The Definitive Guide of Who Moves What

When it comes to moving things, there are a variety of factors on how you actually do that or who you call to do that. As a professional moving company, we have heard questions about everything from safes and pianos to car parts and the entire house. And then, of course, there are the hazardous materials and what to do with them.

#1  Pool Tables, Pianos and Safes, Oh My

The first thing to determine when dealing with large specialty items is the distance you are moving. If it’s just around the block you may not need to crate the pool table. But for longer distances, specialty wood crating needs be included.

Pianos are another household item that requires a special skill set so as not to drop the piano. After all, it is a musical instrument, and how the piano is moved can affect the instrument, upping the level of care needed to move a piano.

Moving a large heavy safe has its own set of challenges. Damaging it is typically not a concern, but lifting it surely can be. Depending on the location of the safe and how easy it is to access determines the level of skill needed to move the safe. Many movers will not even touch a safe, but we will. Please let us know if you need our help moving a safe.

Q. How do I move a piano or a safe?
A. To avoid injury or damage, it is always best to call a professional moving service when faced with moving a piano or safe.

#2 Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Well, its really trains that move automobiles across the country, and maybe an occasional moving van.  There are various ways to move a car. How often do you pass a UHaul on the road with a tow bar attached and a vehicle in tow behind it? This is one of the more common ways to move a car, other than to drive it to its new destination. And we’ve all seen it.

But what happens when you are moving a long distance? The common thought is that your vehicle can just go on the moving van, but that may or may not be the case. It boils down to cost. Most long distance movers do offer car carrier services and can arrange that in the move. But the common myth is that the car can go on the truck. Although that is true, it all boils down to cost and convenience. Moving van’s loads are done by weight. So combining the weight of your household goods and the vehicle weight can increase the cost by several thousand dollars a vehicle. Car transport services can move vehicles for usually under $1000, depending on the destination.

Sure you may choose to drive it as well. Many choose to pack the family in the cars and drive to their new home. If you’re moving to the other side of Houston, that’s great, but what happens when you’re moving across the country?

As far as loading your car on an auto transporter and worrying about the damage the road will cause, there really is no concern because in most cases cars are moved in a closed boxcar and sent by rail. The only time the car is on the auto transporter is when it’s moving to and from the rail yard.

Now, if you just need a tailpipe or quarter panel moved, UPS freight is probably the best way to approach that type of move.

Q. How do I Move a Car?

A. It comes down to objectives. Decide if cost is a factor. If it is, then choose the auto transport service. If cost is not a factor, you then have options based on convenience.


#3 Moving your House

Believe it or not there are people who actually want to move their entire house. Like pick it up, put it on the back of a truck and move it. And although it’s not as uncommon as you might think, there are also special considerations when trying to do this.

Modular homes can be easier to relocate, but a house mover, or someone who moves a house is different than a residential mover who moves the the household goods but leaves the rest of the house behind.


#4 Guns, Ammo and other Exploding Things

Another popular thing to move is guns and ammo. Moving companies are allowed to move an unloaded gun that is packed and moved with the rest of your household goods. However, ammo is not allowed to be transported on a moving van under law. Additionally, guns are not allowed to remain in a gun safe to move them.

Before you pack your guns it’s always a good idea to have the make, model and serial number in the event of an issue. A simple cell phone picture is a great way to make sure you have the proper information and proof of the gun, and its appearance.

If your shotgun or rifle has a padded case it’s always best to use that to move the gun. If you do not have a casing for the gun, getting soft padding or foam is a great way to protect the gun as it’s moved. If the gun is in a box or carton, you may not mark the gun household goods, where as the ATF requires boxes containing guns to be clearly marked as such.


#5 What, I have Hazmat in my Home, What?

 Homeowners don’t have Hazmat, right? That’s the stuff in tankers you pass on a highway. Big scary trucks with a flammable sign on the side of it, right? Well this is far more relevant of a question than you would think.

There are many items in your home that fall under the definition of hazmat by the federal government. But what are these items lurking in our homes that should be disposed of prior to moving day?

The first thing that comes to mind is paint and paint thinners. Often it’s best to just leave them behind for the new homeowner. This will allow them to have the paint names for the rooms and such throughout the home.  Often its cheaper to repurchase the paint than it is to find a moving company that is willing to move the paint cans. In fact, many movers will not even consider moving such highly flammable materials in their trucks.

If you decide to dispose of them, you will have to find out your city’s disposal policy

For the City of Houston, movers recommend using oil-based paint and painting a board so it is no longer flammable. Or if latex based, that can be disposed of by letting the paint harden and then placing it in your normal trash collection.

Flammable items such as gasoline should not be transported on the moving van and should be used prior to your move if possible. Gasoline is also considered Hazmat, so it cannot be placed on your moving van.

The bottom line is there are many odd items that can be moved. In many cases, your moving company would have a solution if you ask.