Date: May 6, 1999
From: "T.J. Carney" <>
Subject: AMS-Forum The Moving Industry Needs Fundamental Change

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Chris Noblit wrote:

Mr. Carney

With regards to attracting younger van operators to our industry; What kind of "fundamental changes from how we used to do things'" do you have in mind? Please elaborate.

T.J. Carney Replied:


Briefly, here are some of my ideas:

"Fundamental change" 1 - Legitimize the industry and craft of moving by acknowledging that "Moving Van Operator" is a profession, like plumbers, millwrights, heavy equipment operators, doctors or business executives. "Use to be" that the only people who ever grew up wanting to be Moving Van Operators were people like me, fourth generation, who's name is plastered in big letters across the truck. (Paul, if you read this - yes I drove/drive, and my dad drove, and my mom's dad drove and my great grand-father had the finest team of mules in Youngstown, Ohio I've heard.)

"Fundamental change" 2 - Provide formalized loading and cargo handling training schools for truck driving school graduates or CDL holders. These must be qualified programs capable of receiving public, grant or scholarship funding. (I'm looking for van line and mega-agent leadership in this arena.) Industry certification and continuous training programs along with apprenticeship periods and expert status recognition are typical in most industries relying on professional staffing. There should be a clear path to income growth based on verified skills. "Use to be" that everyone learned from their "uncle Mike".

"Fundamental change" 3 - Revise van line pricing and revenue distribution to place the expense and liability of loading and unloading labor on the booking/origin/destination/logistics agents. "Use to be" that the cash economy that exists within our industry tends to attract a marginal workforce, and has no built-in reward system for status or performance or advancement, except as tips. The varying level of quality help to be hired for cash at origin or destination agents is the source of alot of problems for new and experienced van operators.

"Fundamental change" 4 - Set van line wholesale prices for asset owners (agents with trucks and equipment or owner-operators) that are based on trucking industry costs. Average daily cost of equipment ownership and operation must be protected in the pricing. "Used to be" that commission based revenue sharing seems to be rewarding sales staffs at the expense of truck owners with greater risk going to the truck owner, making sales positions and coordinator positions more attractive to professional people than the loading and unloading positions. It seems odd to me that we have many applications and resumes on file from able bodied persons, many with college educations, that want our $30K annual coordinator jobs who will pass on the $70K, entry level earnings possible on a moving van.

Sorry, I don't like sending long messages.

T.J. Carney

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