Should I trust movers with my equipment?


Should I trust household movers with my equipment for
a long distance move (about 1100 miles)?
I would pack everything myself in mostly original boxes and
double boxing most things beyond that.
No big speakers, just a bunch of expensive electronics and monitors.
Or should I just rent a truck and drive my stuff by myself?
Thanks.
rgs92
Make a numbers list and mark each box. That includes software such as LPs and CDs as well. If lost insurance pays out very little.
If you care about your stuff, no. Moving companies do not provide insurance as normal people understand it, and it's unlikely your homeowner's will cover it during the move. Read your policy to find out. You can check with your insurance agent if you wish, but be careful with that. Simply calling your agent to inquire about coverage can constitute a claim, believe it or not.
I would haul audio equipment and other valuables myself.
I moved cross-country a year ago and carried all my valuable audio equipment in the back of my car.

Considering the considerable damage done to some of my household furniture I'm very glad I didn't trust the audio gear to the movers.

Even having insurance that covers damage won't compensate you for the hassle of making claims and trying to recover costs.

Don't do it.
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There's us and then there's everybody else. Don't trust the latter with audio equipment.
Rgs92, I think you just did what most people thought was impossible; myself included. You asked a question on Audiogon that everyone is going to agree on what the answer is.
OMG, it's unanimous. Yep, I guess I brought us all together for a moment. OK, I guess there's a truck or, as I like to call it, a Ford Exhibitionist in my future.
Give it to the movers only if you want your stuff trashed!!
avoid at all costs if possible.
I've moved three times in the past 15 years and with the exception of the turntable and computers I've entrusted my audio/video equipment with professional movers. Not a single problem. Pack the equipment just like you're going to ship it via UPS and have a detailed discussion with the movers. Ideally you want a single load truck with the same crew at each end.
Only if you purchase a special insurance rider from the moving company to cover those items, which must be scheduled into the rider. Very expensive, but it puts the moving company on notice that you are serious. I recently got an estimate for such a rider. For $100,000 of coverage, the premium for the rider was about $5,000. Rates vary somewhat depending on the insurance carrier and mover. Some movers cannot be covered, telling you something about using them in the first place.
I agree with Onhwy61. I also let my movers move my (extremely well-packed in original packing) equipment, save for my turntable/arm/cartridge, which I brought myself principally because I had a new cartridge installed after the movers had taken everything. The key here was that while the move was 400 miles, I used a local, family-run company that was highly recommended, got to talk with the movers who were very nice and had them realize that this stuff was not to be handled roughly. No problems at all. I might have had second thoughts with a large chain company, but after talking with the people who were actually doing the moving I had no qualms.
I moved recently and watched the movers at work. They get a passing grade on the piano and furniture, but barely. No way would I let them touch small instruments or audio equipment. No freaking way.
I agree with the "don't do it" group. Unfortunately Rgs92, even on this subject there can be no consensus among audiophiles.
No. You should ask them to join the trip so you can watch your cargo at every truck stop.
Never! I know people who packed extremely well. Bomb-proof well. The thing is, the boxes never showed up at their destination. So many unpredictable things can go wrong when the package leaves your possession.
Most movers have a hard time NOT damaging furniture!
That would be the biggest NO, NOT EVER ever heard.
I am an old man , hard for me to move dishes, but I'm behind that U-haul wheel with my gear !
I'd be more likely to throw my wife in a box and put her in the moving van than let them touch my equipment. And just for the record, I do love my wife.
I just relocated from the US to England, and moved my gear (and everything else) with a professional mover, most via sea container. Absolutely no problems with anything - everything arrived in perfect condition (TT, speakers, etc). I don't think I could have packed my stuff anywhere nearly as well as they did.
Why should the this be any different than the method the manufacturer used to ship the equipment to the dealer or the dealer or original owner to you? You had no control over that result.
No, do not trust them. I'm not kidding. I work for a Fortune 500 company with hundreds of locations that are constantly moving and remodeling. It's a high turnover, labor intensive low paying job. Most of the guys have an addiction problem. As I said turnover is high and there not much training.

Here's how I roll. Wife in the car... Check. Dog in the car...check. Amp, pre-amp, etc in the car.... Check. All the other crap goes with the movers. I have three boys all in their twenties and none of them live at home anymore......priceless.
I guess I've been lucky. Moves fron CA to FL to MN to NC--all without any problems whatsoever. I packed all my gear in original boxes. Staged them all separately, explained the contents to the driver/lead mover. I have gear ranging in size/bulk from Vandy 5s and Maggie 1.6s, down to the 'delicacy' of Avid and W/B 'tables. I think this is where original boxes really make the difference, as well as tipping the moving crew at both ends.
Next time I get on the interstate I'm going to start looking for the "Amplifier On Board" signs on the rear windows. They should be easy to spot, cars in the right lane going 40mph with their flasher lights on.
Onhwy61, That's a good one! :)
Explain how this is any different than shipping from the manufacturer to the dealer or the dealer/seller to you. You had no control over UPS or Fedex. Why is there a problem with another shipper, assuming you use the original packing materials?
"TUBE AMP ON BOARD" = 40 MPH
"SS AMP ON BOARD" = 50 MPH
If you want something done right.. do it yourself. That's what I've always heard.
"02-08-14: Jerico
I just relocated from the US to England, and moved my gear (and everything else) with a professional mover, most via sea container. Absolutely no problems with anything - everything arrived in perfect condition (TT, speakers, etc). I don't think I could have packed my stuff anywhere nearly as well as they did."

To be fair, you really didn't have a choice. I think most people are talking about a move that you can drive yourself, not overseas. What company did you use? Maybe there is a good one after all.

"02-09-14: Kodak805
Explain how this is any different than shipping from the manufacturer to the dealer or the dealer/seller to you. You had no control over UPS or Fedex. Why is there a problem with another shipper, assuming you use the original packing materials?"

From the factory to the dealer, the product is new. Its very easy to come up with an exact value for what something is worth. Once the unit is sold, its considered used and is up for negotiation as to what its worth. Kind of like when you have a car accident. The insurance company usually thinks the car is worth much less than what the owner does. Its no different with shipping. Also, the fact that you are moving plays a huge part. You're basically shipping something to yourself. If you sell an item on a place like Audiogon or Ebay the transaction info shows exactly what the unit sold for. You won't have that with moving.
Here is my thought. If I was to move ,relocate then for my staff (stereo gear and other valuables) I would take around myself ,for all the other household staff including the wife's shoes,furniture ,that would be the movers job.
That's a great thing would always support your friends while relocation. I prefer reliable moving company for relocation because they are helpful in doing safe relocation.
Thanks all for sharing your views i recommend moving by own , i only rent moving boxes while moving and everything else would be done by them.
When I moved, I had the movers take the speakers each one was boxed and on pallets and the amp.  I took the turntable, which was boxed with the platter removed seperated - my wife personally carried the arm with cartridge attached, but with a stylus guard.  Everything got here safely.
If you are using any reputed movers then you don't need to worry about safety. Read their past reviews and decide for moving. 
For your sake, ignore the responses that tell you that all will be well if you entrust your equipment to movers. It simply isn’t true. Movers typically repack their truck with freight from multiple homes. They can even disassemble furniture to facilitate maximizing space. This is particularly true of long distance moves.

I speak from experience. We just moved 700 miles, only to find that some of our most valuable items didn’t arrive at our new home. We filed a claim for $4K, and received $165 from insurance. That didn’t include the damage to our antique furniture. In any case, my strong advice would be to load all valuables into your car or a rented truck. Don’t, under any circumstances, trust it to movers.
That's scary. I have moved several times  (even long distance cross-country, but not recently) and never had anything lost.
But thanks. Maybe things have changed for the worse...
I have moved a lot in my life and I have never let a moving company move any of my stereo gear. They manage to damage enough of my other things not about to let them touch any of it. 
It's odd how most of my eqpt. has done just fine with UPS/FedEx/DHL, but moving companies manage to damage things. I was hoping moving companies would be at least as good as the major brand name shippers.

Why is this? Why should movers treat you worse than FedEx, etc.?
Thanks again for the definitive answer.
I moved with great moving many times and never lost anything. Next time you can try them to see the performance.
Thanks. I'll see if they do long distance moves. I appreciate the info.