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This month, as we start to look ahead to peak season, there is no better time than now to develop good habits.  Good habits and following standard best practices will lead us into a successful peak season.  

Missing parts boxes are the biggest cause of emergency claims during peak season.  

    • It is extremely important that parts boxes be used on every shipment, and that they are the first item on every inventory.  This is a Suddath standard.  
    • It should be the last thing on the truck and the first thing off the truck that gets handed to the customer.  
    • Beds not being put together because of missing parts are high on the list of concerns. 

    • Emergency claims for beds because of missing parts can be costly. Emergency inspection appointments, typically occurring in the evening, after hours on a Friday, or on the weekend, can cost us between $200-$250 just for the inspection, and upwards of $300-$400 to put the beds back together.  This is assuming that we can get someone out there to do this, which usually amounts to putting the bed together with parts that likely cost $25-$50 from a hardware store.  If we are not able to get an appointment for the customer, we then have to put the customer in a hotel, which obviously, becomes very expensive.  
    • This can all be avoided with proper documentation, listing that parts box, containing all necessary parts, as the first item on the inventory.  This may seem very repetitive, and a basic tip, but until we eliminate emergency bed claims and the associated expense with them, it is necessary to keep talking about them and driving the point home.  We should not be leaving a customer’s home with a bed not put together.  
Thank you for your attention to this very important Suddath Standard.

SAFETY BULLETIN-Unigroup (Lithium Batteries)






UniGroup, Inc. - Loss Control


Mayflower Operations/Safety, United Operations/Safety, Home Office Management, All United Canadian Members, All United Domestic Agents, All Mayflower Canadian Members, All Mayflower Domestic Agents


Self Balancing Scooters (AKA Hoverboard) Guidance on Transporting


Agents have been inquiring about self-balancing scooters, popularly called Hoverboards, following several media reports of them bursting into flames.

To reduce the risk of van fires, agents are reminded to follow the UniGroup Quality Assurance Labor Training guidelines found in Packer Module #1-Non Allowables. Batteries from all electronic devices should be removed prior to loading. Removing the battery allows for transport of the scooter. The lithium-ion batteries from these scooters should not be transported in a household goods shipment. Safety is our number one priority and this preventative measure is a prudent step in protecting our customers' possessions, van operators, laborers and agent equipment as well as the motoring public.

This van line announcement concerns the lithium-ion batteries found in self-balancing scooters only and does not affect any other product.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) continues to investigate safety concerns surrounding this product but has yet to issue any new regulations. The CPSC has revealed there are cheap, low-quality brands on the market containing defective batteries bearing counterfeit Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) labels.

Several different models of self-balancing scooters are being sold with Hoverboard being just one manufacturer’s brand name. They were a popular holiday gift spurred by the 30th anniversary release of the Back to the Future movies. The CPSC investigation has focused on the lithium-ion batteries that power the device. Earlier, this type of battery made headlines when some caught fire aboard commercial passenger planes and electric cars.

Compared to their size and light weight, lithium-ion batteries generate high energy due to the very reactive chemical substances from which they are made. The CPSC’s initial investigations focused on fires occurring in units with defective batteries and during charging. The CPSC also suspects units became damaged when the maximum weight allowance for riders was exceeded, causing the lithium-ion battery terminals to come in contact with its circuit board.

Suddath Code of Conduct

David Cox

President, Suddath Relocation Systems


To:         All Suddath Contractors

Re:         Suddath Code of Conduct

I wanted to share with you some of the things that Suddath is doing to make our company the best choice for the industry’s finest craftspeople to partner with.  One of the most important responsibilities of Suddath leadership is to ensure a positive work environment for everyone in our company—a work environment that extends to our contractors, our business partners and our customers. We expect Suddath® to be a great place to work—a place where honesty and integrity come first.

To help accomplish this, we have worked diligently to develop a comprehensive compliance program and code of conduct to outline how we all play a role in the success of our company. We have branded our compliance program What We Do MattersSM.

You may be wondering what a compliance program is—it is the laws that govern our business and a guideline of how we live out our values through ethical behavior. The code of conduct supplements the compliance program and gives general guidelines of what our company thinks good behavior looks like and includes some frequently asked questions.

We are excited to rollout this essential program and welcome you to review the code of conduct pdf file which has been uploaded to the driver portal.  Our goal is to create a positive work environment—one that encourages open communication, ethical behavior, quality and safety. We truly are stronger together—working as a team.

Accurate & Timely Submission of Logs is Important to Van Operator Success

From Unigroup's August 8th edition of THE WIRE:
Have you ever said when asked about a missing log, “The log cannot be missing because it was in the same envelope with logs that aren’t missing”? If logs are illegible or completed incorrectly, they may be considered missing. It is important to send properly filled out and legible logs. The most common reasons why van operators do not receive credit for submitting a log include:

·        Poor Penmanship: Numbers that look like letters or letters that look like numbers; incorrect dates; write-overs or crossed-out data.
·        Missing Information: No signature; incomplete grid information; missing state or mileage information.
·        Incorrect or Contradictory Information: Incorrect driver ID format (no leading zeroes, blanks, dashes, numbers written out of order); incorrect authority or combination of authority (UVL ID/MT tractor or MT ID/UVL tractor; UVL authority combined with MT ID number or MT authority combined with UVL ID number).

If you need guidance on how to properly complete a log, please refer to the log book cover which has helpful information.


As we continue to make our way through the busy season I need to remind all our Van Operators about the Labor background certification requirements.  Our Van Operators, as the end user and ultimate check point for assuring all labor on our jobs is background checked, remain our best and final defense against unauthorized labor being present on any of our orders.  

Please be sure that you ask for background certified labor when you request labor from a UniGroup agent. Additionally please be sure to inquire of every laborer what their certification number is.  Recently a Van Operator contacted a helper directly, one which he originally secured from a UniGroup agent in previous trips to their city, and had the helper meet him at the job site. The Van Operator never asked him for his certification ID # as he assumed since he originally got the helper from a UniGroup agent that he was certified. It turned out the helper had not been background checked and as a result the Van Operator was held accountable for the helper not being qualified to be on the job.

While we’d all like to think that anytime we get help from a UniGroup agent that they have been background checked, the fact is some may not have been checked. And in the end the person who takes that helper out on the job is ultimately responsible. PLEASE be sure to ask the helper for their certification number. If they can’t produce it ask for a different helper.

 ALL Suddath offices are REQUIRED to provide you background certified help. ASK for the ID # to verify.  

Full background checks are valid for 3 years; Quick checks are valid for only 72 hours.  WHEN IN DOUBT PLEASE CALL!

Labor Compliance can assist agents/ Van Operators in the verification of any background check information that an individual may provide. Labor Compliance can be reached at 800-428-1267.  It wouldn’t hurt to make the call and double check the information.

 As always thank for all you do and be safe out there!

 Paul J Gleason

Vice President, Operations

Suddath Relocation Systems

Suddath Fuel Discount Program

Please don’t forget the Suddath Van Operator fuel discount program. This incentive is provided to you at no charge and works to leverage the joint buying power of you and the Suddath companies by receiving discounts for fuel at the following locations.

Please keep in mind three vendors provide discounts at the pump that are reflected on your ComData statement NOT on the pump receipt, the fourth offers a rebate that will be passed  on to you in the form of a Suddath check or credit on your statement once we receive the payment from the vendor here in Jacksonville ( probably quarterly). Keep checking the portal for further information on the posting date for your rebate!

·       Loves- Loves has re-rated our fuel spend and our current discount is 7 cents per gallon reflected on your ComData card statement monthly

·       TA/Petro- The TA/Petro discount is on a cost plus basis (cost plus 4 cents at TA and cost plus 6 cents at Petro) reflected on your ComData card statement monthly

·       Wilco/Hess includes a 7 cent per gallon discount reflected on your ComData card statement monthly

·       Pilot/Flying J has introduced a 7 cent per gallon discount program, which became effective March 1st  

Unlike the other programs, Pilot/Flying J will not offer discounts “at the pump,” and will only honor them on direct bill fleet relationships or via a single rebate check.  Therefore, our only opportunity to secure this discount was to opt for the rebate check. 

Our policy is to allow 100% of these discounts to pass to our van operators since the cost of fuel are their own.  That is not always the policy with other organizations.