What does sanitize a moving truck mean?

What steps do you take to ensure that the storage cartons and trucks are sanitary between moves? What does it mean to "sanitize" a moving truck?

As I understand this issue, back in the 1950's, 60's and 1970's United Van Lines ran a program in which they "Sanitized" their moving trucks. Back in the day this program was widely advertised across America, and (at that time) the term "Sanitize" was trademarked by United Van Lines. To "Sanitize" a moving van one would set off a fumigation canister inside the truck. I believe that United Van Lines discontinued this program in the late 1970's or 1980's and the program longer exists, nor is it promoted. Sanitized® is now registered by a Swiss firm which claims "specialized chemistry...in antimicrobial products, solutions and advice."

I personally worked for United Van Lines back in the 1970's and "Sanitization" was a bit of a joke among my fellow employees. During my time with United I never witnessed a moving truck being "Sanitized" although, I'm certain back in the day this process was utilized by United Van Lines agents. I believe that you heard this claim from a local United Van Lines agent, and a believe that the claim that they regularly "Sanitize" their trucks is -- at best -- an exaggerated claim made by sales people whose intent is to secure a sale regardless of the ethical cost.

When one fumigates a moving truck one is coating the interior of the truck (and everything within the truck) with poison. This is a procedure which should be undertaken only rarely (as needed) and with great respect for the toxicity one is exposing the equipment (and the customer's possessions) to. Our company fumigates our equipment very rarely, and only on an "as needed" basis.


Sanitze moving van
Print Advertisement Circa 1954


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