An unsung hero is someone who makes a substantial but rarely recognized contribution to a project, event, process, or in Pac-Van’s case, the fulfillment of an order. Sure Pac-Van has mobile offices and storage containers for sale or rent, but have you ever thought about how your unit goes from our yard to your location? To understand a little more about Pac-Van’s unsung heroes –our drivers – a member of our Marketing team took the day to ride along with one of our drivers to understand what goes into ensuring you receive your order when you expect it, and in the exact location where you need it.
As a member of the Marketing team, I’m in the office 99.9% of the time. When the opportunity came up to write a blog about our drivers, I jumped at the chance to hop into a truck with one of our drivers to see what goes into their day-to-day.
I arrived at the branch at 8:00 am to find a truck with a mobile office hitched to it. I met up with our driver, Josh, as he was loading up the essentials for delivering the 10’ x 50’ mobile office. Those items include concrete blocks, 2” x 4” wood blocks, tie-down rods, and stairs. Once those were all loaded up, it was time for us to get on the road. When we were rolling, I found out our driver’s day started at 6:45 am. Boy, did I feel lazy. Josh was explaining to me how a driver’s job description changes, sometimes quickly. At one moment, he is a truck driver, then a mechanic, and then a laborer or carpenter; he really is a jack of all trades. This morning we were headed to a new apartment construction site, but our drivers deliver to any number of locations: factories, power plants, highway road projects, schools, hospitals, casinos, banks, restaurants, shopping centers, and the list goes on and on.
As we were pulling out of the branch, Josh called our customer who was in charge of the job site. That made me think – at this point, our drivers become the face of Pac-Van. Josh had already spoken to our customer that morning, so he was just letting him know that we were on our way and would be there in about 15 minutes. Final logistics were discussed, particularly as it relates to where we should pull in, which I found out was the hardest part of the delivery. A mobile office on a trailer is wide and long. This can be problematic to pull into a site unless some planning is done in advance.
When we arrived at the Jobsite, Josh got out of the truck to talk to our customer to determine the exact spot where we were to drop the mobile office. And now it was time to get the mobile office into position. Once we got it in the correct location, it was time to start the installation process. We first need to make sure the office is level, both from front to back and from side to side. We used a jack on one side to raise the mobile office up to get it level. A little trick to know when the unit is nice and level is to test the interior and exterior doors. If they open and close smoothly, without sticking, odds are you are level.
Once level, it is time to get the blocks and wedges out to brace the unit. This is the longest and most tedious part. After blocking, you prepare to put on your tie-downs. Josh would hammer the tie-down head into the ground, put in two support bars, and then, using metal tie downs, he would attach them to the head and mobile office unit. Lastly, it was time to place the stairs in front of the doors. While all of this may sound easy, the whole process takes about two to two and a half hours to safely and securely complete the set-up of a mobile office.
At Pac-Van, we don’t have a “storage container driver” or “mobile office driver.” Any of our drivers can deliver any of our equipment. That is why they rarely have two days that are the same. The day before I rode with Josh, he drove 400 miles delivering two 20’ storage containers and picking up a 40’ storage container.
I left Josh at this point and switched over to another driver of ours, Jared. I rode with him next to deliver a 20’ storage container. On our way to the site, he mentioned that, depending on the delivery distance, drivers could do 5-6 pick-ups/deliveries of storage containers or 3-4 pick-ups/deliveries of mobile offices in a day. He also talked about how everyone has a different name for storage containers. He regularly hears people refer to them as shipping containers, conex boxes, and cargo containers.
Delivering a storage container requires far less than a mobile office does. Our drivers will need straps to go over the container and pins to attach the container to the trailer. The hardest part of delivering a storage container is not knowing how much room you are going to have on the job site. Our 20’ storage containers are delivered on the same trailer as a 40’ storage container, meaning the trailer is still very long. Usually, there is a reason someone ordered a 20’ instead of a 40’, and it’s usually a space issue, but there’s nothing that our drivers can’t work with.
Once onsite, our drivers immediately connect with our customer to determine the exact spot they want their storage container placed. Then it’s time to get the trailer in place, remove the straps, and drop the container. How do you get a storage container off of a trailer? I will let this video explain.
Our drivers are the lifeblood of Pac-Van. This team of unsung heroes are true professionals and can put storage containers, mobile offices, etc. in literally almost any location.
Please give us a call today or stop by one of our many locations and let us help with any storage solutions or mobile office needs you may have. Hopefully, you’ll be seeing one of our skilled delivery drivers in the very near future…