Is the mover properly licensed?
Any mover, including piano movers, must be licensed both in the state they work out of and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The mover should be able to provide you with both a US-DOT number and a MC (Motor Carrier) number. These numbers are legally required to be listed on their website and clearly posted on their truck. It’s a big red flag if they are not clearly posted in both places.
The US-DOT number is defined as: A US-DOT number is an identifier that is unique to your company. It allows quick access to your company’s safety information. … Commercial vehicles used by your company to transport passengers or haul cargo in interstate commerce, must have the company’s USDOT number displayed on every commercial company vehicle.
An MC number is defined as: An MC Number stands for a Motor Carrier number. It is a number that allows carriers to cross State lines and it also allows the government to track freight brokers through their system.
Once the mover provides you with these numbers, you can search the Department of Transportation database to find out if the Licenses are in good standing using these links:
Is the mover fully insured?
Doing the search on the US-DOT and MC numbers is doubly beneficial. In order to have a valid MC number, the mover must keep all of their insurance policies current and on file with the Department of Transportation. If their policies get cancelled for any reason, the US-DOT will suspend or revoke their MC Number/license.
They should also be able to provide you with a valid COI (Certificate of Insurance) prior to the move. This will list all of their insurance policies along with the limits for each.
Does the mover have the experience and knows how to move a piano correctly and safely?
Every mover you talk to will assure you that they know how to move a piano. In reality, very few of them do. It takes years of experience and knowledge of proper moving techniques to do it correctly. When talking to the mover:
They should be able to confidently describe the entire process, including breaking down and setting up a grand piano to you.
They should also have pictures or videos on their website demonstrating their procedure.
You can watch our training videos, then question them on their procedure to see if they know what they are talking about.
Can they provide you with any references?
Every mover should have at least a few references from business owners, institutions, etc. These people or businesses can provide you with their personal experience with the mover.
Trust your instincts!!!
If the mover looks or acts sketchy, has poor communication skills, doesn’t return phone calls, etc. he is probably not the mover for you. It is all too common for a guy who has “moved a few pianos” to buy or rent a truck, grab a couple of guys at the corner market, and call himself a piano mover.
Do a little quick research and trust your instincts. You will be thankful you did!