ABF experience thus far

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Kara

ABF experience thus far

Postby Kara » Wed Jun 23, 2004 6:31 pm

First of all, I am glad to have found this site and board to assist me in my decision for a mover. As most of you know, I went with ABF, a U-Pack We-Ship type company. My experience from the beginning with them has been great. They dropped the trailor off yesterday morning and the driver couldn't have been more helpful. He went over with me how to measure my alotted space and even set up the ramp I had rented. The trailor was only 28-feet long so it did not seem as overwhelming as I thought it would. He even viewed the items I would be packing and provided advice on how to load them as to prevent any shifting or damage. He also advised on the most common mistakes people make when packing items. Except for my furniture, I packed all my belongings into action packers that would stack easily and be reusable in the future. We also found thick plastic matress bags at our local hardware store which we used to put the mattress and boxspring in. Instead of renting furniture blankets, I purchased those egg foam mattress pads to wrap mirrors and furniture. They actually worked out great and were very inexpensive.

The only problem was when the trailor was dropped off yesterday, they didn't have the bulkheads. However, this worked out great as they weren't in the way and we didn't have to find a place to store them during the process of loading. We had monsoons on and off here yesterday and finding a dry place to keep them would have been a pain. ABF brought the bulkheads over today and even installed them. They said my packing had been well thought out and that I came up with some creative solutions that were inexpensive yet effective. The true test will come when I remove the bulkheads in Florida. But thus far, I am very pleased with my ABF experience and I am glad that people on this board assisted in my decision making process.

Thanks again for the advice and guidance. Let's just hope it ends as smoothly as it began. The one thing a person needs to keep in mind when going with a mover such as this is that you have to do a lot of the leg work. But the way I look at it, you have a lot of control of the loading and placement of your items preventing a lot of unwanted damage.

Kara

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

Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby Diane » Wed Jun 23, 2004 7:13 pm

What a great report, Kara--thank you so much for taking the time in the middle of everything you're going through.

What are "action packers"? What are the mistakes the driver said are most common when people load the trailer?
If you can tell me these things, I'll put them in my FAQ sheet about ABF and BE and they will help a lot of people. Thanks so much.

Jake
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:25 pm

Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby Jake » Wed Jun 23, 2004 11:14 pm

Kara wrote: He even viewed the items I would be packing and provided advice on how to load them as to prevent any shifting or damage. He also advised on the most common mistakes people make when packing items. Except for my furniture, I packed all my belongings into action packers that would stack easily and be reusable in the future.

But thus far, I am very pleased with my ABF experience and I am glad that people on this board assisted in my decision making process.


Kara
Thanks for the info Kara. We are also using ABF next week (Seattle to Florida). What is the most common mistake? What is an action packer? Best wishes on a stress free move! Julia

Kara

Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby Kara » Thu Jun 24, 2004 9:40 am

Action packers (that's what I call them) are Sterilite or Rubbermaid containers with lids that more or less snap on or lock on (there are other brands, just can't think of them right now). More or less they are large, heavy duty plastic storage bins/containers. I went this route instead of using boxes due to their durability and reusability. This makes stacking them a lot easier as well. Before putting the lid on each container, I cut out a piece of egg foam for extra protection since I knew there would be another container stacked on top. I bought the containers at WalMart. 25 gallon containers were $3.44 and 31 gallon containers were around $7. Just depends on the brand you use. The only items not packed in containers was the furniture. I put everything in them. Bubble wrap is also a very good investment. I got 1,000 feet of it at Staples for around 9.99.

As far as common mistakes, the driver stated that people often pack the heaviest items on top with the lighter ones on the bottom. This often means they fall or there is a greater chance for such an instance. People often make mistakes with stacking furniture. He suggested to us, after see the furniture we had, that we load a couch on each side (I had 2), place the mattresses up against the bulkhead (the very back of the truck), then place the more fragile items in the area between the two couches. He said people don't realize there are some inexpensive investments you can make on packing materials to save yourself a lot of time in the end. He also suggested securing a tarp to the floor to protect the bottom of items placed on the floor. Our the trailer we received was clean but we did it anyway because of some antique furniture I am sending down.

Here is a quick list of items I purchased that were of great assistance to me in packing my things:
1. Rubbermaid and Sterilite containers (25 and 31 gallon size)
2. Plastic Mattress bags (local hardware store had them)
3. Bubble wrap (went through this like water)
4. Egg Foam crate used on mattresses
5. Heat Resistant tape (yes there is such a thing)
6. Shrink Wrap (Lowes sells it and I used to secure the dresser drawers. I didn't load anything in them but I wanted them secure)
7. Heavy duty plastice wrap/tarp (used this to cover my entire load. Also going to use another piece of plastic to lay on my apt floor for when we unload. This way, no dirt from the containers gets on the rugs.)

That's all I can think of right now. But please feel free to ask any more questions you may have and good luck with the move. It honestly was not as bad as I thought it would be. If you use containers like I did, and secure them shut with shrink wrap or tape, it is a cinch.

Kara

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

Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby Diane » Thu Jun 24, 2004 9:49 am

Thanks, Kara. So this egg carton foam was thin enough that it could be bent around things? What I've seen is usually pretty thick. Where did you buy it? Also, remind us--what was your quote from ABF and for how many feet? I remember you are moving from NJ to Tampa.

How did you manage to get the tarp across the top of your load without stepping on the things you had already loaded?

Kara

Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby Kara » Thu Jun 24, 2004 10:17 am

Diane-

The egg foam crate is what people often use under a mattress pad on their bed. I would say it is about an inch or so thick, maybe a little more. You can find it in the bedding section near mattress pads and I purchased mine at Target. I bought two full size pads at $7.99 each.

As far as getting the tarp across, once we started loading things in the back, we put the back end of the plastic behind the loaded goods. It was rolled up so as we got more and more loaded, we started unrolling the tarp across and tucking it behind the sides. Once everything was loaded, we finished unrolling it then tucked it under the front items as well as along the sides. It was quite secure. Even without the tarp, nothing I packed was exposed. All furniture was covered and the action packers were plastic so no exposure there. As far as cost. I reserved 7 linear feet with a ramp for a total of $1,203. This includes my $25 discount for reserving online.

Thus far, I have dealt with 3 different drivers and they have all been pleasant and willing to answer all my questions. Each one of them said to me that they hate to see people's things get ruined because they didn't ask questions. Not one of them would take a tip from me. I don't know if this is their company policy but they each refused, profusely, stating they were only helping out and it was the least they could do.

Kara

Jake
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:25 pm

Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby Jake » Thu Jun 24, 2004 10:59 am

Thank You Kara! The information you posted is extremely valuable to us :P We now have a much better idea on how to pack our things and the plastic over the top is a great idea! I have one last question for you ::: Will you come to Seattle and help me pack? LOL :lol: Looks like our destination is the same area (Tampa). We are currently trying to get ABF to deliver to our house since they do not have commercial loads to our area (Spring Hill). I begged them yesterday and still awaiting the answer. :? How did the unloading go? Best wishes in your new life! Julia

Kara

Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby Kara » Thu Jun 24, 2004 4:02 pm

Julia-

As of yet, I haven't unloaded. My belongings are in transit as we speak. I don't know if I stated this before but the trailer they dropped off was 28 feet. Yesterday, they brought a 48 foot trailer to drop off the bulkheads. I couldn't believe how massive that thing was. Needless to say, I am thankful I got the smaller one as it will cause less problems in my apartment community. :D

Luckily, I had quite a bit of help loading the trailer here in NJ. I contacted my APT community to recommend a local company to assist in the unloading and spoke with them yesterday. What I like about them is that there is no minimum charge, such as 4 hour minimum. They charge $120 for the first hour than $80 every hour there after. I don't know if that is reasonable or not but considering it will be summer in Florida and I am living on the third floor, it is fine with me. When I told him how long it took to load, he didn't think it would take more than an hour to unload. I believe the company is located in St. Pete so if you want their info, let me know. The gentleman was very nice considering I wasn't sure when the trailer would arrive exactly.

Kara

fishpop
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Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 6:02 pm

Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby fishpop » Thu Jun 24, 2004 9:50 pm

This is a great thread. I'm moving from Houston to Seattle in a little over a month and am considering ABF. Good advice and it sounds like your ABF experience has been positive so far. Be sure to post an update on how it turns out! Thanks!

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

Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby IMP » Fri Jun 25, 2004 7:01 am

fish - - - - if you decide to go with ABF/BE would you pm me? I am not far from Houston and would like to see them in action some time. Gives me a better understanding of what I talk about when I try to help others on this board.

Kara

Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby Kara » Fri Jun 25, 2004 9:03 am

IMP-

I took photos of the trailer, inside and and out, along with the ramp and bulkhead if you would like them. I registered for this board but for some reason, my login doesn't work. If you want the photos, let me know.

Kara

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

Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby Diane » Fri Jun 25, 2004 9:05 am

Kara,

Please email Tim to get the login thing straightened out because I have some information I want to share with you. Also, ask him how people on this board can link to your photos. If you have a photo of how the trailer looked inside both before and after you loaded it, that would be extremely helpful. You could take the "loaded" photo after you take down the bulkhead at destination if you don't have such a photo already.

Kara

Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby Kara » Fri Jun 25, 2004 9:21 am

Diane-

Can you please inform me on how to email Tim? I would appreciate it.

Kara :lol:

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twalker
Site Admin
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Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby twalker » Fri Jun 25, 2004 9:28 am

Hi Kara,

You can send me email at tim at movingscam dot com (note that the address has been obfuscated to prevent the spam bots from harvesting the address.

Tim

Erin S.

Re: ABF experience thus far

Postby Erin S. » Sat Jun 26, 2004 8:23 am

Oh wow, what a great thread. Kara, thanks for sharing your packing tips. I'll be moving at the end of July with Movex and I think I'll follow all your packing guidelines. I have the plastic containers too and had thought about getting rid of them, but I'll keep them. The egg crates are also a great idea. It will be great to see a follow-up from you as to how your stuff fared the trip. And taking pictures of the whole thing is also a good idea, I'll do that too. Good luck with your move.


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