Rules for Moving to El Paso--What Movers Can't Move

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group

Moving - Moving BoxesAs if moving weren't worrisome enough, did you realize that there are some belongings your movers cannot haul?

When you select a moving company, they should supply you a list of the items that they can't haul to your new home in El Paso. They're not attempting to make your life difficult, they are adhering to the U.S. Department of Transportation statute (49 CFR 100-185) which details hazardous materials that are not safe to load in a truck. There are a few items on the list of non-transportables that aren't hazardous, but that will not tolerate being on a moving truck and the moving company won't move.

Because you are a wise law-abiding individual, it has most likely never occurred to you that you're actually storing dangerous explosives wherever you keep your cleaning supplies. You've likely glanced around the garage and wondered about your lawn mower going on the truck, but there are lots of other items that are considered dangerous and you'll need to be responsible for getting out of the property.

Anything with chemicals is a definite “no” for putting on the truck. This is because chemicals have a terrible tendency of exploding if they are combined with other chemicals, which can quickly take place in a moving van. A good rule of thumb is that if you cannot throw the item in your normal trash for pick up, it shouldn’t be boxed up and put on a truck. So not only do you need to empty the gas tanks on any lawn equipment (mowers, leaf blowers, weed whackers, etc), either use any fertilizers and grass seed or pass it on to your neighbors—a little Miracle-gro and a little leaking gasoline can have a bad outcome. And what’s worse—any damages will be your responsibility because you were told what not to load on the moving truck. It is not the moving company's job to double check all your boxes for contraband, so be sure that any hazardous supplies-including old paint, batteries, aerosol cans, charcoal, and paint thinner—are NOT packed for the moving van. The ideal thing to do is transport them to your local hazardous waste drop-off facility or give them away to someone who can use them.

What not to pack for movingWhat about your houseplants? Food items? Your dog? If you can believe it, some people have asked that their pets be transported on the truck—the answer is no. That the moving company can't move your plants might be a little more unanticipated. Interstate moves create an issue because some states keep a watchful eye on foreign vegetation crossing the state’s borders, and you don't want to accidentlly bring pests to either the moving truck or your new residence. If plants are moving more than 150 miles you may need to get a certain license to transport them—so if you're the one who transported in canker worms or aphids, your new state can locate you. As for food items in your cupboard, only pack up unopened, non-perishable stuff with a long shelf life. Better, donate your unopened canned goods, cereals, and cookies to a local charity, and begin anew at your new house. Toss out anything perishable or open, unless you are going to ice down coolers and transport them in your own car.

Even though your valuables are not hazardous or likely to start an ash borer attack, most moving companies are hesitant to transport jewelry, cash, stock certificates and other costly belongings. The risks of being misplaced are too great, bring them along with you in a carry on, or put them with other valuable documents.

Other things you may not recognize is hazardous—nail polish, cleaning supplies, liquid bleach, fire extinguishers—are also not authorized to be moved commercially. Again, anything chemical or flammable is not approved on a commercial truck, so be smart and dispose of or pack those items separately. The best option is to properly dispose of these things and get everything new once you have moved, so you'll have brand new paint thinner and batteries to go with your brand-new house.