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Personal Service from a Small Moving Company: An Interview with Triangle Moving

By Kristen Bosse

Please describe a little about your company and the services you offer.

Triangle Moving Service is a local independent company based in Hillsborough, NC -- which means we do not have van line affiliation. We have been in business for over 24 years under the same management. We have our own staff of professional movers with extensive experience in the business. We are A+ rated at the Better Business Bureau and A rated on Angie's list.

We are a full service moving company. We provide packing and unpacking services on all moves if needed. We provide local moving for Alamance, Chatham, Durham, Guilford, Orange, Person, and Wake counties. We accept long distance moves throughout North Carolina and up to 600 miles out of or into North Carolina from other states. We also will load rental trucks, PODS, ABF trailers and other storage or household goods and overseas containers. We offer storage in our own climate controlled warehouses, and have relationships with two storage specialty companies that offer storage containers delivered to the home. We can provide in-truck storage for those who need only a day or two of storage between closings.

What is your specific position at Triangle Moving Services?

I am the president and general manager of the company.

What are some things that your clients can do to prepare for the move?

Moving Checklist:
-Disconnect or transfer all utilities- phone, cable, water, gas, or electric.
-Forward mail.
-Have drivers license address changed at DMV.
-Transfer child school records.
-Register to vote
-Charcoal grills- dispose of charcoal. Make sure grill is clean.
-Propane tanks cannot be transported.
-Disconnect ice makers and gas appliances prior to moving.
-Drain gas from all motorized products (Lawnmowers and other machinery).
-Bundle rakes and shovels for travel.
-Any article affixed to your property must be removed prior to move. For example-pictures, shelving, plumbing, electrical fixtures, mirrors, carpet, drapery fixtures and rods.
-Inform moving personal, prior to moving, of any items that may require special dis-assembly and re-assembly. For example-waterbeds, swing sets, grandfather clocks, hot tubs, pool tables, and pianos.

Moving Day Tips:
-Reserve parking as close to your access as possible.
-Make sure the path the movers will be using is clear.
-Make sure all of your electronics are disconnected and the cords secure when the movers arrive.
-If you are doing your own packing, using movers' boxes is recommended. Using too many different size boxes makes packing your truck more difficult and takes more time. We do sell MOVERS' boxes.
-All boxes should be marked with their destination. Use room names, family member names or color codes to mark boxes.
-Have your gas appliances and ice makers disconnected before the movers arrive.
-Dressers can be moved with the clothing in them, however, please remove any valuables or breakables.
-Standard size file cabinets and 2 drawer lateral files can be transported full if the drawers are secure; larger sizes must be emptied.
-Desks and other drawers with loose items must be emptied.

Do you believe that moving services are truly necessary for the average homeowner?

Moving is a very stressful experience for the average homeowner -- there are so many things to be done and so little time to do it. Some folks have more time than money, but others have more money than time. The average homeowner has to find the balance in there somewhere. Hiring a moving company can be expensive, but not doing so may turn out to be more so. I have heard many times a saying like,"last time I moved I used friends, and now I don't have any friends", or "last time my friends were going to help us, but only one showed up and we worked till two in the morning", or even,"Our friends helped us move last time but there were so many damages. I'll never do that again".

Professional movers will bring experience to the job that can never be matched by the average homeowner. That experience will make for a fast, efficient and damage free move. A scratch on a hardwood floor can cost way more to repair than a professional move would cost. And there is always the risk to property being moved. Very few can pack a truck as efficiently as a professional mover. In addition, professional movers have bodies dedicated to daily moving and they have to be in the best of shape. It is not unusual that a homeowner will have to deal with an injury that by far outweighs the financial savings.

What are some things that you do to make sure the customer's move runs as smoothly as possible?

On larger moves we provide free, no obligation on site surveys so that we know what we are going into before we arrive. This allows us to send the right number of men and equipment for top efficiency. On smaller moves, we ask clients for an itemized list for the same reasons. On our arrival, the crew chief will make a walk through to get an idea of the scope of the move. Then he can assess the best way to handle the job. On local moves, it is often cheaper for the customer to make multiple light loads rather than to spend the time packing the truck tightly. The crew will put in home protection to prevent any damages to the premises. And then they work!

At the end of the move we give our clients an after-move survey that allows them to give us feedback about how we did. Any valuable suggestions are considered and implemented if we think they will make our service better.

What sets you apart from other comparable companies? Is there anything you believe you can do better/different?

We are a small company which allows us to pay particular attention to each customer. Our clients never get lost in the shuffle of different company representatives. Our crews know how to do all the services we provide; there are not separate crews for each service. We often will pack cartons and load trucks in the same day, with the same crew so our customer is inconvenienced as little as possible during the move.

On distance moves we utilize the same staff at both origin and destination providing an easier, less confusing transition. We are very fast with our deliveries. We can make next day delivery to most points in our long distance service area.

How early should a homeowner contact a moving company before the day of their move?

There is not a set rule about how early the contact should be, but earlier is always better than later. Sometimes it is hard for the homeowner to know the move date that far in advance. Often, they put the home on the market and then when it sells there is a contingency that they have a deadline to move out that is much closer that they want. A month is a good thing if it is possible.

Another consideration is what time of the month and what season the move will take place. Moving companies in general are much busier in the summer and also at the end of the month all year round. If your move is scheduled for the end of the month and you need a specific day, earlier is way better. Most moving companies will sell out their time in summer months, especially at the end of the month.

In addition, be aware that if you wait till the last minute to schedule your move, you may have trouble finding a mover. We have found that clients who want to move within less than forty eight hours tend to be trouble for us.

What specific qualities should a customer look for in a qualified and reliable moving company?

Unfortunately, it is easy to get into the moving business these days. All you need is a truck, a couple of strong backs and a little advertising. Even though our trade is very regulated, many companies pop in and out all the time, some legal, most not. There are also companies that are intentional rip offs. The scam is to quote a low price, get the goods into the truck and then hold the property as ransom against a higher price. It is very difficult for the government to control this because it becomes an issue for the courts rather than the police when it happens.

Here are some things to look for: Make sure you are using a company which has authority to operate in its area of service. In North Carolina this would require a Public Utilities Commission number. This always begins with a "C" followed by three or four digits and must be displayed on both sides and the rear of the truck. For interstate movers they should have a DOT number and an MC number both displayed on the door of the truck. Beware of any company using exclusively rental trucks.

You should also make sure the company has a physical address. This will ensure there is a place to look should there be problems, and will weed out most of the fly-by nights.

Longevity is another good factor to consider. The moving business is a tough business, and most companies that start only last a year or two. You should always look for a company with a good track record. The Better Business Bureau is also a great place to look. If they do not have any information there, beware! If they do, look at the grade. The best companies have the highest grades. A score below B should be a warning.

What are some common mistakes that homeowners make when preparing their move?

The worst mistake I can think of is not preparing at all. Many times we go into the home and the customer has not completed -- or sometimes even started -- packing. It will take the movers much more time if they have to shuffle things out of the way to grab the things that need to be moved out.

Inadequate packing is also an ongoing problem. Some customers have folded the bottom of a carton and taped the top. A mover sees the tape at the top an assumes the bottom is the same, only to have the contents fall out upon leaving the floor. Never interlock the flaps on a box; always tape both top and bottom.

Clients need to know that everything needs to be packed to be loaded into the truck. The movers will refuse items if they are not able to transport them safely and securely.

Another bad mistake is to have the utilities off before the movers arrive. Without it the rooms can be too dark for movers to work in safely. Occasionally a mover will need to use a restroom and obviously a lack of water can be a calamity.

Allowing children or pets to be loose and on the go can be another major problem. Also, it is imperative that the homeowner have a clear pathway inside the home and from the home to the truck for the movers to use. Often we are challenged to walk through mud, snow, or litter inside the house. These challenges can result in lost time, damages, or injuries.

Homeowners should also be on site or have someone representing them on site at all times, but especially at destination. The movers need guidance as to where it items should be placed or they may end up in the wrong place. This can lead to increased move time and expense. And while we need to have someone in attendance, they would be well advised to make sure they do not get in the way of the movers or try to assist them unloading the truck unless directed by the movers. Liability can be a sticky issue if the homeowner becomes too involved.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you?

The best way to reach us is by phone at 919-942-6974 or by email at Trianglemoving@aol.com. Please visit our web page at: http://www.trianglemoving.com/ and you may contact us through there as well.

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Kristen has written impressive content including press releases and feature stories...

Phone: (203) 913-0483

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