Moving On; The Gentle Giant Alumni Bios – Jake Zoller

Jake Zoller in a rare moment without furniture or a box in his hands

You can gauge the impact a former Giant had on the company by people’s reactions when their name comes up on the trucks or in the office. When the name “Jake Zoller” is mentioned around Gentle Giant Moving Company, everyone’s face lights up as they get ready to share their favorite Jake story. Even those that only worked with Jake once will most certainly have an experience to share. That was the wonderful thing about having Jake as your Crew Chief. Even though his amazing talent as a mover landed him in charge of all the toughest jobs, the Giants on the crew never minded because Jake had a way of making the challenge fun. Oddly enough, Giants would jump at the chance to carry with Jake a 300 pound armoire up four flights of stairs so you could listen to one of his epic anecdotes that blended reality, MAD Magazine, and his wild imagination into one beautifully hilarious yarn.

Like many other Gentle Giant legends, Jake initially found out about the job opportunity at GG through his connections in the rowing community. Additionally, Jake had a friend already working at Gentle Giant that highly recommended the company for several reasons. What attracted Jake the most was the flexible schedule, good pay, and good, hard work.

Jake’s previous experience working on a farm and other manual labor jobs helped prepare him for his initial role as a mover at Gentle Giant, specifically the long hours and heavily physical tasks. His first year at Gentle Giant was spent learning the fundamentals of moving, working with new and experienced people as a cohesive team, and watching experienced Crew Chiefs run the job, manage the crew, and make the customer feel at ease. Jake explains how impressed he was with “these Master Crew Chiefs, like Tom Travers, who were able to seamlessly work hard, keep the mood light, and get the job done.” Jake was a quick learner and was soon among the ranks of these Master Crew Chiefs, running multiple day/truck jobs filled with priceless art, delicate furniture, and whatever else came his way.

Jake’s unparalleled rapport with his customers garnered him one of the best “scores” in Gentle Giant Moving Company history. One multi-repeat VIP customer was so blown away by Jake’s moving talents and positive attitude that when she needed to move from the USA to Israel, she wouldn’t trust anyone else to handle her belongings. This customer paid to fly Jake and his crew from Boston to Israel so that her move. After they executed the move flawlessly, the crew was rewarded by the customer with a 10+ day trip around Israel and Jordan!

Jake loves a challenging hike or move. One tough move in particular included moving several extremely heavy steel balls from an artists home.

After Jake moved on his career at Gentle Giant, a lot of the skills he learned here helped him find success in other fields. Specifically, “the ability to see the bigger picture and follow through while keeping the mood light” helped Jake in his recent stint as a troubleshooter/mechanic/ice road driver in Alaska. These same virtues will also help him as he embarks on his new venture as an apprentice to a ship’s captain on the Arctic Ocean.

Clearly, Jake has an affinity for challenging work that most people wouldn’t dare get involved in, but that is just the type of guy he is. He faces every challenge with an infectious optimism and positivity, and never quits until the job is done. He undoubtedly left an impression on all the people who worked for him at Gentle Giant, as many of Gentle Giant’s current Crew Chief’s exhibit the charisma and hustle that Jake demonstrated every day on the trucks and in the office.

Outside of his adventurous careers, Jake enjoys travelling, running, hiking, exploring, and writing. Always the nomad, Jake currently does not live anywhere specifically. “For the last couple of years I’ve worked a 3 week on/3 week off schedule in Northern Alaska. During my 3 weeks off, I travel to different countries. Right now I have a year off, so I plan to travel.”

This recent excursion brought Jake back to Gentle Giant Headquarters in Somerville, MA, and it was awesome to see him. He is still as hilarious and intense as he was while on the trucks!

Meet the Giants: Southern New England Regional Manager Tim Inman

Tim Inman takes a rare break from running boxes and furniture to pose for a photo.

Tim Inman, Gentle Giant Moving Company’s current Southern New England Regional Manager, is a man with moving in his soul. Born into a family of movers, Tim started excelling in the relocation arts at an early age as he worked closely with his father and brother Pat Inman (Gentle Giant’s current Director of Operations) at their family owned moving company starting in 1984. After Tim and Pat sold the business in 1997, Gentle Giant Founder Larry O’Toole jumped at the chance to recruit these master movers.

At first, Tim was immediately impressed by how smoothly such a rapidly expanding local and long distance moving company functioned every day. Additionally, Tim felt that “the teamwork the movers displayed, as well as Gentle Giant’s commitment to individual growth” truly separated them from every other moving company he had known throughout his career in the industry. Tim even recalls a poignant situation in which his crew was tasked with moving a difficult piece on a job within his first year at GG. “I never knew they made an Olympic-sized Jacuzzi! At first I wasn’t even sure it was possible to move, but the experienced crew I was with thought nothing of it. We wound up putting it on its side on a dolly, moving it carefully over a trail of Masonite to the truck. At that moment I knew I was working at a company of talented people that never shy away from a challenge.”

After having several situations like this, where he was continuously impressed with everyone he met at Gentle Giant (both on the trucks and in the office); Tim felt that GG was a place he could make a career at. What it boiled down to was “the people I was working with, the pride I felt after a job well done, the advancement opportunities, and the company culture made me want to stay and contribute” explains Tim.

Throughout his career at Gentle Giant, Tim has managed several branch offices throughout Massachusetts, and has hit a stride in his current role as Southern New England Regional Manager, which has him mentoring up and coming managers looking to seize opportunities with Gentle Giant in New England and across the country. By joining the company in the mid-late 90’s, Tim has been able to witness and support the tremendous growth Gentle Giant has undergone. Tim feels that secret to the company’s success has always been “absolute commitment to customer service and having co-workers that expect the best from you, every day.”

tim and crew

Tim (center) and his crew with another satisfied Gentle Giant customer after a job well done.

To this day, Tim is always on the lookout for new talent that can positively impact the Gentle Giant team, and has personally recruited many of GG’s top movers. However, before these recruits come in for an interview, Tim is always sure to give them a realistic idea of what working at Gentle Giant is really like, for he understands that other moving companies do not expect their movers to run, be on time, live a healthy lifestyle, and be a consummate professional.

Tim lives in Worcester, MA and lists his hobbies, interests, and passions as his children (Charlie, Johnny, Emily, and Isabella), hiking, ATVs, and the Boston Bruins.

Gentle Giant Moving Company and Their Intense Warehouse Gym

At Gentle Giant Moving Company, health and fitness is a top priority, which is why the industry leader has dedicated space in their warehouse to build a full gym for Operations and Office staff.

Employees of the Boston moving company can work out with professional trainer John Zimmer to perfect form, increase strength, and maximize endurance, which is one way Gentle Giant decreases the chance of workplace injuries and promotes healthy living on and off the job.

This fun video gives you a peak inside Gentle Giant’s training center and how this incredible gym came to be at Gentle Giant Headquarters in Boston. Enjoy!

 

There is a Moving Truck and Movers in my way! What do I do?!

We’ve all been in this jam before. You are running late for work. You get two steps out your front door, only to realize you left your keys inside. You blast back inside the house, look frantically for your keys while keeping a close eye on the clock. Each second that passes means another decibel higher your boss will scream at you.

Found the keys! You sail out the door, sprint to your car. What the heck!?! Why is there a big, dumb moving truck blocking you in!?!?!?!?! To your dismay, permits were put up, and a notice was left on your car, but still, what the darn heck!?!

Because Gentle Giant has been on the receiving end of a few tongue lashings prompted by scenarios just like this one, we have decided to put together a few pointers to help get you (and your vehicle) out of this predicament in the best possible way.

1.) Breathe and realize it could have been worse – To work in cities like Boston, New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington DC, Charlotte, and Providence, professional movers like Gentle Giant have to procure permits for their moving trucks. This means that if our moving truck shows up and there are cars in the permitted spots, we reserve the right to get the car towed. Because Gentle Giant is in the business of relieving stress, not providing it, we take the approach of either working around the car, or calling the police to contact the vehicle’s owner to move it, instead of just having it towed. Just remember, we all have jobs to do, and the movers are not blocking you on purpose, rather we are simply trying to help our clients move.

2.) Check the back of the truck – If a moving truck is blocking you, the best thing you can do is check the back of the truck. At Gentle Giant, we run the boxes and furniture out the truck, so we are constantly going between the house and the truck. When you do see a mover, simply ask if you can get your car out. We are in the service industry, and we live to serve. It is in our nature to bend over backwards to help people. The folks that lay into us with threats and cursing aren’t doing themselves any favors. As the old saying goes, murder us with kindness.

3.) Call the company – If the truck blocking you doesn’t seem to have anybody around it, look at the driver or passenger side door. Licensed and insured companies usually put at least a phone number on the door for circumstances like this one. Get the number, call, and explain the situation. If the company is like Gentle Giant, a dispatcher will then find out who the driver on the job is, then contact them to move the truck. This process usually takes about 5 minutes. At Gentle Giant, if we are blocking a car and will not be at the truck regularly, we leave a note with the driver’s number on the car’s windshield so that this phone call process can be expedited.

If you follow these easy steps, you’ll be unblocked in no time and on your way to work. Also, you now have a terrific excuse for being late :-)

10 Questions You NEED to Ask Before Before Hiring a Mover

The entire moving process is long, complicated, and stressful, so the last thing you want to worry about is hiring an unqualified, unprofessional moving company to move you to your new home. That’s why Gentle Giant compiled this list of 10 Questions you NEED to ask while researching moving companies.  These questions will allow you to easily identify legit companies over other companies that cut several dangerous corners to keep their prices low.

To help, we’ve supplied Gentle Giant’s answers to each question.

1.) How do you select your employees?

Gentle Giant has an intensive interview process, complete with full background checks and physical endurance tests to insure each candidate will make a successful Giant. We also demand more than just athleticism and good backgrounds – moving can be very stressful so we hire interpersonally savvy people who can maintain stellar attitudes in the midst of challenging situations.  

2.) Do you provide benefits for the movers?

Gentle Giant provides health and dental insurance, 401k, short and long term disability, as well as additional Health and Wellness benefits, including compensated gym membership. Offering these benefits to employees isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes for better company culture and retention rates in an industry known for high personnel turnover and cheap labor.

3.) How many moves do you complete a year?

Across our national company, Gentle Giant completes over 13,000 moves annually. This number has continued to rise as we expand across the country and work closely with Realtors in the regions we work in. Gentle Giant has even grown during the down economy, which is another thing to ask a moving company: how well have they done over the last few years?

4.) If there’s a problem during the move, who will be handling it? Which department, individual, or a third party?

The Crew Chiefs Gentle Giant places in charge of moves are experienced, expert movers who have received extensive training which can often lead to the proper handling of claims right on the spot as they happen. However, if a problem needs further attention, Gentle Giant has a highly trained, in-house Quality Control Department that professionally and diligently handles every type of claim that comes in. In most cases, claims can be handled on the phone or in person by a handy Quality Control Field Representative, who can fix, repair, or replace almost anything.

5.) What type of estimates do you offer?

We offer hourly estimates and “not to exceed” estimates for local moves.  Binding estimates are offered for interstate moves.

6.)  Do you take credit cards?

Yes, as well as checks and cash.

7.) Are you (your company) a member of the American Moving and Storage Association, The Better Business Bureau, or are you listed as a Pro Mover?

Not only is Gentle Giant a part of the AMSA, but we were recognized by them as the Independent Mover of the Year in 2009. In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we’re members of the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce (we also won the much-coveted BBB Award for Marketplace Ethics).

8.) Does your company offer secure storage?

In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we offer secure, fully insured temperature controlled storage options. Gentle Giant’s storage comes with a detailed inventory list for easy access to specific items in storage. Climate controlled storage (which is not the same as temperature controlled) is also available in most regions.

9.) Do you offer insurance for moving?

Gentle Giant offers Full Replacement Value Insurance, Actual Value Replacement Insurance, and Basic Liability Insurance. Insurance options are carefully explained to each customer during the booking process, and can be changed on the day of the move with the job’s Crew Chief.

10.) What makes you different from all the other movers?

Gentle Giant has been a leader in the moving industry because of our intense focus on customer service, the athleticism of the crews we send out on jobs, and our 100% Money Back Guarantee. Unheard of in the industry, this Guarantee states that Gentle Giant customers are entitled to a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee for each member of their moving crew: packer, driver, local mover, or long distance mover.

We hope that this has been helpful, and if in the end you want to go with Gentle Giant in one of our regions, including San Francisco, Seattle, Charlotte, Washington DC, Lorton, VA, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts, then please call us at 1-800-442-6863 or Request an Estimate Online.

10 Questions You NEED to Ask Before Hiring a Mover in New England

The entire moving process is long, complicated, and stressful, so the last thing you want to worry about is hiring an unqualified, unprofessional moving company to move you to your new home. That’s why Gentle Giant compiled this list of 10 Questions you NEED to ask while researching moving companies.  These questions will allow you to easily identify legit companies over other companies that cut several dangerous corners to keep their prices low.

To help, we’ve supplied Gentle Giant’s answers to each question.

1.) How do you select your employees?

Gentle Giant has an intensive interview process, complete with full background checks and physical endurance tests to insure each candidate will make a successful Giant. We also demand more than just athleticism and good backgrounds – moving can be very stressful so we hire interpersonally savvy people who can maintain stellar attitudes in the midst of challenging situations.  

2.) Do you provide benefits for the movers?

Gentle Giant provides health and dental insurance, 401k, short and long term disability, as well as additional Health and Wellness benefits, including compensated gym membership. Offering these benefits to employees isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes for better company culture and retention rates in an industry known for high personnel turnover and cheap labor.

3.) How many moves do you complete a year?

Across our national company, Gentle Giant completes over 13,000 moves annually. This number has continued to rise as we expand across the country and work closely with Realtors in the regions we work in. Gentle Giant has even grown during the down economy, which is another thing to ask a moving company: how well have they done over the last few years?

4.) If there’s a problem during the move, who will be handling it? Which department, individual, or a third party?

The Crew Chiefs Gentle Giant places in charge of moves are experienced, expert movers who have received extensive training which can often lead to the proper handling of claims right on the spot as they happen. However, if a problem needs further attention, Gentle Giant has a highly trained, in-house Quality Control Department that professionally and diligently handles every type of claim that comes in. In most cases, claims can be handled on the phone or in person by a handy Quality Control Field Representative, who can fix, repair, or replace almost anything.

5.) What type of estimates do you offer?

We offer hourly estimates and “not to exceed” estimates for local moves.  Binding estimates are offered for interstate moves.

6.)  Do you take credit cards?

Yes, as well as checks and cash.

7.) Are you (your company) a member of the American Moving and Storage Association, The Better Business Bureau, or are you listed as a Pro Mover?

Not only is Gentle Giant a part of the AMSA, but we were recognized by them as the Independent Mover of the Year in 2009. In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we’re members of the Better Business Bureau and the Chamber of Commerce (we also won the much-coveted BBB Award for Marketplace Ethics).

8.) Does your company offer secure storage?

In all of Gentle Giant’s regions, we offer secure, fully insured temperature controlled storage options. Gentle Giant’s storage comes with a detailed inventory list for easy access to specific items in storage. Climate controlled storage (which is not the same as temperature controlled) is also available in most regions.

9.) Do you offer insurance for moving?

Gentle Giant offers Full Replacement Value Insurance, Actual Value Replacement Insurance, and Basic Liability Insurance. Insurance options are carefully explained to each customer during the booking process, and can be changed on the day of the move with the job’s Crew Chief.

10.) What makes you different from all the other movers?

Gentle Giant has been a leader in the moving industry because of our intense focus on customer service, the athleticism of the crews we send out on jobs, and our 100% Money Back Guarantee. Unheard of in the industry, this Guarantee states that Gentle Giant customers are entitled to a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee for each member of their moving crew: packer, driver, local mover, or long distance mover.


We hope that this has been helpful, and if in the end you want to go with Gentle Giant in New England, please call us at 1-800-442-6863 or Request an Estimate Online.