What’s the difference between all the “You Pack – They Drive

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goingBackToCali
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:19 am

What’s the difference between all the “You Pack – They Drive

Postby goingBackToCali » Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:28 am

I know this is along post, but please bear with me…

I have been reading many of the posts on this message board in order to help me make an informed decision regarding a moving company for my up coming move from Detroit, MI to Santa Barbara, CA. This move will be the first time I will need to use any more space than what the back of my Jeep would provide me. After hearing the nearly constant stream of moving horror stories, I was very gun-shy going into the process of selecting a mover.

With all the posts and especially the feedback from all the regular contributors, this website has helped me to start narrowing down my choices. After evaluating my options, I have decided that a “You pack – They Drive” type mover would work well for my small 1 Bedroom apt and my budget. I am planning the move to take place in the last week of February.

Based off my research, I believe that the following companies are the main four that offer this type of service:

ABF’s U-Pack www.upack.com
Broadway Express www.broadwayexpress.net
United’s Value Move www.value-move.com
Mayflower’s Value Ship www.value-ship.com

And these are my initial thoughts/concerns with the listed companies.

I have found a lot of positive reviews of ABF on this site and several others, including epinions.com. I have also read a couple reviews where their trailers were old, leaked water, or the inside was covered with printer toner dust. I also have questions regarding what other items might be shipped along with my belongings. The FMCSA site also shows them being licensed for general freight, liquids/gases, chemicals, etc; but not household goods. I do like the security of knowing that once the partition goes up separating my belongings from the rest of the shipment, no one will have access it until I open it at the destination.

I have not found reviews of Broadway Express on any other site than this one. The reviews on this site seem very good, as do the reviews on their own site. The Broadway drivers seem more likely to help with the loading and unloading, as well as providing some moving supplies such as blankets. They seem to be a smaller company than ABF.

The quote I received from United’s Value Move was assigned to Archway Freight Forwarders, LLC. The FMCSA site lists them as having only one piece of power equipment and one driver, as well as the MCS-150 form date being less than one year old, 02/19/03 – which concerns me some.

All four of these companies seem to offer similar service with a small range of prices - I have received quotes from all four of these companies and they ranged from approximately $1300 to $1,900. This fact leads me to wonder is there something that truly separates one from another and is one of the four “the best”?

After reviewing these companies, I have to say I am impressed with the feedback about Broadway Express, the amount of information available on ABF, and the brand name of United. One thing that is important to me is the availability of the trailer to be dropped off and picked up on the same day on both sides of the move, as I do not believe I will be allowed to leave a large truck on the street overnight in either city. Also, if any one company has a better track record of assisting in the loading process (ie not necessarily the physical work but the art of safe and efficient packing) I would appreciate knowing that.

I know I am asking for something you can not provide, and that is which of these movers would YOU use if you were moving. However, if someone could help me separate these movers from each other I would greatly appreciate it.

There is a lot of information out there about the moving industry and if someone could help me sort it out, I would greatly appreciate it. Most of all I really want to avoid having my stuff held for ransom or any other scam a mover might try…

I apologize if I rambled too much…..

Additionally, after doing research on this site and others, I have compiled a list of questions that I am using to help me weed out a reputable mover. If anyone can think of any other additional questions I would appreciate that as well.

1. What is your full company name?
2. What is the company address?
3. What are the company phone numbers?
4. What are the company DOT and MC License Numbers?
5. What are the local offices of the company near Royal Oak, MI?
6. What are the local offices of the company near Santa Barbara, CA?
7. How many days do you estimate the move to take?
8. Are there any special documents needed to move into CA?
9. How long has the company been in business?
10. Is the company a broker or a carrier?
11. Will any of the work be subcontracted? If so to whom? What is your affliation? (Please answer all listed questions for subcontracters.)
12. How is the charge determined, ie linear foot, cubic foot, or weight?
13. Is your estimate binding or non-binding?
14. What happens if I exceed my estimated space?
15. What happens if I do not use all of my estimated space?
16. Will I be provided with a written estimate?
17. Will the move be door-to-door?
18. Is same day pick-up/drop-off available (ie the trailer does not sit there for a day)?
19. Does the driver assist in loading in any way?
20. Are ramps provided or available for rental on both sides of the move?
21. Do you provide any packing materials? Are any available through the company?
22. How will my belongings be secured and sectioned off from the rest of the truck?
23. Who has access to my stuff during the move?
24. What else will be on the trailer during my move?
25. What is the expected state of the trailer, ie cleanliness, etc?
26. What happens if I am not satisfied with the condition of the truck upon arrival?
27. Is the trailer air or spring ride?
28. What is your record of providing on-time, claim-free delivery?
29. Will there be only one driver for the duration of the move?
30. Please explain your valuation (insurance) policies.
31. Please explain the procedures for filing a claim, if need.
32. Do you take credit cards? What are the methods of payment? When is payment due?
33. Do you have an online tracking system?
34. Can you provide me with a list of references?


Thanks alot!

Mike

Josh
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 pm
Location: USA

Re: What’s the difference between all the “You Pack – They D

Postby Josh » Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:01 pm

MBTC,

I cannot say who is better since all the companies you listed are reputable. I work for United and will tell you what we do that the others do not do.

1. We send out an estimator that will do a free in home estimate and provide you with all the documents and pamphlets required and free consultation.
2. We provide walkboards free of charge for your use.
3. We provide blankets for wrapping all your furniture.

If this is the way you go (with the DITY move), I think you will be in good hands with any of the companies you have listed.

Josh

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

Re: What’s the difference between all the “You Pack – They D

Postby Diane » Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:04 pm

First of all, Mike, congratulations on your move back to our great state, and especially to beautiful S Bar!

goingBackToCali wrote: One thing that is important to me is the availability of the trailer to be dropped off and picked up on the same day on both sides of the move, as I do not believe I will be allowed to leave a large truck on the street overnight in either city. Also, if any one company has a better track record of assisting in the loading process (ie not necessarily the physical work but the art of safe and efficient packing) I would appreciate knowing that.

Given your priorities, I would recommend Broadway Express since ABF sometimes drops off and picks up the same day at the city of origin, but not usually, and I don't think they would guarantee it. At destination, ABF will wait while you unload, but for one hour only, and then they will start charging you for the driver's time. With BE, the driver stays with the truck for up to eight hours, I believe, and will also stay while you unload, although I don't know for how many hours. You should call Don Girard and confirm this, but this is what people have posted.

Regarding advice or help with the loading process, the ABF drivers don't do this because they leave the trailer and go away while you load. They WILL help with putting up and taking down the barrier wall between your stuff and the rest of the truck, but as far as I know they don't help with unloading either, except maybe very minimally. People have said that the Broadway Express drivers have helped them both with advice (for free) and with actual loading (for pay--$60 has been mentioned for a moderate amount of work when other helpers are also available). BE also provides dollies, moving blankets, ropes, and wood to construct platforms, and I believe they provide a ramp as well--ABF provides only a ramp, and it charges extra for it. And the BE trailers are air-ride, which is easier on your things.

So, although I myself used ABF and was very pleased, for your particular needs I would recommend Broadway Express. Just be sure that their large trucks (up to 70 feet long) can access your origin and destination. They can double-park since the driver stays with the truck, but the turning radius might be a concern on a narrow street. ABF's trucks are much smaller.

People have said that there is a $50 off coupon for ABF in the Post Office change of address packet, by the way. Also, regarding your observation that some people have said that the ABF trailers were dirty or leaked, this has very seldom been reported. However, it's a good idea for people considering ABF to go to the nearest ABF terminal, if possible, before the move so they see what good trailers are supposed to look like. Then, if the trailer that's delivered is in bad shape, they should call the terminal immediately and ask that it be replaced. A couple of people have done this and the company has cheerfully sent a different trailer.

If you call and ask Don whether the BE driver will help you load and unload, he might say no, but that doesn't mean that the driver won't do it. It may be written into their contracts that they don't HAVE to do it, but people on this site have said that they DO do it.

Hope this helps. There are others who know more than I do about United's Value-Move and Mayflower's program and they will probably jump in here (I see that Josh already has). But from what you've said, my personal opinion is that BE would be the best choice for you.

I would like to build up a body of information about all of these companies on this website since I think they are a very good choice for people who don't have a lot of money to spend and yet don't want to drive a rental truck. So I hope that whatever company you use, you'll get back to us.

Regarding your list of questions, I'll look at them later when I have more time, and I'm sure others will have some responses as well. It's great that you've done such a careful job of researching the situation.

goingBackToCali
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:19 am

Re: What’s the difference between all the “You Pack – They D

Postby goingBackToCali » Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:20 pm

Josh and Diane -

Thanks for the quick reply.

Diane - Glad to be back in California, right now I believe there is almost a 60 deg difference (factoring in wind chills) between Detroit and Santa Barbara...

Has anyone had a negative experience with Broadway Express? All I hear is positive feedback, which is awesome, but a little hard to believe in this industry. Also, does anyone know how they separate your belongings from the other items in the trailers?

How much lead time do I need to schedule with these companies? I am planning on moving around February 25. Do I run the risk of trucks not being available or the companies increasing their estimates the longer I wait?

I will most certainly keep everyone posted with the progress of my move as it occurs...

Mike

Josh
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 pm
Location: USA

Re: What’s the difference between all the “You Pack – They D

Postby Josh » Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:28 pm

I think advance notice will need to be in the area of a week for most companies.

Bulkheads seperate your shipment from others.

BE only has about 78 trucks and there have been about 5 customers on here that have used them. I have not heard any negative things about them.

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4645
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: What’s the difference between all the &#82

Postby BigLeeCalif » Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:26 pm

GoingbacktoCali

Some of those here that used BE and ABF might be registered users, and hopefully they will see this and give you more info on how the trucks are loaded and packed.. (might be able to give you tips)

And Santa Barbara is probably another 20 degrees hotter that doesn't show on the thermometer, what with Michael and Neverland, and the ongoing media circus in that area.

We don't have that kind of excitement up here in NoCal, although we are in the midst of an earthquake swarm right now in the EastBay.

One thing that the mover might have available if you request is a video showing how they operate and maybe even showing the insides of trailers before and after being loaded...

Lee

goingBackToCali
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:19 am

Re: What’s the difference between all the “You Pack – They D

Postby goingBackToCali » Thu Jan 22, 2004 8:52 pm

Thanks for the feedback. As far as I can tell, the Michael Jackson trial has had limited effect on the city of Santa Barbara - the trial is being held further north.

I have a question regarding United's Value Move. When I received a quote from them, it listed Archway Freight as the company who would be handling my move. When I did some research on them I was not able to find any information. On the FMCSA website they are listed to have only one truck and one driver. Should I be concerned about these facts?

Concerning Broadway Express, should I be concerned that there has been so few people who used this company? I would appreciate hearing from anyone who have used them, whether its good reviews or negative, I would appreciate hearing what people have to say.

Mike

Josh
Posts: 903
Joined: Tue May 06, 2003 6:23 pm
Location: USA

Re: What’s the difference between all the “You Pack – They D

Postby Josh » Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:07 pm

Mike,

Unigroup Inc. owns United Van Lines, Mayflower Transit, Archway Forwarders, Trans Advantage, Primacy, and many other companies. We have the ability to combine all resources for our customers. Why invest money into trucks that say Archway when you have access to over 8000 United trucks and over 3200 Mayflower trucks.

Josh

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

Re: What’s the difference between all the “You Pack – They D

Postby Diane » Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:17 pm

Mike,

You are right to be concerned about our having so few reviews of Broadway Express. The people who have moved with them and written about it are Angela, BrooklynMommy, Tae, penaddict, and Suzon. All but the last person are registered on this site, so you can go to the Memberlist, sort it by name (i.e. alphabetically), click on the name, and send those four a private message asking about their experiences. You have to register for this site yourself to be able to send private messages.

You may not hear from these people otherwise, since most people don't hang around here much after they've already moved. However, Tae (who is in Los Angeles) did post here recently. Susan (also registered) also knows a lot about BE because even though she hasn't moved with them yet, she is going to do so and has talked with them. She also knows about Archway, or you can do a search to see what was said about it on Susan's thread.

It's a big problem that epinions.com doesn't have a category for Broadway Express. It won't allow people to create new categories; I have no idea why. We will just have to try to keep track of BE and Value-Move and the others here on this website.

Eventually, someone will probably have a not-so-good move with BE, just as there are a few complaints about ABF among the 50 or so good reviews. However, I believe that you're more likely to have a problem in the summer when things are hectic than now, unless you get very bad weather in the mid-West.

Anne

Re: What’s the difference between all the “You Pack – They D

Postby Anne » Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:22 pm

I send my sincere condolences to you for moving to cal.
That state sucks in every imaginable, and unimaginable, manner.

Not so stressed anymore

Re: What’s the difference between all the “You Pack – They D

Postby Not so stressed anymore » Fri Jan 23, 2004 2:07 am

Can't agree with Anne. I just moved from California to Texas and I miss Cali terribly. It smells better.

I used ABF (which should be renamed MAB for "my aching back") and the move went well considering all the obsticles. I plan to help out by writing up some advise based on my experience. I should have it posted in about a week.

Just a few tiidbits to add that I haven't seen addressed yet:

1. Power and telephone lines. Are they high enough for the truck to drive under them or park the trailor under? My telephone lines were too low and we had to raise them with a very long 2X4 so the truck to drive under them. I don't reccomend you all try this one. My land lord is an electritian so he kinda knew what he was doing....kinda.

2. Are you moving around a holiday? I moved during a three day work week for ABF. The truck was expected Monday morning and didn't arrive till Mon evening during a horrible storm. I think the truck would have been on time during a normal work week. I moved between Xmas and New Years. Really bad timing.

3. Check all your equipment when it is delivered. One divider was missing a rubber foot. Didn't notice till the second day. I called immediately and a new one was delivered within a coouple of hours. It was really important that I told them right away because the pickup driver will not have room to carry one on his truck.

More to come..........

I still have more to move and I think I will check into Broadway Express. The ABF move was just to hard on my back.

G

PS. Anyone who needs advise on how to pack the truck can email me at t4design@hotmail.com. I know what a big mystery it can seem like when you haven't done it yet. I would be happy to help.

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4645
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: What’s the difference between all the &#82

Postby BigLeeCalif » Fri Jan 23, 2004 11:58 am

Not So Stressed,

Good points.....

I'm glad everything did go ok during that short week.. I did post a thread on moving during the holidays back in December, and usually the end of the year is one time delivery and pickup spreads are different than normal.

Lee

BigLeeCalif
Posts: 4645
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2003 5:59 pm
Location: Escondido, California

Re: What’s the difference between all the &#82

Postby BigLeeCalif » Fri Jan 23, 2004 12:00 pm

Anne,

We all know you have specific grievances, but stick to your grievances, and stop dogging California....

That's your personal opinion, and you're entitled to it.

But the world's 5th largest economy won't fold because you can't stand it.

Lee

Angela
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 8:31 pm
Location: Western Colorado

Re: What’s the difference between all the “You Pack – They D

Postby Angela » Fri Jan 23, 2004 9:47 pm

I entirely understand your trepidation in believing anything you read on the internet in regards to a moving company! Until my last move, it had always been local and I'd never needed anything more than a U-haul...finding out there was even such a thing as scam companies took me by surprise. Nonetheless, I did move with BE and though I don't pretend to be as knowledgable as even a third of the people on this site, I will help in whatever way I can.

That said, in response to your asking what seperates your items, on my BE truck there was no bulkhead as Josh stated. Everything was tied off, our mattresses were wrapped up and put in last and then straps wound around them to hold everything in place. I noticed in another area of the truck near my items, all household goods as well, they had used flattened boxes as a sort of division behind the tie offs.

As for the air-ride trailer, though I don't have any experience with using a move without it, I have to say again that not a single thing was broken or damaged. Large furniture items were all wrapped well, with blankets left to spare. A few boxes had dented corners, but this in no way affected the items inside. (My driver told me as we were loading - take this anecdote for what it's worth- that he once accidently left an open can of Pepsi just inside the door on the floor of the truck, 800 miles later he opened the doors to find the can had not moved an inch or spilled.)

If you have any other questions regarding the move itself, feel free to ask and I will answer as best I can. Personally, I have to say I would absolutely use BE again and was more than content with the service provided. Good luck sorting through it all!

Angela

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

Re: What’s the difference between all the “You Pack – They D

Postby Diane » Fri Jan 23, 2004 10:48 pm

Thanks, Angela, for jumping in here. You are actually the most knowledgeable one in this conversation (!), since none of us currently posting on this thread have actually used BE. However, to confirm what you said about no bulkhead being used, when I talked with Movex (a company that books moves with BE), they told me that my things would be partitioned off from other people's things with ropes and cardboard.

That originally worried me, but since nobody seems to have had a problem with it, I think it must be OK. I also remember Susan posting something to the effect that critters can't jump from one person's stuff to another person's because BE won't even load people if their stuff seems too nasty. (Can you imagine how you would feel if your stuff was rejected by a freight forwarder? You'd have to go into psychoanalysis for sure.)


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