Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Congratulations to our Safety Award Winners....

Your continuous efforts to maintain the highest level of safety and compliance, your violation-free roadside inspections, being accident free, submitting your logs in a timely manner, and providing the highest level of customer service, epitomizes what should be the goal of all drivers. We are extremely pleased, therefore, to recognize you as one of our “Safety First and Always” drivers!

     Safety Awards - August 2011
    DriverAgent/OO  Unit #
Eric BednarOO
Thomas BoggiHampton Rd
Glenn GilbertOO
James GordonCunningham
Chuck GardinerOO
Terry HarrisLange
Robbie Heer
Jerry KeelandOO
Kevin KinghamAff Mov of OK
Mike LaShareOO
J C MadkinsArpin Amer
Thomas MarandolaArpin RI
Kevin MayberryOO
Scott MontgomeryOO
Peter MosherBristol
Darryl PowellLiberty
Arthur RaymondOO
Ron SampleStuddard
Daniel TonsorMordue
9 Owner Oprer
10 Agent Drivers

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mentor Somebody

We all have had a person or person(s) in our lives that believed in us, helped us, gave a chance or an opportunity.

Return the it forward...BE A MENTOR TO SOMEBODY!

Care enough to want to help. There is no bigger satisfaction in life then knowing that you made a difference in someone's life.

As I said in my last blog about how to get ahead, I worked my way up in every job but I had people that gave me the opportunity...who helped teach me, either by example or instructions.

When you are a young person especially you are looking for direction, for someone to believe enough in you to help set goals for you and then show you how you can achieve them.

Ultimately, it will be up to you rather if you succeed or not but knowing that you have someone's support can give you enough confidence to want to do more.

I was lucky enough to have three mentors in my life. At a very early age of 11, I joined Scouting and there was a Scoutmaster that took interest in me and gave me the confidence I needed to grow into a leader.  Later, as a young teenager, my manager in the retail store that I was a stockboy for also helped me and gave me opportunities to grow and join the management team.  Last, but certainly not least, was Paul Arpin.  Paul showed me every day by his example what true work ethic is all about.

Paul loved to mentor drivers to develop into agency owners.  He would literally spend hours on the phone, seven days a week helping and suggesting.  He was there from the very beginning and then every day after.  If Paul Arpin knew you wanted to make it work and you were wiling to put the hours in, then so was he. You would have no better ally then Paul. He cared enough to want to should you.

Help in the community, your church or parish, a boys or girls club.  Ask about being a Big Brother or Sister or step up in your work place.  Take a minute to help the person sitting next to you or in the next department.
If you have a young man who is helping on the trucks and wants to work, give him direction, a goal.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

The things we move....

Our drivers have moved pretty much everything through the years.

 We have moved boulders, because they had sentimental value or hold certain memories.
 We have moved wood and brick and stone.
 Doll houses the size of Small apartments, gliders, planes and anything that flys.
 Old original pin ball games, every stuffed  and mounted animal you can think of.
We have moved live turtles, wine and sport collections for the hall of fame, Antique upright pianos that weigh a ton, hot tubs, boats, rafts and anything that floats.

Oh yea, we move furniture too...

 Do you have any pictures or stories you would like to share of some of the things you've moved ?
If so use the comment section to tell us about it...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Peter Arpin recently had a taping of his show about Green technology on Renewable Now , that can be viewed at

Three of our summer helpers, who are either recent college graduates or are attending college, attended the taping.  Below are their email's and views of the topic and the show, followed by a note from Peter Arpin.

Mr. Arpin,

I really enjoyed participating in today’s recording of Renewable Now. I feel that I was able to learn a lot about the each speaker’s products and learned much more about the available ways to increase the use of green technology including the electric vehicles and the Phase Change products. I feel that many people always hear about “going green,” but are unaware as to just how many opportunities they have to participate in the reduction of harmful elements on our environment. As a recent college graduate, I am looking to advance my career by applying to Graduate School and have been actively looking for employment in my area of interest, Teaching English as a Second Language. I particularly enjoyed listening to the interviews today from the professional side as well as the educational side. As a student looking to start my career, it is important to see what aspects in the professional world are valued and which ones lead to successful careers. Listening to you today, as well as the members of the Sierra Club and Peter Horwath, was very helpful and inspirational in terms of both green technology and important steps in advancing one’s career.

Thank you,
Elissa Owens

Mr. Arpin,

I think the importance of our environment is not something we can put on the backburner while we focus on our petty political troubles.  In this room were a bunch of people so dedicated to the cause of environmental protection and safety that they felt the need to share it with whoever they could.  Phase Change was a really interesting project, and while he may not have been sharing the project in a national spotlight, it was something that would get noticed.  It was only a matter of time.  The one thing I keep going back to, and the one thing I can only focus on is the dedication shared by Peter Arpin and the 4 people he interviewed.  They weren’t some business trying to make money, they were normal people who legitimately care about what they preach and walk the walk.

Thank you,
Andrew Kunzmann

Mr. Arpin,

Today’s taping of Renewable Now was a great way to learn more about green initiatives, and how much of an impact they can have on everyone.  I really enjoyed hearing you, Pete from Phase Change, and the members of the Sierra Club speak about their ideas for change.  Some of the most interesting points mentioned in the interviews were the topics connecting environmentally conscious companies, and the job growth they can create.  This is such an important topic, especially for Rhode Island.  There is such a correlation between implementing environmentally friendly business practices, and creating these new jobs to carry out those business practices.  There are so many engineers, architects, electricians, manufacturers, etc. involved in putting these ideas into action.  Therefore, more job opportunities.  Not only do eco-friendly investments (installing solar panels, energy saving products such as Bio pcm, and electric vehicles) help the environment, they also help the economy.  The interviews I saw today at the taping made me realize how so many green investments can be a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Thank you,
Caroline Delaney


Hi Dave,

Please pass on my thanks to the interns for their participation and feedback.

Our goal, as you know, in creating and broadcasting a show (now seen by over 10,000 viewers a month, plus over 3,000 readers a month on the related blog) is to let people, specially young people, know what is possible out there.  To introduce them to new products, companies, organizations, all of whom can possibly change their lives and world...for the better, of course.

It is amazing to me how big the green economy is and, more importantly, how quickly it is growing.  I hope they get a chance to jump in and be a part of a whole new economy.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

This was the year......1973

US PRESIDENT:  Richard Nixon

HEADLINES:  Arab Countries begin to restrict oil production, precipitating a worldwide energy crisis ~ Supreme Court legalizes abortion with Roe vs. Wade decision  ~ Chicago's Sears Tower opens as the tallest building in the world.

TIME MAGAZINE MAN OF THE YEAR:  Federal Judge John Sirica

SONGS:  Daniel ~ Hello, It's Me ~ Rocky Mountain High~ Peaceful Easy Feeling ~ Midnight Train to Georgia ~ You Are the Sunshine of My Life ~ Money ~ Smoke on the Water ~ Jesus Christ Superstar ~ Godspell ~ Ramblin' Man ~ You Can't Always Get What You Want

SPORTS:  Champions include the Oakland A's (baseball), Miami Dolphins (football), Gordon Johncack (Indianapolis 500), Montreal Canadians (hockey), UCLA (NCAA basketball), and John Cappelletti of Penn State (Heisman Trophy)

COST OF LIVING:  Granulated Sugar .65 per 5 pounds ~ New Car $3,950 ~ Gasoline .40 per gallon ~ Eggs .45 per dozen ~ Bacon .82 per pound ~ Ground Hamburg .66 per pound ~ Fresh bread .28 per loaf ~Postage Stamp .08 ~ Average Rent $175

FADS:  Wrap Coats ~ Stacked Bracelets ~ Kung Fu Movies

POPULAR TV SHOWS:  Kojak ~ Barnaby Jones ~ Schoolhouse Rock ~ The Young and the Restless ~ Good Morning, America ~ The Waltons ~ All In the Family

POPULAR MOVIES:  American Graffiti ~ Ash Wednesday ~ Papillion ~ Serpico ~ The Paper Chase ~ Live and Let Die

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How Do I Get Ahead?

How do I get ahead?

A question I have been asked and have asked myself and one that I am sure most of you have pondered at one time.  Do what your boss tells you to do and please him or her....that is what most people believe is the way to a promotion and getting ahead.

Of course winning over your boss is important, but your goal should always be to want to do your very best at whatever task is in front of you and how to help others around you.  Ultimately, your success will come on the shoulders and whisperings of your co-workers and the people you associate with daily.

It does not matter what your title or position is, you can always improve and improve those around you.

If you approach each day with the attitude of just pleasing your direct boss or supervisor or full filling what is asked of you then you will probably get along OK.  However, if you take it one step further and concentrate more on pleasing all those around you and think of ways to better what you do, then you will eventually succeed and grow.

I can say that I have had employees that I know chat a little too much or put off doing their work. Yet when I sit near them or enter the room, all of a sudden they pick up a phone or look busy...they don't get it.  It's not what you do when I am next to you.  It is what you do when I am not within ear shot...don't do it just to please me, do it because you are here and want to do the very best you can.

My first job was washing dishes back in 1976 with Newport Creamery as a teenager.  I worked hard and took pride in being able to keep up in the busy times of the day and thought of ways that I can be more efficient.  Not because the boss was watching, but because I liked the challenge.

My next job was stocking shelves for a shoe company downstairs from the creamery.  I was the fastest stock boy and I earned the trust of my boss more and more each day.  I eventually tried my hand at sales and worked my way up to become the youngest manager in that retail chain.  At 21, I revamped their stocking and inventory system and brought in new sales, cutsomers, and developed our team mentality. We had fun, learned together, and in the end, doubled the store's profit.

Next, I ran dispatch for Honeywell, a branch that installed and maintained the upkeep of the heating and air conditioning in hospitals and schools in the Northeast.  I again revamped their inventory system and how they planned all their preventive maintenance of all contracts.  I made friends for life and bonded with people throughout the business and the Northeast.

Then came Arpin.  David Arpin hired me in 1985 as the Northeast dispatcher and through the years I have helped grow Arpin from an 8 million dollar company to an over 185 million dollar company.  Of course I was a spoke in the wheel amongst many spokes, but I worked hard and tried to think of ways to do things different, better, and during every step of the way, I knew that it was those around me that made me successful. I figured out that if I can keep finding ways to help not only do what I do today in a better way, but to also help think of ways to help those around me grow, then I will get to the top with their help.

As I said it does not matter what your job is...washing dishes, stocking shelves, managing, dispatching, household mover, packer, teacher, construction worker...just do your best and want to learn and do more.

In reaching for the top, what then is "the top"?  I guess it is different for everyone, but for me it was and is being able to bring my children up and enjoy every stage of their lives. To be able to offer them all that I did not have in order to give the a head start in life.  Yeah, money and promotions are important, but that is not what drove me...never did and never will.

"The Top" is the reward you get when you look back and know that you worked hard, grew and learned and maybe made a difference is someone else's life.

People, helping others, the challenge, knowing that you made a difference...that is what motivates me and I
believe that is what ultimately will help you get ahead...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


CSA Scoring Update

We need teamwork from all (AVL, Agents and Drivers) to lower our CSA scores. As you now these scores change on a monthly basis so we cannot afford to let our guard down for a moment, remember the lower the scores the better for all of us. Although we still have a long way to go if we stay diligent with vehicle maintenance, medical certificates, HOS and driving performance we will continue moving in the right direction.
Let’s all work together, be prepared at all times for roadside inspections, remember your BLT’s (Brakes, Lights, and Tires) and please No speeding.

The CSA website,, contains valuable information on the CSA Program. Recently it was announced that the FMCSA has made several improvements to the site. We strongly encourage agents and drivers to visit it and take advantage of the many tools and important information contained on the site.

Thanks Again,
Safety First and Always

Monday, August 15, 2011


Thought I would share some quotes from one of the all time best leaders in professional sports...Vince Lombardi.

"The quality of  a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor."

"Once a man has made a commitment to a way of life, he puts the greatest strength in the world behind him.  It's something we call heart power. Once a man has made this commitment, nothing will stop him short of success."

"It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up."

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will."

"Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."

Friday, August 12, 2011


Yes, we all agree that this industry is going through its biggest changes since deregulation.  Unfortunately, negative blogs that are out there or mass emails that accomplish nothing but ugly attacks will help NOBODY and they will not change a thing.
What we all need to do is have intelligent conversations to help steer us through these times.
The problem is much bigger than the moving industry too: the economy, our lack of work for the middle class, our Senators, Congress and leaders not being able to make any substantial decisions because they fear losing their wonderful paychecks and people following whoever stands up and yells the loudest.
Some blogs or Facebook postings represent every reason why the country is where it is at: stand up there, pound your fist and get everyone pissed off...real good...that helps.
Get involved!
Help direct change with positive suggestions.
Greed is at the root of most problems. If you pull the thread on most problems either personal, work or otherwise you will come to the greed factor. Wall Street, banking and housing mortgages, people telling lies and back stabbing. It's all for the almighty dollar.

How much is enough? Under the old TOPS program in the military, rates rose like we had never seen in this industry, yet people wanted more. People spent more and it did not better the quality of service nor the demand.

On top of that, the military member was not always given the courtesies that we extend to other lines of work. Paul Arpin always respected our military members but some other Van Lines treated them as second class citizens. These are men and women who sacrifice for our country...that is a shame.
So the government stepped in, the same government that cannot make the hard decisions on anything.
Thus we are in what we are in.
It will get better, we will find a way to pay our haulers what they deserve without overcharging our military members and we will provide them the service that they so justly deserve.
It will change.
Through positive hard work and discussions...that is the only way anything really changes...not through negativity and fist pounding.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Another quote for the late great Jack Raymond was, "As good as technology gets, they will never be able to figure a way to shrink a couch and wire it across country, so they will always need drivers."

As I have said, I absolutely believe that this economy will get better and that this industry will get back to more profitability.

There will always be a need for drivers.

I have also heard that household drivers are a dying breed and no one wants to get into that business anymore.

I again disagree; there are millions of people who do not fit behind a desk or in front of a computer all day.

If you learn the business and are good at it you can be your own boss, travel all over the United States and meet all kind of people and make good living .... and did I mention that you can be your own boss?

Do you sweat and work hard and have some stressful days? Yes- what job is stress-free anymore?
Is it a respectable job that is rewarding and a job where you make bonds for life? Yes.
Nothing good comes easy.  Yes, there are plenty of tough days and most household drivers will tell you it takes years to learn it, but if you watch and listen from those that are successful you can learn it.

As technology gets smaller, quicker and more far-reaching, some things will always stay the same.

You still do business with people that you feel comfortable with, people that care. The household business is a people business. From the salesperson that first rings the doorbell to the driver that pulls up to move the furniture. It's people, not just computers. The Internet may help you find a mover but eventually a person needs to enter your home.

Be proud, what you do is a service, and at one of the most stressful times in a person's life.

YOU can make a difference in someone's life, what's better then that?

We need technology, but more importantly, we all need to remember that nothing will replace human interaction.
In the end that is what makes the difference, what you keep with you as memories and what bonds us all.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

TEAM...An E-Mail From One Of Our Followers For Anyone In Management

There’s no “I” in “team.”

Whatever you do, wherever you work, chances are you spend your day with other people.  Most jobs require a group of people to work together to get things accomplished, and the best way to do that successfully is to embrace the interdependence of working with others.

Given the choice, I’d bet anyone would prefer to work in a place where people know and like each other.  In an earlier post on this blog, entitled “We All Have a Story,” the following was written: “I absolutely believe that most people want to do good and are good people.  What happens is sometimes, we get preconceived notions of people, perhaps from others or from a bad conversation that we had in the past.”  I completely agree, and that common ground sometimes gets buried under the stress and pressure of the workplace.

Some of you may be familiar with Bruce Tuckman’s stages of group development: forming, storming, norming and performing.  The stages were developed in 1965 and adopted by the Boy Scouts in 1998, and you can read about them here, if you’re interested:  In order to keep your existing team or staff or department in the “performing” stage, try to fit in some team building activities whenever you can.  And if you happen to be in the unique position of being part of a group that is just forming, definitely start with a healthy dose of them to get people started on the right foot, finding common ground and discovering how to draw on each other’s strengths and skills.

Now, sometimes people will call team building activities “cheesy” or be resistant to participating, but in the end, I’ve always find that people have a good time and come out of the activities smiling and knowing a little bit more about each other, which will help to make the workplace more comfortable and productive.  Choose an activity that meets your objective and your time frame; activities can range from anything as simple as a “getting to know you” go-around, like “I’m going to a picnic and I’m going to bring” (where people state their name and something they’d bring to a picnic that starts with the first letter of their name, and everyone has to repeat the names and picnic items of everyone before them in the circle) to all-out, week long cheer challenges where each department prepares, practices and presents a cheer extolling the virtues of their role at the workplace.   To help build listening and cooperation skills in your team, try an activity like the one in which objects are scattered around a yard, people pair up, and one partner wears a blindfold while the other tries to direct him or her around the yard to pick up the objects.  There are loads of activities out there, so google “team building activities” today and plan one for your next company event!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Find That One Item(s)

Years ago, one of our top drivers once told me that when he first arrived at a residence to pack or load, he would introduce himself to the customer and hand them his business card.  Then, he would walk around the whole house and property with the customer and ask questions, listen and watch.  Within that walk, he would find out what was the item or items that they cared most about.

Next, he said he would mother it from start to finish.

It was not always the most expensive item either. It could be an old lamp that belonged to their grandmother or their sports collection or an old end table that held special memories.  If he could wrap it in front of them, then all the better. 

"Once they saw that their prized possession was in good hands, you start to win their confidence", he said.

The prepping of the house was something else that this driver went overboard with: every banister, floor and railing had some kind of protection.  He washed his trailer floors after every trip and always had his pads stacked and strapped.  When he opened his doors to the trailer, you could not help but be impressed.

He took pride in his equipment and in his job.

The driver I speak of was Jack Raymond.

Jack drove for Arpin for over two decades and moved hundreds of families.  He passed away a few years ago from cancer.

Jack was one of the best and he was meticulous in whatever he did.  His crews would tell you that he may not have been the easiest to work for but you certainly learned the right way to do things (just ask our dispatcher Jay Horridge).

Jack was an expert on many subjects which also helped win the confidence of his customers.  He knew cigars, wines and antiques.  He knew baseball (even though he was a Yankee fan) and other sports.  But mostly, Jack knew the moving business and he knew how to win over customers.

Find that one item(s) and mother it.  Thank you touched many lives and you live on in our thoughts...

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Needed Adjustment

I believe that most of us in the baby boomer generation needed an adjustment because we were really the first generation to grow up with credit cards.

For generations before us, if people could not afford something, they worked hard, saved up and then bought it.  Then along came credit cards, which gave us the opportunity to buy first and pay later.  We're in the mess that we are in this country because we've lost sight of the difference between things "we need" and things that may be nice but we do not necessarily "need".

For instance, past generations would wear their pants until they had holes (they did not buy them with holes back then).  Now if we see a commercial on pants, we go out and put it on our credit card even though we may not need them.

Our grandparents and great grandparents also lived in a time before television and mass media, so they didn't have commercials and advertisers brain-washing them into what is "cool" and what will make you look better, run faster...or help you with the opposite sex.

Everyone needs to own a new car now, again having to take out a substantial loan.  Years ago, it was rare to see a new car because everyone owned used cars and repaired them.

You shopped for houses within your budget after saving up for a down payment.

We're in the mess we're in because we put ourselves here.  It's time to downsize and to live within our means.

Do you need that four wheeler or that expensive vacation or that expensive jewelry?  Take a walk in the woods, vacation somewhere nearby and discover what is just around the corner from where you live and spend time with the person(s) you care most about.
Greed got us to this point and we as a whole are now paying for our greed.  The economy is forcing us to stop and think before we purchase and to NOT use plastic to pay for everything.

The times are forcing us to think more like our grandparents and great-grandparents, when times were simpler and they knew the difference between "want" and "need".

We will dig out of this mess but not until we all take responsibility for our own actions and realize that we are still the richest country on the planet...not just monetary wise but with our values and the freedom that we all enjoy every day.

Less is more...time to make a much needed adjustment.