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October 31, 2016

Three cheers for PVOs: Insights from Atlas' "King of the Road" survey

  • Commercial moving
The annual "King of the Road" survey helps shed light into the practices and preferences of PVOs across the U.S.

Each year, millions of Americans decide to pack up and move, either down the street or to the other side of the country. Some do it to find new employment opportunities or to pursue an education. But no matter the reason, or what time of year these moves take place, most of these people rely on the expertise provided by a moving service.

These companies not only help people save money, but they have valuable insights to make any move a smooth and enjoyable experience. So often, though, people don't realize that what makes these companies so effective is that they're run by ordinary people with similar wants and needs.

As a means of helping people get better acquainted with their professional van operators (PVOs), Atlas Van Lines releases its annual "King of the Road" survey. Here, we get to better understand PVOs and their preferences of food, how to drive, technology on the road and much more.

These may seem like simple factoids, but they're a great way to break the ice and build connections between homeowners and PVOs.

"King of the Road" 2016 feature answers from 401 PVOs."

True moving royalty

Atlas has organized the "King of the Road" survey since 1976. Over the years, the survey has not only introduced PVOs to homeowners, but also shown the changes in how these movers operate. That kind of insight is just as valuable to consumers, as it helps them understand just what goes into a move, including the technology.

For the 2016 edition, Atlas reached out to 401 PVOs, gaining valuable insight into their experiences and lives on the road.

A better way of moving

This year, two key trends emerged among PVOs:

1. Drivers have become extra health conscious
Given the sometimes sedentary lifestyle of a professional mover, PVOs are making more of an effort to exercise each day. While 75 percent of these movers only exercise by moving furniture, 26 percent supplement this with activities like walking or running. Plus, these PVOs are eating healthier to boot: 44 percent chose fresh fruit over other snacks, while 79 percent opted for water over soda and other sugary drinks.

"Some 93% of PVOs use smartphones."

2. Technology is becoming a more prevalent tool
As a whole, the moving industry has always relied on technology to streamline its work. However, as the survey found, more PVOs are turning to different kinds of technology to increase efficiency and productivity.

93 percent of PVOs use smartphones for various tasks, the most popular of which (94 percent in all) is to answer emails. Meanwhile, 75 percent of PVOs use social media, including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

A matter of favorites

In addition to touching on issues with health and technology, the survey also asked PVOs about some of their favorites on the road. Whether food, hotel chains, antacids or grocery stores, these beloved brands offer more insight into the men and women who make thousands of moves each year a reality.

  • Androids are the most commonly used smartphones. The most frequent cell phone provider was Verizon.
  • Shell Rotella won best motor oil.
  • Dunkin' Donuts landed best coffee brand.
  • Flying J and Petro tied for the most popular truck stop chains.
  • There was also a tie between Super and Comfort Inn hotel chains.
  • A majority of PVOs do all their shopping at Walmart stores.
  • When it comes to electronic log devices and telematics systems, most PVOs rely on Rand McNally.

Bravo to PVOs!

The "King of the Road" survey is only part of Atlas' annual efforts. The service also hosts BRAVO - Boosting Recognition of Atlas Van Operators - an annual appreciation event in the U.S. and Canada. The week-long event features several smaller gatherings meant to celebrate PVOs and everything they do for consumers. These PVOs make moving with a professional service something that changes people's lives.