A more reliable volume estimate?

A forum for questions and information about packing, loading and other helpful tips (not related to researching or selecting moving companies).
The Mister
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:07 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby The Mister » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:18 am

Ugh... I'm confused.

ABF and other similar companies have various web-based tools to help estimate how many linear feet I would need. A "simple" estimator (# of rooms or square feet) gives me one number, and two more specific estimators (those that allow you to itemize your furniture + # of boxes) are all over the map (I got 28 feet using one estimator and 45 feet using another - both for similar trailer dimensions).

Some of these estimators also seem to underestimate the dimensions of certain furniture. For example, ABF's tool shows that a china cabinet would be around 14cf. I don't think this china cabinet - similar size to ours - is that small:
Image

(Ow! My eyes! Pink wallpaper! ;-) )

We're not talking about a little curio that fits in the corner (we have one of those as well).

And a coffee table is only 4cf?!?

Anyway, the point of my post is this:
Is there a more reliable way to get a better estimate? I would hate to fill up a trailer and find out I need another 15 linear feet. Likewise, I would hate to order 45 feet and only fill the first trailer.

farrah7031
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Location: Tallahassee, FL

Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby farrah7031 » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:32 am

Did you ever have someone come and do an in home estimate from a major vanline?

The Mister
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:07 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby The Mister » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:34 am

Not yet. That's probably something that we will be doing eventually (a bit further along in the process).

farrah7031
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Location: Tallahassee, FL

Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby farrah7031 » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:36 am

Ok. What I was thinking was you could use one of their weight estimates to figure out how many feet you would need.

ArchieWhite
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Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2004 11:38 am

Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby ArchieWhite » Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:12 pm

Farrah, are you saying that they should lure a real mover out there only for the purpose of getting to pick their brain and cube sheet for knowledge to use for other purposes........Thats not nice, and I think you should retract it......It sounds like you are telling this shipper to waste a real movers time, in order to make it easier on ABF or BE or Mooovers.....

MusicMom
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Location: DC Metro

Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby MusicMom » Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:16 pm

I know you're just waiting to jump on this, Archie, but Farrah's not saying to get a full-service mover out JUST to use their estimation, knowing full well they will not hire that mover.

The Mister
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:07 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby The Mister » Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:21 pm

At least in my situation, a hiring company would be moving me, so they would likely want to contract with one of the "big guys" regardless. I'm just thinking that if I can show them the cost savings, I might be able to split the difference with them or get them to contribute a portion of the savings to some other aspect of the relo that would otherwise not be covered.

In other words, it looks like I would probably be getting an in-home estimate either way.

I've also seen from other threads that these estimates can be all over the map as well, so I'm not sure what to think.

farrah7031
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Location: Tallahassee, FL

Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby farrah7031 » Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:31 pm

No Archie. I thought that if he had already got some estimates he could use that weight. You can't compare ABF to a major van line in cost NOR services. They're nothing alike.

ArchieWhite
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Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby ArchieWhite » Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:18 pm

Here's my point.....The BE's, ABF's, and Mooovers of the world beat the full service movers on price, because they keep their overhead down, and one way to do that is to get somebody else to do the leg work for free....IE, the cubesheet. As we discussed in another thread, the most important item in planning logistics for a move, is the ON-SITE,PREMOVE SURVEY. That tells you what size truck you need, how many men, how many boxes, where to park the truck etc. The quasi-movers can't do this by phone, so they either have to guess, or get a shadow estimate, that is, get a REAL MOVER to perform that survey, then steal their proprietary property ( the all important cube sheet). I would think such a website as this would be above even hinting to someone to get that cubesheet under false pretenses, by having a professional come out and waste his time by performing a service with no possible chance to book the job.

To any of you that have done this in the past, you did wrong, but here is how to handle this situation in the future......Advise people to call a REAL MOVER and tell them they need a cubesheet done, and offer to pay $100 (or more in the big cities) for that cube sheet. Most mover's have sales people who would do that, just knock off a cube sheet for $100. If $100 sounds high, remember it's about a 3 hour project, driving, and paperwork.

Now I think I see why my earlier questions in other posts about the possibility of the currrent fair haired movers doing shadow estimating was never answered. That tells me a lot.

BBATCO1
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Location: Chicago

Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby BBATCO1 » Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:05 pm

Right on Archie!!

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twalker
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Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby twalker » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:32 pm

Hey Archie,

The last post has some advice that's useful, but I've been reading a lot of trash talk too. Didn't you say you wanted to help around here? Contributions are welcome, but if you're going to spend most of your time bashing people who donate a good portion of their own free to try to help other people, then it really starts to look like you've got another agenda. None of the volunteers have to be here. They're here on their own, and the reward is only the thanks that they get for the help they give. Nobody needs to have attitude thrown their way for doing good deeds, so while nobody is asking you to agree with them, I would appreciate it if you could at least show some respect for what they do.

Thanks.

Tim Walker
Movingscam.com

moverjim
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:16 pm
Location: LOS ANGELES

Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby moverjim » Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:06 am

Mr Mister,

Why would you attempt to do a freight move with the type of furniture you have? Your wife should stop you NOW!!
You can save monies by doing a majority of the packing of boxes and culling out your household goods.

moverjim
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 5:16 pm
Location: LOS ANGELES

Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby moverjim » Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:09 am

FYI, the breakfront shown is more like 70 cubic feet.

The Mister
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:07 pm
Location: Richmond, VA

Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby The Mister » Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:02 am

moverjim wrote:Mr Mister,

Why would you attempt to do a freight move with the type of furniture you have? Your wife should stop you NOW!!
You can save monies by doing a majority of the packing of boxes and culling out your household goods.
Bold = mine

Actually, the reason we were thinking of doing a freight move instead of full service move to begin with is that we know for sure we'll be doing most of our packing already. (See my thread here, particularly my post of Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:30 am.)

I was under the impression that the "big name" full service guys would charge the same premium price whether they did the actual packing or not. However, if they're willing to cut a deal due to (a) our packing the boxes and (b) letting us load the less bulky items, then I'm totally koo widdat.

Also, what exactly do you mean by "culling out your household goods"? We already know we'll be keeping many of our necessities with us in transit, if that's what you mean. (No point in paying someone else to make us live off 3 changes of clothes for a month or two.)

farrah7031
Posts: 4619
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 5:08 am
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Re: A more reliable volume estimate?

Postby farrah7031 » Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:05 am

Packing is usually NOT included with the major van lines. The quote is only for loading/unloading/transporting. You will pay extra for packing. The only issue is, if you pack your own goods, the van line will not be responsible for any damages, as they didn't pack them.

Just something to think about. But I definitely would get an in home quote from a well respected mover in your local area.


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