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” (pun intended) to the process that at some point something will go wrong. Most people anticipating a move plan out the front end of the move to the max and assume that once the trucks roll out of the driveway it's all good.
However, 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 moving van. So, when the weather takes a turn, truck drivers are usually 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 the goal, so sometimes the weather slows this down.
2) 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 from June until 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. Hours of service regulations require drivers to take mandatory downtime after so many hours behind the wheel, regardless of whether the truck is moving or sitting in traffic.
Summer is the most convenient time for most people to move. But it’s no secret that moving companies have finite resources of trucks, drivers and crews. So keep in mind that 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.
4) Logistical Surprises
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 big moving van may not have a place to park for several hours, or your things need to be loaded onto smaller vehicles that will fit on the street. Conversely, if you're new home is on an unpaved curvy mountain road, a big truck can't navigate safely. Getting smaller trucks and reloading them will 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 pick-up and delivery window because circumstances can 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.
- 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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