What You Need To Know When Choosing A Removals Firm – Avoiding The Cowboys

It’s the old saying, pay peanuts – get monkeys. This rings true as much with the removals industry as it does with any other industry that’s open to abuse from rogue traders and general all round cowboys.

Now firstly, I’d like to stress that this article isn’t a shameless sales pitch or any kind of purposeful scare tactic – it’s simply a fact and by reading to the end you could save yourself a lot of time and sometimes heartbreak by choosing the right removals company from the offset.

What To Watch For

Like any service that serves the public sector, such as any you’ll find on Yell or Thomson Local, the potential to encounter Jack the Lad is never really far off. In fact you could probably throw a stone at a major business directory these days and hit one in the dark from a mile away.

The problem is, with all this wonderful new technology being a mere button click away, anything that’s generally free to use and can connect people en-mass on a semi anonymous basis will without doubt bring out at least some bad apples looking for easy pickings.

The worst thing to happen to small independent companies in recent years was the rapid expansion of the Internet…

I read this one liner a few months ago while flicking through somebody’s blog and didn’t get it at first. It truly was a bold statement but as I read through the article it became clear what he meant and I generally agreed with his points.

Had he had used these words instead though, I might have got the drift from the get go and his article would’ve been clear from the beginning – and I wouldn’t have had to think…

The best thing to happen for rogue traders in recent years was the rapid expansion of the Internet…

You see the difference in context. It was still a good well written article though.

— Back in the day of the good old Yellow Pages, everyone had a copy and if you needed anything from a plumber to a butler, you could it find in there. Even a quarter page spread back then would’ve probably set you back around £1200 depending on what category you wanted to be listed in. Some were cheaper, some not so but as noone ever really paid attention to the free text ads that were scattered among the big bold adverts and anonymous pay as you go mobile phones didn’t exist, rogues and their likes just took their wares door to door and were easy to spot.

These days though – everyone is connected through smart phones, tablets, laptops and desk tops and of course Gumtree, Facebook, Craigslist and Twitter are all free services where anybody can have a free page or place a free ad in a bid to tout for your custom but the question is simply this…

Is it worth the risk to use cheap Facebook/Gumtree removals services?

Well at the end of the day it’s your decision and what you’re comfortable with but for the most part the answer is generally no. Especially if your move involves valuables, breakables or sentimentals.

But that’s not to say that every man with a van is a cowboy – there are a lot of decent guys starting up in the industry and if they stick at it will develop a good reputation for themselves and make something of it, if they stick at it.

Things You Can Check

Well of course all legitimate companies have their social media presence and small ads here and there – nothing fishy about that – but they also have physical premises, well aged websites, contact numbers, contact details, lots of good reviews/references and can offer goods in transit insurance certificates upon request.

Other than due diligence and all round common sense, these are the simple things you can check to ensure that the company you are making initial enquiries with are in fact genuine – and most are funnily enough but it’s the old “it only take a couple to spoil it for everybody” thing that’s plagued everyday life since the dawn of physical money.

In the end, and although the Internet truly is a marvel and a wonder – in fact I can’t picture a world without it – the problem is with all its bells and whistles, you’ll never really know what you’ve booked until it it gets there – if it even actually turns up.

Be vigilant, check credentials and don’t be shy to ask questions. Any legitimate removals firm will be happy to answer them and even if you’re looking to move and decide not to book with us, do yourself a favour and steer clear of Facebook pages with no parent websites, definitely avoid free ad websites to make sure you do book with another well established company who know what they’re doing and you should be fine.

To close – a genuine removals firm will go out their way to reassure you that your move will be safe in their hands. If a company is running as a legitimate business, a website, physical address and proper contact details are expected. If any of the above are missing then that should be your first red flag.

Feel free to share this article. If it can help even one person then it was worth the hour I just spent writing it 🙂

Here is a link just to give you an idea of what’s out there…


All the best,

The Falkirk Van hire & Removals Team.

Falkirk Van Hire Goes Green

One week closes, another one begins…

Sunday 12th March 2017 – just another date on the calendar, like any other and not very exciting marks the end of another busy week here at the Falkirk Van Hire & Removals.

After 4 removals within Falkirk, 1 to Stirling and 1 to Hull as well as 30 odd single/bulky item deliveries scattered through the week I began wondering how many miles we racked up in the meantime.

Forever the environmentalist, conscious of the fact that transport companies, by their very nature, emit carbon emissions like no other and with a couple of quiet hours to kill I decided to fire up Google Maps and started counting.

I took particular care in being honest with myself whilst on the count but even though I had all pick up and drop off points for the week in front of me there really was no telling which routes were preferred by the driver while the vans were getting from A to B so in the end, I calculated the most direct routes and added 30% to the total just to be sure I arrive at a realistic result.

Not very scientific but even so, it turns out that even after another busy week. our miles stayed under the 600 mark which is good. This is largely due to most of our road time being local and we do try to organise the days schedule in a way that prevents a driver having to double back on himself for any reason between jobs. The vehicles are also limited to 52MPH.

But things we can do to lower our carbon footprint? Yep sure… Firstly we’ll be looking into some kind of biofuel. I’ve been hearing about them lately and as far as I’m aware they release less carbon emissions than conventional diesel fuels. Admittedly I don’t know much about them other than what I’ve heard at time of writing but if it turns out that biofuels are definitely cleaner then it’s something we’ll be looking at this week and hopefully converting to over the coming months.

Secondly, after a lengthy chat with the owner of another removals firm in Manchester who recommended a piece of software that was originally developed for taxi firms, we can apparently cut our weekly mileage by up to 25% too. I’m not sure what that is in carbon savings at 180g/km converted to miles then deducted from the weeks mileage but it’s definitely something. And anything is better than nothing I’d imagine. I like to think that after 8 years in the business we have a handle on the overall principle of logistics but if a particular computer program can do more efficiently than what our current system does then I’m definitely open to the idea.

We’ve already went paperless too so the chances of getting a paper receipt from us is nil. Everything other than the drivers job sheet is electronic and our vehicles are well maintained to ensure optimal running and fuel efficiency so with the options we have available to us as a vehicle based company, I would like to think that by the end of 2017 the only way we could be any greener is if they invent hydrogen fuel cells on a commercial basis.

Which they will… Eventually… I’m looking forward to that day 😉

Roadworks Scheduled in Falkirk Tuesday 7th March 2017 Onward

It’s like no sooner have they finished digging up one part of the road, they’ll find another bit to make a hole in. Incase you’re travelling tomorrow, or in the next few days at least, here a list of places to avoid.

Allandale: B816, Coneworx – temporary traffic lights

Banknock: Bog Road, March 2nd till March 9th – more temporary traffic lights

Bonnybridge A803 at Bonnybridge Water Bridge – March 6th till March 17th – temporary traffic lights

Bonnybridge: Falkirk Road, February 20th till March 17th – temporary traffic lights

Falkirk: Bean Row, March 7th till April 2nd – road closure

Falkirk: St Crispins Place/Cow Wynd, March 7th till March 8th – temporary traffic lights

What fun…

Our New Blog

Hi all and welcome to our new blog. It’s much the same as our old blog but after a recent backup failed, we lost all of our old posts… Bummer.

Rather than remembering all of our old blog articles word for word and re-posting them, we decided it was simpler creating a new section for articles and starting again with new content. Also, we got to update our theme to a newer version so ever cloud and all that 🙂

Feel free to poke about at your leisure. As always, we’ll update the area often with words. Lots of words. And plenty of them. Sometimes they’ll even make sense 🙂

Many thanks for visiting,

The Falkirk Van Hire & Removals Team.