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What They Do

Insider Info

Movers today are more than a van that comes to your door to pick up your stuff when you move. Many moving companies offer a full range of services. These include packing, cost estimating and providing relocation information.

And movers don't just move furniture. Some companies specialize in moving cars, motorcycles, boats and even entire buildings.

Leo Miller owns a moving company. Miller has traditional management duties like hiring and firing and working with a secretary and crew. Plus, he says he has to "be able to pack, drive trucks, load and unload."

MaryScott Tuck is the training coordinator for the American Moving and Storage Association in Virginia. She says that computers continue to affect the field. "This is an area where the industry is making advancements almost daily, from GPS tracking of shipments and vehicles to computerized estimating to tracking of shipments within a warehouse facility."

Paul Van Remortel is the chairman of the board of an association of movers. He stresses the importance of computer skills for potential movers. "This trend is growing rapidly, and it is crucial for managers [to] know how to use these tools to provide professional customer service and control costs," he says.

A mover can manage their own company or work on salary for a larger company. As in any management career, a mover has to work as many hours as it takes to get the job done.

You may have to drive trucks, pack boxes and do other physical tasks. People interested in this field should be strong and in fairly good shape.

Graham Acreman is the vice-president of a moving company. He says some important skills are "perseverance, drive, general accounting skills, excellent management skills, effective communication and motivation skills and the ability to control costs."

Miller says there are tough decisions that have to be made in this job. "Having to make a decision to either make the customer happy by showing up on time or having the truck be put in the shop for a possible safety concern. Also, firing someone you know is a good person and who made a mistake."

Moving companies that want to grow need to build a good reputation. That means dealing effectively with consumer complaints. Some of the common ones are late pickups, late deliveries and lost or damaged items.

According to Tuck, "Anyone considering this industry must enjoy working with and meeting people during a stressful point in their lives [moving ranks among the five most stressful things a person will do in their life]."

Miller says it's important to have "a cool head, good communication skills. Do not let anyone see you stutter over any decision that you make, right or wrong. Employees and customers pick this up very quickly."

Teamwork is very important. "At every level of a company, the smooth transitions of a job from the salespersons, to the in-house coordinators, to the operations personnel, to the packers, to the van operators and finally to the destination have to be seamless and without important information being left out for a good move to occur," says Tuck.

At a Glance

Help relocate households, businesses and even buildings

  • Some movers specialize in moving cars, motorcycles or boats
  • You may have to drive trucks, pack boxes and do other physical tasks
  • Computer skills are important in this field