By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
If there's one thing you can count on when you're moving, it's that you can't count on anything. There are so many moving parts (ba-dum) to the process, and so many players, that at some point something will go wrong. Most people anticipating a move game out the front end of t he move to the nth degree and assume that once the trucks roll out of the driveway it's all good.
Most people are wrong. Even the best-planned moves with the most dependable and reputable moving companies can hit a snafu and cause your household belongings to arrive at your new home several days past the target date.
What Causes Moving Delays?
Zipping down the highway in your minivan isn't quite the same thing as lumbering along in a 53-foot semi truck. In the best conditions, drivers go a little slower than other traffic. So, when the weather takes a turn, our drivers are the first to pull over and wait for conditions to improve. This could mean anything from half an hour in a driving downpour, to a few days if an ice storm hits along the route. Getting your household to your new home intact is our goal, so sometimes the weather slows this down.
Road and Traffic Conditions
Summer is peak season for lots of things--among them, road construction, vacationers on the highway, and traffic accidents. Highways are most crowded in July and August, so a minor fender bender can back things up for a couple of miles. Transportation officials schedule work and repairs in the warmer months, so review your route for construction delays and plan for something to pop up that slows your trucks--if they're backed up and hit a large city at rush hour, with several more hours to go, they may need to stop for the night. Nobody wants an exhausted crew maneuvering down the highway--it's just not worth it for anybody.
Summer is the most convenient time for most people to move. Moving companies have finite resources--trucks and crews. That's a perfect storm for your move to be delayed on the front end--if your crew got caught in bad traffic, weather, or both on the job prior to yours, they may not get to your house on the scheduled day.
When the delay dominoes start to fall and impact your move, your move coordinator will let you know, and keep you updated as they know more about scheduling.
Getting the trucks to your new front door isn't always as easy as you'd thought. If you're moving to an urban area with limited parking, that monster van may not have a place to park for several hours, and your things need to be loaded onto smaller vehicles that will fit on the street. Conversely, if your new home is on an unpaved curvy mountain road, a big truck can't navigate safely. Getting shuttle trucks and reloading them may add time to the process.
How To Manage A Delay
To be on the safe side, plan for a delay on either end of your move. These are the things you can do if it looks like your movers won't arrive or deliver on time.
First, change your thoughts on "on time". Professional movers let you know up front that they will do their best to meet the target dates, but there is a window--as outlined above, circumstances change and there's absolutely nothing you can do when a storm leads to a twelve-car pile-up that leads to hitting the DC metro area at 4 pm. Hence, "on time" is a rather fluid concept in the moving world.
- Let your realtor know there may be a delay in your leaving
- Allow for a couple of days leeway when you're cutting your utility service--this is no time to not have water and WiFi.
- If you're boarding a pet, let the pup palace know you'll need an extra day or so.
- Book hotels in your new city if you get there first or bring sleeping bags and camp out.
Flexibility is the key to managing any move, so if you're anticipating what can go wrong, you're way less likely to have a meltdown when it does.
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