Read answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

For decades, Wheaton has helped families and individuals through relocations. It can be daunting and stressful, but over the years we’ve noticed a few of the same questions seem to keep coming up. To make things a little easier, we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive to provide our customers with a resource they can refer to any time they need. You can also refer to our glossary to clear up confusing terminology. And if you still have additional questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Contact us whenever you need at

Getting Started
Loading and Delivery

Getting Started

What is an interstate agent?
Wheaton agents are individually owned and operated businesses located throughout the country. When a customer moves from one state to another, agents are authorized to act on behalf of the van line, Wheaton, to transport goods across state lines (hence, interstate agent). These agents have met the service and quality standards set to become an agent for Wheaton.

Your local Wheaton agent will work with your move manager to coordinate your move with the agent at your destination, ensuring the safe transit of your belongings.

Is Wheaton a broker?
Wheaton does not broker household goods moves for which it has been contracted nor does it buy or sell your personal information or your move to other companies. Wheaton and its agents work directly on your behalf to orchestrate your move. Wheaton agents are authorized to act on behalf of Wheaton to transport goods across state lines. These agents and their equipment have met the rigorous service and quality standards set to become an agent for Wheaton.

When is the best time to move?
The best time to move is when it’s right for you. However, there are some times of the year that are busier for the moving industry than others. The summer months (May – September) and the end of each month are periods of heavier demand.


When should I begin to contact companies about estimates for my upcoming move?
It is a good idea to contact the moving companies you are considering for your move with as much notice as possible. It is ideal to have companies provide an estimate five to six weeks prior to your desired move date. Try to select the moving company four weeks before your moving date. Be sure to sign the Estimate/Order for Service and confirm your packing, pick-up, and delivery dates.

What is an in-home estimate?
The goal of an in-home estimate is to provide as accurate a figure as possible with regards to your moving expense. During your in-home estimate, your Wheaton agent will survey your home and take into account the specific items you will be moving, using their rigorous training to inform their calculations. Learn more about in-home estimates here.

What types of estimates are available?
There are three types of estimates: non-binding, firm binding, and option binding. 

  • A non-binding estimate is the carrier’s approximation of the cost, based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. The final cost will be based upon the actual weight of your shipment, the services provided, and the tariff provisions in effect.
  • A firm binding estimate is an agreement between the agent and the customer that the cost of the move will be a specific dollar amount based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the specific services requested. If the actual weight of the shipment is different than the agent anticipated, the price of the move would not change.
  • An option binding estimate (also known as a not-to-exceed estimate) is an agreement between the agent and the customer that the cost of the move will be no more than a specific dollar amount based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the specific services requested. If the anticipated weight of the shipment is less than estimated, then the customer’s bill is reduced by the amount of the cost associated with the weight difference between the estimated and actual weight.

What are the methods of payment Wheaton accepts for my move?
The tariff provisions require that the charges be paid in full, prior to your shipment being unloaded at destination. You can pay for your move at the time of delivery with cash, money order, traveler’s check, certified check or cashier’s check. Or, with prior credit approval, you can charge the cost of your move to your personal credit card. Wheaton gladly accepts the following credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.

What are my rights and responsibilities when I move?
All moving companies are required by federal law to make Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move available to customers. Your primary responsibility as outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is to select a reputable household goods carrier, ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of the contract, and understand and pursue the remedies that are available to you in case problems arise. You should talk to your mover if you have further questions. The moving company will also furnish you with additional information describing its procedure for handling your questions and complaints, and a telephone number you can call to obtain additional information about your move.


Can I leave the items in my dresser drawers?
Yes, you can leave clothing in your dresser drawers if your shipment will not need storage. If you will need storage at one of Wheaton’s agencies, we recommend that all items in your dresser drawers be packed. We also recommend that all non-clothing items be packed, regardless of your storage needs.

Will the mover load the boxes that I packed?
Yes, the driver will load the boxes that you packed as long as the driver deems them safe for transport. Please note, the liability coverage for boxes that you pack yourself is not the same as the liability coverage available to you for carrier-packed boxes.

Can I pack and move my plants?
Typically, it is not advisable to move your plants. Most professional movers will only accept plants if the shipment is not going more than 150 miles and/or delivery will be within 24 hours. In addition, if you are moving across state lines, check with federal and state regulations for quarantines or other restrictions. Several states even require that plants be inspected and declared “pest free.”

What items cannot be packed?
Wheaton wants your belongings to arrive at your new home safe and sound.
That means not moving certain items. Aerosol cans and hazardous materials are unsafe for transportation on a moving van. In addition, perishable items and those of personal importance are recommended for your individual transport.

How should I move my jewelry and other valuable items?
Wheaton recommends you do not pack or ship your fine jewelry, precious metals, important papers (titles, tax forms, bank books, deeds, etc.), medical and dental records, prescriptions, coins, currency, stock certificates, notes, or bonds. These items should be carried with you during your move.

How should I prepare my appliances?
All major appliances (washer, dryer, refrigerator, freezer, stoves, etc.) should be properly disconnected before the mover’s arrival. An authorized service firm can disconnect and prepare each appliance for transport. All refrigerators and freezers should be defrosted, cleaned and dried before the movers arrive. For more information, visit our packing of specialty items page.

Will Wheaton move my automobile?
Yes, Wheaton has the capability to transport your automobile. There are several options for this service, including in-van service or use of a third-party carrier. If you elect to use in-van service, your automobile will be transported on Wheaton’s moving truck with your household goods. You can also elect to use a third-party carrier to transport your vehicle. Whichever option you choose, Wheaton can arrange this service for you.

How will my mirrors and pictures be protected and packed?
Your local Wheaton Agent can pack all of your mirrors and pictures using specially designed cartons and wrapping materials to provide maximum protection for your goods.

What type of protection options do my belongings have during transport?
Wheaton offers different levels of valuation options for your belongings. These options are not insurance, but provide for protection of your goods during shipping.

Loading and Delivery

What can I expect on moving day?
When your Wheaton driver arrives at your home, he will conduct an initial walk-through of your home. Be sure to let the driver know what items are to be shipped, and what will stay. The driver and his crew will then prepare your house by protecting the floors and doorways. Once loading is ready to begin, the driver will use the inventory form to document the items, and their condition, going on the truck. Items will be properly padded and protected going on the truck.

After your belongings are loaded on the truck the driver will ask you to sign some paperwork, including the Bill of Lading, High-Value Inventory, and Inventory. Read more about what to expect on moving day.

What is a shuttle?
Shuttle service is the use of a smaller vehicle to provide service when the residence is not accessible to the mover’s normal equipment. Shuttle service at origin involves loading the goods onto a smaller vehicle then transporting and offloading them onto the mover’s normal equipment. The process is reversed at destination, if necessary. Depending on the weight of the shipment, this could involve several trips with the smaller vehicle.

How will I know when my shipment is going to be delivered?
Based on the weight of your belonging and the distance they’re being transported, your local Wheaton agent will provide you with a range of days during which your belongings will be delivered. Your driver will contact you 48 hours prior to the delivery of your belongings. Ensure that the driver has your destination contact information prior to his departure from your origin residence.

Who do I contact if my shipment is delayed beyond my delivery dates?
In the unfortunate situation that your belongings will not be delivered within the delivery spread that is stated on the Bill of Lading, please contact our customer service department at 1-800-248-4810. A customer service representative will be able to answer your questions and provide delivery updates. You should also feel free to contact us electronically if you prefer.

Who do I contact if my household goods were damaged during my move?
At Wheaton, we are dedicated to providing quality service, and we take these concerns seriously. If you had items damaged during the move, please contact Wheaton’s claims department at 1-800-932-7799. A claims adjuster will be assigned and he or she will review the claim and contact you, if necessary, with any further instructions. Please take note of the following details on the claims process:

  1. All claims must be filed in writing, within nine months of the date of delivery to residence. If your goods were placed into storage-in-transit, and remain in storage in excess of 180 days, you have nine months from the date of conversion to permanent storage in which to file a claim.
  2. Please do not discard or repair any items without prior authorization from this office, as we reserve the right to inspect all claimed items.
  3. If you are claiming any damaged items which were packed, please indicate whether or not the carton was damaged. Please also save the packing material and carton for our inspection.
  4. Please describe the nature and location of damages for each article claimed, and furnish repair estimates whenever possible to support the claim.
  5. Please provide the manufacturer’s name, the model, and the serial number of any appliances or electronics equipment claimed as missing or damaged.
  6. Copies of original purchase receipts should be submitted with your claim for items requiring replacement.
  7. Please make certain that all items you wish to claim are included on your claim form, and that the claim form does constitute your complete and entire claim.

Still Have Questions?

If you have questions that you didn’t see addressed in this FAQ, that’s okay! You might also try the customer forums or browse through our legal pages. And we’re always happy to offer our help—just contact us directly to get answers you need.