Avoid These Risks When Hiring a Hauler

Tom Lange
Written by Tom Lange
Updated June 17, 2015
pile of junk to be removed by a hauler
Before hiring a hauler, be sure to vet the company so you can be sure they'll follow through with the job. (Photo by Mike Penney)

Be sure to vet a hauling companies before hiring them to move your stuff.

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Before hiring a hauler to remove construction debris, yard waste or other trash, find out where your stuff will end up.

Professional junk haulers charge a fee to take unwanted items to landfills and recycling centers. Homeowners typically utilize hauling services to clear out garages, or remove trash following a move or remodeling project.

Some hauling companies, including Seattle Rubbish Removal in Seattle, have their own sorting sites to ensure everything arrives at the correct destination.

However, Norman Brown, owner of Norm’s Moving & Hauling in Indianapolis, says some dishonest haulers refuse to pay disposal fees, opting to dump your possessions in a vacant lot or on someone else’s property — and you could be held responsible for the cleanup costs.

Do you have a hauling license?

It’s important to thoroughly vet prospective haulers. Most cities require licensing for professional hauling services, but licensing stipulations vary by city and state.

In Indianapolis, for example, hauling companies must provide a copy of all vehicle registrations, proof of insurance for all hauling vehicles and a copy of the driver’s license for each person that will operate the licensed vehicles.

Some cities require criminal background checks for hauling employees, while others mandate annual vehicle and trailer inspections.

Ask the hauler to show his or her license, Brown says, adding that licensed haulers know where they can and can’t take loads of trash.

“Be cautious, use common sense and ask questions,” Brown says.

Don't pay for hauling jobs upfront

You also want to avoid paying for jobs in advance.

Some hauling scammers will claim they need full payment upfront to cover disposal fees, but Brown says no legitimate business will ask you to cover those costs in advance.

“If you can’t afford the money for the dump fee, you shouldn’t be in business,” he says.

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Eli Edwards, owner of Seattle Rubbish Removal, says there isn’t necessarily a problem paying for hauling services in advance if you trust the company, but says he prefers not to accept payment until he finishes a job.

“Things aren’t finished until they’re finished,” he says.

Take a head count

If time is a factor, ask about the size of a hauling company’s crew and fleet.

Companies often fall behind when jobs change or take longer than expected, Edwards says. It’s especially common for smaller businesses with a limited number of people and trucks.

Edwards says his business has four trucks, which helps ensure he can tackle multiple jobs on time.

“We’re at a good critical mass to where we’ve got enough backup, and we can handle things that go wrong and still handle the job,” Edwards says.

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