- Planning Guides and Resources
- Moving With Kids
- Office Moving
- Cargo Protection
- Interstate Moving Guide
- Hazardous Items
- Elder Relatives
- Atlas How-To Guides
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It's the ounce of prevention we know volumes about.Poor packing is the most common cause of breakage during a relocation. Transporting fragile, delicate items safely involves a lot more than simply placing them in boxes. You get expert packing from Lone Star Relocation Services. We use the right cartons for different items, the right packing materials to cushion and protect the contents, and the right packing methods to assure a safe trip. We even use wooden crates for things like crystal chandeliers, pool table slates and antiques. When you trust your entire relocation to Lone Star Relocation Services, you save time you probably can't spare, save worry you don't need, and save costs you didn't expect.
We takes pride in packing your items. Take a few minutes to see how we will handle the following items.
|Custom-built wooden crates and protective packing safeguard antique tables, marble table tops, crystal chandeliers, fragile vases and other high-value possessions.|
|Reinforced cartons and proper wrapping offer maximum protection for mirrors and glass-front pictures.|
|Special items like fitness equipment, pianos and regulation-size pool tables are no challenge for Atlas. We move them every day. Some items may require specialized service by a third-party company, which your Atlas Agent will arrange.|
|Dustproof, reinforced wardrobe cartons keep clothing and draperies neat and clean, so they're ready to use right away when you arrive at your new home.|
|We can't accept aerosols because they might leak, or even explode, in transit. Other non-shippable items include caustic drain cleaners and flammables such as gasoline, charcoal starter, paint thinner and bottled gas.|
|Fine china, crystal, sterling silver, porcelain figurines — Atlas protects your family heirlooms for yet another generation to admire and to treasure.|
|We handle lampshades only by their frames, place them in tissue-lined cartons for added cushioning, and seal the cartons. Ceramic lamps require careful packing or, sometimes, crating.|
|Chinaware and crystal are individually wrapped and packed using proven techniques. Everything's snug and safe inside.|
|We treat home-office equipment (including PCs, monitors, printers, answering machines, fax machines) like your business depends on it.|
|The preferred way to move electronic components is in their original cartons with the original packing materials. You can do this yourself, if you like. If you don't have the cartons, Atlas can handle all the electronic equipment you may own including computers, large-screen and high-definition TVs, DVD players and VCRs, video cameras, stereo tuners and amplifiers, turntables, CD players and tape decks|
|If you decide to pack some items yourself, we recommend using the same materials that Atlas professionals use: double and triple-cell constructed cartons, cushioning wraps and packing tape. All are readily available at affordable prices from your Atlas Agent. Ask about what you need.|
Please contact us at 210-653-7000 if you need any help with you packing needs!
Moving With Kids
Timing and Telling
Creating Some Excitement
Preparing for the Move
Most of all take time to listen to your children during this very busy time.
Disconnect All Wiring:
Computers - Monitors - Keyboards - Disc Drives - Printers - Fax Machines - Etc.
Desks And Credenzas
Arrange Parking Space
Plan Layout Of Destination
Separate Belongings You Want To Keep
The Affordable AdvantageAtlas Van Lines and their agents care about your personal possessions. We are proud to deliver your belongings in the same condition as when placed in our care at origin. Our professional packers, skilled van operators and modern equipment all contribute to the high standard of quality service our customers can rely on. We, at Atlas, take pride in our ability to maintain one of the lowest claims ratios in the industry and we continue to lead the market in personalized services. No matter how careful we try to be, accidental loss or damage may occur. The decision to protect your possessions is no different than purchasing insurance for the contents of your home; for your peace of mind, you wouldn't be without it. We do however, want to point out that the Transit Protection coverage from movers is not "Insurance" in the normal sense of having a specific policy written under the auspices of an insurance underwriter. Instead, the funds for repair or replacement come from a "valuation pool" held by Atlas and coverage's are subject to the terms stated on the reverse of the Atlas Bill of Lading. To meet the particular needs of our customers, Atlas offers two choices of transit protection against accidental loss or damage. Please read the following pages and select your option carefully.
Released ProtectionAtlas offers, at no additional charge, basic standard released protection of 60 cents per pound per article. This means that if a non-packed item weighs 100 lbs., the maximum amount payable for loss or damage to that item will be $60.00. For example, a dining room chair weighing 30 lbs. has a maximum protection of $18.00. If the lost or damaged item (s) was packed in a carton by an Atlas agent, the maximum amount payable is calculated on the total weight of the packed carton. For example, a 5 lb. lamp packed in a china carton weighing 65 lbs. has a maximum protection of $39.00. Atlas, like all movers, has the option of repairing the item to your satisfaction or replacing that item up to the maximum protection under Option A. In the unlikely event of a total loss (by fire, for example), your maximum protection would be 60 cents for each lb. of actual weight on your entire shipment of household goods.
Replacement ProtectionMany families want the peace of mind and the advantage this additional protection offers. That's why Atlas designed a Replacement Protection Plan for maximum coverage at an affordable price. The Atlas Replacement Plan simply means that if the damaged item cannot be repaired to its original condition it will be replaced with one of like kind and quality at today's market price. This protection is limited only by the amount of valuation you select. It is important, therefore that you recognize and establish the realistic replacement value of all of your possessions. Our only requirement is that your shipment be protected to a minimum of $6.00 per pound of the actual weight of your household goods.
|To assist you in determining the amount of replacement coverage best suited to your needs, we have included a personal inventory guide. Once completed, this inventory will assist you in the event a claim should occur during your move. This guide will also assist you when you renew your homeowners policy at your new residence.
Motorized Vehicle ProtectionA limited protection coverage applies to motor vehicles, trailers, campers, snowmobiles, motorcycles, boats or motors. These items must be shown separately on the face of the Bill of Lading. Protection is limited to the current market value of the year, model and condition. When a vehicle's value exceeds the current market value, a certified appraisal must be attached to the Bill of Lading as proof of value. Pictures of the vehicle can prove very helpful when accompanying an appraisal.
Motorized Vehicle Damage & ClaimsIn the unfortunate event that a damage claim may arise, you must notify the destination agent immediately. Clear exceptions to any new damage must be recorded at the time you take possession of your vehicle directly on the Vehicle Condition Report for consideration of any claim. Your destination agent will proceed to give you instructions based on our policies, however, no repairs may be completed without prior authorization from the destination agent or directly from Atlas Customer Service Department. The total value of these items must be in addition to the required minimum coverage of $6.00 per pound of household goods weight. For this type of transit coverage on your vehicle(s), you must include a dollar value and your initials in the Option B section under item #3 Declaration of Value.
StorageAtlas and its agents provide two types of Storage: Storage-in-Transit (S.I.T.) and Long Term or Perm Storage (L.T.S.) Storage-in-Transit is for a period of not more than 60 days and must be in connection with a long distance move. The Terms and Conditions of Carriage on the Atlas Bill of Lading apply. Long Term Storage is storage for any length of time, not related to a long distance move or any length of time over 60 days in relation to a long distance move. L.T.S. services are offered by all Atlas agents and separate rules, regulations and rates apply depending on the Agency and services required. Goods placed in Long Term Storage are not covered under the protection provided on the Bill of Lading for transit. Further protection can be obtained from the Agent or from your own insurance company.
Claim ProceduresIn the unfortunate event of a loss or damage claim, Atlas and its agents are committed to providing prompt and equitable restitution.
When you sign your Bill of Lading, you are in fact attesting to your compliance to the government regulations that are in place regarding dangerous goods. Please carefully read the following declaration that appears as items #7 & #8 on the face of your Bill of Lading.
Non-Admissible ItemsHousehold goods carriers are prohibited by law from transporting the following goods:
Liability with respect to items such as photographs and similar objects is limited to the value of the film, albums, etc. No allowance will be made for items of sentimental value as they do not have a cash equivalent amount. You are strongly urged for your own protection to take such items with you.
Mechanical DamageIt is the shipper's responsibility to make preparation arrangements, before transit, of items of a mechanical nature. These items include, but are not limited to clocks, stereos, large appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers etc.) and any item, which has mechanically moving parts. Remember to remove CDs, video tapes or DVD disks from your machines prior to shipment. Remove ink or carbon cartridges from printers and insert a cardboard or blank disk in your computer disk drive before packing and moving these items. If these items are not properly prepared, damage can occur through no fault of the carrier.
WaterbedsYour Atlas Agent can make the servicing arrangements on your behalf. For information regarding waterbed servicing, ask your consultant for our "How to Move Your Waterbed" brochure or contact a professional waterbed servicing company.
Owner Packed CartonsAtlas cannot assume responsibility for damage to the contents of cartons that are not packed and unpacked by the contracting carrier, his agent or employees. If there is clear evidence of mishandling the cartons, or the exterior of the carton is damaged, resulting in breakage of the contents, the carrier will accept responsibility for obvious damage. This rule also applies to items that are not necessarily of a fragile nature but should have been packed professionally to reduce the risk of damage. Such items include but are not limited to: mattresses, box springs and dresser mirrors.
SetsIn the event there is loss or damage to one or more items that are part of a complete set (i.e. set of sofa, loveseat and chair), the carrier shall be liable only for the repair or replacement of the lost or damaged piece(s).
Inherent ViceThe carrier cannot be held responsible for damages to the type of items which by their very nature are subject to damage due to changes in temperature. Cold weather is a particular problem with certain types of possessions such as vinyl or plastic items or coverings. Similarly, the lacquered finish on furniture items may shatter in extreme cold. There is virtually nothing that a carrier can do to protect the furnishings against this factor during transit in extreme cold weather. You should discuss this matter with your moving consultant to determine how best to handle the situation. Generally, it may be best to leave those items at origin to be stored in a climate controlled warehouse for later shipping in more clement weather.
Note: If you are planning to move in the near future, you might want to print out this document and review it in your spare time. This document outlines the complete moving process and your interactions with your Atlas Agent , Lone Star Relocation Services, Ltd.
The Cost—How Is It Calculated?
After the Estimate
Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Documentation
If you have never made an interstate household goods move, perhaps you're wondering: "What do I do first?" "How is the cost of my move calculated?" "What documents are used, and what is their purpose?" "Is storage available?"
When questions like these are left unanswered, our anxiety level builds. The resulting pre-move stress impedes our ability to ask questions and make decisions clearly. Atlas believes that a portion of that stress may be alleviated by helping you to understand the basics of the van line system and the interstate moving process.
This brochure is designed to acquaint you with the events that occur at various stages of the move process, industry terminology and the documentation usually required. Various "tips" are also included that serve as suggestions and reminders. Definitions of italicized words can be found in the "Glossary" to help clarify information referenced throughout the brochure (e.g., see Interstate Commerce Commission).
Should you have further questions regarding your upcoming move, contact your local Atlas Agent (Lone Star Relocation Services 1-800-692-5536). Check your Yellow Pages for the number or call, 1-800-638-9797, extension 2268, for assistance.
Communication—You and Your Representative
When scheduling your appointment, allow the agency sales representative at least one hour of meeting time. The main objective of the appointment is to provide you with an approximate cost for your move. Take full advantage of this time to express any concerns you may have.
The more you communicate with your representative, the more "personalized" your estimate becomes. For example, suppose you're building a home in your new location and there's a slight possibility that it won't be completed in time for delivery.
Storage-in-transit may be an alternative. Or, perhaps it's important that costs be kept to a minimum. Your representative may assist by offering a special pricing program suitable for your budget. He or she may even offer tips on how you can cut costs relative to your move.
The cost of your move can be broken down into three categories: the transportation charge, the cost of valuation and the cost of materials and services required to complete the move. Let's look at each one individually.
Transportation Charge—This is usually your largest expense (60-75%). It is based on a tariff rate per hundred pounds for the actual weight of your shipment and the number of miles it will be traveling. The cost of loading your goods, transporting them and unloading them at destination comprises the charge.
Valuation—Valuation is the liability the carrier assumes for your goods while in their care. Most major carriers offer three plans: standard liability, declared value liability and full value liability. Your selection will determine the premium cost.
Materials and Services—Any materials and/or services required to complete your move will result in additional charges. For instance, when packing and unpacking is requested, you will pay for the cost of the packing material as well as the labor charges for the actual service. Listed below are examples of services which may result in additional costs:
As you escort your representative through each room of your home, he/she will be making a mental note of the various services that your move will require as well as completing a Table of Measurements, or cube sheet. That document is used to determine the cubic feet that your furniture, appliances, cartons and miscellaneous articles will occupy in the van. By assigning an average weight value per cubic foot, the representative converts the total cubic feet into pounds; thus, determining the estimated weight of your shipment. The cost estimate is then prepared based on that figure. Your sales representative will provide you with an Estimate/Order for Service detailing the breakdown of charges.
Remember . . . an estimate is just an estimate! Unless you've been given a guaranteed price (a binding estimate), the actual weight of your shipment will be used to compute the actual charges.
Finalizing Your Plans
Once you've selected a carrier, notify your agency representative immediately. This will assure immediate scheduling of your agreed pick-up and delivery dates. This is especially important during the peak season months (i.e., May 15 through September 30) when carriers experience about 48 percent of their business.
Your representative, also known as the booking agent, is now responsible for making the necessary arrangements for your move-from scheduling packing dates, to hiring an outside contractor to performing specialized services for items that require special handling (such as disassembly of a grandfather's clock or pool table).
If you intend to do your own packing, it is recommended that you purchase moving cartons and packing material from your local carrier. Properly used, professional containers aid in protecting your goods while in transit. Otherwise, check with liquor stores about acquiring good, sturdy boxes. Packing brochures, with helpful tips, are usually available from your carrier.
Labeling your boxes appropriately will assist both you and the driver in room placement at your new residence.
If your move requires full or partial packing, your origin agent (who may also be the booking agent) will notify you of the date and time that the packing crew is scheduled to arrive to begin preparing your household effects for transit. Depending on the size of your home and the amount of packing required, it may take one or more days to complete. Usually, the actual loading of the van takes place the following day.
What Goes On Behind The Scenes?
With Atlas Van Lines, the information contained on the Estimate/Order for Service is communicated to Atlas Headquarters and your shipment is assigned an identification number (registration number) which will appear on all documentation and correspondence.
The booking agent may elect to transport your shipment using their own driver and tractor-trailer. Or, they may turn the order over to the van line's Operations Department for driver selection and shipment scheduling. So, it's conceivable to have up to three different agents sharing the responsibility for your move-the booking agent, the origin agent and now the hauling agent. (Note: the booking agent can be the origin agent, the hauling agent or both.)
Unlike freight, moving household goods is not just a matter of picking up the goods from Point A and delivering them to Point B within a reasonable transit time. Consider this: there likely will be several shipments being loaded onto one trailer, originating from and delivering to different cities across the U.S., all of which must be moved within a specific timeframe. Now, that takes some planning and organization! That's where our Operations Department comes in. They are the "heart" of the system. With expertise, each individual Planner coordinates the routing of shipments within and from his/her respective geographic zone.
Our Dispatchers communicate that schedule to our drivers and participating agents and make sure that instructions are carried out accordingly. Because drivers normally "check in" daily, at any stage of your move, a telephone call on our toll-free line can provide you with the current status of your shipment.
It's a matter of teamwork! Everyone works together toward a common goal-to provide you the smoothest move possible!
Upon arrival, your driver will request that you sign the Bill of Lading. Your signature acts as authorization for the carrier to transport your belongings. It's imperative that you check the document for accuracy and completeness, and in the space provided, enter in your own handwriting, the type of valuation you have chosen.
Your driver is required to complete a Household Goods Descriptive Inventory of the items that are being shipped and to note their condition. Once the Inventory is completed, the driver will require your signature as your acknowledgment that the Inventory is, to the best of your knowledge, a true and complete list of the goods being tendered to the carrier and of the state in which the goods are received. (If an automobile or boat is included, a signed, Motor Vehicle Descriptive Inventory will also be required.)
When additional services are necessary in order to complete your move, the Additional Services Performed Origin/Destination Service and Delivery Report (A.S.P.O.D.) must be completed. (The name of this form may vary from one van line to another.) That document indicates, when applicable, the amount of manpower and time necessary to accomplish the particular service listed and, who is to perform them. Your signature acts as a confirmation that the services listed are completed as stated.
Now that the preliminaries are over, you simply sit back, relax, and let the driver and his helpers do their job.
What Should You Expect?
The Agreed Delivery Date on your Bill of Lading will specify the spread date or preferred time period that delivery of your goods can be expected. (Example: 5/26 to 6/07) Most drivers try to advise you of their anticipated arrival at least 24 hours in advance. In the unlikely event that your shipment is delayed past the agreed delivery date, you will be notified of the specifics.
If you have requested notification of the actual weight and charges by checking the appropriate box on the Bill of Lading, one of the staff from Operations should inform you of the amount due prior to delivery. Unless another means has been prearranged, payment is due at the time of delivery by cash, certified check or postal money order. The driver will not begin unloading until payment is received. Many carriers now honor major charge cards . . . but don't assume so. Check with your local representative in advance to confirm that their office participates in a charge card program. Verify which cards they accept and if any restrictions apply (e.g., can the transaction occur at origin or destination? can the charges be split between two different charge cards?). In the event the actual charges have exceeded the estimated charges by more than 10%, the driver will release your goods when you pay what is called the 110% Collection Option (not applicable on binding estimates).
For example, if the cost of your move was estimated at $2500.00, but the actual charges are $2800.00 you are only required to pay on delivery the estimated charges ($2500.00) plus 10% ($250.00) or a total of $2750.00. The balance of the charges will be due in 30 days. To this point, there have been up to three agents involved in your relocation-the booking agent, the origin agent, and the hauling agent. Now, a fourth agent is about to join the moving team. When the driver needs assistance in unloading, or specific arrangements need to be made for items requiring special handling, the destination agent assigned to your move can assist the driver by providing experienced helpers and scheduling other required services.
The destination agent's warehouse facility is also available in the event your shipment is tendered into temporary storage. As the driver begins to unload at your new residence, you should check off the items on your copy of the Inventory as they are carried in. This will help you determine if all furniture and/or cartons are accounted for. You should also record any noticeable damage. Once you have completed your inventory check, transfer any notations onto the driver's copy of the Inventory and sign it.
Hopefully, you've had an opportunity to plan ahead in regard to furniture placement. Although most drivers are very cooperative, they are only required to place furniture once. If you have requested "unpacking," it's important that you understand what unpacking actually entails. In industry terminology it means taking the packed items out of the cartons and placing them on a table or counter for the customer to place in cabinets or drawers; and, when requested, the disposal of used material and containers at the time of unpacking.
Although your carrier's objective is to transport your personal belongings without incident, there may be times when loss or damage does occur. If you should discover that items are missing and/or damaged, here's what you should do:*
Processing will begin at the corporate office upon receipt of your claim. A copy of the claim form with an assignment sheet will be faxed or mailed to a reputable repair firm authorizing them to make an inspection or proceed in restoring items damaged in transit. Articles that are non-repairable are reported to the Customer Service representative for further assessment. Every effort is made to locate any missing items. If your carrier is unable to recover them, restitution for lost and/or non-repairable items will be considered in your final settlement. A letter will be issued advising you of those terms. Oh, if your booking agent or van line sends you a service evaluation form, please complete it and mail it back. It's important that the van line know how your move was handled.
Hazardous ItemsBelow is a list of items we are not able to relocate for you.
Lawn and Garden
|Used motor oil||Weed killer|
|Auto batteries||Insect killer|
|Transmission fluid||Roach, ant poison|
|Brake fluid||Rodent bait|
|Gasoline, fuels||Fertilizer w/weed killer|
|Degreasers||Fertilizer (no weed killer)|
|Carburetor cleaner||Pool chemicals|
|Windshield washer||Lighter fluid|
|Oil-based paint||Toilet Cleaner|
|Latex paint||Drain / oven cleaner|
|Stain, varnish, lacquer||Spot remover|
|Paint thinner||Aerosol products|
|Furniture stripper||Rubbing alcohol|
|Wood preservatives||Cleaner w/ bleach**|
|Roofing tar||Cleaner w/ ammonia**|
|Driveway sealer||Polish w/ solvents*|
|Glue w/ solvents*||Glass cleaner|
|Putty, grout, caulk||Cosmetics|
|Glaze, spackle||Nail polish, remover|
|Concrete cleaner||Empty containers|
Moving Elder RelativesThe time may come when it will be necessary for you to move a family member from their own home to another type of accommodation. Depending on their state of health and finances, the options generally fall into three categories:
For the Active Senior – Retirement Communities
For the Less Active Senior – Retirement Homes
For Seniors Requiring Care – Nursing Homes
Finding the right accommodation can be a time consuming and sometimes difficult task. Nursing homes in particular often have waiting lists. If the person in question is not involved in the choice of residence, it is very important to be sensitive to the impact this move will have on your relative. Take extra time to listen to their concerns. Depending on how much space they will have in the new residence, help them to choose an appropriate number of special pieces of furniture and/or keepsakes to accompany them. Ask for their opinion before discarding belongings and honor their wishes as to how some items are to be distributed among family members or to worthy charities. If the relative is moving into a non-assisted living type arrangement, at least offer assistance in making the moving arrangements. Assist them with the sorting and any self-packing. Offer to let them stay at your home during the pre-move stage.