Moving pianos requires everyone on the crew to be intelligent, cautious, and able bodied. Finding reliable people with these character traits is difficult, but sourcing them from the pools of off-duty firefighters is actually really easy.
The Pros of using firefighters on your moving crew:
- Firefighters usually have side gigs on their days off and they are eager to make $20-$30 an hour.
- They are a tight knit and team oriented group of people.
- They are available in every city (and across a region) which means you can have a crew available 6-7 days a week in almost any city.
- They are safety minded.
- They are usually fit and used to the logistics of maneuvering large vehicles in tight spaces.
- If you need extra help for a big job, you have plenty of people to pull from.
- They might even be able to use one of their personal trucks to pull your trailer.
- You can easily hire a crew lead (or two) from your local fire department who will then recruit help from other fire departments.
- All they need is a little equipment and training.
The Cons of using firefighters on your moving crew:
- You will probably need to provide the trailer and moving equipment.
- You can only pull from off-duty firefighters, so to assemble a crew you might need to spread out across multiple people.
- You might need to store your trailer near the firehouse (or have two trailers on each side of the city).
- You will need to handle all the scheduling logistics because your crew will not be interested in doing this.
- You might need to take someone to lunch to 'get on the inside' of their tight knit circle. So talk to some of your customers who are firemen. You will probably be surprised how receptive they are to the idea.
- You will need to call your liability insurance company to make sure you are covered under your policy.
If you want to start a moving crew, start small, focus on extractions (dump runs of dead pianos), and easy in-and-out moves of small pianos. When your crew has the skill to handle bigger and logistically challenging instruments you can start accepting bigger jobs. There is nothing wrong with moving pianos and turning down all the jobs you and your crew can't safely manage. Stay safe and grow an awesome business!