We are often asked what we do in the “other season”. Well, you are reading correctly, we are and have been a U-Haul Dealer since 2009.
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In 2015, U-Haul will celebrate 70 years of serving the do-it-yourself moving household. Like many other successful ventures, the concept for U-Haul was generated out of need. After World War II, there existed widespread need for do-it-yourself moving equipment on a one-way, nationwide basis. U-Haul co-founders L.S. “Sam” Shoen and his wife, Anna Mary Carty Shoen, recognized that need and acted upon it. Their visionary approach shared the cost of ownership among many users, facilitating the mobility of the population of the U.S. and Canada. The covered wagon of the pioneers morphed into orange U-Haul trailers. In the process, an industry was born.
Discharged from the Navy in the summer of 1945, 29-year-old Sam and Anna Mary tried to rent a utility trailer to move their possessions from Los Angeles to Portland, Ore. It couldn”t be done. They had to take only what they could fit in the car.
“Small luggage-type passenger automobile trailers were being rented from ”rental lots” in Los Angeles. Each lot had from 20 to 40 trailers which were rented locally for approximately $2 per day,” recalled Shoen in his book You and Me. “I recognized that here was an item with considerable utility value which had not been exploited at all in the Northwest or in the San Francisco-Oakland area. I was intrigued with the business potential of this idea, especially from the standpoint of one-way rentals.”
The Shoens reasoned that many other families had a need similar to theirs: the short-term availability of a trailer that could be rented “here” and left “there.” No one, at that time, seemed ready or willing to serve that need.
With a 1937 Ford and $5,000 in savings, Sam, Anna Mary and their young son moved from Los Angeles to Portland, Ore. During the drive, they came up with the name and formulated the outline of what was to become the U-Haul Trailer Rental System.
The Shoens launched U-Haul in the summer of 1945. The first trailers were bought from welding shops or second hand from private owners. Within two weeks of leaving Los Angeles, the first U-Haul trailer was parked on a service station lot and being offered for rent. By the end of 1945, 30 4” x 7” open trailers were on service station lots in Portland, Vancouver and Seattle, Wash. Today, the U-Haul organization consists of more than 18,000 independent U-Haul dealers and more than 1,500 company-operated U-Haul stores across the United States and Canada.
U-Haul is the undisputed leader in the self-moving industry for millions of families every year. In addition to moving trucks, cargo vans, pick up tucks, trailers and U-Box containers specifically designed, engineered and manufactured for the do-it-yourself household mover, U-Haul offers hitches, boxes, rope, tape, bubble, locks, trailer light connectors and other related towing and moving accessories for sale. Additional rental items include Appliance Dollies, Utility Dollies, Furniture Dollies, Furniture Pads, Tow Dollies, and Auto Transports.
The U-Haul system also offers clean, dry and secure self-storage rooms throughout North America with thousands of facilities, both owned and Self-Storage independant operators who are part of the U-Haul WebSelfStorage affiliate network.