How to Hire a Truck to Move in Oman

The above photo shows my actual movers outside my previous house.
Last August, I moved my entire house all the way from Ibri in the north of Oman to the southern city of Salalah. The journey was over 900km and it generally takes about 10 hours to drive a sedan (it can take as little as six or seven if you drive dangerously and as much as thirteen or more depending on traffic).

I hired a truck and some local movers to help me. I actually started the process of negotiating with seveal of them probably 10-14 days before I was ready to move. I highly suggest you do this.

Movers and truck drivers here will charge you what they think they can get out of you. Meaning that if you’re in a hurry and you have a specific time and day you need to leave by, you might pay anywhere from 350-500 OMR for the trip (that’s 900-1,300 USD). In a country where both labour and petrol is cheap, that’s a ridiculous price.

But, if the driver is already going that way, or if they are desperate for the cash, they might offer to do the same trip for as low as 180omr ($460) with labour included. Now, even if you’re reading this post three to five years from now, unless the standard of living goes up drastically in Oman, I wouldn’t expect to pay much more than that.

Here’s some bite-sized advice:

  • Contact numerous companies and begin negotiating immediately. Remember they will charge you whatever they think they can get out of you.
  • Be flexible on your move dates. Expect calls or texts at the last minute offering you a rock bottom price if you can move immediately
  • Be clear about your expectations and make sure you negotiate the labour price to be included in the overall price. Usually 10omr per a person is reasonable, anything else would be a bit extravagant unless they’re packing and moving a multi-person family.
  • Be clear about your expectations as to when you expect them to arrive. My guys left my house around 3pm, went to a friend’s house to sleep for the night, and did not get moving until 9am the next day because I wasn’t specific enough and I trusted them to leave my house and start driving to the destination. In all, it took them over 30 hours to deliever my stuff when the drive should have taken no more than 15 hours in a truck.
  • Be very specific and firm, again, on expectations. Although I had already negotiated labour cost, my guys insisted they were tired and wanted to charge me more for unloading on the day/night they had already agreeded to unload on (and yes at this point it was over 30 hours they had taken).
  • As reference, I ended up paying 220 omr for the trip from Ibri to Salalah including the labor of three men. I could have cancelled on these guys last minute and hired another truck who contacted me offering to do the job for 180 OMR, this was a totally enclosed truck so it might have been better. But I felt I didn’t want to go back on my word, in retrospect, maybe I should have taken the cheaper truck since your word doesn’t mean much around here and these guys had no problem trying to charge me twice for labour.
  • Eariler that same year, I paid another truck 60 omr with labor included to deliever a three-piece leather couch set with three huge desert rose plants from Muscat to Ibri. This is probably the lowest price I could have expected.
  • I had friends who had less furniture than me who paid over 200 for a truck to move them from Muscat to Sur, a much shorter distance. So, it’s really all on time and your neogiating tactics.
  • My movers knew how to prepare my washing machine for moving (I had already put the bolts in for them) and they disassembled my bed (this did complicate things). In general, I was pleased with their work and nothing was damaged except for a bookcase which I damaged when I insisted on helping them unpack (they had previously said they were too tired to unload that night and I was like, I just made the same journey you made?) I damaged the bookcase because I was distracted by a new neighbor kid asking far too many questions.

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