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800.222.4744 | MA: 617.926.5555 | VA: 703.566.4391

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What is a Moving Shuttle?

Smaller Shuttle Truck

There’s usually a few components to interstate moves that are industry standards, but unfamiliar to moving newbies.  One such component is a moving shuttle.  Below are some of our frequently asked questions and answers around shuttles to help our customers understand why they’re a necessary element to many interstate moves.

What is a shuttle?

A shuttle service allows us to serve customers who are moving into or out of homes that are difficult to access with a tractor trailer truck.  The shuttle is a smaller truck that the customer’s goods are loaded onto at their home.  A shuttle truck allows the driver and crew to bring the vehicle close to the residence and load or unload your possessions as safely and efficiently as possible.  A shuttle is sometimes also called an auxiliary service.

How does it work?

Before the pick up or delivery occurs, the moving consultant or driver will scope out the residence to determine if a shuttle is needed.  If it is determined that the tractor trailer cannot access the home, the driver will rent a smaller truck.  He will leave his tractor trailer in a safe location (usually at a fellow Wheaton agent’s secure warehouse), and bring the small truck to the residence to expertly move the household goods out.  The driver then drives the loaded shuttle truck back to his tractor trailer, and offloads everything onto the tractor trailer truck.  Now that the customer’s items are safely loaded onto his truck, the driver can hit the road and make his way to the customer’s destination.  The process is the same but reverse if the shuttle occurs at the destination address.

What are situations in which a shuttle would be used? 

Movers need to use shuttles in any situation where the tractor trailer cannot access the home.  Most shuttles are needed for urban residences due to the narrow streets, lack of parking, and limited space to maneuver in cities.  Some neighborhoods and apartment complexes do not allow tractor trailers on the premises.  However, sometimes shuttles are also needed in even the most rural areas due to unpaved driveways with wet or loose ground, access that is too steep or includes a tight bend, or clearance problems due to tree branches or power lines.

Why are there extra costs associated with shuttles?  If I don’t use it, do I get charged?

Yes, using a shuttle adds additional costs to the price of the move, the cost is based on a per hundred rate and dependent on the size (weight) of your move.  Shuttles cost money because it’s almost like adding a local move on top of your interstate move, renting the truck and the additional time and labor to transfer everything from the small truck to the tractor trailer can all be costly.  For this reason, drivers like to avoid using shuttles unless they are absolutely necessary, shuttles are not profitable for drivers, and the extra time slows down their trip.  It is ultimately up to a driver whether or not a shuttle will be used.  Even if your moving consultant includes a shuttle charge on your estimate, you will only be charged if the shuttle actually occurs.

Why doesn’t the driver use a smaller truck for the move instead?

In order to make interstate moving cost effective for both customers and moving companies, an interstate driver and moving truck almost always has multiple customers’ shipments on his truck at the same time.  If the driver used a smaller truck, he could only bring one customer’s shipment from Massachusetts to Florida.  With a large tractor trailer, he can also services several other customers along that route, making moving much more inexpensive for everyone.

If  you have any other questions about shuttles, reach out to your moving coordinator.

Now that you have a better understanding of shuttles, request your free estimate for your interstate move.

Other great tips for Interstate Moving

Moving Tips in our Resource Center

When is the Delivery Date For My Interstate Move?

Moving Appliances & Special Furniture

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