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Explainer: Peddling a new way to move

Peddling a new way to move

Another moving day has come and gone, and with it came a milestone for one Montreal moving company. Transport Myette completed its first July 1 moving day using a different kind of vehicle.

EXPLAINER GETS A LIFT FROM TRANSPORT MYETTE.

1 No, it’s not exactly your typical cube van. Last year, Montrealer Julien Myette came up with an idea for a different kind of moving company – the kind that wouldn’t spew emissions and can charge less than typical two-dudes-and-a-van movers. "I’ve always been a cyclist and never really liked cars and trucks," he says. "One day I saw a website with bike trailers and that’s when I had the idea of trying to do moves with them." He now commands a fleet of three trailers. As expected, July 1 proved to be the busiest day ever for his company. "We were booked all day and I had two teams on the road," he says. "We finished around 8 or 9 in the evening." Some of the folks who hired him didn’t realize they were getting movers on bicycles until the boys pedaled up to the house. "Sometimes it’s a good surprise for them, and sometimes less so," he says. "But at the end they’re always very satisfied." Myette charges $25 per hour for one mover and $35 per hour for two men with two bikes and trailers. He takes January and February off, but works all other months.

2 Myette spent roughly a year and a half working for a traditional mover, which is where he picked up the skills to stack and pack items. He says he can stack up to about 500 pounds’ worth of belongings on a single trailer. "I can put a washer and dryer on, and on top of that put a mattress and the box spring, and then if there’s a couch we put it on the top," he says. "We made some mistakes when we had our first jobs last fall, but now there aren’t any problems."

3 Myette says he’s mostly hired for moves that require less than 5 km of travel, though he’s up for longer trips. He’s also in the process of buying two more bike trailers. He hopes to have up to six trailers. "With six we could do full apartments in one trip," he says, noting that he would charge $100 per hour for the entire crew. "That’s roughly the same as reserving a truck with movers, and there’s usually only one or two of them." Plus, trucks are boring!

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  • by Stephen Talko - August 5, 2009, 8:35 am

    I do not like hiring movers who charge a lot and are not to be trusted. Once I even used a courier company to move my boxes but some glassware got broken and they overcharged making me have to fight for a refund. In the past I have usually rented a moving truck to move from one section of the city to another. Except for the one time the truck broke down there have been no surprises. Gas is almost a trivial expense and the goods are protected from bad weather. On the other hand these bicycle trailers would have trouble negotiating the many hills around Montreal especially the steep inclines found in Westmount and around Mount Royal. Even underpasses and overpasses would pose certain difficulties. Where I live there is a steady slope rising from the Back River which puts a lot of pressure on my legs when I am pedaling uphill on my hybrid bicycle. With 4 bicycles in the garage I would rather rent one of these trailers at a modest fee and do the whole move myself but only on flat terrain covering a few blocks. Just for the experience!

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