There are tons of man and van services advertised, so much so, that is might as well be its own industry. It is a highly competitive market, with a varying range of service levels. Some are registered limited companies or sole traders, while others are basically taking odd jobs in a more freelance capacity.
But from a customer’s perspective, are man with a van services for you?
What does a man and van service do?
The term “Man And Van” or “Man With A Van” is an open concept. Generally, it is exactly as it sounds. You get either one individual or a team who have a van, and although what a service may do will vary, they will pretty much move whatever you need them to.
To give you an idea of what I mean, whether it’s for personal or commercial, the most common jobs could be moving items from A to B, picking up and dumping general waste or garden waste, moving commercial stock, making deliveries, etc. The concept is not very restrictive and pretty much open to whatever the people running the service want to do.
A good example of a man and van service is Man and Van 4 You.
Another aspect to note is who does the actual lifting, or in other words, who will load and unload the van. Unlike a dedicated service (removal companies, waste management, delivery companies, etc), who will load and unload the van is up for debate. Some man and van services will load and unload their van for you, whereas others are only there to drive the van, and will not do any lifting. Then there’s the middle ground, where they will expect some assistance from you with the lifting and will drive the van.
Before You Hire – Crucial points to consider
Regardless of if you are sold on a company or man with a van service, there are some crucial points you need to consider before hiring a service, especially if you don’t want to be liable.
Are they insured?
From a customer’s perspective, if any damages occur during the job, for example your stuff gets broken, then you need to make sure the people you’ve hired, have some sort of insurance a claim can be made against.
Are they legally registered as a waste carrier?
If you are hiring to have your waste disposed of, regardless of what it is, you need to make sure that who you have hired, have a waste carriers license. Basically, if they don’t dump your waste at the appropriate waste disposal center, you could be liable. For example, they could dump your waste in a forest or down a quiet road, which is illegal. If the waste is found and traced back to you (the customer), then you would be liable for the penalty, because it is your stuff.
Be clear with what the job is
Different man and van operations will vary in the vehicles they have and what the people can carry. Most man and van services seem to have Long Wheel Base vans, and fewer have Luton vans. There are also some which have trucks with a dedicated tip function as well, which might be more appropriate for some waste.
But either way, you need to make sure you know and say what you need moved and / or the size and quantity. On top of that, make sure you tell them what the access to the property is like, and what the property is. Things will often go wrong when you are not clear.
Are man and van services for you?
Whether man with a van services are for you, is really down to your personal preference and risk, as is with anything.
All things considered, man and van services are generally smaller operations, and therefore you might get more of that friendly smaller business mentality, instead of the cold big corporation response.
On the other hand, there is a trust issue here. Bigger removal type companies are much more established and therefore possibly more trustworthy, especially as we might be talking about your belongings. Many man and van people are much smaller and unknown, very possibly just a listing on a website. Even with a bigger company, you don’t know the team who come and collect your stuff, but at least you can complain and hold the bigger company accountable more easily.
However, when it comes to available dates and times, man and van services are more likely to be better. Man with a van services are generally not as booked up, or are just more flexible, especially because you are normally talking directly to the driver. Plus, if you have a last minute, on the day, worst case scenario situation happen, (for example with moving), then a man and van operation will have a much higher chance of accommodating.
Upon saying this, there are certain companies who call themselves man and van companies which seem to be acting more like agents for small man with van operations, and therefore have the same old typical big company operation responses.
When it comes to affordability, this is purely down to each individual service. There is a good chance you may get a better price than a moving company for a removal job. But all you can do is inquire and judge the best you can at the quality of the service beforehand whilst researching.
Where can you find man and van services?
Man and van services are everywhere and there are many different places you can find them.
Search engines in combination with Google My Business or Bing Places are the most obvious first place to look.
Alternately, Facebook and other social networks such as Twitter are a possibility for searching.
Otherwise websites who are dedicated towards a variety of listings are another option. Websites to note who I have found to have man with van listings are:
These are just a few places which come to mind, but otherwise there are a variety of other websites around, where you can find man and van services.