Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
Choosing a reliable moving company for your move can be quite the challenge, especially since the market is inundated with so many options. Thankfully for you, we’ve got thorough reviews of moving companies to help you decide for yourself. In this article, we focus on Big Ben's Moving & Storage. Based in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, Big Ben's Moving & Storage is not your ordinary moving company. Founded by a veteran, Big Ben’s handles moves with military precision and accuracy. They train for the most complex of moves, yet can handle even the smallest everyday move with the same professionalism. Read on for our Big Ben's Moving & Storage review.
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Big Ben's Moving & Storage was founded by Ben, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He noticed the huge room for improvement in the moving industry and decided to bring about the change himself. He applied his military training to his moves, adding to them a healthy dose of certain key principles like leadership, reliability, integrity and an attention to detail.
As the company grew, they began to hire US veterans to work alongside the civilian staff and made sure every member was trained before they took off. Today, they have relocation and installation services for home and corporate moves, as well as offering packing and unpacking services, and storage solutions. They are licensed with the Department of Transportation, and also have an MC (Motor Carrier) number. Big Ben's serves 40 states in the US, including Washington DC.
Like many other moving companies, Big Ben's offers services for local and long distance moves. An important thing to note is that many companies offer long distance moves, but only when it is within the same state. For example, you can still have a long distance move in the state of Texas, the largest in America. Unlike those companies, Big Ben's can also perform interstate moves; they have an MC number which gives them the required permission to cross state borders when moving.
While they handle local moves with ease, Big Ben's understands that long distance moves require a lot more effort. Keeping this in mind, they employ a range of helpful steps that make the long distance move that much easier on you. For one, an exclusive truck or trailer is dedicated to your move, to take you from your location to your destination. Interstate moves all have either 26’ or 50-53’ trailers depending on your need and the inventory, each with top-notch security systems.
A common complaint with long distance moves is that the unloading team causes damage to fragile items and unloads them into the wrong rooms. This happens mainly due to their unfamiliarity with the items. Big Ben’s avoids this by making sure that the same team that loads your items on to the truck will be part of the unloading team. This way, items can be better identified and reassembled, minimizing the damage, confusion and stress. Finally, what comes as a relief to interstate movers - GPS tracking. Big Ben’s always knows where your shipment is with the help of the GPS systems fitted into all their vehicles.
Commercial moves require time efficiency like no other move, and how quickly you can become operational in your new location depends a lot on how well your move goes. Whether it’s a single office or a Fortune 500 firm, Big Ben’s can help you out with it all. Bringing that military precision to their operations, Big Ben’s has 5 steps to ensure your commercial move goes smoothly.
As their client, you’ll be interviewed by someone from the company to narrow down on things like a precise inventory. This helps to finalize an accurate and realistic project estimate.
This detailed step involves things like planning the move and getting rid of unnecessary things, and showing a presentation to your staff to ensure everyone is on the same page with how the move will go.
This step involves coordinating with your designated moving team from Big Ben’s, going over floor plans, tagging and marking your inventory, and going over Protection of Property.
Sticking to the schedule and to the budget, Big Ben’s ensures your corporate move gets the required services from their end.
Post Move Services
Big Ben’s goes beyond just what you need to ensure things run smoothly even after their work is done. Post move services include the removal of all used packing materials and building protection materials, and working in tandem with the clients to ensure everything is correctly placed and the inventory is accounted for. After all, the last thing you want when recovering from a corporate move is dealing with a mess!
In addition to these 5 steps, Big Ben’s will also look after compliance with building regulations, properly ensuring building protection, providing Certificates of Insurance for documentation, and offering short and long-term storage for any items including furniture, documents, technology and fine art.
Moving can be fairly unpredictable, no matter the level of organization and control with which you approach it. In the event that you need someplace to stash a handful of your items, carefully store your fragiles or art pieces, or simply store all of your items till your new home is ready, you can make use of Big Ben's storage facilities. State-of-the-art private facilities, the only way the public has access to these is with a prior appointment. The facilities are climate controlled, and you can also choose for palletized, crated, or loose options of storage.
Plus, Big Ben's has Storage In Transit (SIT) facilities for any long distance movers who just need that extra time and space to store their belongings, securely wrapped, until they’re ready for it to be delivered. Packing Services
When moving with Big Ben’s, you have a couple of options when it comes to packing.
● PBO (Packed By Owner): You pack your household goods, which includes emptying cabinets and drawers, closets etc. You needn’t pack things like mirrors, hanging clothes to be transported in wardrobe boxes, large lamps and frame pictures, and of course, the furniture.
● PPBC (Packed By Carrier): Big Ben’s will pack everything in your inventory to be moved, going as far as marking the boxes to indicate the content and the room it came from. Items that are insured will be photographed before packing. All items will be packed with either bubble wrap, rice paper, tissue paper or packing paper.
● Specialized Crating: Big Ben’s offers specialized crating of tri-wall corrugated or plywood. Crates are made to order, perfectly fitting the items, and are lined with extra protection if the items require it. Oil paintings of a high value are packed in crates with Japanese rice paper insulation. Yes luxury home owners, we’re looking at you!
When unpacking, they can also completely unpack all your personal effects, including placing things back into shelves, drawers and cabinets. Simply tell them what goes where if you know what you want, or take a leap of faith and let them arrange things themselves; years of experience and feedback has honed their skill, and you might just be pleasantly surprised. Finally, the Big Ben’s crew will clear the premises of all debris and post-move garbage before they leave you to your new home.
An additional facet to Big Ben’s packing is their Rolling Bin System, perfect for those looking for a more eco-friendly alternative to boxes. Cheaper than cardboard boxes, these plastic bin rentals are commercial grade crates, stackable, and come with wheels. The bins save you the hassle of taping and adding padding to the boxes, and there’s no worry of cave-ins or crushed bins. Each bin is as large as a large cardboard box, and Big Ben’s will pick them up from you once you’re finished with the unpacking.
See also: Best Moving and Storage Companies
All moving companies have their pros and cons, their positives and negatives. While it’s next to impossible to find a flawless moving company, understanding the good and bad can help you make an informed decision. Here’s the two sides of the coin to moving with Big Ben's Moving & Storage.
Big Ben’s isn’t kidding when they talk about military-level precision; it seems to be reflected in every aspect of how they approach moves, from the organization of charted-out steps to an attention to detail. Their crew, comprising a mix of veterans and civilians, undergoes drug and background testing, rounds of interviews, and training (for packing/moving and team-related code of conduct) to be the best they possibly can. Clean attire, white gloves and no-smudge sneakers only add to their professionalism.
They certainly know their local audience; LA has a lot of top-end luxury home owners, and they ensure they cater to every kind of home and every kind of budget, from the ordinary to the top-notch. More importantly, Big Ben’s Moving understands the confidentiality that comes with certain high-profile moves, are receptive to special requests, and every employee (whether manager or crew member) signs comprehensive non-disclosure agreements to ensure complete privacy for their clients.
The range of packing options ensures you can choose just what you need and pay that amount exactly. The many ways of contacting them help to establish their reliability, and the option to get a free, non-binding quote is always appreciated.
The main downside with moving with Big Ben’s is that they aren’t available across all 50 states. The states outside of service areas are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Rhode Island and Wyoming. A lot of these states fall in Central America, making it a pretty big inconvenience for interstate movers looking to move into them.
To add to this is a slightly worrying number of negative reviews; Google rates them a 3.2 out of 5 stars. The most number of complaints against them on the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) website is regarding price estimates and final charges (30 complaints in 2020, 2 in 2021). While negative reviews should never be the sole determining factor on the quality of a moving company, they should definitely be taken into consideration.
Finally, their website has no detailed mentions of their fee structures. They do state that they have a new website in the making; hopefully that one sheds a little more light on their quote systems, but until then all you can do is contact them yourselves.
As mentioned above, Big Ben’s website doesn’t go too much into detail about their quotes. But they do state how they go about it, which is great. The way they work for long distance moves is that they will first send an experienced manager to get an assessment of your moving inventory i.e. the number of things you have to move. Getting a visual estimate is important, as it ensures accuracy when it comes to pricing.
In terms of local moves, things are a bit different. For one, Big Ben’s considers all moves less than 100 miles to be a local move. Local moving services are charged on an hourly basis. You will be given a base rate per hour, and at the end the number of hours plus the cost of all the materials used is added up to come to your final quote.
They also send one of their experienced staff members to conduct a comprehensive walk-through so you can understand the breakdown of the quote, and follow that up with a detailed quote fitted to your project that they can guarantee.
While we do have an estimate on quotes for certain moves, do note that these are only estimates that have last been updated in July 2020.
Our Take On Big Ben’s Moving & Storage
Right off the bat, Big Ben’s seems like an ideal moving company to go with. Their focus on roping in US Veterans and building a team spirit with all their staff certainly impressed us, as did their attention to detail and organizational approach. Particularly noteworthy is their consideration of high-profile moves and the necessities that come with them, like special packing for high-value and fragile items, and the need for confidentiality.
We must admit that the negative reviews have certainly thrown us off a bit, but that’s no reason to dismiss them completely. The final takeaway is that we recommend looking them up yourselves, contacting them for an estimate and inquiring about how they will go about your move. Based on how your interactions go, you can make an informed decision about whether you want to move with Big Ben's Moving & Storage or not.
What Days Are Big Ben's Moving & Storage Open?
Big Ben’s is open Sunday through Friday, and is shut on Saturdays.
How Is Big Ben's Moving & Storage Rated?
Big Ben's Moving & Storage is rated a 3.2 out of 5 stars on Google, and shares the same rating based on customer reviews on Better Business Bureau.
Does Big Ben's Moving & Storage Service Van Nuys?
Yes, Big Ben's Moving & Storage has services in Van Nuys, and is based there. Ensure you read about their pricing for local moves in the article above.
See also: Top-rated Moving Companies in the USA | Extra Space Storage Review | MovingPlace Review | Clutter Review
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