Thursday, September 10, 2009


Sometimes things happen that you don't plan on and don't want but in the end you see someone had been watching out for you even if you weren't. I decided to turn over a new leaf in my approach to the beginning of this new adventure. I'd actually researched things and looked for the best option instead of closing my eyes and jumping in unaware and unprepared. I got on the internet and began the search for the perfect truck to get us to Wisconsin. I found all of the sites on goggle for truck rentals and began filling in the information for each one getting a printout of their rates and deals. Then I compared what I thought were the best three: U-haul, Budget and Penske. I had done this in advance of the move and since we still clung to the hope of not having to make this move I stoped my search just short of making a real reservation. When the "It's-time-to-leave-New-York" ball finally dropped I got back on the phone with my top two choices: Budget and Penske. I had been leaning toward Penske. They had the best one-way price and they "guaranteed" a truck. I had set my mind on a sixteen footer, being a sissy boy the thought of driving anything larger gave me stomach cramps. When I called Penske back on the way to completing the final reservation the cost of the truck had jumped another hundred dollars. Not happy with the jump or their steadfastness in not wanting to negotiate, I called Budget to see what they would do. Budget was surprisingly happy to negotiate and willing to pull me in as a proud big rig customer. They beat Penske's price by a couple of hundred dollars and in our situation a couple of hundred dollars meant a lot. I rented from Budget and thought I had snuck a fast one past their professional sales force.
When Monday arrived, and we had still not completed all of our packing, my best friend, Jim, and I dashed of to the Budget rental lot on the Westside intending to get our truck. I needed Jim for moral and technical support. There were the normal unplanned for issues to deal with, the insurance, do we need a dolly, or do three foot by four foot packing blankets really cover anything. When all of the decision making had finally been put into place; insurance yes, dolly yes (although we never used it), blankets no, we went out to inspect the truck. I had this nagging thought in the back of my mind all night the night before but I chose to ignore it and instead back-stepped into my former mode constituting leaping without looking. I seemed to remember from past buying trips for our store that some of the trucks had bucket seat cabs meaning only two people could fit safely secured with seatbelts and airbags in place for the ride across country. Sure enough, when we looked inside the sexteen-foot Budget truck it had only two seats. For the briefest of moments I contemplated seating either Rick or Emmy on the consle, or leaving one them behind , or better yet running as fast as I could out of there and away from all of this misery. Instead, I did my best to calm down, walk back into the rental office and declare, "But it's only got two seats!" The salesman replied, "Yup." Putting back on my tough-as-nails negotiating hat I came back with, "Oh please, please, please you've got to help me!"
They had three-seater sixteen-foot trucks but they were only used for local or round trip rentals. There were no sexteen-foot or under vehicles for rent equipped with three seats. Then we spied the looming twenty-four footer, standing there sparkling in the sun, its three seat cab bellowing, "Take me, show 'em all what kind of man you are."
Knees quacking, I turned back in to the office one more time. Either compassion for my situation or an extreme pleasure in seeing me reduced to a whimpering little boy made the salesman offer me the big twenty-four footer for the same price as the little sixteen-footer I thought I wanted and felt I could handle. Providence had stepped in giving us what we really needed even if I thought it wasn't what I wanted. There would have been no way in hell a sixteen-foot truck would have held everything we took to Wisconsin. As it was, we packed the back of that truck from front to back and top to bottom without an inch to spare and I drove that truck from New York City to Andes, New York and all the way to Wisconsin without having to go in reverse once.

Do your research and do it in advance. Ask questions. Negotiate. This goes for truck rentals and everything else you need.

Then rent Budget. They're really nice.

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