So, you’ve finally tackled the garage. Or you’ve decided it’s time to take down the old shed that’s been sitting in the yard. Or perhaps your driveway needs an upgrade from boring concrete to a more refined look.
There are many reasons why you’d hire a junk removal hauling service.
Local hauling services in Alameda County provide junk removal services by coming to your location to drag away unwanted materials and items. Most can handle items such as appliances and household waste, construction debris, concrete removal and even demolition waste.
But it can seem like a bit of a gamble when it comes choosing among hauling services. How can you choose a reputable, reliable firm to perform the services you need?
Use the tips below to help you identify the best companies to serve your needs.
Go National or Stay Local When Hiring Junk Removal Services in Alameda County
As you look for a hauling company, whether in a larger city including Berkeley, Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro, Newark or Dublin, you have the choice between local or national junk removal firms.
You may be aware of some national hauling firms already, as they tend to advertise widely. Local firms tend to rely more on word-of-mouth recommendations. The choice between the two often lies with your preferences. Perhaps you choose to give custom to local firms. On the other hand, perhaps you feel a larger company offers more. In most cases, it boils down to finding a reliable firm.
Customers, no matter where they live in Alameda County tend to want the same things from a hauling company. First, you want a hauling company that is accessible. Does someone answer the phone when you call? If you place inquiries over the Internet, are responses made in a timely manner? If an estimate or quote is promised, does it arrive when scheduled? Is there after- hours availability? If you leave a message after hours, is it returned? The way a hauling company responds to initial queries can form a positive or negative impression and can set the tone for the rest of the transaction, if it goes forward.
Next, customers look for waste hauling companies in Alameda County that show up when promised. Sometimes the company offers an in-person estimate or quote. Does the hauling company show up on time for this appointment? We all understand traffic in the Bay Area, but a hauling company that is very late or fails to show is not a good partner.
Customers also look for employees who are pleasant and easy to work with, whether during the estimation phase or during the actual progress of the job.
Customers also appreciate flexibility from their junk hauling services. After all, things can change rapidly, and you may need to change plans made with a hauling company. The scenarios can differ depending on which firms you use.
Some of the larger firms will set a time for a job, come and make an estimate, then complete the job on the spot. Or they may be booked for days or even a week or more in advance. Other hauling companies may look at the job, give you an estimate, then perform the job on the day scheduled or at a time that works for you and them.
When you are getting in touch with your hauling firm, you should know what days would suit you to have the job completed. Then when you are speaking with your hauling company, you can ask what happens if you need to change the day.
Some hauling companies can offer a greater range of services. For example, some junk removal services simply show up and take your junk away. Other full-service debris removal companies may offer services like yard cleanup or removing excess vegetation from overgrown plots. They may offer grading services, and can often dig up and pulverize the concrete from a patio.
With many fulll-service hauling companies in Alameda County, you can choose how much of the work you want to do yourself and how much you would like to hire someone to do. Pool removal is sometimes a specialty of local junk removal services, as is spa removal. Often the spa can be removed so that it is intact enough to donate to a worthy cause. Some hauling companies’ customer service might extend to cleaning up a space after the removal is complete.
Getting an Accurate Price from Your Alameda County Hauling Company
When it comes to hauling junk, you want to get a fair price. Many junk hauling companies price by volume. That is, they determine how much space in their vehicles your waste will take up and charge you accordingly. Many firms display truck sizes on their Web sites so you can get some idea of size. Many items, like discarded furniture, can be piled in the truck.
For heavy material loads, the material can only be piled a foot high. This includes soil, concrete, etc. In this case, you are paying bedload costs. Again, you are paying for the volume of the truck bed filled, but in this case, only to a foot in height.
No matter what kind of material you are disposing of, you should always ask for a written estimate. You should be clear that the estimate includes the cost of removing the discarded material, any labor costs, and any dumping fees. The hauling company will have to pay to get rid of the material, and costs associated with that should be part of the fee or disclosed separately on an estimate. The best estimates are provided when the company sends someone to make a visual inspection.
Many hauling services will give free estimates ahead of time, especially the smaller firms. Larger companies tend to make on-the-spot no-obligation estimates. You should definitely get an estimate in writing. Don’t be shy about asking for a free estimate or about deciding that you don’t want the no-obligation quote. You are entitled to determine what you will pay to dispose of your materials.
Fees may be all-inclusive, for example, a volume charge that covers the time and labor involved, as well as the dumping costs. Or fees may be charged based on the amount of material, the number of laborers involved, the time it takes to move the material, or by the hour.
Be clear with your hauling company about what method is being used to come up with the estimate and that all aspects are covered. If the hauling company doesn’t mention that a specific factor, such as labor or job time, is covered, ask specifically.
Green Waste Removal Services in Alameda County
No matter where you are in Alameda County, whether in Berkeley, San Leandro, Oakland, Fremont, or Hayward, Californians and California share a concern about proper waste disposal and management. The state of California requires that waste disposal be cut by 50% – or that companies are at least making a good-faith effort to cut waste disposal by that much. Some cities or regions may impose stronger reductions.
Many hauling companies demonstrate their compliance with this edict by showing that they donate material where possible. Some will even tell you where material goes. For example, crushed concrete can be used for roads or fill projects.
It’s a good idea to look for hauling companies that can demonstrate their commitment to reducing the amount of material that goes into landfills by recycling and reusing materials. Ask your hauling company if they can provide recycling receipts for you.
Electronic waste is a particular concern for many, whether you are in Berkeley, Oakland, Fremont, San Leandro, or Hayward. Electronic waste continues to grow, and disposing of it can be problematic. It should not enter landfill, nor should it be shipped off for disassembly to pollute other environments. If you have electronics to dispose of, ask if your hauling company is a certified Electronic Waste Collector.
The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) includes a lookup option on their website so you can see if your junk hauling company is a certified collector. A certified collector can provide services such as destroying a hard drive by crushing it to Defense Department standards. Some will provide a certificate of destruction on request.
Some junk removal and hauling companies in Alameda County also advertise the use of biofuels, or other green fuels that may reduce the effect of their trucks on the environment.
Disposing of Hazardous Materials in Alameda County
Hazardous materials include a list of items, probably longer than you initially think. But no matter where you live in Alameda County, whether in Alameda, Union City, Berkeley, Oakland, Fremont, San Leandro, or Hayward, you should take care when you have to get rid of hazardous materials. These include items like automobile products, household cleaners, pool chemicals, floor and furniture cleaners, and asbestos, to name a few.
Most reputable junk haulers refuse to dispose of this material for you. Many hauling companies will help you find where you can get rid of these items, but most refuse to carry or dispose of it. You should be very wary of any firm that promises to get rid of hazardous waste without telling you exactly where it is going.
Handling hazardous waste often requires special materials, processes, or equipment to protect you, your family, and the environment from contamination. For some materials, for example, asbestos, the state of California has adopted a cradle-to-grave policy that means everyone who is in contact with the material during its creation, use, and disposal, is responsible for seeing that it is handled properly in all phases. Don’t let shady disposal tactics backfire on you. A responsible approach benefits everyone.
Hauling Companies in Alameda County
When you look for a hauling company in Alameda County, whether you are looking in Fremont, Oakland, Hayward, Berkeley, or San Leandro, or in Union City, Alameda, or Pleasanton, you are looking for a reputable company. You can check to see if your hauling company is licensed. Some hauling companies have a C21 license from the Contractors State License board, and they may have the subcategory D23 license for construction cleanup.
You should look for the C21 license in the hauling company’s advertising if you need demolition work – for example, tearing down a no-longer-used shed. Licensed companies must display license information in their advertising. California law requires that contractors performing home improvement services costing over $500 have a license. You should be very careful in working with companies that are not licensed.
No matter what, you should check that your hauling company is bonded and insured, including worker’s compensation. Any company in the state of California that has employees must have worker’s compensation insurance. This protects you from suits from workers injured while moving your stuff. A bond indicates a minimal financial commitment, and while state law says contractors should be bonded, a bond is rarely enough to provide financial compensation to customers.
Some regions have additional certifications and programs that you can look for. Some local Solid Waste Authorities grant recycling permits to hauling companies. You can look for these certifications in the hauling company’s advertising and ask about them.
A Word About Hauling and Moving Companies in Alameda County
Sometimes, customers look to hauling companies for moving, as well. Indeed, the smaller hauling companies may advertise themselves as hauling and moving companies. Moving companies are actually highly regulated in the state of California. The Public Utilities Commission regulates moving in California, and the Cal-T license is required.
The state has standards for moving – for example, a visual check of the property before the estimate is provided, a written estimate is required for moves with three-days advance notice, the estimate must include a cap amount beyond which the customer cannot be charged, a detailed inventory must include furniture condition.
These regulations are designed to protect the consumer. For example, a mover must compensate the customer at 60 cents per pound for damaged goods – a minimal amount that you may want to supplement with moving insurance. A licensed moving company will go through the entire process with you. Many of the smaller companies advertising hauling and moving are not licensed movers in the state of California, and you will need to take this into consideration in making your decision.
Hiring Specialized Hauling Companies in Alameda County
Your hauling needs probably center around getting rid of old furniture, cleaning out a garage, or getting rid of a spa. Sometimes, though, you need specialized hauling services. The following is a brief overview of some of the more frequently used specialized services.
Horse hauling refers to the transportation of horses. To move a horse in California, you need the original copy of a veterinarian’s health inspection that says the horse is healthy enough to travel and free of diseases. You will need an original copy of a Coggins test, showing that the horse is negative for Equine Infections Anemia. You must also have either the original bill of sale or brand inspection from a certified brand inspector. To bring horses into California, you need an additional permit. You should only work with hauling companies who are familiar with these requirements and adhere to them.
Water hauling refers to bringing water by truck to the site. You may live in a remote area where water is not readily available, or you may have a swimming pool to fill. No matter what you need water for, you should look for a company that is licensed to carry water by the state of California. Water hauling companies have specialized trucks to transport water and other liquids, such as wine. They can often provide hauling for different types of water in one load.
Hay hauling is a specialized business where large bales of hay are stacked on a truck and transported. Hay haulers must secure the bales of hay so that they don’t fall off or let too much hay fly off. The strapping used to secure the load must be applied in certain configurations to ensure the safety of the load, and this regulation is enforced by the California State Highway Patrol.
Heavy hauling refers to the transportation of extremely large, oversized, or awkwardly sized objects like space shuttles, heavy equipment, and pieces of bridges. This is an extremely specialized area, requiring permits for moving the large object, especially between states and countries. Look for a firm that has some experience in moving similar objects, understands the required permits, and has connections in the destination location.
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