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Where Florida Begins: Jacksonville

2014 October 14
by Wheaton World Wide Moving
Jacksonville

If you are looking for a place with beautiful weather, nature, golf and of course plenty of beaches, then Jacksonville, Florida is for you. After a brief hiatus, we are continuing “Road Trip” series by traveling to Jacksonville, Fla.

Spanning over 840 square miles, Jacksonville is the largest U.S. city by area, as well as, the most populous city in Florida and 14th largest in the United States. It is located on the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean. It is home to the second-largest port of the East Coast which contributes to its steady economic growth.

Ask any Jaxon and they will tell you the biggest benefit of living in Jacksonville is the weather. Jacksonville has a tropical, warm climate with mild winters, however the city is hot and humid during the summers, which can be overwhelming to many. Even though it is located on the Atlantic Ocean, Jacksonville rarely sees hurricanes.

17th_at_sawgrass

Photo Credit: PGA Tour

What to Do:

Photo credit: http://www.cruisenewser.com/jacksonville-port/

Photo credit: http://www.cruisenewser.com/jacksonville-port/

Obviously, the beach is the most popular destination for tourists and residents alike. For most residents of the city they have access to a beach within an hour drive. Jacksonville also boasts the largest urban park system with 262 designated parks, covering 80,000 acres.

Jacksonville offers plenty to do for the sports and recreation aficionado. The PGA tour headquarters is located in Ponte Vedra and hosts the annual Players Championships. Not a pro golfer? No worries, there are over 70 private and public courses available for your choosing. If golfing isn’t your thing, Jacksonville is home to the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

Best neighborhoods:

Consider these neighborhoods when looking for a home in the Jacksonville area.

Northside – These neighborhoods are located close to the airport, Jacksonville zoo and Huguenot Park. Convenient commute downtown, but it is far enough away that is the most rural section of Jacksonville. Many of the properties are on the riverfront.

Riverside – Riverside Avenue had the reputation in the early 1900’s as one of the most beautiful streets in America. It is just a short commute to downtown with the St. Johns River nearby. The St. Vincent’s Medical Center is located here along with plenty of doctor’s offices. This is a trendy area for restaurants, clubs and funky shops and is known for being fun and youthful among the young professional crowd.

jacksonville_beach_pier_sig

Photo Credit: http://www.insideflorida.com/photo/279/

The Beaches – This is the priciest, but most desirable neighborhoods in the Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Jacksonville Beach areas. Locals spend their weekends biking, surfing, running or rollerblading. First Street runs through all of the beach communities.

Orange Park (Westside) – A 45-minute commute from downtown, Orange Park (Westside) is known for its reasonable housing prices in more rural settings. Neighborhoods such as Fleming Island and Doctors Inlet offer convenient dining and shopping, but overall the neighborhoods are still have wooded areas.

Ready to Move?

With all that Jacksonville has to offer, who wouldn’t want to relocate there? After all, the cost of living in Jacksonville is less than the National Average and the job growth continues to improve by 2.4%.

We can help you get there! Wheaton World Wide has two agents located in the Jacksonville area to help with any move to and from Jacksonville.

Florida Transfer & Storage
2940 W. 45th St.
Jacksonville, FL 32209
Phone: (888) 828-6398
www.flatransfer.com

Veteran’s Moving & Storage
5591 Commonwealth Ave.Jacksonville, FL 32254
Phone: (904) 683-6445
www.veteransmovingandstoragellc.com

Road Trip: Wheaton World Wide Moving

Be sure to stay connected with Wheaton as we continue our cross-country journey.  So far, we’ve made stops in Los Angeles, Calif., Pittsburgh, Pa., Atlanta, Chicago, Ill. and Charlotte, N.C.

Wheaton World Wide Moving license plate

Next Stop:

We will be exploring Madison, Wisconsin on our next road trip, but we need your help! Let us know the best places to live, things to do and where to eat by commenting below or on our facebook and twitter pages. #RoadTrip

 

 

On the Road with A.J. – The Finale

2014 October 9
last

I was pumped. I had helped load, unload, load again and now, 2,500 miles later, it was time to deliver our new favorite customer’s household goods to her new home. I felt like I had been through a mini apprenticeship and learned a lot in a very short period of time. And Bob was going to let me do a lot more now that I’d paid some dues.

“We’re a few minutes early, why don’t you go get us some coffee,” said Bob as we pulled up on the side of the road just before turning into Mrs. Bennett’s neighborhood. “There’s a 7-Eleven right up the road.”

That wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but hey, the new guy has to take care of the important stuff. By the time I got back, we were ready to roll. An excited Mrs. Bennett waved to us from her garage as we pulled up.

“I’m so glad to see you guys,” she said. It had been a long trip for her too. She and her son made the drive just a day or so before and it was clear they were pretty tired too.

We got right to work and I was assigned to floor protection duty, putting down furniture blankets then Masonite in a strategically arranged path to roll dollies throughout the house without causing damage.

I unwrapped furniture, put together tables, lamps and whatever came my way. Speaking of lamps, I got in a fight with one of those three-part torch lamps with the wire running inside the entire length from the base to the housing of the little light bulbs that get to be 400 degrees when lit. In the end, I won, but only after I scratched the heck out of the middle tube after it became incredibly uncooperative and lopsided as I was trying to screw it together.

After a full week on the road, and a lot of coffee-fetching, this was my moment to pull rank. This was my moment to throw my weight around and make something happen – just because I can.

“Mrs. Bennett, I’m afraid I’ve scratched up your lamp. I want you to take a look at it let me know what you think. Once you do, if you’re concerned, I’ll be happy to simply replace the lamp and we’ll just take care of it before I leave,” I said smugly.

“Oh, don’t worry about it,” she said. “I’ve had that thing forever. It’s not expensive at all. No worries.”

Seriously? Well, I tried.Bob and AJ's trip

As I’ve already noted, Tampa was hot and humid and by 2 p.m. (just as Bob had predicted) we were finishing up the delivery and I started pulling up the floor protection, folding up furniture blankets and collecting garbage – tons of tape, cardboard bits from torn cartons and empty water bottles. We had one job left – an extra stop to Mrs. Bennett’s son’s home to deliver a heavy gun safe. It was a short drive and the AAA Moving & Storage helpers made short work of it – just as the afternoon rain started to fall.

As we headed back to AAA to pick up my stuff and for Bob to get on the road to Georgia to deliver his next customer, I was a bit sad that the whole adventure was coming to a close. I said my goodbye’s (after another Italian sausage from Victor’s food truck across the street) and Bob took off in his truck honking the horn all the way out into the street.

Marty Shulz from AAA was kind enough to take me to the airport, about a half hour away. As we neared the turnoff, I got a frantic call from Bob who was well on his way down the road. Turns out, something was wrong with Mrs. Bennett’s bed and she wanted Bob to turn around, or someone to come fix it.

Marty and I went into action. We exited the highway and drove back to Mrs. Bennett’s house. Someone else would have to get the coffee this time – now I was in-charge.

Mrs. Bennett showed us the bed. “I don’t ever remember seeing that board before,” she said pointing to what looked like a very complicated set of drawers attached to the foot of the bed.

Marty and I must have stared at that thing for 15 minutes before either one of us had a good idea. In the end, I owe Marty a debt of gratitude because he finally figured it out. I was clueless and I’m sure I went pale when I realized that there was the distinct possibility that we would never get it put back together.

After borrowing Mrs. Bennett’s only screwdriver (thank goodness the screws were Phillips and so was the screwdriver), we re-assembled the bed and drawers and Mrs. Bennett gave us her sign off. We said goodbye (again) and headed to the airport. My adventure was complete.

If you’ll indulge me in a few final comments:  I’d like to thank Bob and Lori Krumpols and their staff for setting up this opportunity – these folks are at the top of their game and consummate professionals in their craft. I couldn’t have asked for a better guide to provide me with insight into the INCREDIBLY hard work our Wheaton and Bekins drivers, agents, packers loaders and helpers do every day.

I am humbled by the complexity, experience, physicality, mental fortitude, tenacity and perseverance of these folks and their ability to wake up the next day and do it again, creating another satisfied and loyal customer. On more than one occasion, a loader, helper or Bob himself said, “it’s not rocket science.”

No. But few things besides rocket science are. It is, however, Relocation Science, and anything less than that acknowledgement sells this profession far short of its true value.

I’m proud to work with the Wheaton | Bekins network and all of you.

 

Enjoy some photos and videos of A.J.’s trip below:

Video tour of Bob’s Truck

Moving household goods between a truck and a shuttle

 

On the Road with A.J. is a blog series written by Executive Vice President of Wheaton World Wide Moving, A.J. Schneider as he travels across the country with truck driver Bob Krumpols of Preferred Movers of Nashville, Tenn. He will be experiencing life on the road while assisting with everyday interstate moves.  Follow A.J.’s journey on the Wheaton World Wide Moving blog, Facebook page and Twitter page.

A Personal Customer Experience Leads to Increased Customer Engagement at Wheaton World Wide Moving

2014 October 7
by Wheaton World Wide Moving
I-Heart-Customers-High-Res

By Stephanie Linville, Director of Market Research & Pricing

The customer experience (CX) is no longer a series of independent interactions customers have with the various touch points in our organization; it’s an ongoing dialogue between Wheaton World Wide Moving and our customers.

This journey begins when customers are deciding which van line to choose to move their household goods on an interstate move. While some might view the customer relationship ending when the move is complete, the reality is the dialogue continues in the form of our customer surveys, referrals of our company to family and friends (which, by the way, happens to be our biggest source of new customers), repeat business with former customers and online reviews posted to social media.

Engaged customers are those who continue this dialogue with us. They are loyal enough to refer us to others and/or continue to use us for their future moves. If these customer behaviors are our end goal, then how can we get our customers engaged with Wheaton World Wide?

Providing a personal customer experience isLoveCustomerSign_Wheaton the key to engaging our customers. That said, we are fortunate this challenge should be easier to accomplish in the moving and storage business than in other industries, since our service is a highly personal one. We are in our customers’ homes, handling their belongings and interacting with members of their family, including their children and pets.

In addition, generally speaking, most people do not make multiple interstate moves during their lifetime, but when they do, the experience is a major life event due to the significant expense and stress. Because of these factors, when Wheaton does an excellent or poor job, customers feel strongly enough about our performance to let us know. This is one of the reasons why we have such a great response rate to our customer surveys – currently 55% for our electronic surveys.

What does this mean? Well, simply by the nature of our business, all of our customers have the potential to be highly engaged. And if the Wheaton World Wide customer experience is affected by every touch point in the organization, then all of our employees, agents, drivers and crew members impact CX in some way.

Tuesday, October 7th, marks the second annual CX Day, and at Wheaton World Wide we are celebrating our customers during the entire week of October 6 – 10! Just like we showed gratitude for our drivers during Driver Appreciation Week, we will continue this successful marketing campaign and show appreciation for our customers by having our agents, drivers and employees take pictures of themselves (and customers, if possible) holding “I ‘heart’ customers” signs and upload these images to our social media sites. We look forward to a fun and memorable CX Day!

Photos from some CX Day events:

Wheaton World Wide Moving employees helped create a poster with their hand prints to signify all hands are involved every move.

 

On the Road with A.J. – Day Six

2014 October 6
AAA 2

Loading a shuttle truck in the heat and humidity of Tampa, Fla. is a maddening process. In your mind, you know that what you’re doing is simply the same  — exact – thing you just did at origin in terms of reloading the truck. And in this case, we needed a shuttle at origin too. But mind over matter is the name of the game. And once we parked the big rig in the lot of AAA Moving & Storage and pulled up the shuttle truck, we started the transfer like it was a new job.

aaa 3

Roger Thompson, Judi Gottried, Marty Schulz of AAA Moving & Storage

We had pulled into town that morning and the folks at AAA were waiting for us to get started, including Roger Thompson who was our primary loader and arranged the majority of the items we transferred from the big truck to the little one. I was already anticipating the fact that I would be more participative as we got closer to final delivery – I had learned a few things along the way and I knew Bob would let me do more. I was right, and the sweating started like a waterfall.

vICTOR 2

Victor Victor, the hot dog guy and his special Italian sausage

About two hours into the process, the skies opened up and a steamy rain soaked the parking lot, not cooling off anything, but made our efforts like operating under water. When the rain slowed down, a vote was cast (I wasn’t there for the vote) and I was elected to get lunch across the street at a food truck parked next to a junk yard.

While this blog was intended to be about moving, I’m going to take a side track and tell you about the best Italian sausage I’ve ever had. Victor, the owner of the food truck piled on the onions, peppers, sauerkraut, ketchup, mustard and whatever else your heart could desire. He told me people come from miles around to pick up his sausage to put in spaghetti or other dishes because it’s so good. We were in food heaven – never mind that it felt like 100 degrees outside. Nothing stops me from eating. Clearly.

We took a break to eat and then got right back to loading the shuttle truck in preparation for final delivery the next day. We agreed to meet back at AAA at 7 a.m. and then head to our customer’s new home to unload. I was anxious to finish the job, but knew I was in for a workout.

 

AAA 1

Loading a shipment to a shuttle at AAA Moving & Storage in Tampa, Fla.

 

On the Road with A.J. is a blog series written by Executive Vice President of Wheaton World Wide Moving, A.J. Schneider as he travels across the country with truck driver Bob Krumpols of Preferred Movers of Nashville, Tenn. He will be experiencing life on the road while assisting with everyday interstate moves.  Follow A.J.’s journey on the Wheaton World Wide Moving blog, Facebook page and Twitter page.

On the Road with A.J. – Day Five

2014 September 30
by Wheaton World Wide Moving
Florida!

So here’s the thing….when a truck driver asks you to scout out a spot to park the truck for the evening, make sure you know what you’re talking about. As I ran back to the truck – proudly, I might add – to let Bob know that it would be no problem to park in the back of the Holiday Inn Express in Valdosta, Georgia, my confidence level was 100 percent.

As Bob slammed on the brakes about halfway toward the spot I had identified, the look on his face indicated that my confidence was no longer warranted – not even a little bit.

“This is a big truck,” said Bob, clearly annoyed. “I couldn’t event get one of our regular trucks in there.”

At this point, the truck was past the point of no return – backing up was the only option. Bob jumped out of the truck to survey my fiasco and then motioned me to come around.

“OK,” he said. “I’m going to back up and get parallel to that truck over there. You get behind me and make sure I don’t run into him or the fence. If I get close, make sure you let me know…can you do that?”

Bob did a masterful job overcoming my rookie mistake and backing the truck into the specific spot he was looking for. And I did a terrible job indicating how close the back of the truck was to other stationary objects. In the end, Bob took me aside and showed me how to properly indicate how much space is left at the back of the truck so the driver can see you in the rear-view mirrors and step on the brake in time to avoid an accident.

A tractor-trailer is a massive object. Perhaps you’ve gathered this by now, but calculating the swing of the truck and the trailer around corners, keeping the tires and fenders away from tall curbs and generally planning your exit from wherever you park is something that comes with a lot of experience.

Clearly, the same concerns apply to parking near a customer’s house and why information regarding potential shuttles is so important to discover before the driver ever shows up.

Tomorrow, we’re loading our customer’s shipment onto a shuttle truck to deliver it on Wednesday to residence – more to come!

Valdosta, Ga

On the Road with A.J. is a blog series written by Executive Vice President of Wheaton World Wide Moving, A.J. Schneider as he travels across the country with truck driver Bob Krumpols of Preferred Movers of Nashville, Tenn. He will be experiencing life on the road while assisting with everyday interstate moves.  Follow A.J.’s journey on the Wheaton World Wide Moving blog, Facebook page and Twitter page.

On the Road with A.J. – Day Four

2014 September 29

What are the odds? As we pulled in the Flying J truck stop for lunch, there sat a Wheaton truck with the “kids in the box” logo. Looks like everyone had the same idea – take a break and grab something to eat.Truck 5

We looked around for the Wheaton driver but never crossed paths and by the time we got back outside he was already gone. It was good to see a familiar logo. In the meantime, I wandered around the store where yoTruck 1u could buy anything from tools and GPS devices to wood carvings of animals and chicken fingers…which I did….and lots of them.

As I wandered around thinking of the reasons why I should buy a key chain with my name on it, or a “just truckin” t-shirt, the loudspeaker came on with the following announcement:

“Customer number nine, your shower is ready. Customer number nine…your shower is ready.”

Yes…since you asked… I thought about finding a way to take a picture of the pay showers at the truck stop, but no matter how I worked through it, the result ended in my arrest. So, you’ll have to use your imagination.

Besides the moving part of Truck 2our business, drivers have a lot to contend with as it relates to the little things we take for granted – like finding a place to take a shower. Or finding a hotel that has appropriate truck parking. Many drivers have “sleeper cabs” with enough space to bunk down for the night, but without the amenities of water or refrigeration for food. Luckily for me, Bob’s truck is the exception and he has both – so getting a cold drink or grabbing a snack is a lot easier. Bottom line, if you have eating tendencies like mine (..Truck 3in my world, chicken wings are their own food group) it would be very difficult to eat healthy meals when fast food and truck-stop burritos are prevalent.

Another thought occurred to me – there’s no such thing as a sick day. If you’re supposed to be at the customer’s home at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning, you can’t simply call off because you have the flu. There’s no backup plan to have someone fill-in for you if you start to feel bad at 9 p.m. the night before.

I asked Bob what the options are in that situation. The answer? There are no options – you fight through it and get the job done.

When you think about it, most of us have some flexibility in our jobs. We can use our PTO time or a sick day and more than likely, someone in the office can pick up the slack when you’re down and out. When you’re out on the road, there’s tremendous autonomy, and tremendous pressure.

We’re sitting still for today to make sure our Hours of Service are reset and that we’re ready to go tomorrow when we’ll begin our trek to Tampa, Fla. to deliver Mrs Bennett’s shipment – right on time.

Check back later for a video tour of Bob’s truck!

 

On the Road with A.J. is a blog series written by Executive Vice President of Wheaton World Wide Moving, A.J. Schneider as he travels across the country with truck driver Bob Krumpols of Preferred Movers of Nashville, Tenn. He will be experiencing life on the road while assisting with everyday interstate moves.  Follow A.J.’s journey on the Wheaton World Wide Moving blog, Facebook page and Twitter page.

On the Road with A.J. – Day Three

2014 September 27
by Wheaton World Wide Moving
Selfie

For those of us who find ourselves yelling at the slow person in the left lane to move over,  you’ll find it interesting to note that truck drivers do exactly the same thing to each other. Sitting up high in the cab of a truck gives you a completely different perspective on the road. It’s almost like there are two different, but parallel universes happening on the highway – one up here and one down there. It’s a bit disconcerting for the uninitiated. But once you get the hang of it, the massive windshield and the height perspective give you an unbelievable view of all the scenery our country has to offer.

From the antelope, horses and cows in the grassy plains, to the mountains and interesting rock formations, we Day three - 2saw it all unfold on a 60 mph (…maybe faster…) HD screen in front of us. The screen was covered in bug juice, but that just adds to the reality of the situation.

Having said that, if you have attention deficit issues, then Nebraska and the portions of Wyoming we drove through today would not be a problem as there is little to pay close attention to…if you know what I’m saying. Which leads to the issue at hand – our drivers spend hundreds of hours and thousands of miles on the road that could easily put you to sleep with its monotony. It’s also physically taxing to drive a big-rig weighing many tons made up of truck, trailer, sloshing fuel (more than 300 gallons) and, of course, household goods. Add a brisk wind to the mix and you’ve got a chore on your hands to keep the truck in the middle your lane.

It’s not easy to drive those hours by yourself in the cab of a truck. Personally, I don’t like myself well enough to spend that much time alone…with myself.

That’s just my opinion after driving my first full day – we’ll test my theory on tomorrow’s drive. And to be clear (…this is for the benefit our award winning safety director) I have not, aDay three - 3nd will not attempt to drive the truck at any point during this process. I promise. I did request and receive the requisite passenger authorization to ride in the truck, in case you were wondering.

And since we’re talking about safety issues, I thought I’d take it a step further. Last week, Mark Kirschner and I spent time in Washington, D.C. visiting our state legislators at the Capitol in order to ensure that the various rules affecting our industry were top-of-mind. One of those issues are Hours of Service rules. I won’t bore you with a recap of the rules – any driver reading this knows full well what they are. As a company, we believe strongly in a culture of safety both for our drivers and for the people with whom they share the road. The rules are there for good reasons.

However, I am now keenly aware of the planning that drivers must do to ensure they meet their hours-of-service driving requirements. It’s not a simple task to plan out a trip based on load and delivery spreads, customer expectations, customer reality and then unforeseen circumstances. For example, one of the issues we discussed with our state representatives is the oversight in the regulations that makes it difficult for drivers to get their trucks out of their customer’s neighborhoods and to a safe place where they can spend the night if their driving hours for the day are used up. As an industry, for example, we’d like to see an allowance that would let drivers to go a certain distance away from residence even if loading runs long for the day. Getting stranded in a neighborhood due to hours of service rules isn’t good for anybody.

Wow – that got serious for a second. But I want to illustrate the point that the word “driving” is a bit of a misnomer when you’re referring to the profession. It’s much more. It’s clearly time management, financial management, people management (remember the customers, packers, movers and loaders) and the plain old stress management of knowing you’re driving nearly 3,000 miles from Salt Lake City to Tampa Florida and then back to Kennesaw, Georgia.

As we drove along, Bob reminded me that our first customer delivery, for Mrs. Bennett in Tampa, was hinging on the fact that she too was making the trek from origin to destination by car.

“That’s a lot of driving,” said Bob shaking his head. And she’s not a professional. We’ll be checking on her progress over the weekend.

On the Road with A.J. is a blog series written by Executive Vice President of Wheaton World Wide Moving, A.J. Schneider as he travels across the country with truck driver Bob Krumpols of Preferred Movers of Nashville, Tenn. He will be experiencing life on the road while assisting with everyday interstate moves.  Follow A.J.’s journey on the Wheaton World Wide Moving blog, Facebook page and Twitter page

On the Road with A.J. – Day Two

2014 September 26
by Wheaton World Wide Moving
day 2 2

Loading is done, our customers are happy and we’re near Cheyenne, Wyo.

If I had to pick a word to describe the past two days, it would be relentless. We were getting our movers (another good crew) from A-1 Pioneer by 7 a.m., at the customer’s home by 8 a.m. and finished at about 4:30 p.m. At home, I’m used to putting in days that can start as early as 5 a.m. and go well into the night. This is an entirely different animal.

Before I move forward, let me say this – we couldn’t have had a more satisfied customer today. Once again, we brought coffee and sweet rolls and spent time talking her through the move. We walked through every room and virtually every item. Mrs. Bennett had packed most of her possessions and we were impressed with her organization and packing skills. She was on it. By the time the move was done, Bob was helping her and her son with directions to their destination in Tampa and getting pictures taken together.

Once again, I was the odd-job man and offered help wherever I could throughout the day. These guys never stopped. They never complained. They never sat down (the same cannot be said for me).

Bob with customers

Wheaton World Wide Moving Driver Bob Krumpols with happy customers!

The highlight was when Carl complimented me on my blanket wrapping of a long cylindrical light pole.

“Hey, that looks pretty good,” he said. “I know, right?” I said beaming. It doesn’t take much.

About an hour later I had regressed. He had to show me how to wrap a piece of furniture that I had thrown a blanket over and made to look like one of the ghosts from the PacMan game – the ones that were chasing you, not the ones that were running from you when you ate the fruit.

So, here’s what I took away from the last two days: This is a really hard job.

But it’s not because stuff is heavy. And it’s not because there’s so much going on. And it’s not because there’s a kind of necessary organized chaos in order to figure out what goes where on the truck. And it’s not because it’s soDay 2 -3metimes dangerous. It’s because of all of those things and about a thousand others. It’s all of the above – and it’s relentless. Prepping the house is a significant process to do well. Not-to-mention the clean-up. This is difficult work.

This will sound cliché for someone who’s decided to do it for one week. But I think we can all agree it SOUNDS hard. I certainly didn’t think it would be a vacation. But to see it in action and participate is an entirely different story.

I should point out that what I’ve described is, what Bob calls, the first quarter of a four-quarter game. The next two quarters have to do with getting the goods to destination. This became abundantly clear as we pulled into the Wyoming Port of Entry to log our entry into the state in early evening. We lined up with about 20 other trucks – at least five other household goods carriers – to get checked-in.  Each driver, paperwork in hand, ready to continue their journey through beautiful, but rugged territory to wherever they were going.

As we pulled away I was already thinking about home.

On the Road with A.J. is a blog series with Executive Vice President of Wheaton World Wide Moving, A.J. Schneider, traveling across the country with truck driver Bob Krumpols of Preferred Movers of Nashville, Tenn. He will be experiencing life on the road while assisting with everyday interstate moves.  Follow A.J.’s journey on the Wheaton World Wide Moving blog, Facebook page and Twitter page.

 

On the Road with A.J. – Day 1

2014 September 25
by Wheaton World Wide Moving
Day 1

Let’s just cut to the chase:  I did a tiny fraction of what the Preferred Movers of Nashville crew did on the final day of a corporate pack-and-load job here in Tooele, Utah – and I’m so tired I can barely move. Actually, I have no feeling in any part of my body. But in my defense, no one reminded me that at 5,100 feet above sea level….tying your shoes can feel like a major undertaking (you know…cause the air is thinner). But I digress.

At the beginning of the day, Bob assigned Carl, the expert loader, to babysit me. And eventually, I became a kind of errand boy. Bring rubber blanket wrap straps here, take apart the legs on that table there, wrap that piece of furniture (but be careful because the bands really hurt when they spring off and hit you in the eye) and then collapse that wire dog crate (no joke,  you need a PHD to figure out how to collapse a wire dog crate without losing a finger …. I had to look at the directions which were hidden under the fluffy dog bed inside).

Here’s what I was NOT doing. I was not picking up brutally heavy pieces of a bedroom suit, bringing them down a flight of stairs, out the front door and onto the trailer. But the two helpers – Will and Josh –  from A-1 Pioneer were. As a side note they were as polite as they were huge.

I was not moving 1,000 pounds of fitness weights and incredibly awkward, thick, rubber workout matts that weighed nearly 100 pounds each as they flopped around like giant fish resisting their place on the floor of the trailer.

I was not standing on a ladder inside the trailer loading the shipment with they eye of an artist as he looks at his first sketch on canvas.

“I don’t know if I like that,” said Carl, looking up and surveying the incredible jigsaw puzzle he’d been working on all morning. “Remember that piece upstairs, you know, the one that looked like this, right here…please bring that, it will fit perfectly here.”

Seriously? – How do you even remember that?

And, perhaps most importantly, I was not managing the customer’s expectations at every point during the day. But Bob was. He had brought them doughnuts and coffee in the morning. He had a clear understanding that we had to be done by a certain time because the customer’s kids were attending an important sports event that evening. He checked in with them regularly throughout the day. Toward the end of the day, he vacuumed the house.

Throughout it all, he looked like a professional football coach – clipboard in hand, going through inventories, giving orders where necessary and providing drinks and protein snacks to the guys when they needed a boost.

The customers were thrilled. They hugged Bob and thanked him profusely as they rushed out to their appointment. I concentrated on breathing.

Watch a video from the move here

 

On the Road with A.J. is a blog series about Executive Vice President of Wheaton World Wide Moving, A.J. Schneider, traveling across the country with truck driver Bob Krumpols of Preferred Movers of Nashville, Tenn. He will be experiencing life on the road while assisting with everyday interstate moves.  Follow A.J.’s journey on the Wheaton World Wide Moving blog, Facebook page and Twitter page

On the Road with A.J.

2014 September 24
by Wheaton World Wide Moving
A.J. with his dog, Rosie. Rosie will not be joining A.J. on the trip.

Executive Vice President of Wheaton World Wide Moving, A.J. Schneider, is hitting the road with truck driver Bob Krumpols of Preferred Movers of Nashville, Tenn. He will be experiencing life on the road while assisting with everyday interstate moves. Here is A.J.’s first blog,, taking place the night before meeting up with Bob.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I’m going out on the road to work as a mover (yes, I’m completely serious) for the first time. I’ll be working for Bob Krumpols, the owner of Preferred Movers of Nashville, two-time Wheaton Agent of the Year and a former AMSA Super Van Operator.  This summer Bob decided to get back in the truck and spend peak season making sure his customers are getting the best service in the industry. He’s a guy known for his relentless pursuit of perfection. So…..where do I fit in? I want to learn more about what our drivers do, how they provide top-notch service to our customers and get a feel for what I already know is going to be one of the hardest jobs in the world (…especially working for Bob).

Here’s the deal: I’ve asked Bob to treat me like anyone else. No taking it easy, no holding back (he agreed and told me to start eating bananas and drinking water…) I’ll meet up with Bob and a member of his crew in Tooele, UT. We’ll load a big shipment for one of our largest accounts on Wednesday, Sept. 24 and then, on Sept. 25, we’ll take care of a shipment just up the road in Layton for one of our COD customers. Once we’re loaded up, we’ll drive from Layton to our customer’s new homes in Kennesaw, Georgia and then Tampa, Florida where we’ll unload and ensure we’ve got a couple more satisfied and completely loyal customers.

For those of you who haven’t checked a map lately, it’s a long way from Utah to Florida. As folks at the home office know, I have trouble sitting still for more than a few minutes. I’m concerned Bob will kick me out of the truck before we hit the city limits. But I’ll do my best to make it all the way and discover some of the tricks of the trade.

You can follow our journey on Facebook, Twitter and the Wheaton blog.

Wish me luck – I’ll need it.

A.J. Schneider
Executive Vice President
Wheaton World Wide Moving | Bekins Van Lines