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THE MODERN MOVING INDUSTRY

The moving and storage industry is a fifteen billion dollars per year industry in the united states. Each year about forty million Americans move. 85% move in state, 12.5% move out of state. Some move them self, while others select a moving company.

According to the BBB, “moving companies” is the fourth most searched category. Everybody wants a good deal and not to be taken advantage of. But a lot of times folks do not take the time to check with the BBB or check the company???s credentials. There is no substitute for doing your due diligence.

There are lots of companies to choose from. There are quality movers with fleets of late model moving trucks in every major city in the county. Experienced movers that know how to move all your belongings without damages at a reasonable price.

The moving industry has matured into a capable and effective force in this county. Every day movers deliver exactly what they have promised; Trucks on time. Clean cut crews. Accurate moving quotes. Furniture that is transported and packed with care. And happy customers.

It is worth considering that people (and the nightly news) only want to talk about the few bad apples. Ignoring the millions of satisfied customers. The “bad apples” get their business from people that all too often fail to do their due diligence.

Make your move be the best it can be. Hire a quality mover to take the stress out of moving. I hope that you have found this information useful and helpful. Questions and comments are welcomed and appreciated. Moving is hard enough, make the actual move day easy with the help of a professional crew.

Moving quotes are a call, click or in home estimate away.

 

 

GOVERNMENT REGULATION

President Roosevelt introduced unprecedented regulation and new government programs in his effort to control the American economy in the wake of the great depression.

The motor carrier act was passed in 1935. Its purpose was to “regulate competitive practices and promote fair competition”.

In 1948 congress passed the Reed-Bullwinkle act. This allowed companies to establish collective rates and full immunity from anti-trust laws. For a small moving company it was difficult to meet the requirements and the van lines were the major players. Over regulation is an effective way to stop competition.

In 1980 Congress deregulated the trucking industry. The amount of licensed carriers jumped from a few hundred to more than twenty thousand in a short time. Movers now had to compete for your business. Prices fell, and for some companies quality improved.

The range of prices, services, and kinds of movers was wide and varied. Things were not as simple as when there were just a few vanlines with collective rate to choose from. Suddenly folks that had always had to move them self, could now afford to hire a quality moving company. Reputation and quality of service became paramount for the good moving companies.

As with any industry that provides services to people, there are those that are in it to cheat and swindle. Always do your research. Some feel that the government should regulate the moving industry more like “in the good old days.” ??Big companies can make more money if there is no competition from the little guy.

 

Moving companies must be licensed with the state, and if they move across the state line, with the federal government as well. There are insurance requirements, and a strict set of rules governing the moving industry. Often the “scams??? that make folks cry for more regulation are perpetrated by companies that are already illegal. Existing laws are on the books to deal with criminals.

 

THE BIRTH OF AN INDUSTRY

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.

GO WEST YOUNG MAN

The 1800s saw a unprecedented migration west. The covered wagon was the method of choice for most D.I.Y.ers. Your wife, kids, and everything you owned could easily fit in its spacious wooden box. Normally powered with two horse power, it could transverse rivers that were not flooded and were shallow. The wagons strong axels could be replaced if needed in route. Just chop down an oak tree and shape to specifications.

There was no profit for moving companies with small jobs going long distances and nothing to haul back. About the only professional movers that made the covered wagon move west are the men that decided on a career change or fell in love with the farmer???s daughter. Not surprisingly for families with love struck farmers daughters and son in Law movers, everything was wrapped, padded and not even a tea cup was broken in their move west.

Back in the big cities, horse drawn moving wagons were rolling down the street on local moves.

 

 

10,000 YEARS OF “DO IT YOUR SELF” MOVERS

Human prehistory is rich with wandering peoples. Over thirteen thousand years ago the first Americans were walking over the land bridge with their stuff in tow. Of course they did not call themselves Americans. Back then people moved themselves. No moving company needed.

With the invention of the wheel folks could make carts and that made moving a little easier. But still folks moved them self. Only kings and the super rich had enough stuff to need movers, but they had slaves and subjects to do the heavy lifting for them.

It is interesting to note that when humans were hunters and gathers and moving around the most, they had the least amount of stuff. Packing up the whole tribe was no big deal. Down came the tents and they were off to follow the migration patterns of their prey.

Planet earth was colonized this way. Year by year. Generation by generation. Little by little soon there were humans on six out of seven continents. And that is not bad for walkers with backpacks.

As the agriculture revolution took hold people moved less. staying close to their crops, and the upcoming harvest. Young men and women would get married and start a life together and move to a place of their own. Normally still close by the tribe, and the mother in law. The ???local move” was born. But just like many newlyweds today, they just did not have enough stuff to hire a moving company. They were D.I.Y.ers.

During the great conquests of the ancient empires the winning army would often carry their loot back to their capitals. But back then the military was not yet out sourcing to moving companies. The army took care of it themselves. Probably for the better because professional moving companies do not move slaves and livestock, and also recommend you move your old coins, jewelry and gold yourself.

The DIY movers have a proud tradition dating back to time immemorial. For most of human history folks moved themselves. Now they can rent a moving truck and DIY in style. Or hire a moving company and enjoy the ease of a professional move.

 

THE RICH HISTORY OF THE MOVING INDUSTRY

The moving industry was born because of, and has grown in parallel with the unprecedented creation of wealth over the last 140 years. Technology increased crop production and the amount of men and women need to produce it. More people were free to buy their food and housing and work in other industries. More wealth was created, and by trading value for value every hard working American could increase their personal wealth.

The more things you buy, the more things you have. At some point you need someone to help you move. With the explosion of the middle class, more and more folks needed help moving. Smart entrepreneurs are always looking to fill a unmet need. Find their niche. The professional furniture mover started plying his trade around the late 1800s. Mainly with local moves. For long distance moves ships and railcars were used. But with ships and railcars, everything had to be in a crate or a barrel, so it was more like freight services. With furniture movers, household goods are individually wrapped, padded, and loaded into the truck/wagon.

The moving company got its start with the middle class. The poor do not have enough stuff to need movers, (or the money). And the rich have servants or men that already work for them to do the heavy lifting. But times have changed.

Today the rich, the poor, companies, and governments all use professional moving companies. The unique skill set, specialized equipment, and moving truck make it a smart choice to hire men and women that know how the pack a box of china without it getting broken, and how to pack a semi with furniture without any damage. Today, even the poor have wealth that could not have been bought with a kings gold throughout history. A flat screen TV, a ton of electronics, mattresses, fridges, washing machines and clothes dryers. The personal belongings of a poor American bests yesterday???s nobility. Technology and hardworking Americans have made everybody???s lives better, and increased everybodys wealth. And the professional moving companies are here to help you move all of it.

The moving industry has grown with the population and the economy. As a service business it cannot be out sourced to another county, like so many of our manufacturing jobs have been.

Moving is hard work, To?????????????????????????????? be a mover you need a good work ethic, and be able to perform hard manual labor all day. It is not surprising then that professional movers are physically strong and take pride in a job well done. There is a certain satisfaction in hard physical work that you have to do with your hands, and can see immediate progress. ??When a house full of heavy furniture is emptied and packed in to the moving truck, without a damage, there is a certain satisfaction in the visible manifestation of the work that has been accomplished.

THE STOLEN MOVING TRUCK

If you are moving yourself, keep an eye on the moving truck. Crooks sometimes target rental trucks. Many a family has woken up from a good night???s sleep at their hotel, only to find that their rental truck is gone. Now they are stranded in the middle of nowhere. Half way to their new home with nothing.

Rental trucks can be attractive to thieves. They normally don’t have an alarm system, and they are already loaded with an entire household ??worth of goods. Why break into a house and load a truck, when you can just steal a fully loaded moving truck? The road side inns have the U-Hauls, Budgets, and Penskis clearly marked for the crook???s convenience. Ask about insurance when you rent the truck in the first place. I recommend to stay at a better class of hotel with security cameras. Park in front of the cameras and install a wheel lock. A Steering wheel lock can be purchased for less than $40.00. As always keep the doors locked as well.

Take care when selecting a pad lock for the back door of your rental truck. This is not the place to save money. Some locks are much harder to defeat then others. If standard bolt cutters can chop off your pad lock, buy a better lock. All self-respecting thieves have a set of bolt cutters.

Moving companies have to deal with crooks too. Good companies take the necessary precautions. Quality moving companies ??go beyond hardened locks and cargo insurance. With the technology today some movers have outfitted their fleet with GPS trackers. Being able to track your goods in real time takes a lot of the stress out of moving.

Quality moving companies go hand in hand with quality moving trucks, equipment and moving crews.

 

WHO ARE YOU LETTING IN YOUR HOUSE?

I don’t really want to write about this. It has nothing to do with moving furniture. But as a father, I feel it needs to be said. This applies to all companies that send men into your home to perform their services or sell their goods. What do you know about the strangers you have invited into your home?

There was a story about a woman who was raped by a vacuum cleaner salesman. The story turned into a political football. At the center of it, the debate of whether a company should be held responsible for the actions of their independent contractors.

A detailed search will reveal that many home service industries have a black eye when it comes to poor quality workers with nefarious intentions. Whether you have had cable installed, a subcontractor doing a remodel, a plumber fixing the sink or a moving company helping you relocate; the quality of the crew is important.

Companies that do back ground checks are good, but that is really just the start. Criminals have to be “convicted” to have a record. Checking references, history, coworker ??feedback and just getting to know someone???s character, are all part of finding men that will accurately represent the company.

You want men with a strong moral compass. It stands to reason if you hire a shady outfit, they are more likely to have shady characters working for them. If you hire a company with a reputation for quality service and fair prices, the people that work there will share the company culture.

The lowest price is seldom the best deal. Value is where the quality of service and the best price intersect. If you are not comparing companies that are licensed, bonded, insured and have top quality moving crews, what are you actually comparing?

 

ACCIDENT AND FIRE DAMAGE

If the truck is in an accident, or catches on fire the insurance company will get involved. You will make a claim and you or the moving company will pay the deductible. Cargo insurance covers the contents of what is in the truck. But what if the movers do not have cargo insurance?

Some moving companies sub out their jobs to movers that own their own pickup truck. The drivers pull the company’s cargo trailer. The drivers Liability insurance makes the pickup legal, (but not really unless the driver is paying for commercial insurance). What is missing is the cargo insurance. No cargo insurance and all your personal belongings are vulnerable in transit.

If you are renting a truck you should make sure you buy the additional cargo insurance from the rental company. Or consult your own insurance company. Sometimes home owner???s policies can add coverage for the move.

I have heard a story from another company. ??A helper was smoking by the truck, and dropped his cigarette on the moving blankets by accident. The entire truck caught on fire. It was a total loss. That is why moving companies have a strict ???NO SMOKING??? policy.

I had a friend that was involved in an accident, and the truck flipped over. Thank God that he and his helper only were bumped and bruised. The furniture however took a beating, but there was far less damage then you would expect. On account of the truck being packed and padded so tightly. ??The insurance company got involved and covered the damage. In this case the company paid the deductible. The customer was inconvenienced, but compensated.

Without cargo insurance you the customers are out. A low priced move from a ???cut rate??? company or a “chuck and a truck” could be the most expensive move you ever make.

EXTENSIVE DAMAGE

An improperly packed truck can destroy your furniture. Inexperienced moving crews, or crews that just don’t care can damage your furniture as they carry it out to the truck. People pay thousands of dollars for their furniture, and then try to save a few dollars on their move. Moving experience is a metric some folks don’t even think about when comparing prices.

I saw a commercial for Direct TV. They were showing movers destroying the family???s ??furniture and their house. Dining table through the wall, The sound of glass breaking in boxes as they were slammed down on the floor. Mud being tracked in the house on white carpet. There were a several versions of the commercial with different kinds of destruction. I thought to myself, do movers have such a bad reputation, that Direct TV with all their high paid marketing teams have determined that the stereotype of the “Mover” is the worst part of a move?

This is not what I see every day. I see professional men working hard providing quality service at competitive prices. I see boxes packed with care and moving trucks packed with skill. I see a professional company and crew make the hardest part of a family???s relocation seem like the easiest part.

When people have an inexperienced crew, or a crew that just does not care, things get damaged. If a company is hiding behind the government mandated 60c per pound, what does that really say about their service? What is worse than a company using the 60c per pound shield? The illegal movers that, after damaging your stuff and getting paid in cash, disappear. If you hire a “Chuck and a Truck” from an internet ad, what do you expect?

Almost every horror story I have heard about extensive damage, starts with a too good to be true ???low price”, and ends with the customer finding out after the fact that the moving company and a bad reputation. Or worse yet no reputation. Research the moving company before you move.

Everyone knows that you can’t make everyone happy. Any mover that has been in business long enough will have some complaints. Come with me on a little thought experiment. Imagine you are considering two movers. The first has three complaints with the BBB. ??The second has six complaints with the BBB. Company one seems the obvious choice, right? Maybe not. What if company one has been in business for one year and has only one crew. ??While company two has been in business fifteen years and runs ten crews. That is a horse of a different color, now isn’t it? Always compare complaint ratio to company size. Do not let the “Name changers” fool you. Movers will “clear” their BBB record with a name change.

If you want to predict the quality of your moving crew, look at the company’s guarantee. If it is their policy to repair or replace what their movers damage. Well then, they have faith in their crews. If they hide behind 60 per pound, they expect that their movers will damage your furniture and drop your boxes. Only quality movers could let a company make such a guarantee.