You’ve come to the point where you are ready to clear out all the mess. You’ve finally tackled the clutter in the garage. Or you’ve decided that your driveway needs an upgrade from boring concrete to a more refined look. Or you’ve decided it’s time to take down that eyesore that’s been sitting at the end of the yard and is kindly called a shed. Unless you’ve got super friends with plenty of time on their hands and big trucks, you’ll probably want a hauling service. Hauling companies provide junk removal by coming to your property to take away unwanted material. But how can you choose a reliable firm to perform the services you need? You need to look for hauling companies that get the job done, in a timely manner. Use the tips below to help you identify the best hauling companies to serve your needs.
Do You Use a National or Local Hauling Company in Sonoma County?
In Windsor, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, or Healdsburg, or in Cotati or Guerneville, you can find hauling companies that are both national and local firms. You may know of the large companies with no research required, since they advertise profusely. Local firms more often rely on word-of-mouth for recommendations. The choice between a local or national junk removal company is typically the result of your preferences. Maybe you prefer to work with local firms. On the other hand, maybe you feel a larger company might be more stable and long-lived.
Customers in Sonoma County, whether in Healdsburg, Windsor, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, or Rohnert Park, or in the smaller areas of Sonoma or Cloverdale, all want hauling companies that offer good customer service, and they tend to define good service in the same way.
A hauling company must be responsive. Is there after-hours accessibility? If you leave a message, is it returned? Does the hauling company pick up the phone? If an estimate or quote is promised, does it arrive as promised? If you place inquiries over the Internet, do you hear back in a timely manner? The way a hauling company responds or fails to respond to customer queries can lead to the customer deciding work with that company or not. Punctuality is another hot button for many. When the company offers an in-person estimate or quote, it’s important that 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 at all is not setting likely to get the job.
A common concern of customers is that when you have relative strangers come to your house or property to perform a service, you wan to feel comfortable with them. It’s important that the workers are easy to get along with.
Some customers require flexibility. Your situation can change rapidly, and you may need to alter plans. The impact of the change will vary, since different firms have different ways of scheduling the job. Some of the larger firms will set a time for a job, come and make an estimate, then complete the job on the spot. Some of the smaller firms come and look at the job, provide an estimate, then schedule a day for the job. Figure out what days and times you can be present. When you speak with your hauling company, ask what their policy is about changing a scheduled job.
With a smaller company, you may get a wider range of services. With a larger company, they are likely to show up, load up, and drive off. Some typical services from smaller companies may include yard cleanup, such as removing excess vegetation from overgrown yards. Hauling companies can often dig up and pulverize the concrete from a patio or driveway. Pool removal is sometimes a specialty, as is spa or hot tub removal. Often the spa can be removed so that it is intact enough to donate, if you so desire. Firms may offer grading services, if you would like to smooth a lawn or put in a tennis court. Smaller firms’ customer service extends to cleaning up a space after the removal is complete. With a smaller firm, you can often decide how much of the job you want to hire out. For example, you could clear the land and simply have the debris hauled away, or you could hire a hauling company to both clear and haul.
Always Get an Estimate from Your Sonoma County Hauling Company
Whether customers are in Windsor, Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, or Sebastopol, they want an accurate estimate and a fair price. Many junk hauling companies price by volume. They decide how much cubic space in their vehicles your material will take up and charge accordingly. You can often find truck dimensions on their Web sites. As you consider how much space you need, be aware that items like discarded furniture can be piled high in the truck. However, heavy materials like soil or concrete can only be loaded a foot high. For heavy loads, you pay “bedload” costs. With bedload costs, you pay for the volume of the truck bed that your material takes up, but in this case, only to a foot high.
Many companies will give free estimates ahead of time, especially the smaller firms. Larger companies tend to make on-the-spot no-obligation estimates. Don’t shy away from asking for a free estimate or about deciding that you don’t want the company to do the job after getting the no-obligation quote. You are entitled to determine what you will pay to dispose of your materials.
Be clear that you need a written estimate that must include the cost of removing the discarded material, any labor costs, and any dumping fees. The dumping fee may apply because 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. Ask whether fees are all-inclusive, for example, a volume charge that covers the time and labor involved, as well as the dumping costs. Sometimes fees may be charged based on the amount of material, the amount of labor involved, the time it takes to move the material, or by the hour. If the hauling company doesn’t mention that a specifics, such as labor or job time, ask if the estimate covers those costs.
Reducing Waste in Sonoma County
Along with many other Californians, those in Sonoma County, whether in Windsor, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, or Rohnert Park, are concerned about the amount of waste that goes into landfills. California mandates that solid waste disposal be cut by 50%. The state expects companies to meet the target or to make a good faith effort to do so. Stronger waste reduction constraints are in place in some regions or cities. Look for hauling companies that demonstrate their commitment to recycling and reusing materials. Many hauling companies donate material where possible. Some will even tell you where material goes. For example, crushed concrete can be used for roads. Ask your hauling company if they can provide recycling receipts for you. Some companies also pursue environmental friendliness through the use of biofuel or other alternatives that may reduce the environmental effect of their trucks.
Wherever you live in Windsor, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Healdsburg, or Rohnert Park, the electronic waste problem is one that faces us all. Disposing of electronic waste is not simple. It should not go into a landfill. It should not be shipped off to other countries, since this causes pollution. Look for a hauling company that has an Electronic Waste Collector certificate when you need to dispose of electronic waste. The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) allows you to check on their Web site whether your hauling company is certified. A certified collector can perform services that include destroying a hard drive by crushing it to Defense Department standards. Some hauling companies will give you a certificate of destruction on request.
Handle Hazardous Materials Carefully in Sonoma County
Hazardous materials merit special care in Sonoma County, whether in Sonoma, Cloverdale, Windsor, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Healdsburg, or Rohnert Park. These materials include automobile products, household cleaners, pool chemicals, floor and furniture cleaners, and asbestos, to name a few. The majority of hauling companies do not accept hazardous materials. They may be able to help you find the appropriate agency to dispose of them. You should be very wary of any firm that promises to get rid of hazardous waste with no special precautions. Handling hazardous waste often needs special processes, or equipment to prevent contamination of people or the environment. It’s important to you because for some materials, California has adopted a cradle-to-grave policy. This means that everyone who is in contact with the material during its creation, use, and disposal, is responsible for seeing that it is handled properly. Asbestos is one such material. Don’t let murky disposal tactics come back on you. A responsible approach to disposal benefits everyone, including you.
What do I Look for in Good Hauling Companies in Sonoma County?
In your search for hauling companies in Sonoma County, whether you are looking in Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Windsor, or Healdsburg, or in Cloverdale, Sonoma, or Sebastopol, consider looking for companies with licenses or certification. While it’s true that licenses are not always required, most companies will have some form of contractor’s license. California law requires that contractors performing home improvement services costing over five hundred dollars must have a license. You should be extremely careful if you decide to work with companies that are not licensed.
Frequently a hauling company has a C21, or demolition, license from the Contractors State License Board. They may have the subcategory D23 license, which is for construction cleanup. If you do need demolition work, you must find a company with the C21 license. Demolition work might include bringing down a no-longer-used shed.
Licensed companies must display license information in their advertising. All hauling companies must be able to show proof of bonding and insurance coverage, including worker’s compensation insurance. All companies in the state of California that have employees must have worker’s compensation insurance. This protects you from lawsuits from workers injured while moving your stuff.
Bonds indicate that the company is making a financial commitment. While state law says contractors should be bonded, a bond is rarely enough to provide financial compensation to customers. You can also look for certifications from regional or local authorities. For example, San Francisco has a Registered Transporter program to certify hauling companies. Some local Solid Waste Authorities grant recycling permits to hauling companies. You can look for these certifications in the hauling company’s advertising. Ask if you don’t see any mentioned.
Are Hauling and Moving Companies the Same in Sonoma County?
It’s easy in Windsor, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Healdsburg, or Petaluma to find hauling companies that offer moving services. A smaller hauling company may even advertise itself as a hauling and moving company.
Moving companies in California need a Cal-T license granted by the California Public Utilities Commission. The regulations in place are designed to protect consumers, but many of the smaller companies advertising hauling and moving are not licensed California movers. State regulations require moving companies to follow processes including a visual check of the property before the estimate is provided. A detailed inventory of furniture condition must be produced. Movers must provide a written estimate for moves when they have three-days advance notice. The estimate must include a cap amount beyond which the customer cannot be charged. Movers must compensate the customer at sixty cents per pound for damaged goods. This is a minimal amount that you may want to supplement with moving insurance. A licensed moving company should be able to help you through the entire process. Consider carefully if you are thinking of using an unlicensed mover.
Some Specialized Hauling Needs in Sonoma County
In most cases, customers in Sonoma County, whether in Windsor, Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, Petaluma, or Rohnert Park, need a hauling company to clear out old furniture, de-clutter a garage, or remove a spa. Sometimes, though, customers are looking for specialized hauling services. The following is a brief overview of some of the more frequently used specialized services.
Water hauling brings water into an area using specialized trucks. 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 – such as drinking water and recreational water – in one load.
Heavy hauling companies move extremely large, oversized, or awkwardly sized items like space shuttles, heavy equipment, and pieces of bridges. This is an extremely custom area, requiring permits for moving the large object, especially between states and countries. Look for a firm that has some experience in moving objects like the one you need moved, understands the required permits, and has connections in the destination location.
Horse hauling requires proof of health and transport-worthiness. To move a horse in California, you need the original copy of a veterinarian’s health inspection that says the horse is free of diseases and healthy enough to travel. 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 help you adhere to them.
In California, the hay hauling business involves large bales of hay that 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 get loose. The strapping used to secure the load must be applied in certain configurations to ensure the safety of the load. The California Highway Patrol enforces the strapping regulations.
Read moreRead less