Sunday Morning Musings

I’ve been a little neglectful of my blog this week.  I spent most of the week doing paperwork, because at heart, I really am a pencil-pusher, paper-shuffler.   I am working on two informative articles, one is on Valuation(Insurance-but its not), and the other is on interstate moving pricing.  The valuation article is pretty well done, but I am working on a “disclaimer” for it, and a little hung up on that, Valuation is complicated, and while simplifying it isn’t hard, making sure that no “legal liability” happens is.  The Interstate Moving pricing is right now in the “rip the lid off of the secrets mode,” and while I hate to edit and censor, there are a few toes I promised not to step on(Tim H.).

So this morning, Ronal and his guys are out in New Canaan doing a 4Peat customer Regina M.; Edison and his guys are going to Redding later to help a customer for this week get his packing done.  John V. fell a little behind, as I always say, “life has a habit of getting in the way.”  Later today Barbara H., a long term storage customer is meeting me here to go through her storage vaults and cull and reduce.  Lover her dearly, but she’s a pain in my lower body!  MEanwhile I am going to work this morning on an “E-mail Harvesting” project that I have good thoughts about.

On the subject of Valuation, later, I am hoping to deliver an urn that was damaged in one of our moves.  I wish I had before and after pics, because it was beautifully repaired.   Remember, when moving, there are “HUMANS” involved and things can happen!(35,000lbs on the trucks and 35,000lbs of the trucks – 70,000lbs in 4 days)

At Vanguard, we work 7 days a week, and try to go the extra mile for our customers.  Just a small example of why we think anyone in CT should consider Vanguard for all of their professional moving and storage needs.

So in honor of the Hardest Working Men in the Moving Business(not me, the guys).  James Brown The Hardest Working Man in Show Business – “I Feel Good”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1wOK9yGUYM

 

James Brown

 

Posted in Misc

Non-Binding Estimates for Long Distance Moves – Beware of the 110% Sales Pitch

In an earlier post, we discussed briefly the types of estimates that you can be offered for your interstate move.  We strongly advise that you stay away from non-binding estimates.  Let’s be 100% honest, everyone doing this is a salesperson, and salespeople will use every tool they have in their toolbox to “get the sale!”   There is nothing wrong with it, just sometimes, the pitch doesn’t match the facts.

 

Below is the language contained on a National Van Lines “Non-Binding Estimate,” (and the final moving contract).    All Movers use similar if not exact language.

 
NON-BINDING ESTIMATE (Table of Measurements Required).

THIS REPRESENTS THE CHARGES FOR ONLY THOSE ITEMS LISTED ON THE TABLE OF MEASUREMENTS AND THOSE SERVICES INDICATED ON THE ESTIMATE. THIS NON-BINDING ESTIMATE IS NOT A GUARANTEE THAT THE ACTUAL CHARGES WILL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT OF THE ESTIMATE. COMMON CARRIERS ARE REQUIRED BY LAW TO COLLECT TRANSPORTATION AND OTHER INCIDENTAL CHARGES COMPUTED ON THE BASIS OF THE RATES SHOWN IN THEIR LAWFULLY PUBLISHED TARIFFS, REGARDLESS OF PRIOR ESTIMATES MADE BY THE CARRIER OR ITS AGENTS. EXACT CHARGES FOR LOADING, TRANSPORTING, AND UNLOADING ARE BASED UPON THE WEIGHT OF THE GOODS TRANSPORTED, AND IT MAY NOT BE POSSIBLE TO DETERMINE SUCH CHARGES UNTIL THE GOODS ARE LOADED ON THE VAN AND WEIGHED.

IF THE TOTAL TARIFF CHARGES FOR THE LISTED ARTICLES AND SERVICES EXCEED THE ESTIMATE BY MORE THAN TEN PERCENT, THEN, UPON YOUR REQUEST, THE CARRIER MUST RELINQUISH POSSESSION OF YOUR SHIPMENT UPON PAYMENT OF NOT MORE THAN 110 PERCENT OF THE ESTIMATED CHARGES. YOU ARE STILL OBLIGATED TO PAY THE BALANCE OF THE TOTAL CHARGES WITHIN 30 DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE FREIGHT BILL. CHARGES FOR ADDITIONAL SERVICES AT ORIGIN OR DESTINATION THAT YOU REQUEST AFTER EXECUTION OF THE CONTRACT WILL BE ADDED TO THIS TOTAL AND WILL BE DUE AT DELIVERY.

 

A non-binding estimate will generally be less than a not to exceed estimate.  Compare what your charges “would be” if your shipment ships under the Vanguard Certified Estimated Weight, to the Vanguard Not to Exceed Price.

Its not a lot of fun to read the fine print, but, when signing up for thousands of dollars of moving expenses, it is incumbent on the educated consumer to do so.  Beware of the 110% promise!

 

Posted in Misc

A Little Moving Music – Carole King, “So Far Away”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjDv_pWiJeM

Carole King

Posted in Misc

Passionate about Moving – Stream of Consciousness

How can you be passionate about moving, it’s just a job?  Well, the answer is a little more complicated than that and in order to answer the question; I have to wax philosophical and poetic.

In science, Georges Lemaitre, a Jesuit priest, came up with what he called “the hypothesis of the primeval atom,” later called the “Big Bang Theory,” which basically holds that the universe is ever expanding.  In various economic theories, the “static” or “expanding” “Pie” of economic activity are discussed.  {Insert stream of consciousness – “It’s a wonderful day for Pie” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kG7rUUoUwA }.

Love and Passion are like the universe, in that our capacity for each is ever expanding.  When I fell in love with my wife, I didn’t love my mother less; I simply expanded my capacity for love.  I didn’t realize that it was happening at the time, that came later.  When my first daughter was born, and I saw her for the first time, I cried tears of joy. She was the most beautiful and precious creature that I had ever come across in my life and I thought that there was no way that I could ever love anything or anyone as much as I loved her in that moment.  But, then came the second, and I was quickly disabused of that notion, she was every bit as precious and beautiful as the first, and I loved them equally, without diminishing my love for my wife or my eldest.  And then came three, and the same miracle happened, my capacity for love expanded to encompass her, and equally, with the rest of my little family.

Growing up, my parents taught me several important rules about work.  Mom and Dad said always have a passion for whatever you do, strive to be the best at it, never stop learning and you will be the best.  All work is to be respected and regardless of the job, anyone doing a job to the best of their abilities should be accorded your respect.  There are no “clerical jobs,” only “clerical people.”  There are no “menial jobs,” only “menial people.”  Later in life, I learned to be less judgmental when applying the standard of “doing their best,” and am a better person for it, not everyone is as passionate about what they do as I am.  I learned that the single most important rule of management is “never ask anyone to do anything that you aren’t willing to do yourself!”

So, what the hell does any of this have to do with Moving, or being passionate about it?   In this industry, perhaps more than any other that I have been in, I meet people every day who are passionate about what they do.  Maybe they don’t use the phrase, but their passion shows in their work.  Moving is not an easy profession on the body, or the mind.  I have written about the Mover in an earlier post http://vmslct.com/2019/03/so-you-think-youre-a-mover/. It takes a special type of person to want to do this every day without doing it “everyday.”  On every job, they come into contact with 10’s if not 100’s of thousands of dollars worth of people’s prized possessions; and monetarily worthless items that can never be replaced like your child’s handprint in plaster from kindergarten.  And each day they handle these items as if they were their own, and absorb the tales behind them.

My men are passionate about what they do, or they wouldn’t care to wrap and secure each piece of furniture, every dish and every photo.  They wouldn’t start a delivery at 4PM and work into the night so my customers can start over in their new homes; they wouldn’t carry a picture in the cab, just because it means so much to my customer.   Every little kindness, and gentle smile, they show to a widow or widower moving out of the home shared for 30, 40, 50 years, is about a passion for moving, and a passion for people.  They wouldn’t throw a soccer ball to a kid who is filled with trepidation about moving away from his friends and school and his whole life, and is hearing that “this is an adventure.”  At 10 years of age, it’s not an adventure, it’s just downright scary! That’s why I am proud to call them my friends!

Our company is based on this simple premise.  Be passionate about what we do, be passionate about the people we do it for.  Be passionate about moving!

 

 

Posted in Misc

Moving is Organized Chaos

Moving is not a lot of fun, kind of the understatement of the year!

If you are moving locally and selling your current home, and buying a new one, just the Mortgage and Title related issues will have you pulling out your hair.  You fill out a mortgage application, and even if you are pre-approved, you need an appraisal, a home inspection and a processor is sitting somewhere Far, Far Away collecting and reviewing your documents.

Far Far Away

So the appraisal comes in at the right number, your home inspection looks good and you get a “Commitment,” but, read the fine print, it’s actually a “Conditional Commitment.”   So now your  attorney goes ahead and orders the “title,” and now the fun really begins.  It turns out, that back in 1984, somebody, long dead now had a mortgage and the “Satisfaction” was never filed by the bank.  It’s YOUR job to find out who the successor bank is and get that filed (even though that bank has been gone for YEARS.

Meanwhile, all those nice people you dealt with at the beginning of the process just don’t return your calls.  Your file is in “underwriting,” the paralegal assures you that your attorney will be back with you  today….Meanwhile your buyers, buyers – buyer is having trouble with their mortgage and everybody in the chain is on pins and needles.

 

 

Answer the phone

 

 

 

 

At Vanguard, “in addition to our moving services, I do provide you with free counseling, however, there does come a point in the process where I recommend that you KILL SOMEBODY!  At that point, you do have to realize that I am not at all qualified to provide that counseling.”

 

 

The reality is that 99% of deals go through, but until yours does, you get to go crazy.

Hair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Vanguard “when you commit to us, we are committed to you, the only thing we ask is that you keep us posted as to what is going on.”

While you were pulling your hair out of your head (those that remain),  you have to go ahead and purge a lot of that stuff, 20 years of accumulated things. OMG

Hoarder

 

https://www.buzzfeed.com/katieheaney/how-much-of-a-hoarder-are-you

 

Answer: You really aren’t, but you sure feel like one!

 

 

 

“The American Moving Association recommends that you move every three (3) years JUST SO YOU CAN GET RID OF YOUR CRAP!!!!!…The American Gemological Society also recommends that a young man spend six (6) months salary when selecting an engagement ring for his beloved.  NO VESTED INTEREST THERE EITHER!”!!!!

In order to keep the cost of your move down, you’ve committed to packing most everything, so you have a pile of unassembled boxes and other packing supplies sucking up your living space, and stacks of boxes in every room.  If you have teenagers, they’re gonna help – TOMORROW, if you have the little peoples they’re under foot, and remember the best toy you can toddler is a box.  So your little ones have taken over 10 of your boxes and it’s amazing what the little monsters can do with a box.  So 20 of them are in garage for recycling day, juice spilled on them or sidewalls just broken while tumbling in and out of the new “fort” they built with your expensive boxes!

Box-fort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND after all this comes moving day, you know your closing(s) are tomorrow, but you don’t know what time.  We load up your belongings in our truck, and you get to make sure that the house is “broom clean.”

 

Under the bus

 

 

 

At Vanguard, we recommend that you lie, lie, lie to your attorney and realtor, “throw me under the bus,  I’m a big boy.”  “my mover says that if I can’t get unloaded by 12-1 O’clock, he’s going to have to hold it overnight and its gonna cost me exorbitant fee’s and another night in the hotel”

 

 

 

Oh yeah, and after we deliver, you have boxes everywhere and no idea where to start.  At least we set up the beds for you and you can crash until morning.  Hopefully you have a few days before you go back to work.

BUT, remember at every step along the way “life has a habit of getting in the way!”

At Vanguard, we know this whole process isn’t easy, we’ve done it hundreds if not thousands of times.   So what is the REAL goal of the mover…..

Moving is Organized Chaos, and Vanguard’s Goal is to make the ORGANIZE outweigh the CHAOS, by just a little bit, and keep a smile on everyone’s face while doing it

 

 

Posted in Misc

Your Interstate Moving Estimate

Your Interstate Moving Estimate

Regardless of where on life’s continuum you are, we make some very basic suggestions.

1.)    Who to work with – While there are good independent movers, and brokers out there, it is difficult to figure out the players and where they stand on the “Good guy – Bad guy” scale.  We recommend that you work with representatives of the Major Carriers, these large corporations have been in business for years and while the vast majority of moves turn out as promised, a large carrier does afford you the opportunity for recourse if it doesn’t!  Given the vast scope of the regulatory and tax burden placed on the trucking industry by the both the feds and the states, as well as the HUGE number of stereotypical “Boss Hogg” sheriffs in all 50 states,  an affiliation with a major carrier is a “must have,” for any moving company seriously interested in interstate moving.  On top of that the ability of the ability of the major carriers to consolidate shipments sold by numerous agents in an area serves to keep the cost of long distance moving down.

 

2.)    Your Estimate – Many moving companies will offer “phone or internet surveys,” or even using the newest technology, “walk through video.”  While it may be possible to get “close,” using these technologies, there is no substitute for having an experienced moving professional come to your home, walk through and identify your needs and wants, and address your expectations.   In the age of the internet, and the “commoditization of everything,” there is no substitute for human to human contact when it comes to your most prized possessions.  We recommend that you get three in home estimates from representatives of the major carriers(you can always get more, but there does come a point when information overload(TMI) happens.)  All estimates should be based on Weight, cubic feet is NOT a legitimate estimate.

3.)    Types of Estimates – There are two types of estimates that you can receive from your mover, “Binding”, which has subtype titled a “Not to Exceed” and a “Non-Binding” estimate.

Binding – “This is your price.”

Not to Exceed – “This is the maximum price that you will pay for your move, if weights and services turn out to be less, you could pay less, but, this is a cap on your price.”

Non-Binding -  “we think that this is your price, but it may be MORE or LESS,” you will pay for actual weight and services.

4.)    Payment – Moving is a COD business, for an interstate move direct from your existing home to your new home, you should pay for the services on delivery.  Do not pay a deposit, do not pay a percentage at loading.  You will be required to pay your bill in ”good funds”  in full prior to the doors of the truck being opened.   Your mover should accept your credit card for payment, or a Bank Check or Money orders and of course Cash.  Personal checks will not be accepted.   A couple of clichés are needed here as well.  “If I can’t perform your move unless I get money every step along the way, what possible hope do you have of recourse if something goes wrong?” and “While 99% of people would never think to give a bad check out, those bad apples have ruined it for the rest of us!”

Next – What is a Tariff

Posted in Moving Long Distance

A Brief Musical Interlude – Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues – Live at San Quentin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG0fS4DoGUc

 

Johnny Cash

Posted in Misc

So you think you’re a Mover!

 

In college, and when we were first starting out, we moved ourselves, a U-Haul, some pizza, lots of beer and a few friends.  The smart ones (and I was never one of them) always saved the beer until the job was done.  But it all worked out, we stumbled drunkenly about and made a day for ourselves.  At the end, we landed our asses with more beer on that old ratty couch and watched a game on TV, complaining about the days aches and pains and how heavy that stuff was.  So that makes me a Mover, right?

NO IT DOESN’T – Moving is a real craft, and Mover is a Real Profession.   My friend Dave Howard puts it best, “I’ve been doing this for 50 years, and I learn something new every day.”

In this article I am are going to focus on the various roles of the crew and the driver, most of it is geared towards an interstate move, but a great deal of it applies locally as well.  We’ll start at the bottom of the experience ladder and work our way up.

 

 

Runner – This is the only part of moving where you can say “yes, I am a mover.”  The runner is responsible for bringing boxes and wrapped small furniture out to the truck.  It takes a lot of energy to be a runner, and it even requires thinking.   A good runner will always be asking himself basic questions like:  will that chair fit through the door; can I carry more than one box down the stairs at a time; do I need a hand truck for this piece; can I carry this piece by myself; are my feet clean before I step on this white rug; and more.   These things seem to be obvious, but, when you are moving 20,000lbs of furniture you have to be AWARE.

In high school, way back when, we got an assignment in science to “write a procedure” to make a PBJ.  Trust me, NOBODY actually made anything like a PBJ when it was put in practice.

 

 

Crewman  – This is really two different jobs, each requiring special skills, but in practice they are usually performed by the same guys.

Packer – A quality professional packing job requires experience, skill and intelligence.   It is not just throwing things in a box.  You have to pick the right box for the job.   A dish pack for fragile items; small boxes for books and heavier items; medium and large boxes for non- fragile lamps and shades and linens and “stuff”, and more.   Each piece of glassware or dish has to be wrapped individually, while evaluating its “tensile strength.”  An evaluation has to be made whether one or two pictures can be put in a mirror carton.  And most importantly, how does one get the most stuff into the fewest number of boxes while making sure it gets to the other side in one piece.  You the customer are cost conscious.

There is a difference between a PBO- Packed by Owner carton and a CP-Carrier Packed carton.  While certainly mishaps can and do occur with a professionally packed job, there will be far fewer.  Joe Passano used to say, you roll one of my Dish Packs down the stairs and nothing will break.  As a note PBO boxes are NOT covered under Valuation and CP boxes are.  A very straight and well defined line.

Wrapper/padder – Properly protecting furniture for a move isn’t about throwing a pad on and moving on to the next piece.  A real crewman has to look at each piece of furniture individually and plan how he is going to wrap it.  If there is a non-removable  glass front, a piece of cardboard has to be cut and positioned to protect the glass before putting on the pad.  For cross country moves, it’s a good idea to invert the knobs on dressers before wrapping.  If a chair has fragile legs, not a good idea to wrap it too tightly.  Couches, loveseats and overstuffed chairs should be well padded and shrink wrapped to make sure that they stay clean (but leather has to be vented ).   Beds have to be taken apart, pieces individually wrapped and the parts put in an easily accessible location for reassembly on the other end, the same with table tops and legs.  Glass and marble tops have to be removed from coffee and end tables, packed, wrapped or boxed and labeled so they can be put back together.   A lot of things to think about while “humping 20,000lbs of furniture.” And yes, “humping furniture” is the “technical term.”

 

 

 

Mover – At the top of our industry are a select group of professionals, who by experience, hard work, intelligence and some “natural talent,” can proudly call themselves a Mover.

Along with having mastered all of the individual skills involved in preparing for a move, the Mover has other jobs requiring additional skills and training.

 

Driving – A true Mover is also the driver of the Truck that carries your belongings from point A to Point B.

Seems kind of simple doesn’t it, well it is NOT.   Any one of us can get behind the wheel of a Non-CDL (Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW aka GVWR) of Less than 26,000lbs – that’s 16-17K of truck and 8-10K of furniture) and Drive.  Drive by a local truck repair shop and see just how many “capped” U-Hauls or other rental trucks are in the shop at any time.

U-Haul-crash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, to operate  a Commercial vehicle,  a CDL(Commercial Driver’s License) is required,  which comes in two forms, the Class B, which entitles the driver to operate  a Straight truck with a GVW of more than 26,000lbs; and a Class A, which is required to operate a Tractor Trailer.  Along with the license are numerous other “endorsements” which are required to move hazardous materials, drive tandems, and move people, etc.

A CDL is a required to just operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle, but there is lot more to it than that.  A CDL driver is required to inspect his vehicle daily, have knowledge of the rules and laws regarding safety and the environment, as well as the rules of the road.  A CDL Driver also is “logged,” now electronically with an ELD (electronic logging device), basically BIG BROTHER looking over his shoulder every minute of every day.   And there is full reciprocity between the states on CDL licenses, so if while driving his daughter to school in his personal vehicle in Georgia, he runs a stop sign, California and Oregon know right away.

AND, don’t even get me started on the “Regen system,” now MANDATED in Diesel trucks, or that Diesel prices NEVER have come down to gasoline prices – even though it’s just “heating fuel” with a different color dye and GIGANTIC penalties if you try to sneak the Blue in place of the Pink.  Government will not be denied their tax revenue!

 

 

Manager – It’s impossible to travel all over the country with a crew in your truck, maybe one selected crewman, but not the 4 or 5 that it takes to successfully load or unload 20,000lbs.  So every day, on every job, your Mover, is going to be managing a different group of men with varying degrees of experience and knowledge, varying work ethics and their interpersonal relationships, as well as their ability to interact with customers.

Along the way a professional mover will develop networks of Crewmen who he can rely upon to help him in all parts of the country, but there is no true independent source for reliable, quality, experienced labor.   One of the positive features of the Van Line system is the “Origin” and “Destination” agents assigned to each shipment.  While not all agents are as diligent in assigning quality people,( they may not have enough manpower) a good agency will always do its best to help a driver from their own Van Line.  But at the end of the day, a customer does not care – he/she wants their stuff loaded or unloaded as promised.

Sounds a little bit like “herding cats,” and it is. But that is the Mover’s job.

 

 

Inventory – People will often ask how do I know that all my stuff is going to get to the other end?

The answer, is that a professional Mover will prepare a written Household Goods Inventory, first applying pre-printed sequential stickers to boxes and furniture (in an inconspicuous place), and then writing up the condition of the furniture, existing scratches, stains and dings etc. to insure that the property will arrive in the same condition as it left.   In moving 20,000lbs of furniture from coast to coast, there may be changes in condition, and the Mover will be held responsible.  An accurate and careful inventory of 600 or more items is required on a 20,000lb move, figure 20 pages!

 

 

Loading -  When I describe the loading of a household goods truck, I often compare it to a game of “Reverse Jenga,”  or for you young people “Reverse Tetris.”

Moving services are generally performed on either 26’ straight trucks, or in 53’ trailers.  There are probably hundreds of variations on the sizes.  As a general rule of thumb, it’s fair to say that while marked at 2100 Cubic feet a 26’ straight truck has approximately 16-1700 cubic feet of usable space and between 8-12,000lbs of capacity depending on the “bulkiness”(couches, loveseats,overstuffed chairs, etc.) of the shipment and the amount of “chowder” or as I call it “crap” on the shipment.(lawnmowers, tools, exercise equipment, ladders, etc).  Similarly, the standard 53’ trailer has about 4000 cubic feet of space and subject to the same conditions a capacity of between 24-28,000lbs, and it has to be evenly distributed over the axels and centered in the truck side to side.

While loading is a skill that can be honed and perfected, making sure to put heavy or “base” items on first, making sure that there is no “wood on wood,” in the load, or god forbid “metal on wood,” and filling in the holes with smaller items, lighter boxes on the top heavier ones on the bottom, etc. this is the one skill of a Mover that can’t be learned, you have to be born with the eye.

I mentioned the capacity of a Trailer at 24-28,000lbs, when speaking with a Mover, a common question is what are you good for?  A Top Mover will get at a minimum 25K, and up to 30K on his truck.  Think of that, 20%, more weight, and the associated revenue, which brings us to the final topic of this article.

 

 

Businessman – A true Mover is a true businessman, his truck is his office and he is his own staff.

Every job has paperwork that must be completed accurately and submitted to the carrier in order to insure that the Mover gets the associated revenue.  And in many cases, the driver is required to collect payment – or he eats it.

On every job, the Mover has non-durable supplies that he has to have, boxes, tape, shrink wrap, floor protection, corner guards and more.  Showing up at a job without these essentials is a recipe for disaster.

On his truck, the Mover has to keep and maintain hundreds of furniture pads and “skins;” decking bars and plywood to build over the chowder; rubber bands to secure pads to furniture; dollies and hand trucks to move items around; a tool chest with every conceivable bit or head to disassemble and reassemble every variety of furniture; Drills and saws to build crates; ladders to climb while loading and unloading the tiers in a truck(we don’t just pull it out, its real Jenga or Tetris).  Along with these basic items, add in back support belts, T-shirts for the local crew(we all feel better when they are in uniform.) So many things to manage, and at the same time lift heavy furniture and drive hundreds of miles per day.

While driving, the Mover has to plan his next day’s work, confirm details with his customers and  insure that the labor is available and negotiate a fair price for their services.   Keep an eye on the diesel fuel in his truck, plan his route to allow for a safe place to park the truck and get his mandated hours of rest under the HOS (Hours of Service) rules, plan for his 34 Hour mandated reset while still meeting the needs of his customers.   Also, keep his EZ-Pass funded($102 for the George Washington Bridge); make sure he gets required maintenance on his truck(10,000 miles for an Oil Change – $3-400); keep safe truck and trailer tires,  and they are not cheap Steer Tires, Drive Tires and Trailer tires $4-800 apiece and they call it an 18 Wheeler because it has 18 Tires.

Meanwhile, back at home your driver has a family, wives, children; a mortgage, a car payment, phone cable internet, and a truck payment(the truck alone costs between $120-180,000 – more than a lot of homes).  AND, a Mover has to have a contingency fund to cover repairs on his truck.  Fixing a bad “regen” system can cost between $10-20,000, and keep the Mover off the road for 7-10 days (and it NEVER happens at home.)

 

 

 

So you think you’re a Mover, NOT even close. 

Moving is an honorable Profession requiring years of leaning, teaching and experience.  It’s not a job, it’s a career and the men who do this have earned and deserve our full respect, as much as any Doctor, Lawyer, CPA, Nurse, Teacher, Manager.  Respect the Pro’s and always appreciate them.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Misc

Local Moving – Your in Home Estimate

Local Moving – Your in Home Estimate

The Moving Industry in Connecticut is regulated by The Department of Transportation, Public Utilities Division.   Under the regulations issued by the state, all movers licensed within the state must publish a Tariff or “schedule of charges” for their moves.  Vanguard Logistics is licensed by the CT-DOT and is the holder of license # HG-1770.

The state puts forth a requirement of movers that they must issue “non-binding,” also known as time and materials estimates in “good faith.”  At Vanguard we take this requirement very seriously.  We are one of the very, very few movers in the state who accept personal checks, and calculate your bill at the conclusion of the move.  Most movers in the state require payment in full by authorized credit card(or Cash or Bank Check prior to the commencement of the unload.  Because we are honest in our estimating process we do not have problems with getting paid!

Many of you will speak with Mike Speller prior to your appointment and be subject to his “cliché ridden” narrative.  “Any estimate done over the phone is going to end in tears, and they are not going to be mine.”  “The only way we can give you an honest estimate is with an in home estimate.” “Dave Anton or Jim Setaro, will walk through your home with you, you’ll identify the items you wish for us to move; what  you are leaving or moving yourself; what you want us to pack; what you are planning on packing yourself; and those items that you have ‘no business packing yourself.’”

Your estimate from Dave or Jim will include a “Table of Measurements,” or a list of the items that you have indicated that you would like us to move.   Often, we will give multiple estimates, such as “large furniture only;” “furniture and boxes;”  “Full pack;” “Fragile pack;”  etc.   One of the clichés that Dave and Jim use(although they are not as bad as Mike in this area) is “a local move is what you make of it.” ALWAYS review the list of items, while there may be a few errors(nobody is perfect), your table of measurements defines the scope of your move and the validity of the estimate.  If you plan on moving items yourself and do more, you should save money compared to the estimate.  If you plan on moving items yourself and end up falling behind, you can expect to pay more than the estimate.

Based on the information you provide to us, we issue an estimate that you can count on, given the scope (as you define) it for the move.  We also make decisions regarding crew size, equipment(there are different size moving trucks), and materials on site, based on the information you provide.  If the scope changes, please let us know right away and we can adjust as needed.

Your estimate is based on your belongings being ready to go.  Items that can be boxed, should be boxed.  Please avoid contractor bags as they are not conducive to loading in a truck(a few is fine, but boxes are your main tool).  The contents of the boxes you pack(PBO – Pack by Owner) are not covered under your valuation policy.  If you are planning on moving items yourself: lamps and shades(avoid a box); dishes and glasses(not as labor intensive for you to move in your car); Small TV’s , pictures and flat glass will NOT be loaded on the truck unless they are properly packed, focus on these items to get maximum “bang for your buck.”(more clichés).

NEXT UP – HOW WE CALCULATE YOUR ESTIMATE

Posted in Local Moving

Who Should I Move With? Understanding Carriers & Local Moving Companies

Interstate moving is a very complicated subject, but we will try to distill it down to a few relatively simple concepts.

The vast majority of full service interstate moves are handled by the “major carriers.” The major carriers are a series of corporations or conglomerates that have been in the industry for many years. Each of the carriers is represented by local moving companies or agents, the agents prepare estimates, provide services and perform other functions as defined in the agreements with the carriers under tariffs “published as directed by the Federal Government which regulates interstate moving.

Among the carriers are Unigroup which operates the brands of United Van Lines and Mayflower; Atlas Van Lines; Wheaton World Wide Moving which operates the brands of Wheaton, Bekins, Clark & Reid and has most recently added the Stevens Van Line brand; Sirva, Inc., which operates the North American and Allied brands; Arpin Van Lines; and of course the carrier that Vanguard Logistics of CT represents, National Van Lines. In addition, there are independent Van Lines, as well as moving “brokers. “

At Vanguard Logistics of CT, we are firm believers that despite the efforts of the internet, Amazon, Uber, etc…Moving services are not a “commodity. ” In the same way as no two fingerprints are alike, no two customers and their moves are alike. In fact, the same customer will probably not have the same move two times in their lifetime: marriage, children, job changes, retirement, illness or injury are a natural part of life and as we progress our needs will change. Our goal is to ensure we can help you through your individual moving experience with full attention to your needs during your move.

Next – Your Interstate Moving Estimate

Posted in Moving Long Distance
Testimonials

"Thank you so much for making my cross country move so stress free!"
Krysia, NM

"We were pleased with both crews packing and moving. We look forward to referring Vanguard to a friend."
Caroline, CT

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