What Are Long Carries?

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Life has ways of keeping us on our toes. An example: you may be all wrapped up in monitoring your things as they're transported into your new home, hoping that nothing gets damaged, watching the movers like a hawk. Then, just as you think it's all over, that everything has gone perfectly, you look at your bill and wonder what the heck a "long carry" is.

A long carry is a charge that may appear on your bill if the movers have a long distance to carry things from your home to the truck, or vice versa. They can be anticipated, but not always avoided.

The moving company will have a set distance that they will carry items with no additional charge. It is measured from the rear of the truck or van to the entrance of the residence. Let's say that a mover has a maximum carry distance of 100 feet as company policy. If they end up having to carry your things farther than 100 feet, you will receive a long carry charge.

How do I know if I'll get charged?

The first thing to do is ask the moving company if they even have this fee. When they come to make an estimate, bring the issue up. If they do charge for a long carry, ask if they expect one on this particular job. At least then you'll know. You can find out what their maximum distance is and measure it yourself.

There are certain situations that put you at a higher risk for this charge. If you live in an apartment, for instance, and the movers have trouble finding parking close by, they may be forced to exceed their maximum distance (because of the likelihood of a long carry, some moving companies have longer maximum distances for apartments). The same thing would apply, of course, if you live in a house and they can't find close parking.

If your house has one of those long, winding pathways to the main entrance, you might get charged a long carry fee. The same goes if there are, for example, imposing bushes lining the pathway that make loading through the main entrance difficult or impossible. The movers may have to take a different, longer path to get your things inside. This extra distance for them could translate to extra fees for you.

TIP: Make sure ahead of time that there is a clear, short path for the movers to take into your home. If you have some of those bushes, think about whether it's worth the money to just cut them down.

If you're going to get charged

Negotiate. See if they'll lower the price. If they don't, offer to help bring things in, and see if that changes their minds. At the very least, you'll cut down on the time that the move takes and save some money on that part of your bill.

Photo by: Stockimages (Freedigitalphotos.net)

Patrick Hanan  Posted by Patrick Hanan on August 27, 2009

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