Stuff Movers Can’t Take – A Guide

Stuff Movers Can’t Take – items illegal, immoral, or unsafe for us to move

Hiring movers? Great! We’re here to help. However, some stuff movers can’t take. Just because you called the best moving company around, that doesn’t mean we can move every item from your current home to your new one. For legal and liability purposes, we don’t allow certain items on the truck. Here’s a quick run-down of the most common stuff movers can’t take:

Fuel/Flammable Gas

Customers ask us to take propane tanks for grills all the time. These tanks, more than any other prohibited items, are by far our most common request. But we can’t do it. Any pressurized tank or flammable liquid or gas is something that we cannot bring onto the truck.

The reasoning here is pretty simple — we can’t put explosives in the back of the truck. Beyond that, it’s illegal. If we ever did take along a propane tank, our insurance agent would not be happy to find out about why we’re suddenly in the market for a new truck. Consequently, anything pressurized or otherwise flammable stays firmly in the column of stuff movers can’t take.

Propane tanks are prohibited items for movers.

We’ll happy move your grill, but we, like all movers, cannot transport the propane tank. (Photo by Ilovetogrill [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

This prohibition applies to all flammable fuels as well — so if you have something like a lawnmower, snowblower, or weed-whacker, make sure to properly drain all fuel and oil from it before moving day. (And run it until the engine shuts off after you’ve drained it — this ensures that there are no lingering vapors remaining in the tank.)

Stuff Movers can’t Take: Snow

Speaking of snowblowers, if you have one, it’s best to use it before the movers show up. Remember, you’re hiring a moving company — not a snow removal service. Workman’s Compensation insurance is expensive for movers, since the occupation comes with such a high risk for injury. So most policies (like ours, for example) explicitly prohibit the company from performing snow removal, and increasing the already high risk factor. As a result, snow counts as stuff movers can’t take.

Be sure all paths are clear of snow and ice before your movers show up. (Photo by Pauline Eccles [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

So if you’re moving in the winter, keep in touch with your movers ahead of time. Have a plan ready, in case of a snowstorm, to ensure a safe path between their truck and the entrance to your current home and your new one. (For more tips on this, check out our guide to moving in the winter.)

Guns and Ammo

Like to exercise your second amendment rights? That’s no problem for us, but unfortunately we cannot transport any firearms or ammunition in our truck. The risk, we think, is fairly obvious.

Stuff Movers Can't Take - Guns and Ammo are among the prohibited items that movers can't take.

Sportsman, eh? Guns and Ammunition count as prohibited items most movers cannot take. (Photo: YouTube Screenshot – Public Domain)

Of course, if you keep your guns locked up in a gun safe, we are (usually*) more than happy to move that for you. But actual firearms and ammunition — that’s definitely stuff movers can’t take.

(*Depending on the size of the safe — if it’s built into your home or was moved into its current location with a crane, we may have to recommend a more specialized moving company.)

Biological Waste

This might seem obvious, but moving can be stressful on the brain, and people often don’t realize what they are asking their movers to do. So let’s put it this way — do you really want your movers snugly fitting a used plunger, kitty litter, or a diaper bin (that hasn’t been emptied) into the same truck as your mattress, clothes, and dishes? Didn’t think so.

Stuff Movers Can't Take - Plungers and other items that come into contact with biological material are prohibited items.

A plunger is an item to simply replace when moving. (Photo By Sergey Galyonkin [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

Moving on . . .

Your Plants

Plants are a little tricky. Generally, we don’t have a problem taking them. But we’ve included them on this list anyway because, depending on what else is going into the truck, they can pose a problem.

Stuff Movers can't take - If possible, it's best to move any plants prior the arrival of your movers.

For the most part, plants are on the prohibited items list. (Photo by Sullynyflhi (Self-made. Photo taken in 2005.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

The main issue is the soil. If you have a heavy pot of dirt, it likely has some insects living in it. The dirt and the bugs can pose a risk to your other items if anything spills out. Generally, a few small potted plants aren’t a problem. We can put these on the end of the truck after everything else has been safely packed.

However, if you have some large plants, or a whole lot of small ones, make sure you alert your movers ahead of time. It can be difficult to pack plants so that none of the soil or critters inside spill out. (And it’s much more difficult if the plants come as a surprise to the movers!)

Your Pets

While we love all of our little furry friends (that’s Chris, the owner of Safe Responsible, pictured below), the back of a moving truck is no place for a scared animal on moving day. We recommend making sure all pets are safely out of the way on moving day. You don’t want your puppy getting too excited and tripping up the movers while they carry your antique oak dresser down a few a flights of stairs.

stuff movers can't take - Cats and other pets cannot come along on the truck.

Any and all of our furry friends are strictly prohibited from riding in the truck with the movers. (Photo by Richard TK Hawke)

Of course, we can take your fish tank, dog crate, lizard habitat, or any other living space for your pet. But it should be empty and clean before we arrive. As long as you make arrangements for your little buddy to get safely from one end of the move to the other, we can take all the other stuff.

The Most Prohibited Item of All: You

Yes, you, the customer, count among the prohibited items. Sometimes customers will ask if they can ride in the truck to get from the starting to the ending location. But there’s the problem. If three movers pull up to the job, you can bet they’re in a truck with only three seat-belts. So that’s an issue.

Looking for a taxi? Don't ask your movers for a ride. You are among the stuff movers can't take.

A moving truck is not a taxi — an important distinction to insurers and state officials. (Photo by Ryan Hartman (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons)

But more than that, moving is a service you’re paying for. Legally, if you get into the truck and go for a ride to the next stop, you’re also paying for a “livery” service — like a taxi or limo. The problem is obvious: very few movers carry insurance that will cover a paying passenger. All municipalities have regulations dictating who can and cannot offer rides for a fee. So to stay out of any trouble, passengers count as stuff movers can’t take. (Insurance companies also like this prohibition.)

For more information on what we can and cannot move, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Ready to book a move for all your allowed items? Get a moving quote today!

Feature Photo by julien haler from Paris, France (Accès aux jets d’eau interdit) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons