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The Under Belly of Toronto Condos: John Deere’s Are Not For Moving!

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We set off for Church and Gerrard for a two-bedroom condo move on a Tuesday morning. We’d never worked this building before, and we were slightly dismayed to find that the “moving and delivery” entrance was a good two blocks from the true entrance to the building. We spiraled further and further below street level in the truck, and quickly lost the signal on our phones and GPS. This made for some awkward truck navigation, but eventually we found our designated spot. Three levels below the building, in a dusty, hazy service area, we found our client.

We looked over the list and figured it would be a 2-3 hour move, tops, since our client was only moving a few blocks away to one of the beautiful new condos at College and Bay. We decided to confirm a separate afternoon gig in Etobicoke to make for a full day.

We loaded up our dollies, straps, tape, and blankets and made our way for the elevator.

“Beep, beep” we heard, and turned around to see that a basement-dwelling service person had pulled up next to our truck on a John Deere lawn-mower. He was towing 3 large flatbed carts with wobbly, removable railings. He removed his mask, and introduced himself as Dave. He would be our “chauffeur” for the day.

He instructed us to pile onto the carts and pull our hands and feet inside the rails. We rattled off at a blistering 10 km/hr, winding through the parking-lot underbelly of this 42-storey building. Dave pointed his garage-door opener at pocket doors, and pivoted his chain of carts with the dexterity of an F1 driver. He obviously knew this underground-city blindfolded. We rattled along for 8 minutes until we made it to our reserved moving elevator. Dave told us to “page him” when we loaded the carts and were ready to head back to the truck. He unhitched the trail of carts and set-off on the mini-tractor to haul some dumpsters.

The novelty of this “go-cart moving” wore off pretty quickly. The booming air filters and vents barely affected the stagnant, exhaust-filled air. The carts couldn’t be loaded securely, and we had to jog behind the haphazard train to keep all the items from falling into puddles of engine oil. Our client became increasingly agitated, since every time we went down to the loading area, he knew we’d be stuck down there for an extra 30 minutes, loading/unloading the carts, finding Dave, and then loading the truck and rattling back to the elevators.

He was right to be annoyed, this John Deere train was quadrupling the time and expense of his move.

We finished the first half of the move at 1PM. It had taken 4 hours, because of this silly system, with Javier running back and forth from the basement to street level pleadingly trying to reschedule our afternoon move. We pulled out onto Gerrard and we were all surprised at how good downtown Toronto air tasted. We easily finished the second half of the move in an hour, and had a laugh about our morning.

I’d never seen this system of moving before, but I have a feeling that the web of interconnected parking lots and delivery areas will become even more tangled with new condo construction. John Deere’s are NOT for moving!

Kevin @ Cargo Cabbie

2 years ago / Comments Off

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