California Movers Double Drive Time – What is It
When comparing quotes from California Movers, you may hear a moving company mention “double drive time”. The term sounds vague and redundant on the customer’s behalf, and some moving companies don’t even bring it up. Just why is that, and what is double drive time?
Double drive time is a term referring to a California labor law that applies to all California movers. The law was put in place by the California Public Utilities Commission in order to protect customers from dishonest moving companies. One of the aspects to the total cost of a move is the cost of gasoline for the job, which should also cover the gasoline the business must use to get to the job and back to their warehouse. Before this law was put in place California movers were able measure the cost of gasoline used through a measurement of “portal to portal”, or the distance from their warehouse to the site. The problem with this is movers were able to lie about the distance or density of traffic from their warehouse to the site and customers would have no real way of contesting this estimation.
To resolve this issue, the PUC instilled the double drive time policy. According to the Maximum Rate Tariff 4, “in computing charges (for gasoline)… the time used shall be the total of loading, unloading and double the driving time from point of origin to point of destination”. This means that to estimate the total amount of gasoline used for the job, California Movers are to take the amount of time it takes to travel from your point A to your point B and double it. While this may not be the exact amount it took the moving company to travel from their site to your sites and back, it’s a time and distance the customer can verify or contest and it provides at least some sort of compensation to the moving company for the total amount of gasoline used.
There are specific exceptions to the double drive time law.
- If your move is over 100 miles it technically qualifies as a long distance move, and your pricing will be compiled by a completely different means. This is true even if your move is still within the state of California.
- If your move takes more than one trip, the cost of gas for the additional trips will not be doubled. Only the initial trip from point A to point B will be doubled.
- If your movers are either splitting your one load onto multiple trucks or using the same truck for multiple jobs at the same time, the pricing for double drive time is calculated in a different way. However, this is one reason many moving companies maintain a fleet of trucks and a staff of full-time employees– by carefully planning their schedules to utilize the fleet accordingly, California moving companies can successfully avoid ever being put in a position where they would need to haul multiple jobs on one truck at the same time.
- Being a California law, this does only apply to California movers. There may or may not be equivalents to this in other states.
Know Your Rights
Double drive time is a California labor law that applies to all California movers. If you are gathering price quotes and a company does not bring this up, or offers to either wave or circumvent the law, then they are in violation of state law and their business practices may be all around questionable. A good moving company ensures that their customer knows their rights and is happy to break down the price quote in detail. Double drive time was written to protect the customers and provide an adequate means of operation for California movers.