I found you just in time!

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KJ
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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 4:12 pm
Location: Phoenix

I found you just in time!

Postby KJ » Tue Apr 06, 2004 5:54 pm

I've sat here all afternoon reading posts about Movex and Broadway Express and all the other companies in-between. And I feel like I'm Arlene's long lost southern twin!

I'm moving at the end of this month -- procrastination is my finest attribute but it was driving my fiance nuts, so he offered to get quotes for me. He came up with Movex, they emailed him a quote, then handed the ball to me.

I called Movex, the woman who answered asked a few questions and gave me a quote over the phone (this whole cubic foot stuff scrambles my brain, and I admit that's the sole reason for my procrastination!).

The price she quoted me was $30 less than the email quote given to my fiance just two weeks prior for the same cubic (or is it linear?) feet. When I mentioned this to her, she asked who gave the quote and asked my fiance's name. When I told her, I could hear her clicking away on a keyboard -- and she found the quote and said they'd just had a price reduction. (Good news for me, but maybe Movex hasn't heard gas prices are going up?) Anyway, that raised a red flag for some reason but I thought naybe the salespeople work on commission and can finaggle price quotes.

She was so cheerful and reassuring but I still had this "I'm not sure" feeling. It was probably Arlene's gut talking to me. :lol: For one thing, I didn't like the idea of paying everything up front. Why not a deposit with payment on pick up or delivery?

She emailed me the contract and after reading the fine print I freaked. She didn't tell me over the phone that IF their truck can't get down my street then it's my responsibility to haul my belongings to wherever they park their truck. Yeah, like that's gonna happen. I'm supposed to inconvience my son and his friends to load/unload/load his pick up truck? I'm not sure there's enough beer and pizza to persuade them to risk hernias for me.

So I called my fiance, whimpering pitifully, and he offered to call her the next day to ask more questions. He's good at being manly! :lol:

He reported back to me that he got just a little annoyed because the woman said their drivers are used to getting in and out of lots of tight streets, no problem, she bet they could handle my dead-end/cul-de-sac street. He wanted her to put it in writing but she said she couldn't do that.

He suggested I called Allied Vans to get them to come out on the pretense of getting a quote and ask them if they could get their truck up and down my street without a problem. Geez, I don't want to do that. Why? I don't know! He also suggested I call the local police to see if there's any problem with parking a 70-foot tractor trailer rig on my street for up to four hours (that's the time frame she said I get to load the truck).

Geez! I don't want to do that either! Why? Because I figure it's the company's responsibility to know the ordinances of the city in which they're willing to do business -- AND -- because I have enough to do what with teaching inner-city school kids all day, then coming home and packing -- all with a broken foot! Yeah, I'm whining, I know it.

BUT THE STRESS of this move is finally getting to me to the point I just want to call off the move because it's too stressful! But.. if I call off the move then I guess the engagement is off... and I DON'T want that. :?
(Besides... let's see... Chicago vs. Arizona. Where would YOU rather be in the winter?)

Anyway, thanks to stumbling around the internet in my darkest hour, I found you guys, and I found reference to Broadway Express. It seems kismet! This company is based in Illinois and Broadway Street is just four blocks from me! Yeah, I know I'm stretching the coincidence but I'm looking for easy signs at this point!

Like Arlene's go with your gut advice, Broadway Express seems like my gut. The reviews have been pristine. One thing I did NOT know before coming here is that Movex is a broker. I had no idea and they do not make that clear on their web site, which I think is very misleading!

By the way, the first time I tried going to movex.com I came up empty. So I tried movex.net -- still nothing. I tried both addresses time and again and kept getting nothing. So I did internet searches for them but by the Google listings it was easy to see the same phrase over and over, something about being the first in you pack, we drive companies. But oddly, today I typed movex.com into my browser and viola -- their web site came up.

Now, if you've gotten this far, congratulations. But I do have a couple questions, please.

Someone (Diane? Susan?) said she contacted Movex then Broadway Express, and Broadway asked if they'd contacted Movex first. The person truthfully said yes, so the Broadway person said to go back to Movex so they wouldn't get into hot water.

However, I don't recall seeing the end of that story -- did you end up using Movex and requesting Broadway as your mover? If so, did Movex accommodate your request?

If you did NOT go back to Movex, did you just somehow work it out with Broadway to bypass Movex?

And puhleeeze -- can someone give me some tips on how to figure cubic feet? I have a huge 2-bedroom apartment but not much furniture -- a queen size head and foot board, 4-drawer chest of drawers, some bookcases, end table, coffee table, iron and glass baker's rack, big comfy club chair, a smaller chair with ottoman -- but 12 boxes of books (I told you I was Arlene's long lost twin!) -- these boxes are like the boxes that reams of paper come in (Hammermill, etc.), and I've got lots of china, barware, glassware, good pots and pans.

Movex and my fiance swears 8 cubic feet will do it. Fine, I know I can "buy" more space if I need more. But I don't like the idea of paying for space if I use less than 8 ft.

I think the full moon and this stress is getting to me... :evil: Sorry to be so crabby! I think I need more M&Ms!

Kj

BigLeeCalif
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Re: I found you just in time!

Postby BigLeeCalif » Tue Apr 06, 2004 6:09 pm

kj.... 8 cubic feet will not work for the 12 boxes by themselves.

Copy paper ream boxes are maybe slightly less than a 1.5 cu ft box, so even if you counted 1.25 times 12 that equals 15 cubic feet.

I'm right in the middle of a financial report I have to have done in 50 min, but if you send me your email or fax, I will be happy to discuss how cubic footage is determined, or one of the other mover guys can hop right in here.

Lee
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

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twalker
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Re: I found you just in time!

Postby twalker » Tue Apr 06, 2004 6:43 pm

Lee,

I have a feeling that the quote is based on linear feet (more of a standard for the you-pack we-drive companies) and not cubic feet. I don't know what size trucks Broadway Express uses so I'm not sure what that would amount to as far as cubic feet goes. Just by the short inventory list it would seem to be a little short, but I'll let the experts answer that.

KJ,

If BE is only a few blocks away from you, I would really recommend taking a walk down to their office and talking to them. The walk might releive some stress, and you'll get to see what kind of facilities and trucks they use. Be sure to pack some M&M's with you. :wink:

Tim Walker
MovingScam.com

KJ
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2004 4:12 pm
Location: Phoenix

Re: I found you just in time!

Postby KJ » Tue Apr 06, 2004 7:08 pm

Yes, it's 8 linear feet, not cubic. Sorry, and thanks for the heads up.

Oh, and Broadway Express isn't just four blocks from me. BE is located in Effingham, IL. I live in Illinois (though not Effingham). There's a major street four blocks from me called Broadway... I take this route to work each day, so I was just claiming the kismet of it all. Weak link but I'm grasping at straws here.

So you think 8 linear feet won't be enough? Supposedly, the trucks are 8 ft. wide, 9 ft. high. The Movex rep thought that was more than enough, but unless they come to my home, how would they really know?

Kj

Diane
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Re: I found you just in time!

Postby Diane » Tue Apr 06, 2004 7:48 pm

KJ,

I think I'm the only one posting here regularly who actually used either ABF or Broadway Express (BE) so let me try to answer a few of your questions. I used ABF but have come to the conclusion that BE is a better choice for many if not most people. It has air-ride trailers that are easier on your things, equipment such as dollies, moving pads, straps, and a ramp are all provided . . . and, most important, the driver will help you load for a small fee or tip. The downside is that BE's trucks are almost twice as long as ABF's (70 feet total vs. ABF's 28-foot trailers) and access--turning radius, etc.--and parking can be a problem in some locations.

The BE drivers stay with the truck while you load and unload while the ABF drivers simply drop off the trailer, disengaging the tractor part, and come back a day or two later to hook up the trailer part again and drive off with your things. However, at destination the ABF drivers will let you have an hour to unload without charging extra--you don't have to keep the trailer overnight if you can unload quickly. What I did was to have my helper guys just unload to the curb and then for the next hour or so they moved my stuff from the curb to the apartment after the ABF driver left.

In some locations it may actually be easier to get a permit to have the BE truck parked for four hours to load than to get a permit to have a tractorless trailer parked overnight. You'll have to call the Chicago police to see what you can find out. It's very important to get the whole parking issue worked out in advance at both ends, as you'll see if you look at the posts by someone named Seth who just moved TO Chicago with BE and was caught by surprise. (He finally found a restaurant lot the truck could park in.) Double-parking a huge truck is illegal in some congested areas. Neither ABF nor BE will research this for you in advance, but that's all part of the adventure, KJ! Have another M&M and go for it!

If you want to use BE it will be easier if you don't get heavily involved with Movex first. Reportedly BE has a lucrative contract with Movex that it doesn't want to jeopardize by taking Movex' customers outside of Movex, which as you note is basically a broker. People have found that the price quoted by Movex is a bit higher than the price quoted by BE directly, which makes sense because Movex is serving as a middleman. You can check the posts here for more information about this. I know that Movex has just signed up as a new member of this website so maybe someone from the company will jump in to comment.

If you've used one name in talking with Movex you might want to use another one in talking with Don Girard, who is the contact person at BE. BE advertises on its own website that it does moves for individuals so in my opinion you're not really doing anything unethical by bypassing Movex unless you've taken up a lot of Movex' time negotiating with you or something. If you go with Movex, there is no guarantee that they will book you with BE because they do use other carriers, especially during the busy summer months, although you can request BE and in at least one case reported here (Susan's) they have honored it.

BE reportedly asks for its money up front, and some people have balked at that. ABF charged my credit card after the goods were on the truck but before delivery. Both companies are unconventional choices that tend to appeal to strong young people who are comfortable with the idea of loading a truck. You need to have a man involved. These are freight forwarders and it's a macho scene, although the drivers at both companies are extremely nice. With ABF you may actually be dealing with four different drivers: one to deliver the trailer at origin, another to pick it up after you load, another to deliver the trailer at destination, and (sometimes) another to pick it up after you unload. With BE you're dealing with the same driver throughout, which is nice.

The trailers are 8 feet wide and 9 feet high inside. You are charged by the LINEAR foot of floor space your stuff occupies (Tim is correct) measuring back from the front of the trailer nearest the cab. With ABF they charge you only for the number of feet of space you use, so if you reserve 10 feet but use only 8 that's what you'll be charged for. With BE several people posting here have said that they didn't get a refund for the feet they reserved but didn't use. You should ask Don about this. There is always the remote possibility that you would have more stuff than could fit in the space you reserved, but I think it's very unlikely unless you had more than a truckload, which you don't. ABF loads freight on the truck after your things are loaded and I think BE does also, so they can adjust the amount of freight they add. Several dozen cases less tuna, etc.

In general the BE quotes have been slightly lower than the ABF quotes for the same number of linear feet, so it might be a wash if you get what I mean. Either way, you're likely to pay 30% to 40% less than with a full-service mover, but of course you're contributing your own labor, and a lot of it. You have to have your own helper or helpers with BE and can't just rely on the driver as your sole person. You WILL need to use your son and whatever friends he can muster. But look at all the money you'll be saving! You also asked about price variation at Movex. All of these companies have some leeway in what they charge, and people have said that if you go to ABF (for example) with a lower quote from BE, ABF will match the price. It's worth a try.

With regard to the amount of stuff you have, the moverguys on this board may have a better idea but I think that a crammed 2-bedroom would be around 5,000 pounds which is about 720 cubic feet (they figure 1 cubic foot = 7 pounds on average), which would be 10 linear feet of space (8 x 9 x 10). If you have a sparsely furnished 2-bedroom as you say then yes, 8 feet would probably be enough. That would be about 4,000 pounds. In my opinion you almost certainly don't have more than that, and you may well have less, even if you have a queen mattress and box spring (which you don't mention).

I hope this helps, KJ, and let me know if I can help further! If you tend to be adventurous about trying new things, I think you would enjoy the challenge of moving with BE as I did with ABF.

MusicMom
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Re: I found you just in time!

Postby MusicMom » Tue Apr 06, 2004 9:56 pm

Diane,
With the longer trailers, allowing more loads to go onto each trailer, what's the average delivery time, given that your load might sit at three other people's houses overnight before getting to you? How long did your load take to get to you?

Diane
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Re: I found you just in time!

Postby Diane » Tue Apr 06, 2004 10:05 pm

MM, I can't speak for BE, but with ABF they don't combine household shipments. Your shipment goes on, a vertical wooden bulkhead is installed, and then the rest of the trailer is filled with freight such as dog food, printer cartridges, etc. ABF moved our things about 1100 miles in four business days. The window is somewhat longer if you're going cross-country.

However, BE may possibly combine household shipments as well as household shipments and freight, because I remember Susan being concerned that "critters" might jump from another person's goods to hers. This is something I actually don't know about with regard to BE and maybe KJ can ask Don and get back to us. Good question.

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twalker
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Re: I found you just in time!

Postby twalker » Tue Apr 06, 2004 10:31 pm

KJ wrote:Yes, it's 8 linear feet, not cubic. Sorry, and thanks for the heads up.

...

So you think 8 linear feet won't be enough? Supposedly, the trucks are 8 ft. wide, 9 ft. high. The Movex rep thought that was more than enough, but unless they come to my home, how would they really know?


KJ,

If the truck is 8 ft wide by 9 ft tall, and you have 8 linear feet then you have 576 cubic feet to work with. I have a moderately full one-bedroom apartment's worth of belongings and I take up around 760 cubic feet professionally packed (that is based off of my last move where Ryder supplied the loaders and I drove the truck myself). I'm not saying that's a fair comparison, just something to consider.

Tim

KJ
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Location: Phoenix

Re: I found you just in time!

Postby KJ » Thu Apr 08, 2004 12:19 pm

Diane and everyone,

Thanks again for all your replies. I'm so stressed and tired of looking at estimates that I'm cross-eyed!

Here's what I've learned since I last wrote:

Don is now driving for BE so Jesse Oldfield is the contact man. The woman answering the phone said that Jesse had handled this with Don but has also handled their res moves in the past so I felt confident he knew what he was doing. I've talked to him twice and he's really nice and thorough.

In fact, yesterday while we were on the phone he mapped out my street address and noticed that I live near one of the Chicago elevated train viaducts. I do -- four blocks away in fact. He suggested I walk down to check out their posted clearance as their trucks need at least 13' 7" clearance. The viaduct only has a clearance of 12' 6". ARGH!

He also suggested I call the local police regarding parking ordinances and alternate truck routes; he said the police will give me a route map. Hah.

I spoke to the police dept. information office and the officer said routing is a Streets and Sanitation Dept. issue, and "...we used to have their phone number but (scratching head) I guess we don't have that anymore because I can't find it." (Uh, you ARE the police department, right?)

I never would have thought about the viaduct issue so I'm really glad I called BE directly! It helps that their located just south of Chicago so they know to ask certain things!

After talking to Jesse again today, he looked at his map and said they might be able to come in from the north (via Evanston) and said he's known drivers to take a taxi into the area first to scope it out. Whew.

He also said, "If need be 'we' (as opposed to "I"?) could hire a U-Haul truck to get your belongings to the truck location." I said I hated the thought of loading/unloading/loading my belongings but he said it's really not that bad -- that you can back the U-Haul right to the tail of the truck, then the driver puts a cross-walk down so you're just walking everything straight across. He said it generally doesn't even take an hour.

I still dislike the inconvience of it but "we" may have to do it.

The quote he gave me is still the best so far from all U-pack/we drive and U-pack/U drive operations.

Diane, you mentioned the adventure of it all. I sure wish I felt that way! I feel really alone in all this planning and decision-making. After being single for six years and the recent death of my ex-husband, becoming recently engaged, breaking my foot last month, now moving 2,000 miles away, looking for a new teaching position once I get there and taking yet another round of teaching license exams this summer, and helping my 21-year old daughter plan her Sept. wedding in our home state... Gads, what am I thinking?! :shock:

Calgon!

Kj

Nancy
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Re: I found you just in time!

Postby Nancy » Thu Apr 08, 2004 12:30 pm

Did you compare these DITY quotes to full service movers? It sounds like with your broken foot (and general stress level) it may be an option... who is loading the truck for you? And renting the shuttle truck?

He is right, the "van to van" can go smoothly if the rental truck can back up to the long haul truck.

IMovePeople
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Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:18 am

Re: I found you just in time!

Postby IMovePeople » Thu Apr 08, 2004 2:02 pm

I have no experience with BE - but as one of the so called moverguys - I'd be willing to bet that when they say "they'll" rent the UHaul, you're going to pay for it. One word of advice - while we've had a couple of down years - this year is getting hot fast, at least where I live and breathe - so if you are moving at the end of ANY month - you need to give lots of notice whether you're using a full service moving company, renting a UHaul or going the you load they drive method. Give as much notice as you possibly can!

And just because I think you need to be putting your feet up rather than spending your life here . . . . . I ran a couple of things through the computer . . . .

5,000 pounds from Chicago to Phoenix (you didn't say Phoenix - but it's a guess - not a promise here, o.k.?) Rough ballpark with a moving company $2850. If a shuttle (or that smaller truck from your place to where a tractor trailer can park) more like $3270. This does not include any packing (material or labor) or valuation coverage above the carrier's minimum liability - it does include loading, driving, unloading. (No beer & pizza required, actually - we'd prefer you not give our drivers beer!)

There are many reputable movers in the Chicago market who would come to your home and do a visual survey and give you a written estimate. If I've got the weight & cities right - the estimates shouldn't vary significantly.

May I be the first of the moverguys to say THANK YOU for not calling in an agent to come out and determine how much space you would need or if a truck could get to your residence even though you have NO INTENTION of using us? Can't tell you how many times that actually does happen.

Good luck - and now - go drink one of those cold beers yourself.
Movers are People, Too!

Diane
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Location: Los Angeles

Re: I found you just in time!

Postby Diane » Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:23 pm

Hi, KJ,

Thanks for filling us in on your situation. I can certainly see how you might want calm and comfort rather than adventure right about now!

If people can afford a full-service mover, I always recommend that they hire one. It's only when they say (or I sense) that cost is a consideration that I suggest using ABF or BE.

I appreciate your telling me that Don is now driving and Jesse has taken over booking the moves. Actually I knew about him before because he spoke with a person posting here as "Susan" who used BE. I gather that Jesse didn't give you any flak about booking directly with BE rather than through Movex (?). How did the cost compare--BE direct vs. BE through Movex?

If you do decide to go ahead with it, I actually think it would be an excellent idea for the driver to scope out the route and parking situation. Maybe you could offer to pay for the taxi since it could save a lot of uncertainty and, perhaps, expense if the shuttle actually isn't needed. It seems as if you haven't yet reached the right person at the P.D. It might be worth it to go there and make a personal plea for good information.

Good luck and please do keep us posted!

BigLeeCalif
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Re: I found you just in time!

Postby BigLeeCalif » Thu Apr 08, 2004 4:27 pm

Most police departments have a traffic or patrol division that deals with parking issues.. You might ask the desk sergeant to refer you there.
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain


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