‘Tis the season to be thankful!

According to Merriam-Webster, the first known usage of the word “thankful” was before the 12th century. It defines the word “thankful” as “conscious of benefit received, expressive of thanks and well-pleased”. At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® we are thankful for many things – the ability to move people forward – to a new home, a new office space, to be closer to grandchildren or to a newlywed couple’s first home. We are “well-pleased” to work for a company which stresses the importance of “being your best and having fun” because work should be more than just work, it should be a place where meeting new people every day and knowing that we are helping relieve a stressful situation can be gratifying, rewarding and, dare we say, “fun”. We “express thanks” that we have as one of our core values THE GRANDMA RULE® which, in its essence, means to treat people the way we would want to be treated, or, more specifically, the way we’d want our own grandmother to be treated. We are “conscious of the benefit received” because our business stresses the importance of being involved in our community. We serve the Orlando area by spearheading collection drives for mothers and children in domestic shelters and collecting necessary items to help animal shelters cater to their furry clients and by offering discounts and free moves to individuals in need as well as charitable organizations. We are grateful to our employees who strive for excellence every single day whether that be by offering a friendly voice on the phone or by easing frustration and adding levity to a stress-filled moving day. Finally, we are grateful to our customers, whether you are using TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® for the first time or you are returning to us again and again, we would not be in business without you.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® – the Movers Who Care®

In the world of marketing a company slogan or tagline can be as important as the product that company is selling. We’ve all heard Nike’s “Just do it”, “America runs on Dunkin’” and Tom’s Shoes’ “One for One” slogans or taglines. According to a recent Hubspot blog, slogans are audible representations of a brand. The slogan might grab consumers’ attention more readily than the name a company or product might. Plus, they’re simpler to understand and remember. The goal? To leave a key brand message in consumers’ minds so that, if they remember nothing else from an advertisement, they’ll remember the slogan.

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we live and breathe our slogan, Movers Who Care®. For over 30 years the company has been known in the moving industry as just that – a moving company who cares about its customers, its employees and the communities in which it conducts business. Care of employees comes in many forms, not the least of which is the opportunity for training throughout one’s career. Each fall the company hosts a Frontline Annual Meeting in Lansing, Michigan, Lansing, where TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has its roots and its company headquarters. For 2 & ½ days, frontline employees from just about every single job title – Sales, Operations, Customer Care, Marketing, Moving and Driving – are brought together to learn more about making themselves better in their current positions as well as to gain knowledge about where their careers might take them within the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system. It was very telling when the crowd was asked to raise their hand if they had been promoted within the company. Approximately 80% of the hands went up. A company that is willing to invest in its employees will end up with loyal employees who are motivated to do their jobs to the best of their ability. When you are doing a great job, people notice, and those people are then promoted to positions with increased responsibility within the company.Those employees will then become ambassadors for their brand throughout their communities. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is known as a “family-oriented” company. The company literally began with two brothers and then it grew exponentially when their mom took over the business after the brothers returned to college. The family atmosphere is encouraged and celebrated throughout the franchise system across the country and abroad. The  Movers Who Care® tagline is not just an advertising gimmick, it’s a way of life within the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system for both our customers and our employees.

Movers For Mutts – Collection to benefit Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando

In keeping with our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Core Value of “giving back to the community” the Orlando East office recently launched our “Movers For Mutts” fall collection campaign. This is the second year we have organized a collection to benefit Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.  We will be collecting food, toys and treats for the animals along with cleaning supplies for the shelter. Pet Alliance depends on community donations in the form of financial gifts and goods and products in order to shelter and care for thousands of dogs and cats every year. Collection drives such as this help off-set costs they can otherwise use for the direct benefit of the animals in their care. “Pet Alliance is grateful for the support of Two Men and a Truck and the Central Florida community. Each animal that comes through our doors receives a full veterinary exam, vaccines, microchips and spay/neuter surgery in addition to daily care and enrichment. This represents an investment of $350 for each dog and $225 for each cat. We could not do the important work of saving lives and finding new homes for these pets without the community efforts such as Movers for Mutts.” Cathy Rodgers, Director of Philanthropy and Marketing

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is partnering with businesses in the Orlando area. These locations will serve as drop off points for essential pet items:

Pine Castle Animal Hospital

Aunt Bee’s Pet Grooming

All 4 Pets – Belle Isle

Preppy Pets

Jarrett Ford

If you’d like to join us as a collection partner, please call 407-852-1777 or e-mail terri.grady@twomen.com.

Keeping our cool in times of distress!

While it has now been a couple of weeks since Hurricane Irma roared through the Caribbean and the state of Florida, we are now getting feedback from our customers about the service they received during the approaching storm. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® asks for feedback after every single move and approximately 35 – 40% of our customers complete the Move Experience Survey. We did our best to get moves completed prior to the hurricane’s arrival and we shifted many moves to later dates due to high winds, flooding and loss of power. The moving industry has many challenges over which we have no control. If a home’s closing date is suddenly rescheduled, the move must be rescheduled. If a house sale falls through, the homeowner postpones the move until further notice. When there is damage to an existing home or one’s new home due to a hurricane, the move must be delayed. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has lot of experience in moving, 32 years to be exact, so we know how to anticipate and plan for just about anything. The feedback we’ve received so far would indicate we did a great job in weathering Hurricane Irma. We’re proud of our team for ensuring our employees and customers were safe throughout the days leading up to the storm. Here are excerpts from recent Move Experience Surveys:

“John (call staff) was great at helping me with a prompt, accurate and detailed plan for our move. This was critical because we had to move the day before Irma struck! Randall and Brandon cared for our belongings as if they were their own. They moved my family to our new home with professionalism and a kindness that seems sorely lacking in other businesses today. Upon arrival at our destination, Randall and Brandon placed our furniture and had things up and running (as if we had always been there) in no time at all. I don’t recommend moving just hours before a major hurricane – but the Two Men and a Truck team made it come together beautifully! I don’t know how we ever moved without them, but I do know they are our only choice in the future! I will be recommending you to all my friends!”

“Eddy and Pedro were outstanding in both the loading and unloading of my items……..in spite of the threat of Hurricane Irma. They kept me up to date on their progress from Florida to Georgia and expected arrival times. Kudos to them and David for setting up the move.”

“I really appreciate the service that went into the move especially with Hurricane Irma approaching Florida. It was such a time that I was worried about the move taking too long because of the hurricane coming. However, to my surprise they sent 4 guys when I was expecting 2 and the move went very fast. I was super happy on how fast the move went.”

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® delivering essentials to Hurricane Irma victims!

Hurricane Irma made its way through the state of Florida, resulting in thousands of dollars of damage and many lost lives. While some of our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® brethren in South Florida sustained damage to facilities and trucks, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Orlando East was lucky enough to come out of the storm unscathed. All employees were safe and sound and back to work by Wednesday, September 13. We feel very lucky to have dodged the ravages of Irma and, as a result, felt compelled to help others who were less fortunate. One of the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Core Values is “giving back to the community” and in keeping with that value, we sent a driver and one of our 26’ trucks to Pensacola, FL where the Pensacola franchise had collected many pallets of water, diapers, baby wipes, cleaning supplies and other essential items originally destined for the victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Many of those items were delivered to Houston but with the impending Hurricane Irma on the horizon, the delivery efforts were cut short. Working in conjunction with Convoy of Hope and TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Pensacola, we were able to deliver the water and supplies to a drop off location in Ocala, FL. We thank our driver, Leo, for making the long trip and delivering the items on behalf of our franchise thus hopefully solidifying our tagline as the Movers Who Care®!

 

Preparing for Irma

As I type this, Hurricane Irma is making its way towards Florida at a rapid clip. While the eastern coast of Florida is bracing for the worst of the storm, the Orlando area is also under watch. According to the Orlando Sentinel, “Hurricane-force winds are extending out 60 miles from Irma’s center, with tropical storm-force winds reaching out 185 miles.” What does this mean to TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® and our customers? It means we watch and wait and prepare as best we can. We’ve already blocked all Saturday afternoon move slots as the winds are expected to pick up at that time making for dangerous moving conditions as well as hazards for our employees and trucks on the road. The safety of our staff and our customers is our utmost concern and we will not move anyone under any condition if it means we are putting our employees or our customers in harm’s way. We have moves scheduled through Saturday morning but to complicate the uncertainty of the severity of the hurricane further, we are facing a growing concern about the availability of fuel. While we are doing the best we can to keep our trucks filled with gas in preparation for the next couple of days’ worth of moving commitments, we are unsure if we will be able to refuel between now and Saturday. In times such as this, with uncertain weather on the horizon, the Orlando population is bracing for the worst and they are buying essentials such as bottled water, bread, milk and GAS! There are long lines at every gas station and many are running out of gas as patrons fill not only their vehicles but extra gas cans for generators or for future use. We’ve done our best to ensure all trucks have full tanks of gas and we hope to be able to literally “weather the storm” while accommodating our customers as best we can. Let’s hope Irma moves along quickly, causing little to no damage and we can get on with the business of “Moving People Forward.” We hope and pray that all of those in Irma’s path are safe and secure. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® will be on stand by to help those in need when and if the time comes.

Things I learned about moving – Part 2

In continuing this post about moving I will share a few more tips for anyone who has an impending move:

  1. Attempt to sell as much furniture as possible long before your move, particularly if you know for certain that an item will not fit in your new home. If you are downsizing it is very likely you will have larger pieces of furniture that simply will not fit into your smaller home. In our case, it was a large, 3-piece bookcase that fit perfectly along a long wall in our existing family room. We KNEW it was not going to fit into our smaller bungalow but, despite that knowledge, we hung onto it until our actual moving day. Had we attempted to sell it via our neighborhood garage sale forum or Facebook Marketplace long in advance, we could have saved ourselves the time and money spent for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to transport it to the local consignment shop.
  2. That brings me to another important lesson learned. Consignment shops don’t always want your furniture. They will only take what they think they can sell. They also may have certain days of the week where they will accept furniture. It’s best to know that in advance so you are not left with furniture you’d planned to drop off when it turns out they will not take it or you’ve picked the wrong day.
  3. What to do with the furniture you can’t consign? There’s no reason to put it in storage – you will just be putting off the inevitable and spending money to store items you will never need again. We found that by offering furniture to our friends whose adult children were moving into their first apartments we had some eager recipients. They were ecstatic to get decent furniture at a low price and they didn’t care that it was wasn’t in the most up-to-date fabric. A second option is to find a business that re-purposes furniture. They will happily take the item and work their magic with a paintbrush and some new decorative knobs.
  4. DIY is not the best option when it comes to moving furniture. We learned that the hard way when moving my dad’s furniture out of his home a couple of summers ago. We had a total of 6 people, which included 3 strong men, but we damaged just about every single piece of furniture we moved. Of course, that group included a school superintendent, an accountant and a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisee, so we really had ZERO expertise in how to properly move furniture! Leave the furniture loading/unloading to trained professionals.
  5. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® only hires individuals who have passed a background and drug test. They are then trained in-house as well as on the job by TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® training managers. When our moving day arrived, it was so nice to merely supervise while the experts did the heavy lifting and loading. Our team from TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® did an excellent job of wrapping each piece of furniture and carefully loading everything onto the truck and then unloading each item into storage. Keep in mind that if you are moving your items into storage, you will either need to rent or buy moving pads from TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, or you should have a large supply of quilts and blankets available. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® will not leave their furniture pads on your items unless you’ve paid for them – they stock their trucks with enough pads for the job but they will need those pads for the next move. Our team did a great job of expertly packing the storage unit, using just about every inch of space available.  

We hope you’ve found these tips helpful! If you have tips you’d like to add, please feel free to comment.

Things I learned about moving – Part 1

When a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisee and marketing manager move, work and home life collide! My husband purchased his first TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise 7 years ago and I started working as the marketing manager 2+ years ago. Having been in the moving business for what we felt was a long enough time to understand the do’s and don’t’s of moving, we experienced a rude awakening when it came time to prepare to move out of the home we’d inhabited for 24 years!
Here are a few tips to help our customers who are facing a move in the future:
1. Assume you have more stuff than you think you have! Unless you moved within the last year, YOU HAVE ACCUMULATED MORE “THINGS” THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE. Case in point – collection of aprons, never been worn, in featured photo!

Grady Family displaying apron collection!

2. Start purging/selling/donating items far in advance of your move. In fact, even if you aren’t planning to move, go through each room, cabinet by cabinet, drawer by drawer, and eliminate anything you haven’t used in the past year. You will thank yourself when it comes to moving day.
3. A closet (closets?) full of clothing and shoes takes up more space than you realize. DONATE ALL YOU CAN long before the move! Typically, you think of the female in a household having a closet full of shoes, handbags and clothing. In our case, I had diligently been clearing out clothing once or twice a year for many years and I thought I had pared it down to only the most essential items. Even so, I found myself donating (5) bags of clothing and shoes prior to moving day. My husband, however, filled multiple wardrobe boxes and bags with clothing (can we count 67 golf shirts, many of which were the same color with “striped” being an obvious favorite?), ballcaps (the beloved fitted ballcaps for each MLB team which have been sitting, dust-covered and forgotten, for years and years on the closet shelf), shoes (how many pairs of running shoes does a non-runner need?) and jackets (as a former coach, a new jacket emblazoned with his name appeared to be a must each year – not an easy piece of clothing to donate unless there are many other “Coach Gradys” in the area). We have more purging to do!
4. Your children are less nostalgic than you are. High school certificates, trophies and accolades are just not that important once your cherubs are out of the nest. They’ve moved on, they live in small apartments and they could care less about accomplishments that are a decade behind them. If they don’t care about them, you shouldn’t either! DO NOT BE TEMPTED to box them up and save them in your next home hoping they will one day see the light. Let them go! If you really can’t face the idea of never looking at those certificates again, take a picture and let “the cloud” store them for decades to come!
5. Dusty books from Grandma and Grandpa’s house are not worth moving! Yes, they may say “Merry Christmas, 1929” but are you REALLY going to sit down and read that old novel? It killed me to donate my old Nancy Drew mystery books from the early 70’s but, realistically, our own kids never showed an interest and it’s even less likely that our future grandchildren will! Donate them to the local library and let someone else treasure them like you did!

That’s Part 1 in my series – “Things I learned about moving”. Come back again for more insight and helpful tips!

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary Theo!

We are celebrating a significant anniversary this month! Theo Whylly, our Move Manager, is celebrating his 10th year with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Orlando East. Theo is a very hard-working individual who wears many hats around the office. As the Move Manager, Theo is responsible for hiring new movers and drivers, ensuring all new employees fill out the proper paperwork, get drug-tested and pass a background check prior to hire. He then makes sure new employees are trained on how to properly wrap furniture and load and unload the truck without incurring damage. He also makes box deliveries when customers purchase boxes ahead of their move and while he’s out and about he may stop in and do spot checks on moves in progress to ensure all procedures and processes are being followed correctly. In addition, should a damage occur, Theo takes care of coordinating the repair or replacement of the damaged item and communicating with the customer. On top of all that, you can sometimes see Theo filling in for a driver who calls in sick and can’t make it to work. As mentioned, Theo wears many hats!!

In addition to all the hats Theo wears at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, he also wears the hat of husband and father. Theo enjoys sharing cooking responsibilities with his entire family as each child gets a chance to plan and cook the entire meal one night a week. Congrats Theo on your anniversary – we are lucky your family shares you with us! We wish you many more anniversaries with our team!

Help us celebrate moms in need this Mother’s Day!

For many, Mother’s Day is the day in May that families set aside to honor and celebrate the loving mom who brought them into the world and nurtured them into adulthood. But what if your mom was living in a domestic shelter? That makes her no less loving and nurturing but it can put a damper on her special day. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® recognizes that all moms are special regardless of their living situation. That is why all TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchises participate in the Movers for Moms® program. Each franchise selects a local shelter serving women and children in their area, along with business partners who will collect personal needs items to be delivered to the women for Mother’s Day. This year, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Orlando East partnered with Harbor House of Central Florida. Harbor House serves women and children in the Orlando area and they conduct educational seminars to inform the general public, law enforcement, social workers, children and business leaders to recognize the signs of domestic abuse. The goal is to prevent and end domestic abuse through education programs that teach to Recognize, Respond and Refer. We are grateful to our collection partners, Pure Barre Mills Park, Pure Barre Dr. Phillips, Conway Learning Center, KinderCare, Micross Components, Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, Chick-fil-A (Orange Ave) and Mindstream Media. These caring businesses have been collecting personal needs items which we will deliver to Harbor House the week before Mother’s Day.

If you would like to donate items such as soap, body wash, deodorant, diapers of all sizes, new sheets/towels/women’s underwear (all sizes), baby bottles, toddler cups, baby strollers, cell phones, new twin-sized bedding/pillow cases, please feel free to visit any of the drop off locations listed above. You may also drop off your donation to our TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® office located at 379 W. Michigan St., Suite 200, Orlando, FL 32806 before May 11.