What is Shuttle Service?

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Pre-Move

When it comes time to move you may be overwhelmed trying to figure out all the moving industry lingo and what every charge on the bill is for.  When you move, especially if you have a move of a longer distance, you can expect to have your belongings loaded into a large van or tractor trailer truck.  Even if your items will not fill the whole truck, it is easier for the moving company to pack multiple loads into the same truck if they items are going to locations in close proximity.  In addition to the travel and labor fees, you may see other services being charged on your bill.  One such charge may be an accessorial shuttle charge.  Shuttle service is when the movers need to use a smaller vehicle to access your new home because the area is inaccessible to its normal line haul equipment.

There are several reasons why a shuttle may need to be utilized.  Many times, a shuttle is needed in an urban environment because of a lack of parking and narrow streets.  Low hanging wires and other obstructions may lead to shuttle service being required as well.  Even more rural pickups or drop-offs can require a shuttle if roads are not paved, there are loose or wet driveways, or there are steep inclines or tight turns.  Regardless of the reason, the moving company should scope out both your old home and your new home to determine if the truck will be capable of reaching the residence and be close enough to load and unload your items safely.  Ultimately, if your moving van cannot access your residence from a reasonable distance, your mover will park the truck in a safe location, and use a smaller vehicle to bring your items to and from the truck.

As you prepare to move, it is a good idea to examine your current residence as well as your new area or neighborhood.  This can help you assess if the truck will be able to park a reasonable distance and not require a shuttle charge.  If you are moving into an apartment complex, you should check if there is a loading area or a designated spot that you can book for your moving truck to use to get items into or out of your building.  If there is no such spot or area, you can check if there is parking that the van can safely park at and still be close enough to safely carry your belongings to and from the van.  It is important to remember that even if your mover is able to find a parking spot, it has to be close.  Your movers will exercise caution when handling your items, but the farther items need to be carried, the greater the risk of damage.  It is in your best interest, as well as the best interest of those handling your belongings, to have the truck close by.  You don’t want, nor can you expect, your movers to walk down the street carrying your couch or desk to a truck parked far away.

Because moving is expensive, people often are not happy to be hit with an extra charge if shuttle service is required.  And while it can be frustrating, it is important to remember that movers will only employ a shuttle if it is absolutely necessary.  It requires significantly more time, and sometimes more labor, for your mover to shuttle your belongings to or from the moving van.  The time, and consequently money, lost in having to employ shuttle service is not something moving companies make a habit of wasting.  While it will add to your total moving costs, it is better to have your belongings quickly loaded and unloaded and not lugged long distances to a moving van.

As you prepare for a long distance or interstate soon, you should speak with multiple moving companies and receive estimates.  As you speak to the moving representatives, you should discuss all the charges that are listed in the estimate, including the shuttle charge if there is one.  You will want to make sure that if shuttle service is required that your moving company is prepared to accommodate this special need.

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