All Ways Moving & Storage marks 100 years in business

All Ways Moving & Storage marks 100 years in business

April 28, 2013
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Ralph H. Burt, left, and Brady McKean founded All Ways Moving in 1913, the year this photo was taken.
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Jim McNutt/Observer-Reporter
Tim Moore, president and owner of All Ways Moving & Storage on West Maiden Street in North Franklin, stands beside one of two new moving vans purchased this year. A picture of the original moving van 100 years ago is displayed on the new truck. Order a Print

The nature of paperwork has certainly changed for Tim Moore.

He was 9 when he joined the family business in 1975, following the unexpected death of his 45-year-old father, the owner. The son went to work removing crushed packing paper from boxes and rerolling it, flattening it for reuse.

“We were recycling back then,” he said, chuckling.

Nearly four decades later, instead of resurrecting paper, he is crunching numbers on it.

Moore, 47, is president of All Ways Moving & Storage at 338 W. Maiden St., North Franklin Township, the width of an easy chair from the city of Washington line.

He is a third-generation owner and operator of a firm celebrating a most marvelous milestone – its 100th birthday.

“I thought the company started in 1920.” Moore said, “but I found an ad that it’s been in business since 1913.”

Surviving a century isn’t easy in a profession that was changed dramatically by the 1980 deregulation of the industry, and has continued to recede via bankruptcy, buyout, merger, and the convenience and cost-effectiveness of renting a U-Haul and relocating on your own.

But from Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama, All Ways has always been there, and plans to keep on trucking. It has 25,000 square feet of warehouse space, 30-plus employees and 28 trucks. And, as an international agent for Wheaton World Wide Moving since 1973, it covers the globe.

“We go worldwide. We can move people anywhere,” said Moore, who lives in South Strabane Township with his wife, Kimberly, who works in the office.

All Ways, the only locally owned and operated moving company in Washington County, has won Wheaton’s quality of service award each of the 20 years it has been bestowed. It also has earned an Angie’s List Super Service Award the past five years.

Moore, the youngest of Bill and Jo Ann Moore’s eight children, is the latest in the line of ownership. He succeeded his mother, who succeeded her husband, who succeeded his father-in-law, Bill Kelly,

A fourth generation of the family is on board, too – Moore’s nephews Jon and Eric Hoyt. Jon is the company’s operations manager and his brother is a driver/supervisor.

Their uncle is proud of All Ways’ history and heritage, and one wall of his office attests to that. It is covered with an eclectic, fascinating mix of retro and contemporary photos featuring family members, trucks, buildings no longer on the All Ways premises and other things.

If there were a moving hall of fame, this wall would be there.

All Ways actually is a conglomeration of three moving companies his family ultimately owned in Washington: Kelly Transfer, Anderson Transfer and McKean and Burt.

Kelly, Moore’s maternal grandfather, owned Kelly Transfer along with two other city businesess: Central Taxi and Kelly’s News Stand,

“My father started to work for my grandfather and wanted to buy him out, but my grandfather wanted too much,” Tim Moore said.

Bill and Jo Ann Moore eventually acquired that company, following Kelly’s death in 1972.

That was the third of their moving companies. In 1963, Tim’s parents purchased Anderson Transfer from Harry Anderson in a move that was risky yet worthwhile, and attested to their credibility.

“My father didn’t have the money,” Tim said. “One of his friends said he’d loan it to him, but after paying him back, my father would have to do that for someone else. My dad returned the favor by loaning money to help someone else start a business.”

Then in 1965, the Moores purchased the company that Bill McKean and his brother-in-law, Ralph H. Burt, started in 1913. The slogan, “All Ways Moving,” was emblazoned on their trucks from the beginning.

After graduating from Trinity High School in 1984, Tim Moore moved to Boston and worked for Bekins for three years before returning to become that third-generation owner.

All Ways heads into its second century as a mover and shaker among movers, and Moore attributes its longevity to “quality and service. If you provide that, not only do you get repeat business from customers, you get referrals.”

Wise money management is another key for a firm that gets a lot of corporate and military business.

“I have no debt,” Moore said. “I learned long ago that you don’t borrow.”

Muncie Jankowski, a 25-year employee, echoes that sentiment.

“He didn’t get in debt like a lot of companies have because he paid as he went. He wouldn’t put his company in jeopardy,” said Jankowski, of South Strabane, a driver/supervisor who revels in this work.

“I’ve probably seen every state east of the Mississippi River, and a lot west. I see something different every day, plus I get my exercise in this job.”

Business, traditionally lagging during the fall and winter, has picked up recently. Moore said he has sent 10 to 15 trucks on jobs each workday this month. June through September, he said, usually is his company’s busiest stretch.

“For four months, we are scrambling to get as much work done as possible, and eight months we’re trying to stay profitable.”

It has come far from the pre-World War I days of McKean and Burt, when the slogan – instead of the business – was “All Ways Moving.” In fact, the company has come full circle.

One of Moore’s employees is Jack Burt, grandson of the original co-owner.

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won seven individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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