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jmhonnold New Reader
1/9/19 11:13 a.m.

Hi All:

    Not sure if this is the correct group to post my plea for help, but I need suggestions.  We are planning a move out of state and need to move a 20 car collection, and shop equipment.  Looking at a move like this is daunting and I do not how to proceed.  I think I have the cars taken care, but it is the rest of the stuff that needs to be moved.  Most moving companies won't move anything that has any oil or related petroleum products (i.e. transmissions, engines, lifts, etc.), or is what they consider too heavy (i.e. tools, etc.).  Does any know of a moving company that will move our garage and collection?



Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
1/9/19 11:36 a.m.

First question: from where to where?  Second question: budget involved? Time restraints?

When I had to move all of my tools from my ex's garage back to my house, I rented a 24' box truck with a lift-gate.  I'm not sure how much stuff you have, but that's a pretty big truck and even with my "toss everything into the back" loading technique, I had plenty of room.  The biggest PITA part was loading my scissor lift as it was a tad bigger than the lift gate.

In my experience, it's not the move itself that is the problem, it's the packing. That may take longer than the move itself. You may want to look into a commercial moving company where you can rent a crap-load of plastic bins to put things in.  The movers generally won't open the bins to look at what is getting moved (hint, hint). 

jmhonnold New Reader
1/9/19 12:38 p.m.


Thanks for the input.  I really appreciate the help.

   We are moving from the Denver, CO area to Dallas, TX (I should have mentioned that earlier).  I want to be careful about the budget as anyone would.  I am already look at around $8k to move all of the cars on two large car haulers.  I was initially thinking that I would move most of the garage contents myself, but not sure if that is the best plan.  I probably don't have more than $5k left in the budget for the garage contents.  I have no idea if that is enough, but I was hoping it would.  Do you have any thoughts on moving contents in a 50' x 75' garage might be?  Do moving companies that do this kind of thing go by the weight, volume, or both?  I have three 4-post lifts (it may be better to leave some or all of them), two fairly large tool chests, 4 benches I would like to bring, many shelving units (most of them can be taken apart fo the move), 6 engines (most 4 bangers), 5 transmissions (small car stuff), and many car parts in bins ( >40).

   As expected, we are also moving our residence and I think I will be busy enough with that part of our move.  That's why I would like some help with the garage move.

   A fortunate part of all of this is that we are actually planning ahead, and are not in any hurry.  It may be up to six months before we must move.

    The lift gate is an awesome idea.  I may have to go that route and rent the largest truck with a lift gate that I can, but that is not the best solution with everything else that is going on.  However, if that is the only way I can make this work, I will rent a truck.

Thanks again.

californiamilleghia Reader
1/9/19 1:19 p.m.

Can you buy your own 40 ft trailer ?

Pack it up , have it mailed to Texas and unload when you have the time , then sell the trailer off .

And a real long haul trailer 18 wheeler type ,  not one pulled by a pick up, 

If you are using someone else's box van / uhaul truck you need to give it back to them in a few days , if you own it you can take your time.....

jmhonnold New Reader
1/9/19 2:08 p.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :

   That's a good idea.  I did call Pods, but there prices are too ridiculous.  Even if I lost a little money on the trailer, it will still be cheaper than using Pods (or probably a rental truck).  I am just not sure how to 'mail' the trailer to Texas, but I will need to find out.  I'll start looking around to see if I can find a trailer that would work and be cost effective.

   My only other concern is the weight.  Each of the lifts are almost 2000 lbs.   I would guess that I would have over 8 tons of stuff (including lifts).  That should be o.k. in a big rig trailer, but not sure.

xflowgolf SuperDork
1/9/19 2:18 p.m.

If going the semi trailer route, you can load 43-46,000 lbs. max on a standard dry van trailer and be legal if spread out appropriately.  I wouldn't think you'd be anywhere near the limit.  

You'd have to farm out the transport of the trailer via a freight broker or the like.  Having trailer titled/legal may be a hassle, and not sure how that would work with a private owner and trying to transport it 800 miles legally.  Wonder what it would cost to just lease a trailer from a national place for a month or something that wouldn't have to be returned to the same place?  (EDIT:  along the lines of ABF U-Pack as APEowner posted below)

I'd imagine professional machinery movers, rigging/transport types would be prohibitively expensive.  

I'd imagine it would all fit on a big box truck as well.  You can rent a box truck without a CDL if it's under 26,000 lbs. total iirc (including truck).  Depends how many engines/transmissions and the like you're moving in addition to those lifts.        


APEowner Dork
1/9/19 2:21 p.m.

When I moved from Upstate NY to Albuquerque I used ABF U-Pack for the house and shop.  It works like Pods but with a 40 foot trailer and a lower cost.  I moved the lathe and milling machine on the car trailer so I wouldn't have to figure out how to get them in and out of the big trailer but everything else went in the 40 footer.

californiamilleghia Reader
1/9/19 2:27 p.m.

I would say a 40ft sea container but they normally want the trailer back and charge you for each day you keep it , we never tried to buy the trailer outright , 

If you have the room a 40ft sea container is about $2000.  Spend the little extra and get the high cube taller one  ,.......

SVreX MegaDork
1/9/19 2:36 p.m.

Came here to say that. 

“Sea container” AKA “Conex”. Also has the advantage of being ground level, so it is MUCH easier to load/ unload than a trailer. 

Expect those lifts to take up a lot more space than you anticipated. They don’t pack well. 

I’d also consider renting an extended reach forklift at both ends for loading and unloading. You can also use them to install the lifts. Make light work out of the job. 

Then call a temp agency and get a few helpers for a couple weekends. 

That will total about $5000,  but you’ll get $2K back when you sell the conex when you’re done. 

xflowgolf SuperDork
1/9/19 2:40 p.m.

oooh, I like the sea container idea.  Low floor to load, and you don't have to worry about axle maintenance or legality of trailer things.  

SVreX MegaDork
1/9/19 2:42 p.m.

If you go the conex route, be aware that it will be tilted at nearly a 30* angle when loaded and unloaded. Pack accordingly. 

jmhonnold New Reader
1/11/19 5:01 p.m.

Thank you for all of the suggestions.  This is awesome!

I found a small company locally that will supposedly help to pack and then deliver to Texas, but I have no idea of the cost yet.  I'll see what the owner says when he comes by to give me an estimate.

The sea container sounds like a good option, and not the expensive.  I don't have problem with room since I live on 5 acres.

The 30 degree loading may be a problem.  I'll just need to be sure to strap everything down nice and tight. 

I am planning on using pallets for the engines and transmissions.  It will probably be easier to load/unload with a fork lift.

Thanks again for all the help. 


californiamilleghia Reader
1/11/19 8:26 p.m.

Look on craigslist and there will be a lot of companies selling containers , 

They will know someone to haul it to Texas , 

You might ask how much for the container and the trailer ,  you can sell them off when you empty the container,

And like I said above , get the tallest container you can , I think 9 1/2 ft tall ,  you may even want to keep it as a cheap storage unit.

jgrewe Reader
1/19/19 5:23 p.m.

The problem with a container will be the pick up.  The trailer that they drop off an empty one being sold for storage is different than what they move full ones around with.  Unless you are near a sea port(you're not, lol) that does a lot of container shipping it will be a tough one to find. 

200mph Reader
1/21/19 9:54 p.m.

Movers usually charge by weight, not volume.

So, I would sell the lifts on here or craigslist.  You can prob replace them in TX for less than you paid for these... prices have come down considerably in the last couple of years.


nutherjrfan UltraDork
1/23/19 9:36 p.m.
Sopoj New Reader
1/28/19 4:52 p.m.


BFH_Garage New Reader
1/28/19 7:36 p.m.

We moved from IL to VA a year and a half ago. I my the two tall rolling tool boxes and they rolled them right onto the moving truck with everything else from the house. They also didn't care too much about heavy stuff or oil. I had my spare automotive fluids in a couple crates that I was going to throw in the car, but they took them too. If it wasn't bolted down in the house/garage, it ended up in the truck.

It all comes down to weight, they will estimate the weight when giving you a quote and then weigh the truck before/after for your actual charge. Our estimate was pretty close, they didn't understand how two people could have so much stuff...


tocnaza New Reader
5/26/19 4:03 a.m.

very interesting!

SVreX MegaDork
5/29/19 5:18 a.m.


dwilson7725 None
8/29/19 4:55 a.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia 

I like your suggestion, Thank you

humesa New Reader
9/26/19 8:24 p.m.

very interensting

checkout this {cane canoe} seat covers

Woody MegaDork
9/26/19 9:21 p.m.


jfryjfry Dork
10/6/19 11:01 a.m.

Has the move happened??

AlBrown252 New Spammer
2/18/20 2:56 p.m.

Interesting information. Thanks.  [I very much prefer to be moving by canoe, now deleted].

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