Storage Facilities in Ashton-Under-Lyne & Manchester

Many of our customers ask us for a good, secure, dry safe storage facility.

As regulars to our site and Twitter feed know, we heartily recommend Ashton Self Store.

They are a family run concern and not a faceless outfit full of silly rules and regulations like many other Manchester storage facilities.

We are regulars on behalf of clients across Tameside, Stockport and Manchester at Ashton Self Store, and from our perspective, we find all the facilities on offer easy to navigate, pallet trucks and trolleys are freely available and 24 hour access is standard at no extra cost.

Storage Ashton Under Lyne

Here is one of our vans unloading outside:

Storage Manchester

And here is an internal view of one of the units with us loading some items of a customer in there:

Storage Tameside

As you can see the facilities are clean, secure, with automated lighting throughout, and the trolley truck you can see is supplied free of charge.

We are also impressed that the place is clean as a whistle; not a scrap of anything on the floor! These are the kind of facilities we enjoy working at, and of course, only being on Bentick Street in Ashton-Under-Lyne, they are local for us and you.

And here is something else you really want to know: Working with an efficient and accessible storage facility, takes less time. And THAT saves you money!

 

Contact them here: Ashton Self Store.

Need a Piano Moved in Manchester, Stockport or Tameside?

It might sound a funny question.

There are not too many homes that we come across nowadays that have pianos in.

While we do get some calls to move pianos, we can count on one hand the number we move a year.

When I was a kid, many houses had pianos. Even my Gran’s house in the 90’s still had one (although she was a pianist).

If we can trust what the Telegraph tells us, they claim that the British have stopped buying pianos. They claim this is the case because Harrods piano department has closed down.

When Harrods brutishly said yesterday that their piano department “no longer warranted the space” and was accordingly being closed down, it reflected the changing culture of a shop that was once a byword for English gentility. But more worryingly, it confirmed something that’s been obvious in this country for years: we’ve stopped buying pianos.

Now although what goes on in Harrods isnt likely too much of a barometer for what goes on in Ashton-under-Lyne; or Didsbury.

But up to now, I think we can all agree that a piano isn’t a common sight. You’ll see where I am heading with this now……

Yesterday, we had a job in Trafford Park, and parked up in a yard was a couple of tatty old vans liveried up with “Man and Van” on all sides.

Piano Removals Manchester

Please note: These are NOT our vans – we don’t run tatty old stuff like this. 

I am not sure they are even in use, but it doesn’t detract from the point. Looking at the back of one of them revealed some unusual marketing.

Move Piano Manchester

Other peoples marketing always interests me, even when it makes no sense.

For me, it seems silly to advertise on the back of your van that you move something that very few people have – and then don’t even put a phone number on there. Perhaps that bit of razor sharp marketing is the reason these vans don’t seem to be on the road.

If you want a piano moving, it need not be any kind of specialist that does it. It is not much different to moving any other large and heavy item of furniture.

As long as it is handled carefully, sheeted up with blankets to avoid damage and strapped to the side properly in the van, all will be fine.

Also, if you are moving a piano from one building to another, you should allow several days minimum before having it re-tuned in order for your piano to acclimatise itself to its new location and climate.

If you want a piano moving in or around Greater Manchester, you are welcome to get in touch with us

So You Want a Big Removal Van?

So you want a big removal van?

It is surprising how many people call us up and say, “Is it a big van? I have a lot of stuff.”

We often end up having circular conversations with us asking what is a lot of stuff? What you think is a lot I might think isn’t.

What you may think is a big van we might think is a small van.

Sometimes people say “Is it Transit sized?” – Well how big is a Transit? They do little car derived vans right up to large box vans under the Transit badge.

It is our policy to only use 3500kgs Luton vans. We also only use Mercedes Sprinter vans for the reliability that is a must in our job.

Here is one of our vans:

Manchester Removal Van

In reality, we find this size of van big enough for most jobs. It isn’t too large to get onto driveways and into tight spaces, and can easily be reversed alongside most buildings and into tight spaces where very large removal vans usually cannot.

However, it is often difficult for a customer to visualise if the van we are going to send is big enough. The term “Man and Van” can cover almost any kind of van with a man driving it.

I was pondering this today while driving through Denton, when I pulled up at a junction near Crown Point behind this guy.

Manchester Man and Van

Now, we don’t know him from Adam, but in my mind that is a small van. That is a standard Ford Transit panel van.

A small van like that is probably OK for small jobs, perhaps moving a small sofa or a single bed and a few bits across town. But if you have booked a “removal van” or a man and van to move house, or have a large American style freezer to move, you may be slightly disappointed when a small Transit van like that turns up.

For sure, to move house using an inappropriate van like that will involve multiple journeys which, not being time efficient to do, will ultimately cost you more money.

So if you want a big removal van, consider what your idea of big is and better to discuss with your contractor the type of stuff you are moving if in doubt.

If you are looking for a Man & Van or a removal van in Manchester, why not peruse our Frequently Asked Questions before you call us. The answers to questions like this are also to be found there.

Moving Goods from France to Manchester

As mentioned in the last post, we recently were hired by a Manchester Dyson Specialist that we do some occasional work for to go to Normandy in France to collect some Dyson spares from a  Dyson dealer over there that was closing down.

We are quite experienced in European jobs having in the past been regulars to the island of Ibiza and even again recently as far as Russia (see a future post for photos there).

Of course, in an ideal world we will stay within the local confines of Greater Manchester doing the house removals and transport jobs we do day in day out. But now and again it is nice to have a change of scenery.

For this job, we chose to send one of our Mercedes Sprinters we purchased recently. We haven’t even had chance to get all the old sign-writing cleaned off yet but it was pressed into service and sent away to France anyway.

We left Manchester around midnight, and a few hours later were in the Channel Tunnel.

Removals France Manchester

And before long we were in France!

Transport UK France

So from there, we headed south towards Paris heading for Normandy.

Removals UK - Paris

Around lunchtime, we were parked up in a large French Villa loading up with boxes.

Manchester Removals

And mid afternoon, we had carefully loaded and stacked all that we were sent for.

van and man manchester

We then headed back towards Calais.

Tameside removals

Our client had been good enough to fund a necessary overnight stop – with food and drinks – at the Holiday Inn on the Avenue Charles De Gaulle in Coquelles. Which isn’t far from the tunnel.

The next morning we just had time to visit the French supermarkets to bring our wives back some French wine, cheese and croissants, and we were back in the tunnel again.

An interesting twist to this is that on the tunnel, we were allowed out in the regular tourist tunnel as we were empty. But coming back, because we were carrying commercial goods, we had to take the slower freight train. Which of course costs twice as much.

Thankfully, the chaps at British customs didn’t give us a hard time, and pretty soon we were on our way back north up the M1 towards Manchester.

We got unloaded in the late afternoon in Gorton, and that was the end of a rather gruelling two day drive.

We deserved a glass of that French wine after completing that job in less than 48 hours!

We are happy to quote for any removal and/or transport jobs to or from mainland Europe and the greater EU. If you are moving stuff to or from France or elsewhere in Europe, get in touch with us >>here<<

A Jaunt to France!

Next week we have been hired to go to Normandy in France.

Its always nice to have a change of scenery away from the standing traffic of Manchester and have some standing traffic on the wrong side of the road instead. 😉

Checking out Google Maps, it seems to be a modest 450 or so miles in each direction.

For sure, that is a 900 mile round trip, but it is sure less miles than we used to do when we used to have the “Van to Ibiza” (van2ibiza.com if anyone remembers that) service a few years ago. That was a truly gruelling drive.

This time, we are heading down to the Channel Tunnel overnight to avoid traffic with the plan to be in Normandy around lunchtime.

Here is the route:

mrp

The plan, after loading up will be to sample some fine French food along the way, stay in a hotel overnight, and head back the next day.

Of course, we also plan to pop into what Calais is famous for – Wine warehouses – on the way back, and stock up on some French Chablis and Syrah too! thumbs up

We will of course be taking a few photographs along the way (well, not of the wine consumption!) so will put a later post on with a bunch of photos for anyone that is interested.

A plus tard! as they say in Normandy………..

The constant quest to save diesel.

Using a lot of diesel fuel every week, we at M60 are always seeking new ways to cut our fuel bills.

Even if only a little………

It can be surprising the little things that can be done to save a little fuel.

And a little, often, adds up to quite a lot over time.

One small thing we have recently done is to fit all our Mercedes Sprinter vans with alloy wheels.

#manandvan

If you change from standard steel wheels to bigger diameter alloy wheels with lower profile tyres then the rolling resistance increases very slightly, roughly 1% extra for every one inch increase in wheel diameter, so you will use slightly more fuel.

But, if you stick to the same size alloy wheels as steel wheels (as we have done) then there is no difference in performance.

But there is less weight.

And less weight means less rolling resistance, and less fuel.

The result of this? Well, apart from using less fuel being green, lowering our overheads – even just a little – means we don’t have to raise our prices very often.

And we know you don’t like it when prices go up. “Every little helps” as Tesco is fond of saying.

Over our lifetime each one of us burns many thousands of gallons of fuel in one way and another. To preserve our environment we need to look at ways of becoming more sustainable. As strange as it may sound, alloy wheels on our vans are our small contribution today.

Not to mention looking pretty snazzy. Because after all, who wants a scruffy old van outside their house when they are moving house?

We know you don’t.

 

#manandvanmanchester

An alternative to the Mottram-in-Longdendale Bypass?

Anyone who knows Mottram knows about the traffic problems and the lack of funding for the Mottram Bypass.

There is an article on Real Deal Blog about the Mottram Bypass here: e-petition deliver Mottram – Mottram Bypass – Stuck in Traffic?

Local MP Jonathan Reynolds has recently taken up the reins on the issue and sent local residents a long and informative letter on the subject.

The locals of Mottram are glad that someone is finally back on the case.

It is clear to anyone who lives in or near Mottram that the bypass is a much-needed road.

However, if the funding is ever going to be available is anyone’s guess. If the funding actually becomes available, it will be many years until it is built and in operation.

Is there a medium term solution maybe? 

A good medium term solution wouldn’t cost millions.

A good medium term solution would be useful to keep in the distant future if a bypass is ever actually built.

Well, the good people at the Real Deal Blog have come up with an idea.

It goes like this:

This is a two pronged attack on the traffic problem. The first being to dissuade some of the trucks from using Mottram as a convenient cut through instead of using the M62.

The second being to implement a scheme at the junction of Mottram Moor / A57 Hyde Road / Stalybridge Road / Market Street / B6174 (Post Office) that calms the traffic somewhat and allows pedestrians to cross.

This where Mottram could learn something from Poynton in Cheshire. The main junction in Poynton suffered similar traffic problems to Mottram and they did something about it. Watch the video below to see what they did.

Such a scheme might work quite well at the Mottram Moor / A57 Hyde Road / Stalybridge Road / Market Street / B6174 junction.

Similar to the scheme in Poynton, it would allow both sides of Mottram not to be cut off from each other as they are now. It would slow the angry traffic and perhaps alleviate the long queues towards the junction that form on Stalybridge Road and Market Street.

The other prong of the attack is to make what is currently a convenience for HGV trucks into an inconvenience that costs money.

That means installing some of these:

Toll Booth

Yes, toll booths. Specifically for HGV’s.

You put one at the beginning of Hyde Road at the end of the M67 (where the Big Baps butty van is) and make all trucks larger than 3500kgs pull into the side to pay £5 to pass through Mottram.

You put another one on the far side of Tintwistle somewhere to collect another £5. Place one also near the Roe Cross to catch rat-runners using Back Moor as an avoidance route.

You charge HGV traffic both ways at both points.

Drivers with delivery notes indicating a delivery between the two points get though for free maybe (don’t want to harm businesses in Glossop and the catchment areas).

Cars and vans below 3500kgs go free and do not need to pull off and stop. Trucks that don’t stop get a fixed penalty £100 ticket – especially foreign trucks. Maybe a 6’6″ width restriction will force trucks through the toll booth/checkpoint instead?

This means HGV’s pay £10 to use Mottram and Tintwistle as a cut through to and from the M1 and Yorkshire.

Many will choose not to pay and use the M62 instead – as they should. And that will cut the HGV traffic down to allow the scheme above like they have in Poynton to work.

The best part? 

The best part is not only does it create jobs…………..

Not only does it reduce heavy HGV traffic through villages……………….

Not only is it self funding…………

Not only does it charge those who create much of the problem, and use that money to solve it…………

But it will make a profit. What to do with the profit? Well, why not ring fence it and use it to build the bypass with? thumbs

This way, even the bypass pays for itself! Build it slowly as the money comes in! 

When the bypass is built, Mottram village is left with a nice little shared traffic/pedestrian area, and people may even want to sit on that bench next to the statue of Lowry and not fear about choking on fumes.

If you live in Hyde, Godley, Mottram, Stalybridge, Tintwistle, Glossop, Broadbottom, Simmondley, Hollingworth, Hattersley or anywhere in the locality, you have an interest in getting Mottram Bypass looked at again by the government.

Sitting in the soul-destroying traffic hoping someone else will do something for you will make it never happen.

MP’s and councillors wont solve this decades old problem unless forced to by public opinion.

You need to contact your elected representatives and link them to this topic (use the link www.tinyurl.com/mottrambypass – it comes here!).

Its easier than it used to be to contact those we voted in. There is no getting out the pen and paper and trudging to the mailbox and paying for an over-priced stamp any more. Its all online. You can do it in a  few clicks.

Here’s how. Go to this site: Write to your local Councillor or MP (opens in a new window)

Write to your local elected representative and complain that they are not working to solve the traffic problems in this area. If enough of you do that, they will be forced to listen and it will get debated once again. If they ignore you, don’t vote for them next time. Simples!

Write it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social networking pages. Link this article in your email signatures. Get the word out!

How to Choose a Removal Company

It is unusual to hear from someone who didn’t have a stressful time moving but using good quality removal companies and being organised will minimise the risks and your stress levels during the move.

Firms that don’t hold themselves to high standards probably also lack the funds to invest in their vehicles. Poorly maintained, unlicensed or unsuitable vans are not only a hazard on the road but may very well be in breach of their insurance conditions (assuming they actually are insured) – meaning if there’s an accident or your goods are damaged in loading or transit, you may not be covered.

Small firms or unprofessional ‘man & van’ outfits very often don’t directly employ their staff and simply hire in casual labour when they need. If the crew aren’t professionals then your possessions may not be treated with respect and packed well for the journey. If the crew aren’t full time, once they’ve done the job and they move on, there’s no comeback.

Too often we’ve heard of people arranging a cheap deal with a “bloke who seemed friendly” who “has a mate with a van” who then doesn’t turn up on the day or turns up with a transit van and his mate and wants an extra £400 cash to do the job or he’ll drive off – jeopardising an entire chain of homemovers. At a minimum, you should get an agreement which sets out the service that will be provided in clear English with clear contact details of who you’re dealing with.

Use your common sense as well: Clean vehicles, smartly dressed, competent staff who feel reassuring and expert to talk to, open about their reputation and references are all good signs. Just as you wouldn’t hire a shifty looking person with a banger of a van to work on your gas boiler, don’t skimp on the removal company you’re going to ask to drive off with your house hold possessions and valuables.

How much do removal companies charge?

 

Factors affecting the price of a move include:

  • how much stuff you have: more stuff = higher volume/more weight = bigger or multiple vehicles.
  • more stuff also means bigger removal crews to get it all packed and loaded.
  • if you want the convenience and protection of the crew packing for you.
  • if you need strong packing materials provided.
  • how far the van(s) have to travel: further = more fuel costs.
  • if you have high value special items e.g. pianos or artworks that need extra care and specialist attention.
  • how fast you want the move to happen. If you want to be done and dusted inside a day, the only way to do it is have more crew members to help out.
  • if you are moving during peak seasons (school holidays) or weekends at times of high demand.

There’s a lot to consider which is why a good removal company may ask to visit your property to ensure their price is accurate and all the factors have been considered. Prices can range roughly from around £300 for a small 2 bed house up to several thousand for really large houses and complicated long distance moves.

When evaluating removals companies, beware of buying on price alone. The lowest rate does not necessarily mean that you will achieve best value for money. What matters most is a successful result.

What days of the week should I avoid moving home?

Understandably many movers try and move over the weekend to minimise time off work. This also means it’s a premium time to move and prices will shift accordingly. If you can move mid-week do so as you’ll get more time and keener prices.

How should I prepare for the move?

If you have a floorplan available (the estate agent may have made one up in the marketing of the property) make a key for the rooms indicating what goes where. Removers often provide stickers or colour coding to help with this.

Use the move as an opportunity to tidy up and throw stuff away that you really don’t need – no sense paying to transport stuff you’ll never use!

If you’ve opted for the protection and convenience of having the team pack for you, help them out by getting organised – the faster your team can pack up, the quicker you can be on the way and the faster you can be ready to unpack at the other end.

Don’t put all your stuff in a big heap – leave things in rooms so the crew have room to work and plan the loading efficiently.

Eat the contents of your freezer in the weeks before the move!

Don’t forget the loft and the shed – all sorts of horrors might be lurking for the unwary there.

Should I tip the removal crew?

That’s down to you – most crews appreciate a cup of tea and a biscuit at the least. Whilst professional removal companies will always provide a good minimum standard of service, getting on well with your crew will go a long way towards a smooth relationship and making it easy for them to deliver great service. If they’re doing a great job, don’t hold back in showing your appreciation whether that’s bacon sandwiches at the beginning of the day or a crate of beer at the end.

Moving House in 2013? Don’t Forget the Important Stuff!

Moving House in 2013? Don’t Forget the Important Stuff! 

It’s often said that moving home is one of the most stressful things you will ever do. Several important decisions need to be made, there are many things to do, it’s a lot of hard work and then there’s the cost. As always, organization and planning is essential. The following checklists, suggestions and reminders may be of assistance.

Benefits & Tax Office

Advise Child Benefit Office
Advise the Tax Office
Advise Pensions
Advise Working Families Tax Credit

Burglar Alarm

Leave Operating Instructions/Code For New Home Owners
Ensure Current Owners Of Your New Home Leave Instructions For You

Vehicles

Advise DVLA of address changes
Advise Insurance Company
Advise Motoring Organasation

Financial Information

Inform Bank
Inform Credit Card Company
Inform Store Charge Cards

Legal & Residential

If you are currently renting, make sure you give appropriate notice to the landlord in accordance with the lease and the relevant tenancy legislation.
If you are hoping to simultaneously settle the sale of one property and the purchase of another, make sure that your lawyer is aware of this so he or she can advise you accordingly and appropriate steps can be taken to make it happen.

Forwarding Addresses

Contact Post Office For Re-Direction
Leave A Forwarding Address At Your Old Home
Ensure The Owners Of The Home You Are Entering Have Left A Forwarding Address

Medical

Inform Existing Doctor
If Moving To A Different Area Locate A New Doctor
Inform Existing Dentist
If Moving To A Different Area Locate A New Dentist
Do Not Pack Important Medications Carry These With You At All Times

Telephone Contacts

Advise Provider At Your Old Home That You Are Moving
If Possible Transfer Your Number To Your New Home

Schools & Colleges

Inform Schools Of Your New Contact Details
Arrange New Schools With Necessary Info

Television

Confirm With The Television Licence Authority That You Are Moving
Take Your Licence With You
Advise Your Cable/Satellite Suppliers

And last but not least………..

Anything that’s out of sight may be out of mind, particularly if it’s been tucked away for a while. Consider whether anything you have lent, hidden, put into storage or safekeeping or put in for repair needs to be collected or relocated.

Work out the best way to move the possessions you are taking with you to their eventual destination. The job will inevitably require a lot of muscle, packing materials and one or more heavy vehicles. It’s a big job best left to the professionals. Consider the various disposal and storage alternatives for the possessions you are not taking with you (see below) and make sure you leave yourself enough time to get it all done.

That’s where we come in: Click here to arrange your Manchester area removal

What size removal van do I need?

“What size removal van do I need?” is a question we are often asked. Closely followed by, “I am not sure your vans are big enough?”

People tend to assume they need way bigger than they actually do in our experience.

As we know, vans come in all shapes and sizes. Most people cannot think in cubic feet or meters, nor can they visualise a houseful of belongings packed up into a van.

That’s no problem – that’s our job!

When you picture a removal van in your mind, you probably imagine something like this:

Big removal van Manchester

Vans that size are Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV’s) and usually come with several men and a big price tag.

Unless you are moving a very large house to the other end of the country, and have a couple of thousand burning a hole in your pocket, you don’t need a van this big.

You may consider something this size:

7.5 tonne removal van

That is a 7.5 tonne truck. Seldom do you need something this size either.

Very large removal vans cannot get up your driveway. Or if they can, they are heavy enough to damage it.

That means extra manpower to carry your furniture further into the street, for the scrutiny of your nosey neighbours. Not ideal is it?

For this reason, our removal vans are this size:

Luton box van removal van

Do not imagine a van this size isn’t big enough to house your belongings and move them from one house to another.

We have been doing house removals for over twenty years day in, day out. We know what we are talking about.

A van this size will get up your driveway and up and down narrow streets.

A van this size, when packed skilfully, will house what you think to be an incredibly large amount of stuff.

A regular two bedroom terraced house is usually moved in a van this size in one trip.

Larger houses with four or more bedrooms often take two trips. Occasionally a third if there is a garage full of stuff and bulky garden furniture, etc.

Doing two trips is actually quite convenient for you. It allows you to have people at the new property sorting stuff out and unpacking essentials while the van returns for the final trip.

As most people only move a few miles away, a van doing two trips costs no more in time than the extra time loading and unloading an even bigger van might take.

As experienced house removers based in Ashton Under Lyne and covering all of Greater Manchester, we can help you prioritise how your house should be moved.

Assuming a big house that takes two trips, the first will be the big stuff like beds, sofas, white goods and other essentials you need right away (like the kettle). This allows you to start getting organised while we bring the garden furniture and other stuff you wont be using today.

Competence, organisation and experience matter way more than size of van. Try us when you move house and let us show you how it need not be as stressful as you might imagine.

If you are moving house in or around Manchester, Stockport or Tameside, why not get in touch with us to see how we can help you.

 


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