After checking out Epinions and movingscams.com, we decided to give ABF U-pack a shot for our move from Birmingham, Alabama to Portland, Oregon. At 2800 miles, we didn't want to add the stress and delay of driving a truck to our already challenging drive with 5 cats.
Recommend this product?
The People: EVERYONE I dealt with at ABF was friendly and professional. Both the date change (one is free) with central and the truck pickup/drop-off negotiations with regional dispatchers went perfectly.
The Truck: Well, it was a little battered. We got a classic Alabama downpour shortly after it was dropped off, and the patches in the fiberglass roof DID leak a little. One of the door latches was EXTREMELY difficult to close. I had to push the latch-pole up while trying to to get the top part to catch. A pain in the rump, but I always managed to get it to close...eventually. I had asked for side-tie loops, and the truck came with a scant few. Some load bars would have really helped keep things stable. I don't know if ABF rents them, but they would probably be the most worthwhile thing to add to the basic truck. As it was, we ran a complex and largely ineffective cobweb of ropes through all the stuff, which may have helped...a little. We got the wooden bulkhead, and one of the compression bars didn't work. The pick-up driver assured me that they would place a load bar in front of the bulkhead - which they did. The ramps were great, and also free! Perhaps that's new with ABF. Apparently we had exceeded the minimum needed for free ramps at both ends. We wound up with a little over 19 feet, which the pick-up driver rounded DOWN!
The Loading: Pure hell. It was a hot and humid June day in The South. I've never sweated so much in my life. It was easy to load the washer/dryer and the first wave of boxes up to the ceiling, but adding furniture to the mix got challenging. We just roped everything together as a clump and hoped for the best.
The Damage: Pretty minimal. We had packed things very carefully, with lots of shredded paper/cardboard pieces to keep the boxes full and padded. We also bought a case of huge clear plastic bags, which we used to line every box. A little extra effort, but it alleviated our leak worry. It also helps if anything needs to be stored for a while in a basement, as our stuff will. We tossed three particle-board bookshelves on at the last as a sort of retaining wall, and they all were demolished when they arrived. But that stuff's crap to begin with, and we were too tired to place it as carefully as we might. They did keep the load from shifting, however. We also lost a (poorly packed) computer printer. If you load every box with the expectation that it will be spun, drop-kicked, and sprayed with a firehose, your belongings should arrive mostly intact. Furniture needs to be very well padded. Almost every piece we sent received some damage from repetitive rubbing against something else. Try to pad the contact points extra well, if you can guess where they might be.
Unloading: Not bad at all. If possible, arrange for a Thursday drop, Monday pickup.
Overall Impressions: Every time we passed a U-Haul struggling up a mountain pass at 15 MPH, we were glad we had gone with ABF U-pack. PACK WELL! PACK EARLY! Close your eyes and throw those final items on top of the heap...they'll make it, you'll see!
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Punctuality: Showed up on time
Ease of Filing Claim: N/A
Lost Goods: No
Amount Paid (US$): 3000