Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to move?

If there is a choice, most moving companies suggest you select a time other than summer, the end of the month or the end-of-year holidays. The heaviest demands are placed on vans, equipment and personnel during these periods. However, Mayflower Transit Agency believes you should move when it is most convenient for you. Factors involved in the decision may include:

  • Whether the move must be made immediately
  • Transferring children during the school term
  • Separation of the family while the move is under way

If the move can be scheduled for a time when vans and trained personnel are more readily available, we’ll be better able to meet your preferred delivery schedule.

How long does it take to move?

This depends on many factors, such as the time of year, weather conditions, size of your shipment, time required to load and unload, and the direction and distance your shipment is traveling. Because the furnishings of the average household will not fill a van, it is often necessary for two or more shipments to be loaded on the same van. Each shipment is carefully sectioned off from the others. With the help of Mayflower’s computer-assisted dispatching system, pickup and delivery dates are scheduled according to the origins and destinations of individual shipments on the van, as well as shipment weight.

How soon should I call a moving company?

The earlier, the better. The more lead time you can give, the more likely we will be able to meet your preferred delivery schedule. All moving companies, for their standard type of service, require alternate pickup and delivery dates. We’ll do our best, of course, to comply with the dates you prefer or the nearest possible alternatives. You will be notified in advance of the loading date for your goods and of the estimated date of arrival. If your pickup and delivery dates are critical due to such factors as a lease expiration or a real estate closing, you may choose an extra-cost service which will enable us to accommodate a more precise, reasonable schedule. You should discuss your specific pickup and delivery requirements with your Mayflower agent, who can advise you regarding the types and costs of services available.

Will Mayflower move high-value items from my home?

Yes; however, Mayflower must be advised in writing that they are being included in your shipment. High-value inventory lists are provided by Mayflower Transit, and you should receive one at the time that the visual survey is done. If for some reason you do not receive it please notify your coordinator and one will be provided for you. Appraisals, at your expense may also be required.

What are Items Of "Extraordinary Value"

In the moving industry, items having a value of more than $100 per pound are known as “articles of extraordinary value.” All “articles of extraordinary value” in your shipment must be listed on the High-Value Inventory form which will be given to you by the salesperson to complete. An on-line copy is also available. Although you might have other articles of extraordinary value, the following list should help you identify items that might fall under this classification: jewelry, furs, art and coin collections, crystal, figurines, antiques, Oriental rugs, precious stones or gems, china and silverware. In the event of a claim, any settlement involving an article of extraordinary value listed on the High-Value Inventory form is limited to the value of the article, not to exceed the declared value of the shipment, based upon the Mayflower valuation program applicable to your shipment. If an article of extraordinary value is not listed on the form, Mayflower’s maximum liability is limited to $100 per pound per article. If you are not shipping any items of high-value, sign the form and print the word “None” in the inventory list.

What types of payment are available, and when is payment due?

Tariff provisions require that all charges be paid before your shipment is unloaded at destination (unless prior arrangements have been made for later billing). Payment for your Mayflower shipment can be made by one of the following methods: cash, traveler’s check, money order or cashier’s check. In addition, the American Express® Card, Discover Card, Visa® or MasterCard® can be used to pay for interstate moves only, with advance approval required prior to loading (unless other billing arrangements have been made). Personal checks are not accepted. All payment forms apply to both binding and non-binding estimates. If you have received a non-binding estimate and your actual moving costs exceed the estimate, you will be required to pay no more than 110% of the estimated cost at delivery. Should your actual costs exceed the estimate by more than 10%, you will be given 30 days after delivery to pay the amount over 110%. Payment of estimated charges plus 10% does not apply if goods are delivered into storage. If storage at destination (storage-in-transit) is necessary, all transportation charges must be paid at time of delivery of the shipment to the warehouse. You will then be assessed storage charges based on the applicable rates set forth in our tariff.

Can my possessions be stored temporarily?

If you are unable to take immediate possession of your new residence, your belongings can be stored in a local Mayflower agent’s warehouse. Mayflower agents throughout the world provide safe storage facilities for holding your goods until you’re ready for them. However, you are responsible for the storage charges, warehouse handling charges, valuation coverage charges while in storage, and final delivery charges from the warehouse. Please ask your Mayflower representative for more information regarding storage arrangements.

Will my furnishings remain clean?

Mayflower’s exclusive Sanitized®-treated, air-ride vans provide a clean, safe move. The Sanitized® feature, which inhibits mildew growth and controls insects, is an extra measure of hygienic safety for your belongings. In addition to this service, Mayflower protects your upholstered furniture with Safety Seal, a clear plastic material, before they are wrapped with furniture pads.

Do my appliances need special attention?

Most refrigerators, washers, dryers, and other electrical or mechanical appliances require special servicing to ensure safe transportation. Any moving parts such as motors on major appliances, washer drums, ice makers and the pickup arm on a phonograph should be securely fastened for shipment. Gas appliances need to be serviced and disconnected prior to your move. It is the owner’s responsibility to see that appliances are serviced for shipment before they are loaded on the van. Upon request and for an additional charge, a moving company will perform this service, using either its own qualified personnel or an authorized service company. For more information on servicing and cleaning appliances for moving, ask your Mayflower agent for the booklet “Moving Appliances & Other Home Furnishings.”

Do I need an estimate?

A Mayflower agent will make a pre-move survey of your household goods to be transported. A pre-move survey is needed to determine the approximate cost of a move and the amount of van space your goods will occupy. Your Mayflower agent will compute the approximate cost and give you a written Estimate/Order for Service. An accurate estimate cannot be calculated without a visual survey of the goods to be moved. There is no charge for the estimate. Use this link to begin this process now. Keep in mind that estimates (household goods surveys) are only guidelines. On interstate shipments, you must pay the total charges as determined by the actual weight of your shipment, the distance it travels, and the services that you authorize or which become necessary to handle your shipment. Charges for local shipments are generally calculated on an hourly basis. There may be a minimum number of hours required. These shipments are handled by the local moving company, not the interstate carrier.

What is a binding estimate?

A binding estimate or binding cost of service specifies in advance the precise cost of the move based on the services requested or deemed necessary at the time of the estimate. If additional services are requested or required at either origin or destination (such as a “shuttle” to or from a location to which a full-size van cannot operate directly or a “long carry” from the street to residence), the total cost will increase. Binding estimates are valid for the time period specified, up to 60 days. If you add items to be moved or require additional services, such as packing, between the time of the estimate and the time of your move, there will be additional charges. An addendum specifying these additional charges will be prepared for your signature. If you are interested in obtaining a binding estimate, please discuss it with your Mayflower agent.

Is a moving company "licensed?"

Any moving company operating with California, as we do, must be licensed by the state. We list our license information at the bottom of every page on this website. As for vanlines that move shipments state to state (interstate) such as Mayflower, they are issued a certificate of authority by the federal government to move household goods among any of the 50 states. Earl Farnsworth Express has proudly represented Mayflower as an agent since 1982 and has serviced thousands of customers throughout the nation.

What is a tariff?

This is the list of rules, regulations, available services and resulting charges used by all motor carriers which provide interstate transportation of household goods. The tariffs are published by each household goods motor carrier and include its various services. The tariffs are available for your inspection upon request.

Are my household goods protected against loss or damage while they are in transit?

Yes, but how much protection you have and its cost to you depend upon the Mayflower “valuation” program you choose – Full-Value Coverage or Released Rate Liability (60 cents per pound per article). The valuation option you select determines the basis upon which any claim will be adjusted and establishes the maximum liability of Mayflower. The liability of Mayflower for loss or damage is based upon Mayflower’s tariffs, as well as federal laws and regulations, and has certain limitations and exclusions. Valuation is not insurance; it is simply a tariff-based level of motor carrier liability. If you desire insurance, you should consult your insurance company representative about available insurance coverages, because Mayflower does not offer insurance.

Released Rate Liability - Basic Coverage

With this type of valuation, Mayflower’s maximum liability for loss or damage to any article in the shipment is 60 cents multiplied by the weight of the article. This is the basic liability level and is provided at no charge.

Full-Value Coverage

Under this protection plan, if any article is lost, destroyed or damaged while under Mayflower’s Interstate authority, it will either

  1. repair the article to the extent necessary to restore it to the same condition as when it was received by Mayflower, or pay you for the cost of such repairs; or
  2. replace the article with an article of like kind and quality, or pay you for the cost of such a replacement. An additional charge applies for this option. Mayflower will determine the appropriate settlement method to be used.

Full-Value Coverage and deductible options are available in dollar increments to fit your needs at very attractive rates. The deductible options are as follows:

  • Option A — Full-value protection with no deductible
  • Option B — Full-value protection with a $250 deductible
  • Option C — Full-value protection with a $500 deductible Mayflower’s total liability for loss or damage will be the amount you declare as the value of your shipment. However, the minimum total declared value must be at least equal to the weight of your shipment multiplied by $5.00.

You must select the valuation program, and you must write your choice in the "Valuation" box on the Bill of Lading in your own handwriting.

You must select the valuation program, and you must write your choice in the “Valuation” box on the Bill of Lading in your own handwriting. For a full description of the Full-Value Coverage and Released Rate Liability programs, please ask your Mayflower agent.


Package Supplies

Farnsworth Express stocks all the supplies you will need for your move and storage.

Download our Packing Materials List.

Call or FAX the supplies you would like to order and we will have them ready and waiting for you when you arrive. Be sure to include all your contact information.