U-Pack Moving Reviews (164 total - 150 good/5 neutral)

View reviews of moving companies that our visitors have used, and came back to tell us about it.
Carson (#15)

Re: 15 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby Carson (#15) » Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:33 pm

Recommended: yes :D ; one load bar was defective but the bulkhead held
Date: 12/04
Move: Manhattan to San Rafael, CA
Cost: $2300 for 7 feet (Broadway Express quote was $2025 for 10 feet)

Post #1 – 12/16/04

ok...an update from the other side of the move. ABF didn't seem negotiable on their rate, and I was not in a strong negotiating position (had to move quickly), so...

Anyway, I have to say that my experience with ABF was a positive one. The driver showed up on-time (good thing with alternate side parking rules in Manhattan), so the truck was parked conveniently for me. My help from LaborReady showed up 15 minutes after my call...and the two guys they sent were FANTASTIC. I loaded the truck while they brought stuff down to me. I didn't need to rent the ramp after all. I managed to fit my stuff into 7 linear feet (instead of the eight feet from my quote), so I was close to ABF's minimum charge anyway (6-feet)! The load took a little over the 2-hours, but the driver didn't charge any extra.

One complaint though. The bulkhead that was in the truck had a faulty "piston" that held the wall in place on the bottom. The top one was fine, and the driver left with my load only partially secured. I had visions of the wall shifting out at the bottom, and my stuff collapsing into the empty space behind, but they assured me the bulkhead would be replaced at the origin terminal. When my stuff arrived in CA, the same bulkhead was in place :( No worries though, nothing moved too far. after some acrobatics to stabilize the load while taking down the bulkhead, I was happy to see very little movement.

Near as I can tell, we suffered only a few minor bits of damage to one glass, one plate, and a small trinket of little value. All in all a lesson on good packing, shopping around, and money saved!

One other piece of advice before I sign off: if you are going to use LaborReady to load or unload, make arrangements in advance!!!! We had no problem at the origin, but at our destination, only one guy actually showed up (instead of two), so I had to sweat my stuff up two flights of stairs, but it still only took 4.5 hours to unload.

All the best! Good luck with your move(s). I, for one, don't plan on moving anytime soon. :D


gunbuster (#16)

Re: 16 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby gunbuster (#16) » Wed Dec 22, 2004 11:54 pm

Recommended: yes :D ; ABF driver helped load trailer (HIGHLY unusual)
Date: 12/04 (move was in 11/04)
Move: Manhattan to San Diego, CA
Cost: $1500 for 5 feet (Broadway Express quote was $2250 for 10 feet; two van lines gave quotes of $3800-$4000)

Post #1 – 10/19/04

Thank goodness for this site! I foolishly had volunteered my information on some of these internet sites and got a number of quotes for my move. My wife and I live in a large studio apartment, and will be planning a move for mid-November.

The first round of calls resulted in companies calling such as 212 Moving, All American Moving and Storage and Amerigo. First mistake, I did an estimate by phone -- they came in at $1500, $1100 and $1050. I checked the BBB but not much was found.

I had a nagging feeling so I decided to do a lot more research. Luckily, I happened upon this site and found quite a few of the companies that I had seen or heard from being on the BAD list.

Post #2 - 12/22/04

Wanted to report on my move from New York City to San Diego. I used ABF U-Pack and Labor Ready. The combination was great. The two laborers from Labor Ready were courteous and professional. The ABF driver was a riot. He showed up and winked -- "I'm in the Bowery right now, so I'm not here yet". Still, we managed to load the truck in about 3 hours. We weren't charged for the extra time - in fact, the ABF driver helped us load and arrange the truck. (I know they generally aren't supposed to do that). So the move-out was great -- we barely made our flight too

Move-in was pretty flawless as well. The ABF driver here more or less stuck with the rules, didn't really assist or touch anything. Although he did help us wheel down the 36" TV. We used Labor Ready in San Diego and unloaded in about 90 minutes.

We finished unboxing most of our stuff and throughout the trip, only 1 thing was broken, a small and cheap vase. Some of the boxes were smashed in a bit by the jarring of the truck, but bubble wrap will save the day.

Anyway -- we're all settled in CA now. The total cost of the move was pretty low: about $1500 for ABF, and $320 for the laborers, plus whatever we paid for packing materials. A far cry from the $4000 it would have cost to use one of the full service movers...

We used about 6 feet on the trailer, the ABF guy charged us for 5. In his own words, "I was never very good at math". As he explained it (and YMMV, so beware), they aren't really "strict" on the linear footage -- so if he marks it 5, it's 5.

I called Labor Ready ahead of time, but they told me all I needed to do was call about an hour in advance (for the Harlem office I used, they said call 15 minutes in advance!). I moved out/in from fairly metropolitan areas so the offices were no more than 10-15 minutes away anyway.

I was very surprised with the level of help the ABF driver gave us. I figured he'd just sit in the truck, but he helped us get the TV up the truck -- using HIS hand truck. He organized the goods to fit optimally, and even put up the bulkhead. We tipped him $60 for the extra help. However, in San Diego, the driver was more true to expectation. He pulled up, opened the truck doors and that was more or less it. We had to set up the ramp and take down the bulkhead ourselves. We couldn't figure out how to contract the bulkhead mechanism, but we were able to slide it out. We didn't tip this ABF guy -- so seems like the level of help depends on the individual.

On the whole, a surprisingly stress-free move. I'd wholeheartedly recommend again.


[Editor's note by Diane: The above thread contains some extremely valuable moving advice as "gunbuster" was thinking through his move considering all of the options: full-service mover, ABF, or Broadway Express. I strongly recommend that anyone considering ABF read the whole thread. Also, please note that the minimum footage for a door-to-door or door-to-terminal or terminal-to-door ABF move is now 6 linear feet--up from 5 feet--as of December 1, 2004. The minimum footage for a terminal-to-terminal move is now 5 feet, up from 3 feet.]

D (#17)

Re: 17 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby D (#17) » Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:13 pm

Recommended: yes :D ; minor damage when load shifted slightly; pinched finger when folding ramp
Date: 12/04
Move: Southern CA to Western FL
Cost: $1500 for 5 feet

Post #1 – 1/7/05


My ABF move: 12/22 ABF dropped a trailer off at my storage. Solid top but even on a rare overcast California day I could see fine without the light permitting plastic top. It was in very good shape. No holes.

Hints: Note the trailer number--you might see a few on your way and wonder if it is yours. An extension cord and light would help for night moves and a cordless drill would have helped me to screw in some hooks to tie off stuff!

I called the local terminal 2 days before and requested a ramp (that went smoothly on both ends of the move). The driver called earlier than expected (had dropped freight off nearby). No problem. Great idea of theirs to have personal contact with the driver. No misunderstandings. Gave him my gate code, parking instructions, and he left the trailer with a copy of the Bill of Lading. All went smoothly.

My help wasn't due till later so I put most everything on the trailer. My daughter and her fiance arranged everything on the trailer--the hard part. I ran home for the ladder. Fitting all in 2 tight rows as far up as we could get and covering with plastic (not easy, sometimes you are working under a plastic tent--nothing to secure it to so it mostly slipped off by destination anyway) from drop off, it took about 7 hours. 2 hours to unload at destination. Take your time--if you don't have to rush and pile everything in the way inside the new place.

LESSONS LEARNED: Even though it uses a lot of valuable space--use good boxes and lots of packing material. Plastic boxes are fine but nothing fits and stacks together better than a cardboard box. Crushed boxes are not good--no support for the contents, easy for stacked items to slide off later. Be flexible--ready to rearrange rows or get rid of items sooner than start an incomplete row (bulkhead wont be flat against entire load).

I was determined to use less than the 5 feet minimum (glad I did because top bulkhead loosened and stretched to five feet). But it IS an economy freight move. If you do not protect EVERYTHING there will be road rash. Bought all the packing material I could afford but I urge you to have a blanket or box for EVERY piece of furniture.

Smart things I did: marked my 5 foot limit with peel off tape and put a rug that size under all before loading, bought plastic bags for mattress and box springs (we made small holes only where needed to grasp handles and pick up) and a special box for pictures. No picture damage. Bed parts stayed clean. Chairs I didn't have blankets for got dirty and rubbed (washing fabrics and re varnishing wood will fix most surfaces).

Took all electronics and valuables with me (hmm...were they really better off in my truck bed going through a winter storm that loosened exhaust brackets and cracked the windshield across? Produced a unique sound and look. We felt like the Beverly Hillbillies in reverse.)

Heavy use of plastic trash bags for light items (as good as a box for soil and rub protection and conforms to wedge in areas--wish I had protected small furniture with them--plastic drop cloths will slip off--bags stay on).

Dumb or desperate things I did: Used what packing material I could afford or find...items got rubbed and soiled where the packing slipped off. Did not take the wheels off plastic drawer stacks (well it certainly gave them mobility). Compromised the rule of gravity (heavier items on the bottom) in order to keep from making a third row of goods...but only a little. Didn't find a way to tie off the top rows, bulkhead was too loose on top and load shifted...upon removal end table fell out and broke, other things fell--wedging tight against bulkhead, making removal and unloading awkward.

Moving during holidays and construction made it necessary to make compromises (had to load a day before the guy with the muscles flew in for me). ABF was GREAT about picking my trailer up the same day (it couldn't stay there over the holidays). At destination, "Muscles" and I had to rush to unload after his work day, at night so the trailer could be out before construction crews paved our road. Again, ABF was GREAT in picking up early enough the next day.

NO COMPLAINTS WITH THEM. Only my klutziness. New ramp at destination...didn't want to scratch it when finished and replacing in trailer, tried to fold the legs carefully, with my good arm...heavier than expected...crushed finger, the only real mishap. (Looks just like when it happens to a cartoon character! At former job, machinist who lost finger tips to a punch press we used will never let me live it down.)

Watch bulkhead and ramp instructions online or request video. Both ramps had different latch releases so read the sticker on it. Easy if you do step-by-step. (Did it alone on first part of move.) But pull your hands away and let the legs drop when putting it away--or, like me, you will be waiting for your finger nail to drop off!

A SPECIAL REQUEST FOR ABF: Please give us something to secure things with--within the bulkhead. Something to hook or tie rows off with. Near impossible to fill to the top, making a perfect load. Some things WILL shift within if no way to secure them.

Also, the bulkhead is practical but as many people have noted it is hard to get right--if cranked too tight it is very difficult to loosen at destination (has to be able to crank one click tighter before loosening)--too loose and it slips off during the trip, especially at the top metal sides, where there is no plywood. (We made mine too loose on top for the slippery metal surface and too tight on the bottom for the compressible plywood sides.)

Feels like a credit card commercial: Moving $$$$, vehicle exhaust fix >$100. windshield estimate >$300. stuck button on CPU <$1 (chewing gum really works), Good people who helped me through this and gave me lasting good memories---PRICELESS!!!!!. God bless you.

Ok members and guests: Please let me know if I left anything out or if you think of any questions my move might have covered.
To quote a favorite singer: "You gotta stand for something or you'll fall for anything".


[Editor's note by Diane: A special thank you to "23" for facilitating this move with his BIG HEART.

I just want to point out to people that this particular ABF trailer has a solid roof, which means that you would need some kind of lighting system to load at night (maybe car headlights). Also, this is a great photo because you can see not only how the two-piece bulkhead works but also the end of the metal mesh ramp in the foreground. It hooks to the edge of the trailer floor.

And "D"--you look amazingly competent in the photo, but also exhausted!]

Gabriel_N (#18)

Re: 18 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby Gabriel_N (#18) » Tue Mar 01, 2005 5:15 pm

Recommended: :?: ; had a roof leak which caused some water damage (but did not notify ABF); at destination, had communications problems with terminal and trailer was picked up later than scheduled
Date: 2/05
Move: San Diego to Decatur, IN
Cost: $1655 for 12 feet

Post #1 - 2/9/05

Hello all,

We have finally finished our move and got back online so I thought I would post how it all went.

We went with the ABF route, and the San Diego Dispatch office was great, they showed up ten minutes early, dropped the trailer exactly were I wanted it and arranged to pick it back up the same day. I had two guys from Eckarts Moving and Storage come out to load the truck (they are agents for North American). It took them about 3 hours and I paid them for four. All told it was about $160 for loading labor. they did a pretty good job loading everything. We only suffered one casualty as a result of how they loaded the trailer and that was an old coffee table, nothing I was concerned about. We only used 12 of the 14 feet I reserved with ABF so our moving bill was only $1655 (including ramps at both ends). The truck was picked up that afternoon and we left to drive to Indiana.

The first complaint I have about the truck is the amount of water damage to my belongings when I received the trailer. I followed all recomendations, used a tarp, but several boxes were soaked and we had to throw a few things out. The real bummer is that our antique dining set suffered some water damage, we are going to have to refinish it now. Again, we followed all the precautions, wrapped the table in both plastic and bubble wrap from top to bottom, and the same with the chairs, but they were still wet. I'm sure I could have wrapped them better, but it looks like they actually took a bath on the way to Indiana. Also, the insurance I took with ABF wouldn't cover enough of the cost of repair to even make it worth filing the claim.

The second problem I had was the response time of the Fort Wayne ABF Terminal (destination end). The trailer was dropped off on a Friday morning, and we unloaded during the day and finished up that night. I knew that it was too late for them to pick up that day most likely so it would have to sit until Monday. I called ABF just to let them know they could pick up anytime as it was ready. I spoke to a gentleman who said they would get it on Monday. Again, this was not a problem as I expected this to be the case since it was late in the day. Monday morning, I called ABF back just to verify that the trailer would be picked up that day, and they had no record of me called to arrange pickup of the empty trailer. So I arranged pickup that day and the guy told me it would be early afternoon. Please note that this is an apartment complex and my manager was very nice to let me leave a 24 foot trailer in the apartments over the weekend, but she did ask me to have it out on Monday ASAP.

Anyways, I leave to do some shopping and have the cell phone with me in case ABF has questions about pickup. I return home around 5pm and the trailer is still in the parking lot. I promised my manager the trailer would be gone today since ABF had promised me the same thing. So I call ABF, and they were not planning to pick up the trailer until Tuesday but I begged and pleaded and explained my manager would be pretty ticked and I couldn't guarantee the trailer would be there on Tuesday (implying she would have it towed). I also explained that had they called me I could have made arrangements, but since they did not I need the trailer gone. They finally picked it up around seven that night.

Over all feeling on ABF:

They are a very inexpensive option for the budgeted mover. If you move in the winter, prepare for some water damage, perhaps using plastic totes and wrapping the heck out of your furniture. ABF corporate is very pleaseant to deal with, as is the San Diego Terminal. The Fort Wayne Terminal was generally rude and unresponsive. If I was moving again, I probably would not use ABF just because of the people at the Fort Wayne Terminal, I really felt they did not care about me as a customer. Also the water damage was a bit upsetting.

I probably would recommend ABF to the person with few fragile or valuable objects since they can save you a lot of cash, however I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who has very much nice furniture that could be damaged.

Reply by Diane - 2/14/05
Diane wrote:Gabriel,

I just heard back from my contact at ABF. She located the paperwork on your U-Pack shipment but she says there is no record that you contacted anyone at ABF about water damage or about problems with the dispatch office in IN. She says that you signed the delivery receipt free and clear (without notation), so ABF had no way of knowing that you didn't have a good experience. She also checked to see whether you completed ABF's post-move survey that was sent via email, and it appears that you did not turn one in.

She said that she is anxious to work through this with you and hopefully resolve it to your satisfaction, but first she has to hear directly from you about it. To protect her privacy, I am not posting her name and direct line phone number here but I will send it to you if you email me at diane2134 @yahoo.com. (I tried to send it to you in a PM but Tim tells me that the notification email bounced back, indicating that your email address has changed.)

Further comment by Diane - 3/1/05
Diane wrote:Since it has been almost three weeks since Gabriel posted his experience with ABF on February 9 and I haven't heard from him, I'm going to go ahead and post his review and my comments. I did see him browsing the messageboard after February 9 but maybe he didn't see what I wrote. It's too bad because ABF really had no opportunity to respond or try to validate his complaint by inspecting the table.

I will say that in another situation reported here (see ABF review #5), the company did credit the customer back some money for a delivery delay, soggy boxes, and a spider problem that the customer thought had been caused by dampness entering the trailer. The customer ended up posting as follows:
Jake wrote:I'm happy to report that after contacting ABF and telling them of our moving difficulties we were contacted immediately and offered compensation. In my opinion, any company that takes the time to 'hear' a customer and offer to make things right absolutly deserves a good report and perhaps a second chance in the future.

I'm just sorry that ABF wasn't given the opportunity to respond to Gabriel's complaint. Future customers should remember that they can note damages on the delivery receipt even if they didn't purchase extra valuation coverage.


hannahs_mommie (#19)

Re: 19 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby hannahs_mommie (#19) » Sat May 21, 2005 11:42 am

[Editor's note: Having asked permission, I am re-posting this review from Epinions because the author says that she consulted MovingScam.com in making her decision about which company to use. It was posted on 5/19/05 at http://www.epinions.com/content_183767436932/s_~na with an update on 5/24/05]

Recommended: yes :D
Date: 5/05
Move: South Carolina to Michigan (919 miles)
Cost: $1495 for 16 feet


Pros: Same cost as rental truck + cost of gas. Less stress!
Cons: None.

The Bottom Line

Consider ABF-Upack for your next personal household move. It has been so much less stressful than a rental - and a great price and great service!

Full Review

This is a preliminary review of ABF-Upack. When our move is complete, I will update.

First, we are in the process of moving from South Carolina to Michigan (a 919 mile trip). About a month ago I reserved a Penske 22 foot truck that we would pack and drive ourselves. The cost was $950 + the cost of gas. Well at the current cost of gas and the fact the truck only averages about 5 miles to the gallon, I started wondering about the real cost of moving with a rental truck. Also, I considered the longer time on the road with our 3 year old and basset hound as we would have to follow the rental truck (driven by my husband) in our SUV (driven by me). Driving that truck through mountains, soon made me realize that a 14 hour trip by car could easily be 20 hours total on the road.

So, I came to epinions to check out alternatives as well as visiting www.movingscam.com. Then I went to several websites for price quotes, including upack.com and the website for Broadway express (sorry I don't have the link for that site right now). By far the best quote was from ABF-upack and the overall ratings seemed pretty good, so I cancelled the Penske truck and decided to take a chance.

My big concern came with a few opinions that said that the trucks could be really dirty inside, but when the truck was delivered on Thursday (May 12, 2005) I was pleasantly surprised at the wonderful condition of the truck both inside and out. The ramp was inside as promised. The truck was to arrive around 2pm - it arrived shortly before 3pm, but that was not a big deal at all.

Normally you get the truck for 2 days to load and 2 days to unload. We planned it right and received it on Thursday, which gave us four days to load (they don't pick up or deliver on the weekend). We estimated 16 feet and my husband worked to stay within that. If we had managed less, we would have received a refund of $90 a foot. If we had gone over it would have been an additional charge of $90 a foot, but we came out ok. We are moving an 1800 square foot house, but no major appliances (just washer and dryer).

Our cost for this move is $1495. Several things to remember if you use this service: moves at the beginning and middle of months are cheaper. Moves over holidays and at the end of months are considerable more expensive. We received a $25 discount for making the reservation online. Also because we reserved more than 12 feet of space, we did not have to pay the $50 rental fee for the ramp here in South Carolina. We also will not pay for the ramp in Michigan.

Our truck was picked up on time this past Monday (May 16, 2005). The driver was great and helped assure that the bulkhead was secure. We were given an estimate of 3-4 days before it would arrive in Michigan. I planned according to the long estimate (4 days) to be safe - that would be Friday (May 20, 2005). Well, it took only 2 days and our truck has arrived safely at the terminal in Michigan! We haven't even left South Carolina yet! This is in no way a problem - they are just very efficient and professional!! The truck is secure at their terminal and will be delivered to our new home on Monday May 23, 2005 (though we could have had it today (the 19th) if we were there to receive it!

It is important to remember that you must reserve the ramp at both cities and that you cannot reserve the ramp at destination until the truck arrives there. However, the Michigan terminal contacted me yesterday morning to tell me that our truck would arrive that evening and to arrange delivery and to reserve our ramp. You also have to remember that the ramps remain at the local terminals and you must leave it outside the bulkhead so that the ramp does not move to your destination (you will receive a hefty fine if the ramp does not return to its local terminal).

The personnel I have encountered with ABF-upack have been incredible. I initially spoke with Jamie at the national reservation center. Then with personnel at the Columbia, SC terminal, the driver and also the contact at the terminal in Lansing, MI. Every person has been kind, intelligent, courteous, professional. So far, the ABF-upack personnel have provided some of the finest customer service I have received in a long time from any company.

The only thing left for us to do is get ourselves to Michigan and receive our truck on Monday. When that is complete I will update this review. I doubt my impression of ABF-upack will change (something terrible would have to happen). My husband did an excellent job of packing and securing our belongings (you must remember the bulkhead is only for separation from a commercial shipment - it is not load-bearing or intended to "hold" your things in place).

We packed carefully and my husband used alot of rope to secure items within the load. ABF-upack does not put another "private" move on the same truck - only a commercial shipment headed to where we are moving was placed behind our things. There also were no out of the way stops for the truck. It left SC, with a load headed for our location - they didn't get to Michigan by way of California! It was a direct route that I was able to track on the company's website.

Again, I will update the completion of our move with ABF-Upack, but so far I am incredibly impressed with the service, price and professionalism of all involved from ABF-upack - both the people and the equipment.

***UPDATE*** (5/24/05)

OK - here's the rest of this fantastic story of our move. As mentioned above, the truck arrived in a timely fashion at the house we moved from. We received it on a Thursday which allowed us four days to load instead of the standard 2 days. They picked the truck up the following Monday. The driver helped us really secure the bulkhead. Within minutes I was able to track our things on the ABF-upack website.

The truck left Columbia, SC that Monday evening enroute to Lansing, Michigan. We used 16ft of the truck. The other 12ft were a commercial freight delivery heading for Lansing. I was expecting to receive a call from ABF on Thursday at the earliest, and I was hoping at the latest on Friday. Much to my surprise, they called me Wednesday from the Lansing, Michigan terminal telling me my truck would be arriving that day and when would I like to schedule delivery and to reserve the ramp. I told them we weren't even leaving SC until Saturday and that we had planned on it being delivered on Monday to our new home.

At this point I was afraid that there might be some hidden charge for keeping our truck at the terminal for those extra days, but there was no problem at all. [Editor's note by Diane: I added the bold face because sometimes people are worried about this type of thing. In my experience, ABF always tries to work with customers in cases like this.]

The truck was securely padlocked and backed-up tight to the loading dock within ABF's secure terminal in Lansing. Monday morning they called me and said they were on their way and gave me a time-estimate. They arrived about an hour earlier than I expected, which was great! We had some friends come to help unload, and finished in about 3.5 hours (the house inside is now a disaster, but that's our problem, not ABF's!). We called ABF and the driver returned late afternoon and picked the trailer up and we were through.

When we took the bulkhead down in the truck, everything was right where we had put it (the KEY to this is to use ropes to secure your load - my husband did alot of weaving of the rope through various points as we were loading the truck to be certain that the load was secure - you have to remember, this is a freight truck, not a Rolls Royce!). Also, we packed our paintings and glassware well protected, and there was not one broken item - not even our very fragile collection of handblown christmas ornaments....but again, the KEY here is how you pack your belongings and how you secure your load.

Every person I dealt with at ABF-upack was incredible. Jamie at the National reservation office. The folks at the terminals in Columbia, SC and in Lansing, MI. And our drivers were fantastic. Timely, clean, courteous, helpful.

I am so glad that less than 2 weeks before our move I cancelled the Penske rental truck and went with ABF. We spent less time on the road because we didn't have to stay with a slow truck or get gas frequently, and we didn't have to worry about the truck breaking down, or any of those issues found with rental trucks. I estimate the rental truck with the price of gas added in would have cost us at least as much as the ABF total price - it might have been more even with today's gas prices. The reduction in stress alone by having someone else do the driving/transport of our things was worth every penny and then some!

Our experience could not have been better. I realize some have had bad experiences with ABF - it seems that the bigger the metropolitan area you are moving from or to, the more problems that might occur (especially with trying to get a place to park your truck without penalties). We moved from a rural area to a small town, so we did not encounter those problems. ABF-upack was fantastic. If we every make another move this long (I hope not), we will use them again. Just wonderful!!

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

Re: 19 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby Diane » Tue Jun 14, 2005 9:43 am

I'm re-posting this recent post by "AR831" so it won't be overlooked -
Hi All,

I was looking through my USPS change of address packet and i found a coupon for ABF U-Pack Moving. Its a $50 Discount coupon to save $50 on your move. It says:

Use this coupon to save an additional $50. Log on to upack.com, click "free quote" and enter referral number 50MG05. Or, call 800-968-1286.

On the bottom it says:

One coupon per customer. Advance reservation required. Discount valid through March 31, 2006. Coupons may not be used with any other offer, discount, or promotion. Coupon code must be given at the time of reservation. The $50 discount will be reflected on the bill of lading contract.

I apologize if this was posted before. I hope this will help some people and good luck on your move!

- http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4740

UPDATE on August 23, 2005 - Someone just posted the following in a review of ABF U-Pack on Epinions:
I do recommend changing your address with USPS online before you book with ABF because when you finish the USPS relocation information online, up will come a $50 ABF coupon which you can use when you book your truck - http://www.epinions.com/content_193927941764/s_~na

So nowadays you don't have to go to a bricks and mortar post office to change your address in any case. You can do it online and find the $50 off coupon there as well.
Last edited by Diane on Tue Aug 23, 2005 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

petsmom (#20)

Re: 20 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby petsmom (#20) » Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:56 pm

Recommended: yes :D ; trailer wasn't picked up exactly on schedule at either end
Date: 5/05
Move: Chicago suburb to a storage facility in a VA suburb of Washington, DC
Cost: $1936 for 21 feet

Thank you ABF....

I was faced with moving from a suburb of Chicago to a suburb of Washington DC with less than 3 weeks notice. I started by getting some quotes through the internet, but luckily found this site and discovered most of them were scams. I got a couple of quotes from what I beleive were reputable moving firms (United Van Lines, North American) and they were both over $8,000.

I tried to investigate Door to Door (City to City). They sent me 2-3 emails per day, but with no information other than that they would talk to me later. I had to have my local guy email the City to City people before they would talk to me. The guy was pretty nice and gave me a quote. Another guy from the emails gave me a quote less than half of the first one. I called back to see which one was correct and got a third response. I also got alot of double talk on the process and hung up several times when they refused to answer my questions but wanted to keep repeating their company speil of how great their containers are.

OK, I tried PODS. At first they would only give me PODS a week later than I wanted. I realize that time was tight, but took it any way in case I couldn't find anything else. After reserving the ABF truck (10 minutes later), I called back to cancel and lo and behold, they had suddenly found 2 PODS for me! They really tried to prevent me from cancelling, but had they been straight with me up front, I would never had called ABF. To their credit, I did get my money back.

I called Broadway Express over a span of 3 days. Never did get a response. Letf several messages with a person who claimed they were at lunch and would call me back or otherwise busy and left many messages on their answering machine to no avail. Seriously, I called them 2 or 3 times a dday over the 3 day period and got NO response at all.

ABF has been really patient with me. At first I was sending it to an address in a city to be named later. Then I changed it to be at the Baltimore terminal. Then I found a storage place that would let the trailer stay overnight (very unusual) and changed it again. They were always nice and the truck was delivered to the last place I told them to.

The guy that delivered the truck was very nice and very informative. He showed me how to set up the ramp and how to install the wood divider and gave me packing tips in case I was going to pack the truck myself. The original terminal called several times to verify what time I wanted it to be picked up and didn't have a problem when I extended the pick up time because my local movers didn't come when they were suppose to. There was one snafu here in that they were suppose to pick it up late afternoon or early evening and didn't come until 10:00 pm. BUT they waived their requirement that someone be there to meet them and didn't charge me for the extra foot I packed. They had estimated that I would need 21 ft and I used 22. They also let the storage place manager sign for the truck so that I didn't have to be there at this end either.

There was one discrepancy in the information -- when setting up the trip, they adamently stated that they would NOT deliver and pick up the trailer on the same day since the terminal was 63 miles away. This caused me some extra work to find a storage place that would accept the trailer overnight. This place is not that convenient either at 45 minutes away. When I called later after renting the storage space, the operator said that yes, they would deliver and pick up on the same day since it was going to a storage place. Yikes, would have liked to know that earlier. It would really have helped.

They picked up the trailer in Illinois on a Friday (10:00 pm) and delivered it in Virginia on the next Wed. They could have delivered it on Tues afternoon, but held it up until Wed because they thought they had to deliver it and pick it up on the same day. See prior paragraph. When I moved from Massachusetts to Illinois I used Mayflower and my delivery was over 6 weeks later than the estimated date so I was happy to see a quick turn around.

ABF's cost: $1,936.
cost for movers to load in Illinois: $500
cost to unload in virginia: $198 (thanks to another tip on this website to call labor ready. I don't reccomend using them to load as they don't work very fast and aren't professional movers, but to unload it is a great idea. The workers did fill me in on another tip -- since you have to pay for 4 hours, just sign up for that amount. After 4 hours, you can make a side deal with the guys and you both make out. It seems that labor ready will charge $16.50 per hour per man. The men get paid $7.50, so after 4 hours you can offer to pay them $10 per hour and they get more and you pay less. I had 3 guys for 4 hours and they finished the job, so I didn't use this feature, but I think this might be why they were working slow, so that they might be able to negotiate for a higher rate after 4 hours.)

All in all, this was a positive experience for me. They people were nice, flexible without charging me any change fees, the trucks were fairly clean, delivery prompt and so forth, although they are not real good about taking customer calls on weekends. There is a message to call back on Monday, but they don't really mean it. If you call back in 10 minutes or so you can actually get to a real person who will help you. Looks like that message plays whenever the client support person is on the phone or busy, but if he or she is available they will pick up your call.

I did find out that U-Pack and ABF are not the same company. ABF usually doesn't work with small one time shipments and most of its moving is freight. U-Pack negotiated with ABF to get moving services and has some special deals that we could never get without this representation. That's why when you call ABF directly, when they discover you are part of U-PACK they transfer you to the U-PACK support person.

Hopes this long essay helps someone somewhere. If you have any questions, I will try to post more.

My pet's mom.

[Editor's note by Diane: Thanks to "petsmom" for taking the time to post all this detail. The tip about negotiating with LaborReady workers to pay for their services directly after the first 4 hours is helpful. U-Pack is actually a division of ABF, but it's true that it's best to announce immediately that you're doing a U-Pack move when you call an ABF terminal. This helps the terminal personnel get into the right mindset for dealing with U-Pack moves. My experience was that since they usually handle commercial freight, they can come through as abrupt and borderline rude when they don't in fact mean to be.]

Uday (#21)

Re: 21 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby Uday (#21) » Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:27 pm

Recommended: yes :D
Date: 6/05
Move: San Francisco to Omaha, NE
Cost: Unknown for 20 feet (he says it was less than 1/3 of the quoted cost with a full-service mover)

Post #1 - 6/21/05

We used ABF U-PACK for our move from SFO to Omaha, NE.

Since we lived on top of a hill in San Francisco that had parking constraints, I did a "terminal to door" move. So I hired some local movers in San Francisco to load my stuff from my apartment onto their truck and then unload in into ABF's truck at their dispatch terminal located in San Lorenzo. The existing "sticky" thread on ABF has excellent suggestions on how to pack and how to protect, and I followed them very carefully. The truck we were assigned was clean and didn't have any leaks or dirt (if it does, the ABF folks are quite willing to give you a new one). We loaded our stuff on and installed the bulk-head, which is quite a simple task. In any case, the ABF manager willingly jumped in and secured it for us.

The estimate given to me was 5 to 6 business days but the truck reached Omaha, NE in 5 calendar days. I had a drop-off at my door. The driver who came over called me early that morning to sehcdule the drop off and he reconfirmed just before he took off. Unfortunately, the clutch failed on him a few blocks away, and he called for a replacement and so came about an hour late, apologizing for the delay. They also forgot a ramp in the confusion, and he went back and got me a ramp within half an hour. He installed it, undid the bulk-head and refused a tip.

The packed stuff hadn't budged a bit. It is a good idea to use large shelves against the bulk head and anchor them to the rope hooks available. It was also reasonably clean and my tarp cover had some fine chalk like powder at places. The manager at loading trusted my estimate of the length, and in fact rounded it down to the nearest integer, which left me pleasantly surprised. Overall ABF comfortably exceeded my expectations in quality and price.

I was referred to this web site by a full service mover: COR-O-VAN in Dublin, CA. They were extremely polite, timely, and professional in providing an estimate. Like reputable movers, they go by weight. So due to a ton of books that we had, their estimate was rather high. If I did own valuable stuff, I would have trusted them to load and transport, but since I didn't have anything that valuable, I decided to load and pack with handyman assistance.

The COR-O-VAN agent was very good, patient, honest, easily reachable on cell, and always professional. He told me that their prices would be higher than many fly-by-night agents, but assured me of no price inflation and surprises. He also told me to check out this web-site and then take a decision. Unfortunately for their business, based on the recommendations on the forum and the value of my stuff, it made me decide on ABF. I ended up paying less than 1/3 of what a regular moving company would have charged me! I had about 7000 lbs of stuff for the regular movers; it comfortably fit within 20 linear feet of the ABF truck.

Once again, my sincere thanks to this site and the recommendations and postings on the forum. My recommendation: if you are moving out of the San Francisco bay area, use COR-O-VAN if you want to have a single-stop experience. With ABF UPACK you need to employ movers at both ends, plus you would worry about the robustness of the packing you did -- but it would be less than half the cost of a professional moving company. If you have expensive furniture or valuable stuff, or if you are willing to pay for the convenience, it is worth paying the professionals. If you want to do a budget move and have the energy to coordinate loading and unloading, go with ABF U-PACK.




flaviuspdx (#22)

Re: 22 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby flaviuspdx (#22) » Thu Jul 14, 2005 8:58 am

[Editor's note: Having asked permission, I am re-posting this review from Epinions because the author says that he consulted MovingScam.com in making his decision about which company to use. It was posted on 7/12/05 at http://www.epinions.com/content_189568683652 ]

Recommended: yes :D ; had minor damage (not ABF's fault)
Date: 6/05
Move: Birmingham, AL, to Portland, OR (2800 miles)
Cost: $3000 for 19 feet


Pros: Cheap, no driving a U-haul!
Cons: Pack with care...or else

The Bottom Line

Worth every penny. Pack with care.

Full Review

After checking out Epinions and movingscams.com, we decided to give ABF U-pack a shot for our move from Birmingham, Alabama to Portland, Oregon. At 2800 miles, we didn't want to add the stress and delay of driving a truck to our already challenging drive with 5 cats.

The People: EVERYONE I dealt with at ABF was friendly and professional. Both the date change (one is free) with central and the truck pickup/drop-off negotiations with regional dispatchers went perfectly.

The Truck: Well, it was a little battered. We got a classic Alabama downpour shortly after it was dropped off, and the patches in the fiberglass roof DID leak a little. One of the door latches was EXTREMELY difficult to close. I had to push the latch-pole up while trying to to get the top part to catch. A pain in the rump, but I always managed to get it to close...eventually.

I had asked for side-tie loops, and the truck came with a scant few. Some load bars would have really helped keep things stable. I don't know if ABF rents them, but they would probably be the most worthwhile thing to add to the basic truck. As it was, we ran a complex and largely ineffective cobweb of ropes through all the stuff, which may have helped...a little. We got the wooden bulkhead, and one of the compression bars didn't work. The pick-up driver assured me that they would place a load bar in front of the bulkhead - which they did.

The ramps were great, and also free! Perhaps that's new with ABF. Apparently we had exceeded the minimum needed for free ramps at both ends. We wound up with a little over 19 feet, which the pick-up driver rounded DOWN!

The Loading: Pure hell. It was a hot and humid June day in The South. I've never sweated so much in my life. It was easy to load the washer/dryer and the first wave of boxes up to the ceiling, but adding furniture to the mix got challenging. We just roped everything together as a clump and hoped for the best.

The Damage: Pretty minimal. We had packed things very carefully, with lots of shredded paper/cardboard pieces to keep the boxes full and padded. We also bought a case of huge clear plastic bags, which we used to line every box. A little extra effort, but it alleviated our leak worry. It also helps if anything needs to be stored for a while in a basement, as our stuff will.

We tossed three particle-board bookshelves on at the last as a sort of retaining wall, and they all were demolished when they arrived. But that stuff's crap to begin with, and we were too tired to place it as carefully as we might. They did keep the load from shifting, however.

We also lost a (poorly packed) computer printer. If you load every box with the expectation that it will be spun, drop-kicked, and sprayed with a firehose, your belongings should arrive mostly intact. Furniture needs to be very well padded. Almost every piece we sent received some damage from repetitive rubbing against something else. Try to pad the contact points extra well, if you can guess where they might be.

Unloading: Not bad at all. If possible, arrange for a Thursday drop, Monday pickup.

Overall Impressions: Every time we passed a U-Haul struggling up a mountain pass at 15 MPH, we were glad we had gone with ABF U-pack. PACK WELL! PACK EARLY! Close your eyes and throw those final items on top of the heap...they'll make it, you'll see!

Alisa1 (#23)

Re: 23 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby Alisa1 (#23) » Thu Jul 14, 2005 10:15 am

Recommended: yes :D
Date: 7/05
Move: Oakland, CA, to Denver, CO
Cost: $1140 for 2 mobile storage containers (with discounts) - Door-to-Door quoted $1900

Post #1 - 7/6/05

I packed all my stuff in the containers at the ABF terminal in Oakland on Friday July 1. It went very smoothly - we went back to the containers several times during the day (actually the last trip was around midnight) to add more stuff because the containers were bigger than we thought.

ABF said it would take 4 to 5 business days to get from Oakland to Denver (excluding day of packing, weekends and holidays) so I figured the container would arrive this Friday (July 8 ) or next Monday (July 11), but I called the Denver terminal today and my containers are already here!! But they were very nice and said I can get my stuff anytime between now and Monday, including over the weekend.

Costs so far:
$1140 to ABF for 2 containers
$50 for 15' penske truck for one day

Now if only I can find a house to put my stuff in!!!

Post #2 - 7/13/05

OK, so here is the final word: I picked up my stuff from the Denver terminal on Saturday July 9 and had it all moved in by Sunday. The truck rental cost $89 on this end because I was moving further from the terminal, but I actually got to keep the truck for two full days because the office was closed on Sunday (nobody to check the return time).

Also, if I had been willing to wait until yesterday (July 12) or today, ABF would have delivered the containers to my door and picked them up two days later - for only $100. I think that is a great deal, but I just couldn't wait - hotel living is not all its cracked up to be. [By the time I realized that delivery was available, the service was booked up because they have only one crew that does the delivery.]

Anyhow, my total cost for this move was under 1300. That is more than $600 less than what door to door quoted me.

For anyone who is planning to use ABFs container service, you should make sure to call both the origination and destination terminals - the Oakland terminal was not aware that the Denver terminal offered container delivery. If I had known that, I could have planned the timing of the delivery ahead of time. The people at the [Denver] terminal didn't even know how much the deivery was supposed to cost - I had to call the 1800 number to find out.

Also, those containers are a lot bigger than they look. All told, the contents of two containers (very well packed) just about filled up a 15' penske truck (not very tightly packed).

sign me another happy ABF customer

Post #3 - 7/14/05

I wanted containers over [a regular ABF] trailer for two reasons: because I didn't have an address that I was moving to - with the containers, ABF doesn't really care if they sit around in the yard for several days, but if your stuff is on one of their trucks, you HAVE to take delivery or pay.

In my case, our stuff got to the terminal on Wednesday, and we didn't come pick it up until Saturday. Even if I had waited another several days, I got the impression that it wouldn't have been a problem. In fact, I originally wanted to use Door-to-Door because they had a longer delivery time than ABF, but the cost was substantially higher [$1900 for two containers]. Also, the two ABF containers were only $1140; 12 feet of ABF trailer space was quoted at around $1600.

The only disadavantage of the containers is having to move stuff four times instead of two - out of the house, into a truck, into the container, back into a truck, and into a house. In our case, 2 days of hard labor were worth the money saved because we were capable of moving the stuff ourselves, but its not worth it to everyone. If you had to hire help, I'm not sure you would end up saving that much money.

Anyway, it seems like ABF is just getting started with this system, and will be delivering the containers in more places. That would eliminate the double handling. The containers are huge - in fact, we were very glad that we were bringing our ladder because it was very useful for loading the containers up to the top. I think the containers are actually 8 feet tall and 7 feet deep.

Below is the type of container I had - http://www.upack.com/moving-services/mo ... tainer.asp

Image <--closed . . . open--> Image . . . e-track . . . -> Image


[Editor's note by Diane: I've seen these containers and I just want to clarify that the right-hand door overlaps the left-hand door, so if you put a padlock on the right-hand door you don't need to put one on the left-hand door. Locking the right-hand ("passenger side") door rod secures the entire container. The containers have doors on only one side. The other three sides are solid metal-covered fiberglass with vertical bands of e-track embedded in them. People can thread ropes through the holes in the e-track or use straps with attached e-clips to secure their items. I mention the e-track because the center photo doesn't show it very clearly, and it's an important plus for preventing damage. A closeup of the e-track on the right shows the holes.

Below are two photos that I took at an ABF terminal. The first shows an average-size man (Jerry Wright, Branch Manager) next to a container. The second shows the specially-designed flatbed trailer that can be used to transport two mobile containers at a time plus an ordinary forklift behind the containers, at the rear of the trailer. At the residence, the driver drives the forklift down the attached ramp,"forks into" the mobile container from the side, removes it, lifts it up, and sets it down in a parking space or on a hard surface where the customer can load and unload. The trailer is lower than usual to make this possible. See ABF review #68 for additional photos.]

Image ..... Image

bambrose (#24)

Re: 24 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby bambrose (#24) » Sun Jul 31, 2005 12:28 pm

Recommended: yes :D
Date: 7/05
Move: CA to TN
Cost: Unknown for unknown number of feet

Post #1 - 7/31/05

I just completed a cross country move (CA to TN) using ABF. The company delivered exactly as advertised. Trailer and ramp were delivered and picked up when they said they would be. Equipment was in very good and clean condition. My goods arrived in mostly good condition - the problems were related to some dumb loading help not using common sense.

I would recommend the company, and would use it again. My only minor complaint is that their dispatchers can't be very specific about delivery times on the day the trailer is to be dropped, which makes it a little difficult to schedule help. Also, what everyone says about rough riding trailers is true - be extra careful with packing and loading. And one last tip - Don't assume hired loading help will know what they are doing, or do what you tell them when you are not looking!


stillrecovering (#25)

Re: 25 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby stillrecovering (#25) » Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:30 pm

Recommended: yes :D ; had minor surface damage, not ABF's fault
Date: 7/05
Move: Los Angeles to NY State
Cost: $2500 for 16 feet

Post #1 - 8/1/05

We just moved from the Los Angeles area to New York state, and we chose ABF U-Pack for our move. I would recommend them. I got a lot of advice and info from this website, so I wanted to post a little of my own, as a thank you. Thanks!

1: THE RESERVATION: We have moved previously using a 26' UHaul truck, and we had accumulated A LOT of stuff since then. I knew the ABF trailers were bigger than the UHaul truck, and I knew we'd be able to pack it a lot tighter than we had for UHaul, so I didn't know how much feet to get. I ended up reserving 21' and we only used 16''!!! Luckily ABF refunded the difference. Our move only cost around $2500, which is so cheap!! A UHaul was going to cost almost double that and we would have had to pay for gas @ 6 miles per gallon, which would have been about another $1000 or so. We knew someone who works for Bekins who gave us a great deal on a quote for a full service move, for around $7500, but we are way too cheap for that.

2: THE PACKING: Buy the mattress protection bags available from UHaul. I didn't want to at first because I'm such a cheapskate, they cost around $4 each. But now after seeing all the road grime that got all over our stuff, and compared to the cost of our mattresses, it's definitely worth it. Buy extra of these and cover couches, chairs, etc.
Also, we bought a "moving kit" from Costco that was really helpful, it was around $50 and had a ton of boxes, bubble wrap, and other moving supplies which really came in handy. We had initially planned to scrounge used boxes but honestly, the ABF trucks perform a beating on your stuff and even some super heavy duty boxes we had got crunched a little.
Some of our nice furniture (which we really don't have much of) really took a beating. And we had wrapped everything with blankets. Some of our dresser tops look like I went after them with a belt. If you have a lot of nice wood pieces of furniture that you are fond of, maybe you should use another mover that has more cushioned of a ride. Don't just think since you put a blanket over something, that it is protected. I would recommend putting a few blankets over something nice and then only lightweight stuff on top. UHaul rents moving blankets 12 for $10 for 10 days. Over-estimate how many of these you will need, we kept running out.
Despite the ride, nothing of ours broke, amazingly. Not a single thing.

3. THE DIRT: Put a tarp down! The truck was dirty. We swept out the truck before we loaded all of our stuff on, but there were little holes in the bottom of the truck and road grime got on a lot of our stuff. The grime looks like copier machine toner, like a lot of people have mentioned. There were also tracks in the truck floor that you couldn't sweep out and grime settled there. I even found some grime inside some sealed boxes; I don't know how that happened.

4: THE LOADING: Put your TV or other breakables, as low down near the floor as possible. When our ABF truck drove up we heard a loud crash and the bulkhead door had fallen down right then and a bunch of our stuff (we piled it to the roof) fell down, including our TV and DVD player which were at least 4 or 5 feet up.

5: THE TRIP: The truck made the cross country drive (we moved from L.A. to New York) in 3 business days. I was worried they would charge us for storing our stuff the extra week (we had planned not to be there until 7 business days), but they didn't. Super nice.

6. THE UNLOADING: BTW, they don't have to leave the trailer the full 2 days for you to load or unload. They can usually come and get the trailer with an hour or two of notice, which is nice.
We paid 2 guys from www.laborready.com $14/hour for 4 hours (minimum) of unloading and they were well worth it. I had gotten quotes from professional movers and they were around $600, so laborready saved us a ton.

TO SUM IT UP: I would definitely recommend ABF to someone, especially someone who is cheap, and someone who has mostly IKEA-type furniture, and someone who has time and physical ability to do it themselves. It took us 2 weeks to pack it all up and a 1 week to unpack it, and we live in about a 1700 sq ft place. If you have a lot of nice furniture that means a lot to you, use someone else for your move.


aunteffie (#26)

Re: 26 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby aunteffie (#26) » Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:15 pm

[Editor's note: I am re-posting this review from Epinions because the author says that she consulted MovingScam.com in making her decision about which company to use. It was posted on 8/3/05 at http://www.epinions.com/content_192026807940 ]

Recommended: yes :D
Date: 7/05
Move: CA to Oklahoma
Cost: $2112 for unknown number of feet


Pros: GREAT PRICE which includes the cost of gas and a driver to boot! REPUTABLE.
Cons: ABF is not a very clever name. That is the ONLY con.

The Bottom Line

This company is very professional and no hidden fees. The gas and driver are included in the cost. You pack and they will drive.

Full Review

ABF is the company for you if you want to save money, be able to track the moving van online, want to be the only one to break your stuff, and don't want to drive a huge truck across the country. I can't believe that they are cheaper than all of the "haul it yourself" companies with their puny little trucks. With ABF you pay only for the amount of space that you use not for the whole truck.

We moved from California to Oklahoma. The company came and dropped off the truck at the time promised and they gave us an estimate of 5 working days. They actually made it in 3.

Here are the best things about this company:

1. PRICE...much cheaper and no hidden fees AT ALL (the gas is included in the cost).

2. This company has been in business for a long time and they are reputable (check movingscams.com).

3. You are the only ones to touch your stuff.

4. You only pay for the amount of space you use--not for the truck.

5. They have professional drivers.

6. You can track the truck online as it moves to its destination.

7. Okay, here are some tips to make your move with ABF work well.

1...Make your reservation on line and save 25$.
2...Tell them if you will need the ramp (which is free if you use more than a certain amount of feet) or if it is more convenient you can load at their dock.
3...Have them drop off the truck on Friday since they do not do business on the weekends and I don't think they drive on the weekends either. 4...Figure out where you are going to park it and make sure that it is okay with zoning. We parked it on a public street next to our apartment and the old geezers from the retirement home on the other side of the street came out and shook their canes, but the police said that it could stay for 72 hours since it was not in front of a hydrant or anything, but you might want to call ahead and see what your area permits.
5...This one is kind of important...If you have never packed before, learn how it is done. ABF will send you a free video. PACK TO THE ROOF AND VERY TIGHT! You don't want things to move around so you are going to have to figure out what can take the weight and be on the bottom.
6...Wrap all of your furniture legs and sides because the little bit of contact over that many miles of jiggling will cause things to be rubbed. We had some rubbing on table legs and on a couch.

Okay, I hope that this helps. I can't believe that I haven't heard of this company before and that those thieves of Penske and U-Haul seem like the only options one has.

Also there are very disreputable companies that will drive off with your things or hold them hostage until you come up with more money once your things get across state line. Interstate laws are difficult and people end up paying thousands more than what they expected. Have a wonderful move.

aww (#27)

Another Glowing Review of ABF

Postby aww (#27) » Sat Aug 13, 2005 11:14 am

Recommended: yes :D
Date: 7/05
Move: Boston, MA to TX
Cost: $2600 for 12 feet

[Topic title: Another glowing review of ABF]

We never heard of ABF but now love them. Awesome service, great price, relatively low stress for a cross-country move. We have already recommended ABF to several people. (We liked them so much, this is also posted on epinions and we will email ABF) Also - thank you to epinions and movingscam.com for leading us to a great company.

- Service, Service, Service!!!!
- Did what they said
- Low cost

- Truck can be dirty
- No air-ride suspension
- No rented moving blankets

I really cannot say enough positive things about ABF U-Pack moving. A long distance move is a very stressful experience that I hope not to repeat often. I found myself moving from MA to TX. That is over 2000 miles. After looking into the standard moving companies, I was about to drive my own truck for both cost and quality reasons. The reviews are terrible for the traditional moving companies not to mention the personal stories I heard, i.e. “My furniture was sawdust and they totaled my car”. But the reality was that we did not want to take the 4-6 days required to drive across the country in a truck! It might be different if we could stop and look at things but a large truck is not the way to do it.

After much reading online, we finally decided to try ABF. It is not an easy decision to trust anyone with your whole life in a truck. I used the estimate calculator and booked online about three weeks before the move. (I also measured a few pieces to see if I trusted their calculator!) Since I was nervous about everything I also called the company two or three times before the delivery day to check on the ramp, ask questions etc… Every time I got through quickly and the person who answered was very nice.

The real story starts the day of the move. We worked hard to make sure we were ready. Everything was in a box, all furniture was pre-wrapped and everything was lined up by the door. I scheduled ABF for “early afternoon”. Well, around 11:30 I get a call and the lady says starts “We are so sorry” and my heart drops “but the truck will be about two hours late”. OK – I was not happy about a 2 hour delay but when was the last time a company proactively called you for a 2 hour delay before the delivery time! Certainly not the cable or phone company! Well the truck was there at 3:30 and we were done by 8:30. The driver who delivered the trailer was sooo nice, moved the truck a few times for us to get it placed just right and wouldn’t even take a tip. The estimate was for 14 feet and we used 12 feet. We called ABF early the next day and the truck was off to Texas that afternoon.

The website said to give them a day to get the truck into the system, then call the destination depot, but we didn’t have to do that, because again they called us to schedule the delivery, which we set up for 4 pm on the day we arrived in town. (We had people scheduled to help unload the next morning but wanted our bed the day of arrival). We should have had a large window between the time we landed and the time the truck arrived, but Murphy’s law being what it is – our flight got cancelled! (our opinion of American Airlines not nearly as good as that of ABF!) We called ABF to tell them we wouldn’t make our time, and hoped we could reschedule for the next morning (Friday) but expecting it might be after the weekend. They said to call them when we landed, as they could have someone working late. We called them as soon as we got our rental car, they said they would send the truck to meet us and were there less than a half hour later at about 6 pm. Thus we were able to camp out on our mattress on the floor of the apartment rather than having to go to a hotel or wait days for our stuff. As a comparison, we when signing our lease the person told us about another resident with a different company who waited three weeks for their delivery without an apology!!

There are a few cons to using ABF, but they certainly don’t involve the service! You do have to be aware that they are a freight company and your belongings ARE moving as freight so you have to pack very very well. The trailer is pretty basic, and can get pretty dirty with dust or soot. Our stuff was almost all intact without any damage, but we did put a lot of effort into padding the furniture with cardboard corners, blankets, brown paper and industrial plastic wrap. We made sure all boxes that contained stuff that might be damaged by dust or soot were sealed with tape or plastic wrap. We tried to stack all like weight/size things together and packed everything VERY tightly to avoid shifting, including filling all holes with extra empty boxes/cardboard, etc. Movement of any kind is your enemy. The stuff did shift some and a few boxes did not really hold up to the weight on them and got a bit crushed (our fault, not ABF), but luckily thus far we have found hardly anything broken or damaged despite that.

Our packing advice is below


- Don’t cheap out on the boxes, packing supplies (Believe me, we’re cheap so we were tempted, but it is worth the money). You can buy heavy duty paper (newsprint size), big rolls of bubble wrap, and industrial plastic at Lowe’s, Target and Staples. (The exception to this is to pick up small boxes at local liquor stores for books. That way you can fill them up and still lift them without breaking your back).

- Make sure furniture is protected against dents and rubbing (the big problem) by putting bumpers made of cardboard on the edges, then wrapping it in a blanket or plastic.

- Plastic wrap for moving? YES! :D Staples sells large rolls of plastic wrap for about $20. I learned this from industrial shipping. We put it around every piece of furniture etc.. It keeps items clean but it also prevents abrasion, makes some items easier to lift and makes things stick together in the truck so they don’t move. Wrap the plastic around the outside of all the padding. Make sure furniture is protected against dents and rubbing (the big problem) by putting bumpers made of cardboard on the edges, then wrapping it in a blanket or plastic.

- Check out the crush proof rating on the boxes, especially for anything on the bottom, you may want to splurge for the china barrel boxes which have extra corrugations to keep them really stiff. (If you live the Boston area, we highly recommend Benzera boxes, which will deliver high-quality, low-cost boxes to your house or apartment and even help you estimate how many you need!) 32lb rated boxes should not be on the bottom. The 52lb china box held up very well.

- Fill the boxes up completely. Stuff in towels, rags, wadded up paper or something in on top – otherwise the box is far more likely to be crushed.

- Put ‘bumpers’ in the bottom of boxes with fragile things in them. To do this, crumple up some newspaper or heavy paper into balls and then roll the balls up in another piece of newsprint, make a row of these across the bottom, put in your stuff, make another row on top. This absorbs the pressure when the truck bounces.

- Pack plates on their sides (it’s a physics thing, circular things are stronger on their edge than flat). Wrap extra paper around indentations in wine glasses, vases etc. then put them on a piece of newsprint and roll it up like a sub. Put the glasses in upside down.

- Wedge everything in very tightly. The way stuff gets damaged is when it shifts or bounces during the trip.

azbigjim (#28)

Re: 28 reviews of ABF U-Pack (June 2003 to present)

Postby azbigjim (#28) » Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:47 pm

Recommended: yes :D
Date: 7/05
Move:Scottsdale, AZ to near Portland, OR
Cost: Unknown for 28 feet

[Topic title: Great move with ABF U-Pack]

We just moved my shop tools, some boxes, motorcycle and freezer from Scottsdale Arizona to the Portland Oregon area with ABF/Upack.

This forum saved our butt by not using AMF SelfPack (most current name of about 12 with bad BBB reports).

[Editor's note by Diane: AVOID the company calling itself AMF Self Pack with website http://www.amfselfpack.com. Its real name is American Motor Freightways, and it has an unsatisfactory rating with the Denver BBB because of a very large number of complaints. It is supplying ABF-type trailers and its name indicates that it may be trying to create confusion with the reputable company ABF U-Pack.]

Everything went perfect. Things were packed for a freight trailer ride and everything arrived in good condition. We used the full trailer and locked the door so no worries about missing items.

ABF will allow you to not use the bulkheads if you have the entire trailer This was great as I was not looking forward to putting them up standing on the last few inches of the trailer. The trailer arrived with bulkheads and the ramp. ABF came by and picked up the ramp and bulkhead panels with another trailer at the origin.

Since we were driving by about 3 miles from the Portland ABF terminal on our way to the destination with an empty pickup we stopped by and picked up the ramp. This made the ABF folks very happy and we had no worries about the ramp being on site when the trailer arrived.

The trailer was dropped at the origin on a Thursday. Thursday and Friday are the best days for drop-off as they don't count the weekend in your two days of loading time. On Monday afternoon the trailer left for Oregon. The trailer arrived Friday morning a day or two before the promised date. I think the full load helped speed things up.

I would highly recommend using ABF U-Pack as long as you know how to pack things to ride in a freight truck and don't need moving pads.

The final cost matched the quote. No fuel charges or other extra costs.

All in all a great experience that I would not have had without the knowledge I gained from this forum.


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