When you look at the very reasonable estimates that self-drive moving van companies publish, it can seem unreasonable that professional movers would ask for as much as $10,000. The problem is, the whole self-drive concept usually only seems doable when you leave out a good part of the practical complications involved.
Driving a moving van isn’t what it seems
If a person untrained in commercial driving were asked to jump into a huge semi-trailer truck and drive away, they would hesitate for obvious reasons. A semi would be too big a leap up from a car or SUV. They would have great difficulty negotiating turns, overtaking, stopping, parking and reversing. Yet, when it’s a large moving van, it’s easy to imagine that it would be no challenge at all.
It’s important to understand that in many ways, driving a large, 26-foot moving van tends to be just as unpredictable. When you allow for the fact that these vans are usually very poorly maintained, you’ll need to prepare with special training, especially when you need to move across the country. Such moves involve nighttime driving, parking in and backing out of tight parking lots at hotels and restaurants, and other difficulties.
Self-drive company estimates are usually wrong
U-Haul’s website estimates that a 26-foot moving van with a 7,400-pound loading limit, their largest, is likely to fit a four-bedroom house. User estimates, however, tend to be different. Families moving tend to find that they are able to fit nothing larger than a two-bedroom house into such a moving van, especially when they have little training in efficient space utilization. This means that moving the average home will need multiple runs.
You may not have friends to help you
Even if your plan is to simply move everything you own into a moving unit box and have the professionals do the actual driving, the loading and unloading can be injury risks. If you have friends helping you with the project, their injuries could turn out to be the major problem, as well. You may not even have friends helping you unload when you finally get to your destination.
It’s important to understand how the DIY move is a deceptive idea. It may work reasonably well for small, local moves. For relocations involving entire houses and great distances, it can be unworkable. It’s important to resort to expertise of a cross-country moving company when the challenges are as difficult. It’s the sensible approach to take.