet increment (each of which is termed a "long carry") beyond the first free 75 feet. However, when the distance from where the moving truck can park exceeds what the mover specifies as reasonable, the mover will perform and charge you for "shuttle service." The charge shuttle service is based on the weight of your shipment. It works like this: the mover parks the tractor-trailer truck in a convenient location (such as a local big box store parking lot), rents a small "shuttle truck," and then uses the smaller shuttle truck to move your shipment from the big truck to your new residence. The charge for this "shuttle service" helps reimburse the mover for the mover's following extra expenses...

  1. The mover must pay extra labor to double handle your shipment.
  2. The cost of renting the smaller shuttle truck.
  3. The extra time it takes to shuttle your shipment from the large truck to your new residence using the shuttle truck.
  4. The additional loss and damage exposure that the mover bears due to the need to double handle your shipment.

Why doesn't my mover simply use a smaller truck to move me?
It stands to reason that you may ask why your mover doesn't simply use a smaller truck to move you. Why does the mover need to use a huge eighteen-wheeler when your shipment occupies only a fraction of this truck? If the mover used a smaller truck, you wouldn't require shuttle service. The answer is that the large eighteen-wheelers are able to carry nearly three (3) times as much cargo as smaller straight trucks, yet the enormous eighteen-wheelers don't cost very much more to operate. Therefore, movers will generally always move shipments on eighteen-wheelers because it provides the movers with the opportunity to carry three times as much on a tractor-trailer as the mover can carry on a straight truck for almost the same cost.

When do I need a shuttle?
Shuttle service is required for many reasons, including the following...

  1. Low overhead wires, tree limbs, or structures. Although Federal law requires that all roadways be clear of any overhead structures that sit lower than the 13-feet 6-inches, there are often instances where this law is not observed.
  2. Sometimes, there are man-made features (such as water fountains in the middle of a roundabout) that block the movement of large trucks.
  3. Narrow roads or driveways with tight turns prevent access by large trucks.
  4. Very old low bridges or underpasses.
  5. Tight turns in apartment or condo complex parking lots.

I'm angry at my mover for telling me I need shuttle service!
Perhaps you feel like your mover is adding an unnecessary charge to your moving bill to make more money. This probably is not the case because most movers will tell you that they would much prefer never to perform a shuttle as the shuttle charges rarely compensate the mover adequately for lost time, additional labor and rental expenses, and the additional liability exposure the mover suffers as a result of double handling your shipment.

It's not my fault that I need a shuttle!
Your mover understands that you feel like it isn't your fault that you require shuttle service. However, your mover may gently remind you that it is you who chose to live in the location that requires shuttle service...not the mover.

Mover's shuttle service is an unfortunate requirement for some locations and shipments. If you have any further questions about shuttle service, please consider calling your mover to discuss your situation and to explore any alternatives that may be available in order to effect your relocation as efficiently, cost-effectively, and professionally as possible.

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