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.
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 you 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 our 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 (..in 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.
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 saw 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, and 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
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).
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 sometimes 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.
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
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.
Wish me luck – I’ll need it.
Executive Vice President
Wheaton World Wide Moving | Bekins Van Lines
Are you restless where you live? Maybe you are a college student who wants to have more opportunities to socialize. Or maybe you have always lived in the same state and want new scenery. Perhaps, you just want more space for your family and for yourself. If this is so, you probably wonder if it is time to move.
Of course, this is a very tough decision. One way to help the decision-making process is to examine other people’s motivations to move. The US Census Bureau did a survey to find the main reasons why people moved. Compare these reasons to see if moving is right for you.
Many times a senior moves from his or her home for retirement. Often, their children and grandchildren live far away, so they move to get closer. They don’t need a large house for all their children anymore, and oftentimes seniors have the home paid in full anyway. They can enjoy life anywhere they’d like, usually in a warmer place.
9. Looking for a Job
One response to unemployment is to move to where the jobs are. You take a lot of risks with this approach, but the potential reward is substantial. Many industries concentrate in certain cities or states. A well-planned move to these areas allows unemployed people a better chance to find work.
8. To Get a Better Neighborhood
Many people see their neighborhood as a limitation. They may feel unsafe because of a higher crime rate. Or perhaps they want a more close-knit community. Maybe they want to be farther away from populated areas. If you are not satisfied with what your neighborhood offers you, moving is definitely an option.
7. A Change in Marital Status
Marriage and divorce are both large drivers of the housing market. Newlywed couples will move to a new home to start a new chapter in their lives. Divorces obviously drive the couple apart and out of the home. Sometimes both people will move to get away from bad memories, even if one of them has ownership of the home.
6. For an Easier Commute
When you switch from a long to a short commute, you realize how much more you get done at home. The added stress commutes give to our lives justifies looking for a more accommodating home. A closer commute saves you energy and gas money and lets you enjoy more of your life at home.
5. To Own a Home, Not Rent a Home
In America, we have pride in owning our own homes. Our homes are symbols of stability and economic achievement. A home also represents a solid investment for the future, so moving from a rental to your own home is an important financial step.
4. To Find a Cheaper Home
Due to the mortgage bubble burst in 2008, more people consider cheaper homes as the smarter choice. While homeowners may give up a few amenities, cheaper homes make a more manageable investment. Large house payments burden budgets and can become liabilities. Downsizing is a smart financial move for some, especially if you can find a house that fits your lifestyle better.
3. To Get a New Job
Americans pursue opportunity wherever they can find it, even if that means moving across the country. Many companies have national or global markets, so a new promotion means a new house as well. The job market is no longer a local affair; online job searches allow you to find jobs locally or several states away. These days any job change carries the potential of moving.
2. To Establish a Family
Many couples start off in apartments or as renters. However, they want more room for children, especially if they want more than one or two. The first-time homeowner market is full of young couples looking to move into larger homes.
1. To Get a Better House
People are rarely satisfied by their first homes. Some may want more space in their backyard, others want more rooms for a larger family, and many want more rooms for fun or quiet study. In the end, people want a home that fits their interests and their desires. They will look until they have found the best home they can afford.
Making Your Decision
There are a variety of reasons to move to a new place. How do the decisions of others factor into your own? Well, when we examine their reasons, a common theme emerges: almost all of these reasons show people searching for the missing thing in their lives. Moving represents their attempt to find that next thing which will bring them satisfaction.
If your move brings value to your life, it must give you something you didn’t have before. If you keep having the thought to move, it’s probably because you are looking for something more. Find out what that thing is for you, and you will know where you need to move. When you are ready, Wheaton World Wide Moving will be ready to move you.
Since this is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week we will take a closer look at Wheaton World Wide Moving trucks and the equipment that our truck drivers use on a daily basis when moving household goods.
- Used to haul shipments typically less than 500 miles.
- Holds about 14,000 lbs.
- Also used as a shuttle truck to provide service when a residence is not accessible to a tractor trailer.
- Larger straight truck drivers require a Class B license.
- Contains about 2,000 cubic feet of space.
- Some models have side doors for easier access to loads.
- Typically 26’ long.
- May include an attic (also known as the peak, nose, bonnet).
- The door must have a decal with the carrier’s name, location and US Dot number.
- A tractor-trailer combination is typically used for long distance and interstate moves.
- Also referred to as the power unit.
- The term bob-tail is commonly refers to a tractor without a trailer.
- The tractor is sometimes called a semi since it is not complete until joined with a trailer.
- The door must have a decal with the carrier’s name, location and US Dot number.
- A semi engine is 6x larger than a car engine and has an average of 400-600 horsepower.
- The semi engine is designed to go 1,000,000 miles before re haul or rebuild.
- Tractors can hold up to 15 gallons of oil (a car typically takes 4-6 quarts).
- Typically 53’ long.
- Sometimes has a side door for easy access to loads.
- Belly Box is a compartment under the floor to store equipment used for loading/unloading.
- Holds about 29,500 lbs.
- Contains about 4,200 cubic feet of space.
- There are numbers on the roof, so the driver and packers can see how much cubic feet they have used and what they have left over for space.
- The trailer has heavier panels to help avoid damage from tree limbs and shrubbery in residential areas.
- An 18-wheeler (combo of tractor and trailer) has five axels.
Moving equipment and supplies that are normally found on a trailer/straight truck
National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, September 14-20, is when America takes the time to honor all professional truck drivers for their hard work and commitment in tackling one of our economy’s most demanding and important jobs.
At Wheaton World Wide Moving, truck drivers are the back bone of our company. We would like to take the time to show our appreciation and to do so, we need your help! Simply follow the steps below and you could win $100 Visa gift card!
1) Print the attached signs on this email and choose one of the two, if choosing the second, write your driver’s name on the line.
2) Take a picture of you holding the sign at your new residence, either inside or out.
3) Post the picture on our Facebook, Twitter or Google+ pages using the hashtags “#driveWheatonloyalty” and “#NTDAW” – You may also email your photos to email@example.com.
4) You will be automatically entered to win a $100 Visa gift card upon posting or email of your photo.
Join us between now and Sept. 27 (when the contest ends) in thanking all our professional male and female drivers for making your move successful and keeping our highways safe.
For official contest rules, click here.
Due to the sensitivity of fish and the delicate nature of a fish tank, the logistics of moving an aquarium is a tedious task, but can be done with proper planning and preparation.
Before deciding whether to move your aquarium yourself, it is best to discuss with your local Wheaton agent the options and special procedures when moving fish and their tanks.
If you decide to move your fish and tank yourself, remember to provide an adequate long-term traveling environment for your fish. Be mindful of extremes in temperatures, leakage and how fragile your aquarium can be. Plan on packing the the tank last before you move.
Prepare a holding container that is clean and toxin free for your fish. Make sure the holding container is equipped to fit the size of your fish as well as the amount of time it will be in there. Consider placing a loose-fitting lid to prevent the fish from jumping out. A somewhat dark-tinted color container is also an option since fish are less active in the night time and this relieves some stress.
If you are planning on transferring the tank water, use clean buckets to do so. If you are using new water at the new location, make sure it is properly set in terms of chemistry and temperature. Have towels and newspaper on hand for spills and messes that the transfer may cause.
Before getting the fish from the tank, soak the net in water for at least 10 minutes. Soaking it will soften and minimize damage to the fish. Also, soak the necessary siphon hoses. Make sure they are clean and have not been used to clean out anything other than clean water.
Now that you have made the appropriate preparations, you are ready to move the tank. First, siphon the sufficient amount of water from your tank into the fish’s holding container. If you have plants in your tank, transfer a few stems to the holding container to help reduce the shock of the fish. You should also provide aeration in an aquarium heater to the holding container, making sure the fish will have enough oxygen while they are waiting for their new location.
Gently and carefully catch the fish with the soaked net and transfer them to the prepared holding container.
Unplug and remove all external attachments that may fall off or get in the way when you move the tank. Disassemble the tank, pack the pumps, heaters and other accessories, carefully. For shorter moves, cleaning your filter is not necessary and you can place it in a hard sealed container, free of chemicals. For longer moves, you can either clean it or toss your filter.
Siphon water from the tank to the buckets you have prepared for the new location. If you are moving a short distance, leave only enough water in the tank to cover the gravel bed and landscaping. If it is a long distance move, all water will need to be drained or preserved.
Aquariums are sensitive, especially the sealant that keeps the glass together, when relocating it needs to be done with much caution and ease. With necessary assistance, lift the tank and bring it carefully to the next location. Set it down as gently as possible and keep it level during the move.
Once at the new site, reinstall all of the attachments. Bring the water containers and refill the tank by siphoning it into the aquarium. Avoid dumping the water into the tank as it can cause a mess and disrupt the landscaping.
Before placing the fish back into the water, test its temperature, pH, salinity and chlorine content with a test kit. Make sure the water in the holding container and the new tank are the same temperature. When the tank’s conditions are back to normal, gently return the fish to the tank using a soaked fish net.
Moving fish and aquariums on long distance moves can be a difficult task. Talk to your local Wheaton agent about the best options for you and your fish.
Since its founding in 1945 by Earnest S. Wheaton, one thing has always come first at Wheaton World Wide Moving – the customer. The customer-first philosophy is the cornerstone of Wheaton’s success as its employees take great pride in ensuring that each customer moved has a positive relocation experience. As such, Wheaton employs individuals who support and share its customer-focused philosophy. One individual that has exemplified the “Wheaton” way and the is Kellee Johnson.
Wheaton World Wide Moving CEO Mark Kirschner announced Kellee Johnson as the Employee of the Year at a staff meeting this morning, Sept. 9.
“I was completely shocked when they said my name because there was some pretty stiff competition,” Johnson said.
Johnson joined Wheaton World Wide Moving in 2008 and is known as a dedicated, loyal worker throughout her department in accounting and revenue. Johnson consistently exceeds the production level established for her position as an audit analyst. Johnson earned the Employee of the Quarter for Q2 (October – December) because of her excellent work ethic.
Below are photos from the announcement earlier today. There are also videos from the meeting on the Wheaton World Wide YouTube Channel.
Congratulations to Kellee and thank you for your hard work through the years for a well-deserved honor of Employee of the Year!