Home Truck News National Moving Day keeps Quebec trucks on the move - Truck News

National Moving Day keeps Quebec trucks on the move – Truck News

Quebec’s National Moving Day – a July 1 tradition traced to the days of rental properties with provincially mandated fixed terms – remains an unusually busy time for household movers in the province. 

Andy Desormeaux, Jean-Philippe Ladouceur and Gheorjhe Comsulea, who work for Montreal-based Meldrum the Mover, know it well. 

Truck driver Desormeaux has 32 years of experience behind the wheel, including five years in the moving business. Ladouceur has delivered furniture for 12 years and been at Meldrum for four years. Comsulea has five years’ experience of his own. 

At other times of the year, they can find themselves completing longhaul deliveries into Eastern Canada and Ontario. But this time of year they’re closer to home, in Montreal. 

National Moving Day movers
Jean-Philippe Ladouceur (left), Andy Desormeaux, and Gheorjhe Comsulea take a break during National Moving Day — one of the busiest days for household movers in Quebec. (Photo: David Simard-Jean)

I followed the team on a sweltering day as they moved tenants from Hochelaga-Maisonneuve to their new home in the Quartier des spectacles. 

“We’re excited to be working during the July 1 period because we’re so busy,” Comsulea says, referring to National Moving Day. 

Even though the work is physically more intense and pays less than longhaul trucking, it keeps them closer to home. 

“Even after 14 hours of work, I’m happy because I know I’m staying in my town and can go home, unlike on the road where I have to stop at a truck stop and sleep in the bunk,” Desormeaux says. 

There’s no guarantee that such work is always available, though. “Not so long ago, there weren’t many moves, so we worked less. We’re always worried when we get a message saying we won’t be working tomorrow,” Ladouceur says. The winter period is quieter for movers as well. 

But the period from June to August represents 70% of Meldrum’s revenue. So everyone needs to be ready to move. It deploys all its resources, including 3,000 employees, on July 1. 

National Moving Day
Andy Desormeaux and Gheorjhe Comsulea wrestle with a piece of furniture heading for their truck. (Photo: David Simard-Jean)

“We’ve got a lot of guys who are excited for this season because, for them, it’s the time when they work the hardest,” says Josh Schwartz, fleet vice-president and co-owner. “We’re happy to have people who are able to work six to seven days a week and efficiently.” 

There are challenges when so many movers are working on the same day, though. One of these is the search for parking. Anyone who has ever driven in Montreal knows how complicated it can be to park on city streets, and things get even more complicated with a large moving truck. 

The team does, however, have a special permit allowing them to park anywhere in the city. But while it’s easy enough to find a spot in a predominantly residential area, it’s more difficult on a narrow or busy downtown street. 

This was particularly the case when I traveled with the team. 

It’s a competitive business, but there was plenty of work to go around. 

“The moving industry is in such high demand at the end of June that there’s enough work for all the companies,” Schwartz says. “The aim is to find a reliable and competent company that will fit the bill.” 

Aligning schedules is another matter entirely. It’s easy for teams to cross paths when any move takes longer than expected, Ladouceur says.  

There are always unexpected issues to address – even when everyone knows the day is coming. 

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