Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

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zenjones
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:40 pm

Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

Postby zenjones » Mon Jan 24, 2005 1:53 pm

Hello-

New guy here and first off, thank goodness this place exists!! Thank You to the site admins and fellow posters... what a wealth of great info and in some cases sadly at such a great cost in money and frustration too.

We are relocating from NJ-right outside of the Holland Tunnel actually so it's really the NY Metro area-to Portland, Or. We are just about 99.9% certain that we'll be using Broadway Express for the move.

I have just a couple questions really...

1. I can't find any info on the whole concept of paying the driver for help in loading and unloading. Can someone here give us an idea of how this works and what is a fair price for getting this kind of help?

2. As far as the area in the truck that one is paying for... how is that area 'fenced' off from other peoples goods? Does the driver adjust this if need be, say if your estimated boxes exceeds reality? How do this work?

3. Would driving our car be a significant $$ savings versus having it loaded for the move as well?

Last one... typically what is BE's driving time from the east to west coast... in days?

Again... Thanks so much for such a valuable and informative site & community.

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

Re: Moving from NJ to PDX... questions-->>

Postby Diane » Mon Jan 24, 2005 2:17 pm

Hi - I'll try to answer your questions to the best of my ability. (I assume that they refer to BE.)
zenjones wrote:We are relocating from NJ-right outside of the Holland Tunnel actually so it's really the NY Metro area-

That's good because it costs less to move from NJ than from NY according to their website calculator.
1. I can't find any info on the whole concept of paying the driver for help in loading and unloading. Can someone here give us an idea of how this works and what is a fair price for getting this kind of help?

The reviews indicate that it varies from driver to driver. Some drivers sort of "announce" what they charge per hour and others don't say anything but just start loading. Some eagerly accept the money and others are reluctant to take it to the point that people have had to force it into their pockets. The basic amount that most drivers charge is from $25 to $50 an hour, with most drivers at the lower end of that range. Once you know what driver you're going to have, you can look through the reviews to see what that driver did before. You can also discuss it with the driver when he calls you the day before the move.

I don't think you should obsess about the amount too much because I don't think any BE driver is going to do a bad job or be unpleasant no matter how much you give him. However, some of the more experienced drivers have said that if a person doesn't want to pay X amount (say $100 for 2 hours), they would rather go to a truck stop and shower and do their laundry because they are so tired that it isn't worth it for them to exhaust themselves further for a relatively small amount of money. Remember that sometimes the driver will be arriving fresh after a good night's sleep and sometimes he/she will be pulling in after a hard day of driving or loading someone else's shipment.

2. As far as the area in the truck that one is paying for... how is that area 'fenced' off from other peoples goods? Does the driver adjust this if need be, say if your estimated boxes exceeds reality? How do this work?

Have you read the BE reviews? Review #60 has a picture that I took of how the driver constructed a bulkhead out of plywood sheets, strapping it against some cargo beams clicked in place on the trailer walls. Sometimes the driver doesn't do this but just puts moving pads over the shipment with a strap around them. A bulkhead would be necessary if another person's goods were going to be stacked against your goods, but sometimes they aren't. There are NO reports of anyone's goods getting mixed up with anyone else's, regardless of whether a bulkhead is constructed.

And yes, you can usually get more space if you need it. People have said that BE's policy is to give the customer as much space as needed as long as there is unreserved space on the trailer. However, there have been occasional situations where the customer's load was the last one on and there was no more room. In those cases BE has sent a truck to pick up the rest of the goods as soon as possible. IN GENERAL what I've seen is that people reserve slightly too much space with BE so they end up paying for a little bit of space that they didn't really need. This type of thing is discussed in the FAQ sheet on ABF and BE on the sticky at the top of the messageboard.

3. Would driving our car be a significant $$ savings versus having it loaded for the move as well?

It's expensive to ship a car with BE because you are charged for it as if it were household goods, and the average length of a car is 17 feet (although you can stack things on a plywood platform above the car as shown in the FAQ sheet). Shipping it in an open carrier with DAS or Tn'T would be much less expensive. How the cost would compare to driving it yourself I don't know--you would have to figure the charges for gas and motels and deduct the price of plane tickets.
Last one... typically what is BE's driving time from the east to west coast... in days?

Normally 7 to 10 days . . . sometimes less and very rarely more. The longest transit time I have heard of was 14 days when a truck broke down.
Again... Thanks so much for such a valuable and informative site & community.

You're very welcome.

MusicMom
Posts: 19323
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:51 am
Location: DC Metro

Re: Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

Postby MusicMom » Mon Jan 24, 2005 11:25 pm

Hey! The first thing you should do is go spend an afternoon in Powell's Books. Or rather, get lost in...

kyuss1

Re: Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

Postby kyuss1 » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:06 pm

If you decide to go with full service movers a couple that appear to be good, that have received positive reviews here and that I just had out to our house for estimates are:

University Van Lines
Rahway, NJ 07065
732-882-1060
Atlas Agent

and

Wade Odell Wade
Padded Van Svc Inc.
80 Greenwood Ave
Midland Park, NJ 07432
201-493-9300
United Van Lines Agent

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

Re: Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

Postby Diane » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:20 pm

Hi - since I'm trying to gather info on NYC-area moving companies specifically, I would be very interested in your impressions of those two companies and specifically their estimators, if you would like to post more details. University has 7 positive reviews on this board and Wade Odell has a positive comment about its estimator (by "careful amy") but no actual review.

kyuss1

Re: Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

Postby kyuss1 » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:52 pm

Hi Diane:) I researched companies very thoroghly in north jersey using this site and various other scam sites, njmovers.com, the BBB site and safersys.org's site. The cream of the crop came up to be University Van Lines, Wade Odell and Wade and Holman Moving Systems. all 3 came out for an estimate and they were all quite courteous and professional. Here's my take thus far on all:

University Van Lines
Bill Quigley sales rep

Bill was awesome and the best IMHO of the 3 sales reps though the other 2 were very good. He was right on time, courteous, professional, seemingly very honest and open, and very personable & likeable. He gave me great tips on packing, encouraged me to pack all myself, showed me how, did a very thorough inventory and was the most detail oriented. He asked a lot of questions which other didn't. He also was the only agent to offer to come back out a few days before the move to do yet another inventory and write up a GNTE estimate. He was the most outstanding sales rep I've ever dealt with in all the moves I've made. I'm extremely comfortable with him and University atm.

My only concerns with University are these:
*Not members of the BBB
*Epinions.com averages 2 stars on Atlas Van Lines while United averages 3 stars

Wade Odell Wade
Sales rep John Dack, VP and owner

John was extremely professional. He used a portable blackberry and printer and gave me a clean, professional estimate on the spot. He also offered a folder with at least 30 interstate references and a rights booklet. He was on-time and courteous. He was also a bit quieter than Bill and asked fewer questions which was not as comforting. I like that these guys were the only BBB members of the 3 companies (with no complaints against them atm). John claimed that WOW did 46% of the interstate moves in Bergen County which was impressive if unverified. These guys have been United agents for at least 7 years and have been in business for almost 30.

Concerns:
*didn't really want to do a GNTE estimate at this point though I didn't press him for one-- we still have a good amount of packing to do.
*didn't ask enough questions for my tastes

Holman Moving Systems
Estimator Pat Sullivan

Pat was very nice and professional. He wasn't quite as professional as the other 2 guys but was quite professional nonetheless. He was ontime and courteous. He also used the protable printer and backberry and gave a clean, pro estimate on the spot. He did a thorough inventory and was honest. He didn't ask enough questions however, and the thing that really did them in was that they don't accept credit cards. That and the fact that their estimate was 10% higher than University and 20% higer than Wade Odell Wade pretty much sealed the deal. The not taking credit cards was the biggie though, plus he just wasn't quite as impressive as the other 2 guys though he didn offer tons of free boxes which was nice. His estimate came in really high too in terms of projected weight of what we're moving as I'm sure it shouldn't be that high.

Concerns:
*1 complaint against company in past 3 years on BBB.org which was resolved.
*Only cash and cashiers checks etc accepted..No credit cards
*Estimate seemed a bit high

Honestly, all 3 were great and better than any movers I interviewed in LA for my move to NJ 3 years ago and I would probably be fine with any of them. Anyways, here are the quotes I was given:

University Van Lines:
Non-binding charges: $4082.87 for est. of 5000 lbs.
packing charges were $89.64
ave: $.816 per lb.

Wade Odell Wade
Non-binding charges: $3471.05 for est. of 4300 lbs.
packing charges were $25.72
ave: $.801 per lb.

Holman Moving Systems
Non-binding charges: $4505.23 for est. of 5688 lbs.
packing charges were $40.99
ave $.792 per lb.

I am going to make a decision on whom I'll be hiring this week and will post more when I make the decision. :wink:

kyuss1

Re: Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

Postby kyuss1 » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:55 pm

P.S. fwiw, of the 3 movers I interviewed and that came out for estimates, only Bill of University was aware of this site and the various scam sites. He's very aware of their reputation here and making sure my move was clean and smooth seemed very important to him as they are getting a lot of business from here and due to their reputation.

kyuss1

Re: Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

Postby kyuss1 » Tue Jan 25, 2005 1:56 pm

PPS, University Van Lines are the local agents for Atlas and the other 2 movers I noted are the local agents for United Van Lines-- in case anyone wanted to know.

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

Re: Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

Postby Diane » Tue Jan 25, 2005 4:43 pm

Thank you so much, kyuss1! We are lucky to have you around. Are you moving back to CA?

I knew that University Van Lines must have a secret weapon, and now I see what (who) it is. Bill Quigley is the brother of Jim Quigley, one of the owners. Did you ask Bill why they aren't listed with the BBB? It wouldn't bother me if a company wasn't a MEMBER, but it does raise a question in my mind if a company isn't LISTED. What did the BBB itself say about that?

Holman has good comments here from movingpros, although no reviews. Their having 1 complaint with the BBB wouldn't bother me at all, given the amount of business they do.

I look forward to hearing what you decide.

Guest

Re: Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

Postby Guest » Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:05 pm

Diane wrote:Thank you so much, kyuss1! We are lucky to have you around. Are you moving back to CA?

I knew that University Van Lines must have a secret weapon, and now I see what (who) it is. Bill Quigley is the brother of Jim Quigley, one of the owners. Did you ask Bill why they aren't listed with the BBB? It wouldn't bother me if a company wasn't a MEMBER, but it does raise a question in my mind if a company isn't LISTED. What did the BBB itself say about that?

Holman has good comments here from movingpros, although no reviews. Their having 1 complaint with the BBB wouldn't bother me at all, given the amount of business they do.

I look forward to hearing what you decide.


Thanks:) Ummmm, I didn't ask Bill but wasn't really worried about it as I have never anything negative about them anywhere. I will ask him though when I speak with him. I wasn't really concerned about the BBB complaint against Holman either. The issue with them is not taking CCs which, when all the companies are so close in pricing and each comes off professionally and checks out in doing due diligence, can make the difference.

I'm a bit troubled by the average 2 star reviews for Atlas vs the 3 star ave for United though. I'm not sure if that will tilt me towards Wade Odell and Wade or not as I'm most comfortable with University as an agent. Do you guys think the agent and your comfort level with them should play a bigger factor in deciding who to go with or the reputation of the van line? I like University a lot but I think I kinda prefer United as a Van Line at this point.

kyuss1

Re: Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

Postby kyuss1 » Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:09 pm

Anonymous wrote:
Diane wrote:Thank you so much, kyuss1! We are lucky to have you around. Are you moving back to CA?

I knew that University Van Lines must have a secret weapon, and now I see what (who) it is. Bill Quigley is the brother of Jim Quigley, one of the owners. Did you ask Bill why they aren't listed with the BBB? It wouldn't bother me if a company wasn't a MEMBER, but it does raise a question in my mind if a company isn't LISTED. What did the BBB itself say about that?

Holman has good comments here from movingpros, although no reviews. Their having 1 complaint with the BBB wouldn't bother me at all, given the amount of business they do.

I look forward to hearing what you decide.


Thanks:) Ummmm, I didn't ask Bill but wasn't really worried about it as I have never anything negative about them anywhere. I will ask him though when I speak with him. I wasn't really concerned about the BBB complaint against Holman either. The issue with them is not taking CCs which, when all the companies are so close in pricing and each comes off professionally and checks out in doing due diligence, can make the difference.

I'm a bit troubled by the average 2 star reviews for Atlas vs the 3 star ave for United though. I'm not sure if that will tilt me towards Wade Odell and Wade or not as I'm most comfortable with University as an agent. Do you guys think the agent and your comfort level with them should play a bigger factor in deciding who to go with or the reputation of the van line? I like University a lot but I think I kinda prefer United as a Van Line at this point.


Ooops...LOL, this was written by me. Forgot to enter my handle. BTW, the average 2 star reviews of Atlas are on epinions.com and the rating is based on 27 reviews. United has a 3 star ave based on 64 reviews. Of course, people are more likely to post a negative review than post at all so I'm not sure how much weight I should give those. Is there another source that would give me a decent idea of how United fares against Atlas? Thoughts?

kyuss1

Re: Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

Postby kyuss1 » Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:21 pm

LOL...oh and yes, Diane, I'm moving back to the Los Angeles area. No more shoveling snow and subzero temps for me! WOOT:-P

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

Re: Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

Postby Diane » Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:59 pm

People are wearing shorts here today . . .

I seem to recall people saying that Atlas is known more for having national or corporate accounts and United is known more for COD moves where the customer pays for it himself, but I could be wrong. I wouldn't decide on the basis of the small difference in stars on Epinions, though. I think the main problem with ALL the van lines is that the local agent loses control when the shipment goes into the van line system. University and WOW are not going to haul your goods to California. I'm sure they will try to use a good driver and a good destination agent in CA, but . . . I'm just more comfortable when the whole move is handled by one agent (one company) because of the possibility of damage when goods are transferred, so I'm always kind of apprehensive in situations like yours. One plus is that you're moving in the slow season when I think bad things are less likely to happen because workers are less rushed.

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

Re: Moving from NJ to PDX... questions about BE-->>

Postby Diane » Sat May 14, 2005 1:58 pm

Unfortunately, “kyuss1” did have a problem with his move, which went into the Atlas Van Lines system. He posted on 4/23/05 that some components were removed from his boxed computer and that some other things had damage. He stressed that Bill Quigley and his brother Jim (co-owner of University Van Lines) were good guys but strongly advised people to move themselves with ABF or Broadway Express rather than using a van line - http://www.movingscam.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4075

Again, as with the complaint that has been reported to the BBB under University Van Lines' address in Rahway, this was a problem that occurred on Atlas’ watch. It did not occur on the watch of University Van Lines, which only booked the move. Nevertheless, Bill and Jim Quigley did intervene to try to help “kyuss1.” At last report, Bill told me that he had advised “kyuss1” to ask for arbitration on his $800 claim.


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