With the technological advancement of the internal combustion engine and the steel frame the moving truck was born. With better roads and gas powered trucks, moving became more practical. The movers could drive to your house, load up all your furniture and drive to your new home and unload your furniture just where you want it. In some ways not much has changed in principal since that first motorized truck. In other ways the industry has been revolutionized. The need for movers has tracked the wealth of the nation. As people buy more stuff, they end up needing help to move it. As the population grew from tens of millions to hundreds of millions, the moving industry has kept pace with good companies providing quality service.
Figure 10.4 One of the earliest moving trucks with an air cooled engine
In 1919 Ward B. Hiner founded American Red Ball Transit. He thought moving goods from city to city in motorizes trucks instead of by railroad would eliminate the need to crate furniture. Instead of loading on a truck, unloading at the rail car, then unloading into another truck (or wagon) at the new city, he could just drive to the new city. Red ball was the first interstate carrier. The movers would load up at your house and drive to your new home. A big improvement over crating everything for the rail road, and moving everything four times (house to truck, truck to rail, rail to truck, and truck to new home.)
Many companies followed ??his lead. Soon the trucking industry was a fierce competitor of the rail roads. Ending a very old monopoly. One problem remained, after the unload an empty truck was on the road. There is no money in empty trucks.
In 1928 a group of moving companies formed an alliance to try and share moves to keep their trucks full. That marks the beginning of the van lines. They became known as Allied van lines. Some of the oldest moving companies that are still in business are United van lines and Mayflower vanlines. They were moving companies, before they both became vanlines.
As the roads kept getting better and the trucks bigger, the moving industry continued to serve the growing American economy. The moving business has always been a service business.