Every year is a moving year at U-Haul. Hopefully, we were able to make your year a little more efficient and economical by helping you or a fellow do-it-yourselfer minimize the hassle of moving.
Yet 2015 was no ordinary year. In fact, it was quite extraordinary. There were many reasons why the past 12 months carved out a place in our hearts … though we’ve whittled it to 10 for the sake of this list.
Without further ado, here is our countdown of what made 2015 memorable at U-Haul:
10. U-Haul became the Official Trailer and Propane of Phoenix International Raceway, venturing into the realm of NASCAR to educate a target audience on trailer and propane safety. The campaign was embraced by racing fans and trailer owners from across the country. U-Haul provided discounted on-site propane while reminding customers it has been the largest U.S. retailer of propane for decades.
9. Our sustainability initiatives gained traction, from our takeoff of dozens of adaptive reuse projects to reduce blight and lower communities’ carbon footprints while meeting the demand for new U-Haul stores, to helping environmentally conscious organizations protect and create green spaces – including the planting of 12,500 trees with The Conservation Fund through the aid of U-Haul customer donations.
8. U-Haul furthered its hardline stance against distracted driving by partnering with Project Yellow Light to stop the epidemic of texting while driving among youths. Additional U-Haul safe-driving initiatives included a free online defensive driving course, sponsorship of the annual NOYS (National Organizations for Youth Safety) conference and a clear safety message at our many safe-trailering exhibitions. U-Haul is back on board with PYL for 2016.
7. Sam Shoen, Executive Vice President and U-Box Project Manager, was named the eighth member of the AMERCO Board of Directors. Sam is son to AMERCO President and CEO Edward “Joe” Shoen and grandson to U-Haul founders L.S. “Sam” Shoen and Anna Mary Carty Shoen. Sam’s U-Haul roots date to 1990 when he joined the family business. He has excelled in many positions while putting his stamp on the Company.
6. The launch of myuhaulstory.com at the onset of 2015 offered U-Haul a new storytelling forum where we have spent the year sharing news about our wonderful people, products and partners; our role in the community; our history; and our presence in the media. The website was used as the centerpiece for the release of our annual U-Haul migration trends reports.
5. Building on a longstanding relationship with the American Red Cross, U-Haul became an official Red Cross Disaster Responder. That partnership was put to use when U-Haul trucks and storage were used to assist in disaster relief efforts throughout the wildfires in the Pacific Northwest and northern California. Beyond the Red Cross, we initiate our own community relief efforts when flooding, tornados and other disasters strike by offering 30 days of self-storage to affected residents when possible. Free storage was extended to residents of at least 20 states following disasters in 2015.
4. Our new 26-foot trucks began rolling off the U-Haul Tech Center assembly line in the fall. Anchored by the Ford Super Duty F-650, this gleaming new “JH” looks the part of powerful behemoth but drives like a van – it’s smoother than you could imagine. For families with four or more bedrooms to pack, these state-of-the-art trucks will be popular rentals come next moving season.
3. U-Haul eclipsed 20,000 locations in North America between its owned-and-operated stores and its neighborhood dealer network, which is 18,000-plus strong and continues to expand as U-Haul aims to bring the convenience of closer locations to more neighborhoods. While many of our dealers are fairly new to the network, others like Hicks & Hicks Automotive have been doing this for a long time.
2. Seventy years in business is some feat, especially when you’re talking about a fledging operation that began in a milk house in 1945 and sprouted into the industry leader in do-it-yourself moving and self-storage. U-Haul celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2015 by serving as the main attraction at Ridgefield Heritage Day in the small Washington town where the Carty ranch was site of the first trailers built.
1. Our customers. Without you, there is no U-Haul. Thank you. We pledge to continue striving to meet our primary service objective of providing a better and better product and service to more and more people at a lower and lower cost in the years to come. Happy New Year, everyone.
Will you be using U-Haul to make a move during 2016? If so, please share your plans in the comment box below.