Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

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mck3a
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:08 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

Postby mck3a » Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:43 pm

Hey all. First off, thanks to the creators of this site. A tremendous resource. Really.

I'm moving from Chicago to Hanover, NH in august to attend graduate school and have all but settled on using a U-Pack/We Drive option like ABF or Broadway Express. My wife and I live in a small (750 sq ft) 1BR in a high rise in Chicago and don't have a ton of stuff. (King bed, oversized couch, 32" TV being the biggest, bulkiest stuff) I've already gotten a quote from ABF for $980 for 6". I called Broadway Express and they said that they are extremely busy right now and that I should call Movex. I called Movex and they quoted me $1525 for 8" (I asked about 6" as well and the woman quoted me $1430).

I've read a ton of other threads on the subject and wanted to clear up a few lingering questions I have. For each of these, I'm curious as to what the difference between ABF/Broadway Express and other similar companies would be.

1.) Driver assistance: It seems that both companies have an "official policy" of the 'drivers don't help you out'... but that in practice, it's a fairly common occurance. What is the nature of the driver assistance? Is it physically helping you move your stuff out or just helping you maximize trailer space? Is the level of assistance consistent? Or does it just depend on the driver?

2.) Moving supplies: It seems that Broadway Express provides you with dollys, blankets, etc while ABF does not? Can anyone confirm or deny that? What are my alternatives for moving equipment if I went with ABF?

3.) Pricing differential: It really seemed odd that there was such a pricing differential between ABF and Broadway Express based on other threads I've read. I expected some difference, but not as much as it was for comparable space. However, beyond the moving equipment, on the whole it seems as though people's general satisfaction with their moves was roughly comparable. (The Broadway Express camp seems to be generally more pleased with the customer service/courteousness of the BE staff, but both seem to have delivered people's goods intact and with relatively limited drama) Can anyone explain why there might be such a difference in price?

4.) Loading: I live in a high-rise and people move in and out all the time. Movers typically double park on the street while they load and I've never seen anyone have a problem with that. However, is the U-Pack/We Drive option a different situation? I mean, unlike a suburban home where a trailer can be left, loaded and picked up... in my situation the driver would have to wait for me while I loaded up the trailer. I don't have a ton of stuff so it shouldn't take too long to move it out... but if another person steals my elevator while I'm moving, I'm kind of hosed.

Thanks in advance for any and all help you can give me in figuring this all out. I guarantee that I'll post the results of my move to help the next guy out...

Guest

Re: Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

Postby Guest » Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:06 pm

Just noticed your post. Is this a great site or what? Just wanted to say hello from a fellow incoming Tuck student. I'm currently in the process of looking for a mover. Good luck with your move and I'll see you in August.




mck3a wrote:Hey all. First off, thanks to the creators of this site. A tremendous resource. Really.

I'm moving from Chicago to Hanover, NH in august to attend graduate school and have all but settled on using a U-Pack/We Drive option like ABF or Broadway Express. My wife and I live in a small (750 sq ft) 1BR in a high rise in Chicago and don't have a ton of stuff. (King bed, oversized couch, 32" TV being the biggest, bulkiest stuff) I've already gotten a quote from ABF for $980 for 6". I called Broadway Express and they said that they are extremely busy right now and that I should call Movex. I called Movex and they quoted me $1525 for 8" (I asked about 6" as well and the woman quoted me $1430).

I've read a ton of other threads on the subject and wanted to clear up a few lingering questions I have. For each of these, I'm curious as to what the difference between ABF/Broadway Express and other similar companies would be.

1.) Driver assistance: It seems that both companies have an "official policy" of the 'drivers don't help you out'... but that in practice, it's a fairly common occurance. What is the nature of the driver assistance? Is it physically helping you move your stuff out or just helping you maximize trailer space? Is the level of assistance consistent? Or does it just depend on the driver?

2.) Moving supplies: It seems that Broadway Express provides you with dollys, blankets, etc while ABF does not? Can anyone confirm or deny that? What are my alternatives for moving equipment if I went with ABF?

3.) Pricing differential: It really seemed odd that there was such a pricing differential between ABF and Broadway Express based on other threads I've read. I expected some difference, but not as much as it was for comparable space. However, beyond the moving equipment, on the whole it seems as though people's general satisfaction with their moves was roughly comparable. (The Broadway Express camp seems to be generally more pleased with the customer service/courteousness of the BE staff, but both seem to have delivered people's goods intact and with relatively limited drama) Can anyone explain why there might be such a difference in price?

4.) Loading: I live in a high-rise and people move in and out all the time. Movers typically double park on the street while they load and I've never seen anyone have a problem with that. However, is the U-Pack/We Drive option a different situation? I mean, unlike a suburban home where a trailer can be left, loaded and picked up... in my situation the driver would have to wait for me while I loaded up the trailer. I don't have a ton of stuff so it shouldn't take too long to move it out... but if another person steals my elevator while I'm moving, I'm kind of hosed.

Thanks in advance for any and all help you can give me in figuring this all out. I guarantee that I'll post the results of my move to help the next guy out...

Michael
Posts: 3255
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 7:55 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

Postby Michael » Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:59 pm

mck,

I can answer a few questions and those that have used ABF/BE and others can post more details.

:arrow: Anytime you move the driver is only as good as his talent, his integrity, his attitude and his mood that particular day. We have only seen one case thus far where the driver was lacking most of the above, to go along with intellect. As far as helping, I guess all the above applies also and his schedule. We have seen alot here that have gone above and beyond in constructing the bulk heads, but not the physical loading.

:arrow: I "think" the reason BE is more expensive is because of the materials they bring to help in the process of loading, "equipment".

:arrow: I am not sure on drivers waiting for you to load. Guess it depends on their schedule and if you schedule it that way with ABF or BE.

Best of luck,
Michael
************************************

Forget yourself for others and the others will never forget

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

Postby Diane » Tue Jul 06, 2004 6:08 pm

Hi - what Michael has said is good but only partly correct. I'm the only volunteer here who actually moved with ABF so I'm probably the best one to answer. I just had a huge reply to each of your questions inputted, and then I got an "invalid session" message because I got logged out. If you can send me a PM with your phone number, I'll be glad to call you. Otherwise, I'll answer but it may take a couple of hours until I have the energy again!

vanniejoy
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 11:59 am
Location: Houston, TX

Re: Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

Postby vanniejoy » Tue Jul 06, 2004 6:16 pm

I've just completed a move using Movex, and hope to post my full story in a day or two (once the boxes have been cleared out to lower than chest high in the new place), but I do have a few tips for now.

I had kind of counted on being able to get substantial help from the driver, either hiring him to help with the heavy lifting or just getting specific advice about packing the truck as we went. A lot of people here had that sort of luck with the Broadway Express drivers in particular.

I requested Broadway Express if possible, but Movex ended up sending us a different carrier - Generic Trucking. And unfortunately, the driver was no help whatsoever. She didn't even get up in the truck at all when we loaded, because she wasn't able to get her truck in a position to use the ramps (whether another driver could have is a matter of debate.) So that meant extra walking and extra lifting, without any extra help. Of course, Movex never promised us that the driver would help, so I guess we should have taken precautions and hired more people ourselves. Our driver even told us that many of the other drivers would hire themselves out to help, but you can't guarantee that you won't get someone like we did-- someone "pushing sixty," tired, oversized and underfit, who doesn't even offer to supervise your loading. And you may not find out who your driver is until the day before they arrive.

Our truck did come fully equipped, however, with 25 moving pads, 4 wheel and 2 wheel dollies, 5 tiedown straps and plenty of beams we could install to hold back the load. And ramps, though we couldn't use them on one end. But that was nice not to have to worry about procuring ourselves, and it meant we padded things much better than we would have otherwise. The one other thing that made us go with Movex instead of ABF was that Movex promised "air-ride vans" rather than spring-mounted trailers, and our stuff did arrive in very good shape, but I don't know how much difference that made.

The Movex trucks are full-sized tractor trailers (50 feet + cab), so that's probably something to consider in terms of parking. ABF uses 28 foot trailers, but I believe that they leave the trailer there which sounds like it could be a problem. I did read somehwere on here that you can arrange for the driver to stay with the load, but it costs extra.

Hope this is helpful-- good luck!

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

Postby Diane » Tue Jul 06, 2004 6:39 pm

Hi, Vannie,

Thanks so much for this partial report, and we look forward to your full review. Congratulations on completing your move! A couple of questions that you might consider answering later on:

1. If the driver didn't get up into the trailer because the ramps were unusable, how did YOU get up into the trailer? Was it doable without the ramps? How high off the ground was the floor of the trailer?

2. Did you tip the driver?

About having to pay the ABF driver to stay with the trailer, that's only partially true. In Boston and New York, ABF will not leave the trailer unattached from the tractor part. They do only "live loads" in those cities. That means that the driver will stay with the truck for 1 or at most 2 hours without the customer having to pay; after that, the charge is $27 every 15 minutes. The reason for this is explained on this thread. - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1853 (bottom of page 3 - Rosiet)

In other cities, such as Chicago, 1-2 hour "live loads" that are free of charge are negotiable. People should call the ABF terminal and discuss it with the supervisor. Many times, "live loads" are in fact the only feasible option in congested areas of Chicago. The person who started this thread could probably arrange it.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

Postby Diane » Tue Jul 06, 2004 10:10 pm

Hi, mck - I've recovered my energies so here goes with answering your questions about ABF and BE. Note that I also put together a FAQ sheet that you can consult that covers many of your questions - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1771

mck3a wrote:I'm moving from Chicago to Hanover, NH in august . . . My wife and I live in a small (750 sq ft) 1BR in a high rise in Chicago and don't have a ton of stuff. (King bed, oversized couch, 32" TV being the biggest, bulkiest stuff) I've already gotten a quote from ABF for $980 for 6". I called Broadway Express and they said that they are extremely busy right now and that I should call Movex. I called Movex and they quoted me $1525 for 8" (I asked about 6" as well and the woman quoted me $1430).

First off, you probably have about 3,000 pounds of stuff, or around 6 to 7 linear feet. With a 550-square-foot sparsely furnished 1 BR, we had about 2100 pounds or 5 feet. I moved with ABF in June 2003.

1.) Driver assistance: It seems that both companies have an "official policy" of the 'drivers don't help you out'... but that in practice, it's a fairly common occurance.

The situation is different between ABF and BE. With ABF, the driver doesn't stay with the trailer while you load it so his assistance is naturally very limited. My experience agrees with that of another person posting here (Kara). The driver advised me briefly how to load to avoid damage--two sentences or so. He also helped me position the ramp. When the trailer was picked up after we loaded it, the driver helped us fold the ramp (walkboard) and place it in the trailer, and he also helped us put the bulkhead in place (three people were actually doing it). The ABF driver isn't technically supposed to help, but in my experience, to get the show on the road he will help do basic things like this, which makes sense.

Now, with BE, I have never seen a case where the driver wouldn't help out. The drivers like to help the customers. After all, they're there with the truck for several hours, so they might as well be doing something. It used to be that they would work for tips, but people say that recently the company has implemented a set fee of $25/hour (well worth it). For this amount, the drivers will stay on and around the trailer and wrap, position, and tie down the goods--all very important to avoid damage. I believe they will construct decking if necessary and I know that they will also put up the bulkhead if one is used. One driver who was asked to carry as well as load asked the customer to pay him $50/hour. In this thread I explain why - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1899 (bottom of page)

What is the nature of the driver assistance? Is it physically helping you move your stuff out or just helping you maximize trailer space? Is the level of assistance consistent? Or does it just depend on the driver?

The BE drivers aren't covered by company insurance if they are carrying goods from the residence to the truck. A few drivers have carried a few things for people, but this isn't really encouraged by the company and it isn't the best use of their time. You can't depend on the driver to be your sole source of carrying labor. The driver is best used for more skilled work such as loading (arranging things on the trailer). I've never heard of a case where the BE driver refused to load the trailer. They go on these self-moves because they like people and want to help them.

I know of one person who posted on this board who moved with Landstar, a large freight company sent by Movex. That person's driver also helped with all the activities described above. Based on that limited sample of one, I believe that if you are assigned Landstar by Movex you may have a similar good experience. Landstar has a good reputation in the industry. Here is the thread - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=658

The situation may be different with drivers from other companies sent by Movex. The above post by "vanniejoy" seems to describe one such case.

2.) Moving supplies: It seems that Broadway Express provides you with dollys, blankets, etc while ABF does not? Can anyone confirm or deny that? What are my alternatives for moving equipment if I went with ABF?

You are correct that BE provides all these things and ABF does not. BE also provides a walkboard while with ABF you have to rent it separately ($75 on each end). There is a thread in which we discuss how people moving with ABF can find these extras cheaply - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1853

3.) Pricing differential: It really seemed odd that there was such a pricing differential between ABF and Broadway Express based on other threads I've read. I expected some difference, but not as much as it was for comparable space.

You are comparing a quote from ABF with a quote from a broker (Movex) that uses BE as one of its carriers. According to reports in our "sticky" bringing together reviews from people who have used BE, Movex' price was at times $400 higher than BE's. Movex is a broker. If your quote had been from BE rather than Movex it could have been less, although this isn't certain.

It seems as though people's general satisfaction with their moves was roughly comparable. (The Broadway Express camp seems to be generally more pleased with the customer service/courteousness of the BE staff, but both seem to have delivered people's goods intact and with relatively limited drama)

I think this is an accurate description. ABF is much larger and more polished and its website and written materials are superb. BE is much smaller and more of a "just folks" type of company. The fact that people rave about its customer service probably reflects the fact that they are dealing with just one very nice dispatcher (Jesse) and one driver stays with their goods the whole time, both picking up and delivering it. People have said that the company feels like "family."

4.) Loading: I live in a high-rise and people move in and out all the time. Movers typically double park on the street while they load and I've never seen anyone have a problem with that. However, is the U-Pack/We Drive option a different situation? I mean, unlike a suburban home where a trailer can be left, loaded and picked up... in my situation the driver would have to wait for me while I loaded up the trailer

I addressed this above. With ABF I believe you would have to request a "live load" from the ABF terminal in Chicago if you live in a congested area. As for any company that Movex would send, if you've seen 70-foot trucks in your area I would imagine that the trucks sent by Movex could do the same thing as those trucks do.

I don't have a ton of stuff so it shouldn't take too long to move it out... but if another person steals my elevator while I'm moving, I'm kind of hosed.

You should probably have your wife stay by the elevator then. It's important to understand that with 3,000 pounds of stuff to load you will have to have enough people there to load quickly. On another thread, a professional mover has estimated that this poundage would take 6 man-hours for a professional and 10 man-hours for non-professionals. So with either ABF or Movex, you should probably have at least four people there including you and your wife. If you have four people, loading 3,000 pounds would theoretically take between 1.5 and 2.5 hours, probably closer to the latter since you're nonprofessionals.

Hope this helps. Please ask if you have more questions, or if you would like for me to call you, that's fine too.

mck3a
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:08 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

Postby mck3a » Wed Jul 07, 2004 9:17 am

Thanks for the reply Diane. I just read your FAQs on ABF vs. BE. Sorry for asking some redundant questions there. With all the time I had spent strolling through this site and ePinions, I thought I had it all covered.

I'm kind of perplexed right now, however. I'd really prefer to go with BE, if only because I'd like to not have to buy/rent pads, etc. However, an the extra $500 that Movex quoted me over ABF seems exorbitant. Apparently the good reviews that BE has been getting here are paying off for them, because when I spoke with Jesse yesterday he sounded very busy and told me to just call Movex. Which I thought was a little strange considering I'm pretty flexible with my move date.

For the time being, I've got a reservation with ABF and I think I'm going to call Movex back and see if I can get them to come down on price.

Regardless, thanks again for all your help.

Diane
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Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

Postby Diane » Wed Jul 07, 2004 9:39 am

Glad my replies were helpful! I'm sending you a PM.

IMP
Posts: 1034
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 4:36 pm

Re: Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

Postby IMP » Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:24 pm

I'd really prefer to go with BE, if only because I'd like to not have to buy/rent pads, etc.


I know you have a lot on your mind right now - but $500 could buy you quite a few blankets and comforters at garage sales/dollar stores/thrift stores and/or discount stores - that could all then be donated to charity at the other end. If the $500 is your concern I'd be looking at it from that angle all other things being equal.

adamschneider
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Location: Portland, OR
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Re: Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

Postby adamschneider » Thu Jul 08, 2004 9:47 am

Look in the yellow pages under "Moving Supplies" or "Moving Equipment Rental." Call a few places and ask if anyone will sell you used furniture pads. Or, as IMP suggested, check garage sales.

For padding in our ABF trailer, we had a few used furniture pads, a couple old sleeping bags, and a whole lot of old vinyl-and-fabric lawn furniture cushions that my mom didn't need anymore. Frankly, though, the real pads were the best, because they're thin, tough, and flexible; they won't protect your stuff from big shocks, but they're great for preventing scratching/scuffing.

Whatever you do, don't buy stuff from allboxes.com; there's a link to them on a lot of sites, including ABF's, but their prices are outrageous, especially if you don't mind looking around locally for "gently used" boxes and pads instead.

Diane
Posts: 15824
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:18 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

Postby Diane » Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:04 am

Adam - good advice. Did you put shrink wrap around the pads after putting them around the furniture items? Was the trailer clean? Was it difficult to put up the bulkhead? I know that ABF has a new side-by-side style now on at least some trailers. My bulkhead was the upper-lower style and it was hard to work with.

Please be sure to write a report on your whole move after you finish because I want to start a "sticky" on ABF reports as well as BE reports.

adamschneider
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Re: Self-Pack Move from Chicago to New Hampshire

Postby adamschneider » Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:33 am

Diane wrote:Adam - good advice. Did you put shrink wrap around the pads after putting them around the furniture items?

No, we didn't; in fact, we didn't even use the shrink wrap on loading day, believe it or not, as stuff was packed tightly enough that we were able to let friction and gravity do their thing. In other words, we didn't put the furniture pads on prior to loading; we stuffed them into cracks once everything was in place. Maybe this will turn out to have been a mistake; I guess we'll find out next week!

Was the trailer clean? Was it difficult to put up the bulkhead?

It was clean, yes... there were some little wood crumbs on the floor, but no big deal. And it was pouring rain when they dropped it off, but it didn't leak at all.

The bulkhead was a piece of cake. It was a two-piece side-by-side one, and we never even took it apart. The driver who dropped the trailer off picked the whole thing up by himself and practically threw it to the side of the trailer; apparently he was a pretty strong guy, because it took two or three of us to position it when it came time to put it back! So it's heavy, but not difficult at all; the ratcheting hydraulic "feet" work brilliantly.


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