Updated 12/12/2018 2:25:57 PM
Old Dominion is a veteran freight line that operates in the United States. Before getting in on the moving act, this company was already in the business of carrying all sorts of cargo across the country. Now, its household division allows those making a move to take advantage of empty space on its 28-foot trailers.
Moving? You book on the Old Dominion website, the truck gets delivered, then you have three days to fill it up with your stuff. On pick up day, a professional driver moves it to your destination and you have an additional three days to unload.
For the purposes of this guide, I planned a long distance move (1,100 miles) from a three-bedroom home in Fort Lee, NJ (New York City area) to Kissimmee, FL (Orlando area). Those are two destinations I know well. I ordered the service during busy season for movers (summer). I completed the order and later canceled it.
I live in a three-bedroom home with two large flights of stairs. In addition to the bedrooms, there are:
My parents live in a similarly sized home with three floors and three bedrooms, but they also have the following:
The quotes I received are based on the info above.
For the long-distance move from northern New Jersey to central Florida, Old Dominion’s Household services recommended 17 linear feet of trailer space for a three bedroom apartment/house.
I scheduled the move for Aug. 5, 2017, a Saturday. Choosing a holiday or weekend delivery automatically raises the price $500. The total estimate was $2,546. For each additional linear foot used, I would have to pay $64.
Although the hand truck is free, other items cost more; For instance, for $35, you can get five straps. You can also pay $150 per trailer to get a two-hour window drop-off time. This guarantee of delivery time can be very useful if you are hiring Helpers or calling on friends and family to pitch in.
Another option offered by Old Dominion is “live load” or “live unload”. With this option, the driver waits for you to pack up the truck, rather than leaving it for three days. This is convenient for those with little to pack into the trailer. It can also be helpful if you can’t park the 28-foot trailer overnight. The first hour is free. After that, you’ll be charged an hourly rate of $150, so make sure this is feasible for you and will work in favor of your budget.
During the booking process, you will disclose your credit card, which will remain on file. Old Dominion will charge the card while your shipment is in transit (after your “linear footage used” is confirmed). You can also pay by cashier’s check or money order. In the latter cases, you will pay the driver at the destination after the delivery is completed.
Old Dominion suggested my parents sign up for 22 feet of trailer space. This is not surprising for a three-bedroom house with a garage. The total would cost $1,606. They would be charged $1 more for each additional linear foot used. Again, the price was automatically $500 more because it was booked on a weekend date in the summer.
Let me say again that even my agent suggested they handled long-distance moves better. Indeed, upon reading the FAQ, I learned that Old Dominion does not recommend local moves.
For some, the insurance - or rather lack thereof - will be a deal breaker. Old Dominion does not offer any type of liability insurance. In fact, the responsibility mostly lies on your shoulders. The company recommends checking on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy to see about coverage while your items are in transit. Reads their website,
“Old Dominion is only responsible for loss or damage caused by your negligence and our liability is limited to $.10 per pound per item damaged. We are not responsible for damage caused by improper packing or loading.”
The company also warns that the coverage is for carrier negligence and not insurance for your stuff.
The price for a long-distance move wasn’t bad, in my opinion. After all, by getting a hand from friends or the movers available through HireAHelper, you could easily hack a full-service move at a fraction of the cost by going this freight route.
But for a local move, that’s another story.
Honestly, I’m not even sure the company would have been able to make that local move for us. But the site did allow me to book it. On the other hand, it also warned in the FAQ that Old Dominion only provides the most value when your stuff is traveling 300 or more miles away.
Another concern are the additional fees. When I was booking the move, I learned about extra costs associated with items, such as straps, and grew more worried that I would end up spending more than anticipated. For starters, the linear footage is a rough estimate based on the number of rooms in your home. As a result, I could easily imagine a scenario in which I’d need more space than estimated.
You can also end up paying more for a slew of reasons:
These are not only possible, but often likely fees.
Of course, it already costs $500 extra if you have to move on a weekend or holiday, but many people have no choice because of work and other responsibilities. To avoid any of these additional costs, you must know your plans and the specifics of your load well. Really well.
This freight service is ideal for people moving to a faraway land, such as Kissimmee, FL (from the tri-state area), and who don’t want to drive their bedrooms woth of stuff. It’s not so hot for a local move, such as the one we have my parents making. Those who have few variables and can comfortably sign onto the bill of lading are also good candidates. Anyone whose plans may change - even slightly - could find themselves racking up a much bigger bill.
I never tire of applauding companies that make it possible for you to forego driving one of those huge trucks. You know how hard those things are to maneuver? And this one is 28 feet long. Woah baby! In fact, professionals come and drive these freight trucks for you. Freedom!
Old Dominion is one of the true originals for moving stuff across the country. With eight decades of service, the company has proven it has staying power. While the moving arm of the business is newer, the concept is still the same. Having a brand name with a history gives you some sense of security.
Few experiences with moving companies are as simple as this one. All I had to do was complete a short online form to receive an estimate, and then I was able to book right from there with a simple click of a “Book It” button. It took minutes. The website was so thorough, I didn’t even really have any questions. Anyone who isn’t a fan of people (c’mon, it’s all right) or hates hanging on hold forever will appreciate this convenience. Of course, you can always call if you have questions or prefer talking to a live human being.
Great news, although this pro could easily become a con. What I mean is that your estimate could say you need about 22 linear feet, but you end up using 25 linear feet. Uh oh, that means you’re going to pay additional charges. The reason this is on the pro list, however, is because it works both ways. What I mean is that you will spend less than the estimate if you end up using fewer linear feet than anticipated when booking. Paying for whatever space you use is perfectly fair.
Considering the amount of space in the freight truck and the distance the driver will have to go, the price for service is affordable. The fact that I wouldn’t have to lug all that stuff myself in a giant truck makes it all the more valuable. (Of course, the one caveat is that I had to spend $500 more to move on a Saturday. That’s a hefty price to pay for convenience.)
As I mentioned in the pricing section, you could end up spending considerably more than you planned. After all, it costs extra just to get furniture straps. Also, you could be charged for changes to your bill of lading. You even get charged if you want a two-hour window for your delivery (for either loading or unloading). To be honest, I would have thought that was a given and included. You need to carefully read the FAQ and bill of lading to ensure you don’t end up overspending.
This downside does not be a deal breaker for some, as many people find they are covered by their own renter’s or homeowner’s insurance. But without any insurance from the company, those moving might feel vulnerable. What if there is damage to prized possessions? Based on the website, Old Dominion puts the onus on the owners of the items. In other words, it’s up to you to pack your load properly onto the truck. It sounds like it would be hard to prove liability on the part of the driver. It’s a risk you’ll have to be willing to take.
Old Dominion charges people to get a two-hour window in which you can expect your trailer delivery for you to start loading it. Otherwise, you can’t be sure when in the day your trailer will show up. Without knowing exactly when you’ll have access to the trailer, you will probably have some trouble planning ahead. Imagine asking your friends to pitch in, having them show up, and then everybody sits around. You could end up going through a lot of beer and toilet paper. And worse if you hired help to load the truck that you’re paying them by the hour. Yikes!
Old Dominion is basically a service of trailer drivers who haul stuff long distances. This system of moving is affordable because many people are renting out space in a trailer that will stop at different places along the way. For that reason, hiring Old Dominion for a local move isn’t a great deal. To be honest, I’m not even sure the company will actually go through with a local move, such as mine from Fort Lee, NJ to Ridgefield Park, NJ. I signed up for it because the online system allowed me to do so and I wanted to break down the costs. But it’s not practical and even the company itself does not recommend it.
The company boasts having complete coverage of the continental United States. It has 226 service centers. Old Dominion initiated its household division in 2011, so the moving services arm of the business is relatively new. Their fleet includes more than 8,030 tractors and more than 32,061 trailers. The ages of the vehicles in the fleet seem to vary, according to the website. A customer service representative told me on the phone that the trailers regularly receive service and maintenance.
Even today, Old Dominion is still somewhat of a “family business”. Launched in 1934 by Earl and Lillian Congdon, Old Dominion began with only a single truck that shuttled between Richmond and Norfolk, VA. From the 1930s through 1940s, the company experienced some growing pains, but also rapid growth; World War II saw the trucking company going back and forth between military bases, but when union workers protested Old Dominion, it led to the company briefly closing. It reopened again as a non-union business.
When Earl Congdon died in the 1950s, Lillian and their children took over the business and expanded. In the 1970s, there was serious growth with acquisitions of Barnes Truck Line, Nilson Motor Express, White Transport, Star Transport and Deaton Trucking. The 1980s brought freight deregulation, which allowed for more expansion. Through the late 1990s and early 2000s, led by family member David Congdon, the company continued to move into other parts of the country. Today, the company has Greg Gantt as its president and COO and David Congdon as vice chairman of the Board and CEO, maintaining the family connection all throughout its existence. Today, through agents and partnerships, they additionally provide international transportation in Canada, Mexico, Europe and China.
This is a winning company - literally. Over the years, Old Dominion garnered much recognition and many awards. In fact, Old Dominion won nine awards in 2016 alone, including recognition for the second year in a row from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Old Dominion is the official freight carrier of Major League Baseball (MLB). Naturally, it uses #homeplatefreight on social media.
Everyone we interacted with at Old Dominion were nothing but a joy to work with. The drivers at every step (drop off and pick up in Portland and then again in Billings) were friendly, timely, and went above and beyond to get the trailer in the best possible position for us. The dispatchers were on top of everything and a pleasure to deal with. A stressful move was made much less so thanks to Old Dominion. Thank you everyone for a great experience.
Very courteous and helpful. They replaced the trailer when I complained of difficulty with the door. And were spot on time with trailer delivery. Chose them because of a previous good experience,
Great option for a long distance move without spending an arm and a leg! We set up our move through U-pack movers. They dropped the trailer off and we had 3 days to pack it. We only paid for as much of the trailer as we used. I called when it was full and they picked it up and shipped it to our new place. We called to schedule drop off and then had up to 3 days again to be able to unpack. Call one last time to schedule pick up. Important information- make sure you have space for the trailer or storage pod to be able to sit for 3 days.
The Old Dominion® image above is used solely for identification purposes and serves as the primary means of visually identifying the subject of this article and provides an illustration of the entity that is represented.
Old Dominion® and Old Dominion Household Services® are a registered trademark of Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. HireAHelper, LLC has no affiliation with Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. has not authorized the use of its trademarks.