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What Self-Storage Operators Do When Their Moving Trucks 'Disappear' for a While

By John Carlisle Comments

A new tenant at a Texas self-storage facility took advantage of the business’ free moving truck―and took her sweet time returning it, causing the facility manager to sweat it out. Members on Self-Storage Talk (SST), the industry’s largest online community, are now discussing the issue of missing rental trucks and how they handle the related stress.

Member unclelourocks shared his story in a discussion titled “I want my truck back!” At 1:45 p.m. on Dec. 22, his tenant paid for her first month of rent and requested free use of the facility’s 5-by-10 moving truck to transport her belongings. Though the vehicle was supposed to be returned by close of business, it was still missing at 6 p.m., and the manager didn’t know what to do. Forum members suggested he call the tenant and demand the truck’s return, threatening to report it stolen.

The next day, unclelourocks went to the tenant's address, only to find she had been evicted from her apartment. That's when he called the police. He continued to phone the tenant, encouraging her to return the truck, which she finally did―after the facility closed on Christmas Eve. And it was still full of her stuff.

"[The tenant] left a message saying she would drop the truck off and put money in the drop slot for the extra days and miles,” wrote unclelourocks in his thread. “She dropped the truck off … less than half a tank full and did an extra 150 miles! No money in the drop slot either. We have overlocked her and denied her access until we get the money. She will never ever take my truck again!"

Do you have a good story about "vanishing" moving trucks? Do you have a solution or prevention technique for the problem? Perhaps you require extra documentation from the truck driver in addition to a driver's license. Maybe you charge a sizable security deposit, or cap mileage, or equip trucks with GPS tracking software. Whatever your method, make sure to jump on the thread and share it with others. You must be a registered member to post, but registration is free and easy.

Live and growing since 2008, Self-Storage Talk is the largest online forum in the industry and the official forum of Inside Self-Storage. SST has approximately 3,850 members, 23 different topical forums, 3,830 discussion threads and more than 33,000 posts.

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