A Real DITY Move: Unloading



After a long drive from Maryland to Colorado with 2 young children and a very large Labrador retriever, Aaron and Pam were ready to get settled-in. They enjoyed the freedom of driving their personal vehicles while someone else drove the trailer with their goods. ABF gave them adequate time to get to their new home and have a few days to get the keys to their house. ABF called to let them know when their trailer had arrived in Colorado. When they were ready to move into their new house, they placed a call to the local ABF terminal to arrange a delivery date and time.

The trailer showed up right on time, and the driver worked with Aaron to determine the best location to park it. The weather appeared perfect for unloading, with a beautiful blue sky and some high clouds. It was several hours until their unloading help would arrive, so they left the trailer shut. Later that day, with helpers available, they opened the door under overcast skies. Upon opening the trailer and removing the bulkhead, it was apparent that the load was exactly as it had been back in Maryland. It was time to move in!

A basic unloading system was set up, thanks to the number of helpers they had. Aaron largely stayed in the trailer, taking the load apart bit by bit. The fact that he had loaded it no more than two weeks ago allowed him to understand how best to unload. He would identify the items that needed to be taken in and was also able to tell where some things should go. Pam stayed in the house and attempted to keep up with the helpers who were rapidly bringing things in.

Unloading went much more quickly than loading. Loading had taken 4 long days while unloading took a matter of hours, thanks to the assistance of some friends and new neighbors. This assistance was very helpful given the unpredictable Colorado weather: Shortly after they started unloading, the overcast skies unleashed a snowstorm! Snow was coming down heavily enough that they did not want to leave anything sitting outside before moving it in, so the unloading went into high gear. The snow continued to fall heavily until several hours later when everything was unloaded. LESSON LEARNED: Weather is one of the great uncontrolled factors in a move. It may be snow, or rain, or wind, or anything else. Don't let it get you down, just roll with the punches and get things done safely.

Due to the snow, everyone was in a hurry to get the truck unloaded. This haste caused things to be taken into the house and placed just about anywhere so that more stuff could be retrieved from the trailer. This worked well to get things inside as quickly as possible, but left things pretty chaotic in the house. RESULTS: Aaron and Pam spent weeks trying to locate particular boxes that had not been placed logically in the house. They considered this an annoyance, but not a big deal given the huge job they had undertaken.

Damage to the house was a real concern during both loading and unloading. Trying to do things quickly greatly increased the possibility of damage. The helpers that had been enlisted to unload were not professional movers, and were learning as they went. This increased the risk to the items being unloaded and the walls and doors as things were maneuvered inside.RESULTS: During the move-in, there were some minor dings put in one or two walls, but nothing major. If they had been in less of a hurry, they believe that even these small marks would not have been made. Aaron tried to be involved in moving all of the large items so that he could help ensure that damage was minimized and that nobody got injured. All in all they consider the move-in to have gone smoothly.

After everything was unloaded from the trailer, it was a simple matter to get it prepared for pickup by ABF. They swept it out, scraped the snow off of the removable bulkhead and put it inside along with the ramp, and closed it up. A simple call was all it took to have a driver pick up the trailer. Now that the actual moving was complete, they still had work inside the house to get organized and settled. As with any move, this was a long-term process that involved lots of unpacking, arranging, and disposal of boxes and packing paper.