If you are planning to move and thinking about hiring a professional moving company in the state of California, you need to be aware of what is included in your moving cost. California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) law requires all California movers to charge a double drive time (DDT) to their customers. However most of the first-time clients wonder what double drive time is and if it’s legal. It’s a common question, and we’re here to help.
What is Double Drive Time?
The Double Drive Time Law (DDT), passed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), requires California based moving companies to double the amount of time it takes to get from the origin point to the destination point at the agreed upon hourly rate. This law applies to ALL moving companies in the state of California.
The actual CPUC law is written as follows:
“The time used shall be the total of loading, unloading and double the driving time from point of origin to point of destination.”
You may be thinking “Wait a minute, that sounds outrageous, why would they allow that?”
The CPUC created the Double Drive Time Law to keep moving companies honest and protect the consumer.
Yes, make no mistake about what you’ve just read. However, before getting worked up at the thought of paying double for anything, let’s actually get into the details of why and how Double Drive Time is to your benefit.
Three Important Double Drive Time (DDT) Terms You Need To Know:
Warehouse: This is your moving company’s office. Under the double drive time, your moving company will NOT be allowed to start their hourly rate you once they leave their warehouse and head to your current home (the home you’re moving out of).
Origin: The Origin is the home or office you are current moving from. As the moving truck begins to head out from its warehouse and arrives at the Origin, it is at the origin that the moving company may start to charge you for its services such as loading and unloading.
Destination: The destination is the new home that you want to move into. The moving company will only charge you for the distance or time traveled from the point of origin to the destination. The Double Drive Time law requires the moving company to double the origin to destination time. i.e. If it takes 15 minutes to get from origin to destination, the moving company will put 30 minutes on the invoice as Double Drive Time. Essentially you would be paying for 15 additional minutes of their time at their hourly rate.
Why Double Drive Time Exists:
Like previously mentioned, Double Drive Time is meant to protect the customers. Instead of letting and giving all the pricing power to the moving company, the customers are able to determine and account for how long it takes to drive from their old home to their new home.
All responsibilities associated with moving from the origin to the destination will be charged to the customers.
Customers are not responsible for any expenses that the moving company may have accrued from the time and the gas that it takes to get from its warehouse to the origin.
Thus, customers are only charged for the process of moving their homes, only.
Since customers are only charged for the moving between old and new homes, the moving companies are granted the permission to charge double as it will also consider not only the origin to the destination but also from the destination and back to the origin.
Why Moving Companies Charge Double Drive Time
Before moving companies started using the double drive time, there was only one charging method that was used to charge moving clients. That method was known as “Portal to Portal”. In the portal to portal scenario, you would be responsible for the charges from the moving companies warehouse to your place, from your place to your new place, and then from the new place back to the moving companies warehouse as the movers are still being paid for their time. Under the portal to portal, customers are not protected as the moving companies have all the control on the pricing with much less price transparency for the consumer. Moreover, until current days some moving companies continue charging their client all kinds of extraneous fees, such as "truck fee", "gas fee", "service fee", etc. Keep in mind that these fees are not approved by CPUC, but not illegal.
In order to balance the labor law, and at the same time give customers more protection, the double drive time law was enacted. The charges of distance or time traveled from the origin to the destination is multiplied by x2 because it will take about the same time or distance to head back from the destination to the origin. Anything outside the range of the origins to the destination will not be charged to the customers.
There are some exceptions to the double drive time law which we’ve listed below.
Maximum Rate Tariff 4: Exceptions To The Double Drive Time Law:
Under the Maxim Rate Tariff 4, it addresses some complications to the double drive time.
These complications are known in the tariff as exceptions that allows moving company to charge the customers accordingly to the extra services it may have to provide.
Exception 1: “When carrier is required to perform more than one trip between origin and destination, the time used shall be the total of loading and unloading time, to which will be added double driving time for the first trip from origin to destination and actual driving time for all additional trips between origin and destination for each motor vehicle furnished by carrier.” – Maximum Rate Tariff 4
Exception 2: “When two or more shipments are transported on a unit of equipment at the same time, the time used shall be the total of loading and unloading time plus 25 minutes total driving time for each shipment.”
Exception 3: “When split pickup, split delivery or split pickup and split delivery in combination is performed, the time used shall be computed in accordance with the provisions of Items 148, 152, or 156, respectively.”
1.5 hour of loading + 15 minutes of driving (x2) + 1.5 hour of unloading = 3 hours and 30 minutes.
2 hours of loading + 20 minutes of driving (x2)+ 2 hours of unloading = 4 hours and 40 minutes.
2 hours of loading + 40 minutes of driving (x2)+ 1 hours of unloading = 4 hours and 20 minutes.
You can download the Maximum Rate Tariff 4 to read further.
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