Why hire a 'labor only' moving company?

Why hire a 'labor only' moving company?

What is the difference between 'Labor Only' and 'Full Service' moving companies?

Sometimes it can be confusing as to what is the difference between a 'labor only' and a 'full service' moving company. If we had to boil it down to one simple word, here it is: Trucks.

Full service companies own and operate their own fleet of moving trucks. These can range in sizes from 16 foot box trucks, all the way up to 50 foot semi trucks.

This is the best aspect of full service moving companies as you do not have to worry about renting or driving your own moving truck. The movers show up with their truck on your move date, load up, and haul it to your new place all without you needing to do much aside from guiding them and telling them where to put your items in your new home.

So why should I hire 'Labor Only' movers?

1) The Price

Well the first and arguably the most important reason is price.

Labor-only movers can offer you a very similar experience to that of full service movers, but because they don't have the overhead of maintaining and insuring moving vehicles, they can offer this service at a lesser price. Sometimes the price difference can be drastic, up to 50% less in some cases.

You still get the luxury of not padding, packing, disassembling, loading and unloading all of your household items. Labor-only movers will typically do anything that full service movers will do, aside from providing and driving the moving vehicle between point A and point B.

So if you are comfortable with driving a somewhat larger rental truck, (or learning how!) or you opt to use a service like PODS or U-PACK, then you get to take advantage of these big savings, all while getting the same move done in the same amount of time.

2) Packing / Assembly Help

Often time you will need more help than just physically moving your household items. Maybe you also need help with packing/protecting your items with moving blankets, or disassembling and reassembling furniture. Packing can be a stressful and time consuming endeavor. Especially when you are balancing work and family obligations. Hiring labor only movers to come in and help prepare your home for move day can offer a huge sigh of relief.

Professional movers are often times going to be much more efficient and knowledgeable than you or your family members when it comes to packing / disassembling. How often do you find yourself asking "how do I pack that?", or "How many boxes do I need?" or "does this NEED to go into a box?" (the answer is usually yes for this one by the way).

This is what movers do. They know how to pack and disassemble furniture much faster (and safer!) than your average Joe.

Another common misconception we hear from customers is that labor-only movers do not provide the packing materials (AKA boxes / tape / shrink wrap, ETC...).

This is not always true and really varies from company to company. For example we at Pack My Truck Moving Co. are more than happy to provide all of the packing materials you could need upon request. Just be sure to inquire with the labor-only company you are working with about this one.

3) Your move doesn't require a truck.

Although a vast majority of moves will require a truck, this is not always the case. Some examples truck-less moves:

Say you're...

  • moving from one apartment to another within the same complex.
  • are having your floors replaced in your house and need help moving your furniture into the garage.
  • needing a couch moved from the living room downstairs to upstairs into the bonus room.
  • going to need help assembling a couple pieces of furniture that you just purchased.

It would certainly be a shame to have to pay a full service company their higher rates without utilizing their most expensive asset (their truck). As someone who has worked for full service companies for 5+ years, this happened more often than you would think.

4) They can load the truck more efficiently and safely.

Lets face it, movers can fit things into trucks that you thought barely fit into your house.

The volume of stuff in your house often requires precise stacking within the truck in order for it to all fit. (And lets not forget about the patio furniture, grill, outdoor plants, and the stuff in the garage / basement). This is where professional movers come in.

They know what items should be placed at the bottom of the stack and which items should be loaded toward the ceiling for max efficiency and safety for your items.

This is a skill that is acquired over time and because these movers have that experience, they can load your truck with more stuff than you thought would fit, in less time you thought it would take, and in a safer manner than you thought possible.

So when you get to your new destination, you don't find yourself opening the truck door to all of your stuff broken or damaged.

5) Avoid injuries and keep your friends.

I know what your thinking: "Well if I rent the truck myself, I might as well load and unload it too!" and this IS a feasible way to get your move done.

But here are some things to consider:

Aside from the cost, moving can be a dangerous endeavor. Between packing your items, wrapping them in moving blankets, lifting, stacking, and securing every item from your house or apartment and into the truck, there is a lot of room for error. Not to mention doing it all again at your new home. Here are some examples of what could go wrong:

  • You slip down the truck ramp because its raining outside.
  • Your hand-truck gets caught on a rock and throws your boxes on the ground (There goes your expensive China).
  • Your cousin Jimmy pushes too hard while you two are carrying grandmas 100 year old heirloom dresser and you drop it which in turn haunts your new house.
  • You took a corner too fast carrying that cute coffee table you just bought (the wooden one with pointy corners) and put a lovely new hole in your drywall.

Not to mention the task of trying to persuade your friends into helping you move that you know will likely leave you alone on move day or surrounded by a couple of negative Nancy's to help you load your truck.


Regardless of whether you opt for a full service moving company or a labor only moving company, it really is best to leave it to the pros when it comes to safely moving your belongings. We often hear from our customers that it is some of the best money ever spent and we genuinely love what we do!

And now you know how to decide whether or not you need a "full service" company or a "labor only" company.

Now I will leave you with one last tip (and arguably the most important): CHECK ONLINE REVIEWS!

Reviews go a long way in this business. Often times moving companies (full service and labor only) will change their names every few months because their old reviews haunt them.

Find a reputable moving service that has a track record of overall positive experiences. Also ask around. Odds are your neighbors, friends, or family have had good or bad experiences with moving companies, and this can help guide you in your search for a quality moving company.

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