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28 Comments

  1. We moved once with U-Haul. I told my wife the next time I moved it will be in a pine box. The U-Haul truck worked fine but everything else was a pain. This person just confirmed my pine box.

  2. I’ve used Penske twice for cross country moves (26′ trucks from SF Bay Area to Northern Great Lakes). Their trucks were near new w/ very low miles (both from the same dealer in the Bay Area, 2 years apart) and in excellent shape and service. No complaints about Penske. I did rent a beat up Budget 16′ (?) box van to move my daughter from No. Great Lakes to Brooklyn NYC, it was not a very pleasant drive but the truck made it w/out issue but because of overall condition, I did check fluids and even bought thick foam gasket material to stuff into the drivers door seal because the air flow through the door was as loud as a jet engine (well…not quite, but still real loud in my left ear). But as Tober stated, when renting anything, “caveat emptor “

  3. Wow, what a story. We did a move with a very heavy U-Haul and had an overheating issue while climbing the mountains between Redding and Eureka, CA. We made it over the top by running the heater on high to act as a secondary radiator. Nothing like what happened to these folks and I will certainly scratch Budget off of my list for any future moves.

    I did get a kick after reading about the dogs that go on a hunger strike during road trips. If my dog is in the car he sniffs my breath after any stops. What did you eat, where is my treat?

  4. Sorry about your experience, and thanks for all the tips. I rented a truck from a Penske dealer, a “licensee” near Ft. Worth, TX. They were the nicest, most accommodating people I could have wanted. The truck was clean and it performed well. I drove to the Minneapolis area without a hitch and when I turned the truck in in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, the staff was every bit as helpful. I have now reserved a truck for an upcoming move, Minnesota to Arizona, also from the Penske dealer in Brooklyn Park. I’m a retired truck driver, so yeah, I normally kick the tires, etc.

    1. I also rented a Penske from a licensee in the mid-cities area there, great truck, no problems at all. The lady working there had Tourette’s Disease, which freaked me out the first few times but she was otherwise pleasant and very capable. The U-Haul car trailer I towed, though, was a total POS and had a blow-out about 600 miles into the trip.

  5. I have moved my self a dozen times and actually enjoy the experience. Uhaul is awesome and I have no complaints. I have had my share of bad motels. I always ask if they are pet friendly and if they are I go somewhere else. Don’t like animals in the house/room and I don’t want to live there after they have left.

  6. Tober,
    I’d say with any rental vehicle, particularly a truck, the vehicle is only as good as its service. If the franchise owners don t care, you get a poor product. Most good franchise operations, McDonald’s for instance, have rules of operation and employ inspectors to check local franchise operations for compliance.
    In this case, you getting your message out this way has probably cost Budget Rentals significant future business. If they have a decent home office operation, someone should pick up this story and work to make it right. If not, then repeated instances of this type will greatly reduce profits.
    I’m glad you and your company survived. A lesson for us all, take nothing for granted!

  7. Tober,
    I hate to break this to you but you have to check the fluids on any vehicle you drive whether you own it or not. As a contract business owner who constantly moved from jobsite to jobsite state to state across America over the years I rented trucks from time to time. Everytime you fill up with gas you check all fluids SOP. You created your own problems in this instance. I have rented Budgets largest van trucks and its SOP you check everything that you rent from stem to stern everytime in the presence of the the rental personel everytime. Fluids, body, tires, all lights including turn signals, underneath for fluids running out of it, etc. Most truck rental franchises do this as an add on business and most employees have no idea of the difference between a wrench from a quart of oil. Its a learning experience is all I can say.

  8. I’ve had good luck with Penske every time. Based on my experience I can recommend them (although their 26 ft trucks could really use about 150 more horsepower for hills…..)

    Tips: Consider palletizing everything. Std pallet is 40″X48″, good-excellent used pallets are $5 here, Lowes sells boxes 16WX16WX18H, 6 fit per layer, 4 layers+pallet = 79″H, still fits under garage & storage center rollup door. Strap columns of boxes to pallet (vertical), strap layers of boxes together (horizontal), stiff cardboard “protectors” on corners under strapping, 1/4 flooring underlayment or real stiff cardboard between layers, wrap boxed pallet in stretchy plastic wrap stuff. Pack the boxes ON the pallet, pack ’em tight with heavy stuff. Because you’re moving the pallet with a pallet jack ($199 on sale at Northern Tool) and not picking them up they can be VERY heavy. Each box is 2.67 cu ft, a pallet load is 24 boxes=64 cu ft + a layer of very light boxes (another 16 cu ft) set individually on top. Most pallet jacks will pick up 4000 lbs, so that’s your limit (= 167 lbs/box). Packed heavy and very tightly, you’d be surprised how much you can get into 64 cu ft and it’s strapped to the pallet so it doesn’t move around. Strapping – 7200 ft roll 1/2″ W (Amazon) = $47, strap tensioner=$38, strap buckles = $28/1K.

    In a 10X10 storage unit pallets barely fit 3X across, 2 rows deep, + light boxes on top of pallets stacks, + room for individual boxes stacked in front or pallets. Most storage units are 10 high so light individual boxes can go on top. Trucks are 8 ft wide, so pallets go in sideways 2X across, 16 ft truck holds 4 rows (8 pallets, each with 24 boxes+light stuff on top) with almost 3 ft left (watch truck door clearance). That’s 512 cu ft on pallets, +50 cu ft of light stuff on top of the pallets. Packed tight and heavy that’s a LOT of household goods.

    Tip: measure the rental storage staces, measure the truck. With your own tape measure. Do not trust what salespeople tell you. You do not want to arrive with a truck load of pallets and discover “their 10 feet wide” actually is 9 feet 10 inches. Same with the truck. Measure and write down. Put it in the written contract and make sure a responsible grownup from the storage place and truck rental signs it AND PRINTS THEIR NAME.

    Yes, you’ll need a pallet jack. Yes, you’ll need a truck with a lift gate (or forklift rental). Yes, you’ll have to think through loading the boxes (put the cast iron cookware, blacksmith anvils, and rock collection on BOTTOM layers….) to pack them as tightly as possible. Yes, you’ll need strapping materials and tools and have to learn how to use them. BUT – you’ve moving everything on wheels, not your back, each pallet holds a tremendous amount of stuff, AND you have the option of renting a forklift to load and unload (tip: rent a trained driver with the forklift, the extra $$ are worth it, and he’ll be there anyway because he’ll probably be the guy who delivers the forklift; 1 hour of forklift time w/driver locally to me is $150 and worth every single penny). My last move was 25 minutes to load the truck, 30 to unload; forklift pallets into the truck, pallet jack to get them into position, 2 people to put individual light boxes on top of the pallet stacks. Reverse to unload. Use extra pallets for unstrapped 2X layers of the light boxes, fork-load 2 heavy pallets, then 1 light, manually place light boxes on top of stacks, repeat until truck full. If you have a gun safe and/or big roll-around tool chests you’ll need a fork lift anyway, and you can get bigger pallets for strapping down riding mowers, barbeque grills, etc.
    Tip: plan where everything will get staged to load it, and where it will go when it’s unloaded. When you’re all done, unpacked and moved in, craigslist the strapping equipment and pallets (except that I keep finding more uses for the strapping stuff so I kept it).

  9. Tober:
    Thank you for sharing your epic adventure and your electronic and verbal jousts with corporate Budget Rental. What a terrible business model! Appreciate the warning. I will stay far away from a company that is set up to intentionally screw the customer by creating multiple divisions that don’t talk or cooperate with one another to avoid any extra expense to the company.

  10. Thanks for sharing the tale of difficulty. The author has my sympathy, but for the traveling preparation ignorance that resulted in the added costs in time and expense, rather than those two resulting problems.

    Been there and done that, without cell phone or internet.

    For others needing to move a business or homestead, I suggest you look diligently for a 16 foot long flatbed trailer or covered livestock trailer. Box trailers are better but often cost quite a bit more.

    Make sure you use a tape measure to verify the actual length, width, and height inside. Your upright appliances might not fit under the roof, and your 16 foot long lumber won’t fit inside a 15 foot 10 inch cargo area, unless it is loaded to hang out the back

    God Bless

  11. Thanks for the info, I will make sure my son stays away from Budget when I help move them from Texas to Idaho this spring. Although, I always check all fluids before acceptance and at every fuel stop. Thanks.

  12. I can attest to the wisdom of expecting incompetence and neglect from any service provider who is not the personal owner of the service and who does not have to look you in the eye when he’s providing his services. Enter into any business relationship anticipating as many problems as you can imagine and proceed only with a clear understanding between you what is expected of him in the way of performance (see my response to CORD7 and Dr. John in the January 12, 2019 comments: https://survivalblog.com/survivalists-odds-n-sods-338/#comments).

    If he can’t deliver on mutually agreed upon terms, find someone else, this guy’s got something to hide or he’s a corporate robot.

    Having driven long haul as well as LTL back in the days when MCI meant Motor Carrier International (early, primitive truck tracking systems that ultimately led to the cell phone), and as a city bus driver in Iowa, I checked EVERY single item on every single rig, from fluids to belts to air brakes to the adjustable driver’s seat, every single time I went out, and had the dispatcher sign off on the inspection sheet. I was a pain in the a**, but I can’t count the times I was low on fluids, ready to lose a belt, running hot bearings or low on fuel.

    The lead mechanic at my trucking company finally asked me one day who I thought I was to question his people. I’m the guy who’s pulling a 65′ box over I40 at 60 mph in every kind of weather, day and night; the guy who doesn’t get paid unless the wheels are turning; the guy they jaws out of what’s left of the Peterbuilt when the brakes lock up or the tires alligator off a tread into a 4 wheeler civilian riding my FTC bumper too close. I’m the guy that relies on your professionalism and pride in performance to make it home alive, and brother, you’ve demonstrated you have neither.

    So good for you, Tober. I hope everyone who reads your misadventure with Budget will adopt the attitude that the customer is king, that these services need you, you don’t need them, and that the fair market system will work best if the consumer is unashamedly rigorous, exacting and tough.

    Flood Budget with email attachments of this article. It probably won’t do any good, but they will at least be without excuse.

    Hope for the best, but expect and plan for the worst – in everything.

  13. Thanks for the detailed events and your bullet points.

    I do not see myself needing to move again since I am retired but will tell my friends about Budget.

    I agree that just by word of mouth and Survivalblog your troubles will cost Budget tens of thousands of dollars.
    Just tell ten of your friends and do the math out to 10, stunning how fast the math adds up.

    Thanks again, Skip

  14. Tober,

    Thank you for taking the time to document your horrible life experience which befell you despite your impressive pre-planning and pre-thinking.

    I will share your epistle with my three adult children.

    Once again, Thank You.

    Glenn in Idaho

  15. Penske has always been a good experience. U-Haul, eh. I watched the fluids like a hawk, gauges, too. The U-Haul was like flying a Dauntless dive bomber..noisy, breezy, harsh. Beats you all day. Ear plugs recommended. Last time, with the U-Haul, our chase car was a Toyota Sequoia. The ride back was like heaven. Worship the dipstick.

  16. The article concluded that this wasn’t a rant about one particular company, but it appears the comments ignored that. For me this was more about how this scenario was dealt with, survived. What can I learn from this? What can I do when everything goes wrong? Meditation was what was resorted to, but it, or the meditator, failed to make that work. When meditation doesn’t work try the mediator Jesus Christ, not as in “Jesus Christ!!*&%$#!”, but in prayer to God accessed via Jesus Christ. When Murphy’s law gets the best of you, overrule it with God’s law.

  17. I have had nightmare moves like this, even using a moving company. However, Budget is no one’s friend. Might I suggest, especially since you have 2 dogs: think about a teardrop camper. Light, easy to pull-even with a small SUV,they contain a cooking area, a fridge,a bathroom with shower, and a bed. With one of those, you could have easily made your life simpler and less stressful. I hate hotels/motels because they are never really clean-and I don’t care what they tell you. With a camper, even a small one, you have your clean sheets, a place to cook, a clean bathroom, and some sort of control over your life. Blessings. I have always loved Reno, sorry to hear that it is becoming a mega-hub.

  18. You might want to check out Elliott.org on where to send a letter, who to contact in corporate, what info to include, and if all else fails, they might go to bat for you.

  19. My wife is dealing with the IRS right now on a 6 year old tax return. Her phone experiences exactly mirror the Mexico City conversations. I think Budget employees south of the border must be training the IRS.

  20. If a blown motor on a rental truck and the resulting troubles wind one up this bad now, and the lodging conditions are that repulsive to one now, TEOTWAYKI is going to cause a meltdown. I am talking catatonic.

    Also, This episode should rightly be seen as a very memorable lesson in foiling Murphy with regard to equipment. If that had been your bug out ride or a vehicle you obtained use of after a shtf event, imagine the possible trouble that could have resulted. Learn from it, and know what you should have done differently to protect yourself. And do that next time. Also, adopt a mindset of covering your bases with everything in that way. Murphy ain’t picky and he has a strong work ethic. You gotta be on your game all the time to sideline the jerk and get things done.

  21. Just moved from NE Ohio to N Texas. The company I moved for paid for the move so we hired a moving company (American Van Lines). It is my first time moving cross-country. I was surprised when they said it could take up to 3 weeks for delivery, but they agreed in contract to 2 weeks (also saying it should only be a few days). They picked up my stuff 19 days ago and have yet to deliver yet. Yes, 5 days beyond at this point. The driver text me that they would be here today, so we’ll see.

    Thankfully, being a preparedness nut, I packed my own SUV full to the gills with short-term things like clothes, PC, TV, dog stuff, etc. Best decision I ever made. I cant imagine how difficult and expensive the last 3 weeks would have been had I not brought so much myself. Did have to buy an air matress and other items, but at least I havent had to go with nothing, or make an already expensive endeavor exponentially so.

    Tip: even if using movers, prepare to not have your stuff for a while.

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