Gary Grund, SVP
In February of 2019, Budd Van Lines acquired Merchants Moving & Storage, a company serving Racine’s businesses and residents for over 100 years. A year later, the combined companies are thriving, moving to a new 115,000 square foot facility and serving America through the COVID-19 pandemic. The acquisi on combined the companies’ eﬃciencies through a larger na onal footprint of warehouses, move counselors, and most importantly, truck drivers/professional movers.
Budd Van Lines retained 98% of the Racine based employees.
“The Merchants employees are incredible, and epitomize the hard work and spirit of the people of Racine,” said Budd Senior Vice President, Gary Grund. “We did not make this acquisi on for trucks or assets; we made it for the people. People who care about helping others during the stressful me of moving, and people who are dedicated to the highest customer experience.”
“Even beyond Merchants being a terrific company, one key synergy we perceived was the tremendous similarity between Budd and Merchants,” explained David W. Budd, Sr., CEO of Budd Van Lines. “Both are family-owned, employee-focused, independent van lines, active in our communities. The merger has been a great fit for the customers of both companies, as well as for everyone else involved.”
Founded in 1975, Budd Van Lines is based in Somerset, NJ. Budd has had an opera on in Wisconsin since 1997 in Appleton. The company relocated to Racine with the Merchants acquisition. Since 2006, Budd has been recognized as the industry leader in corporate relocation through the Relocation Manager’s and the Relocating Employee Surveys by Trippel Survey and Research. These are industry surveys of primarily Fortune 500 companies who relocate executives and employees across the world. Proudly, with the help of the Merchants team, Budd was once again rated the #1 Independent Van Line in America in 2020.
Their own Move & Innovation
This spring Budd is moving the Merchants Division from 1215 State Street to a 115,000 square foot facility at 6200 Regency Drive West (previously Sam’s Club).
“This gives us two and a half times more space and will allow us to upgrade and modernize the oﬃces for the Racine employees,” said Tom Torcomian, Budd Van Lines COO. “The newly renovated space allows us to expand household goods storage, along with our other lines of business: commercial warehousing, boat and & RV storage, distribution, fulfillment, cross docking and final mile/white glove services. “I moved to Racine to integrate the two companies last winter. We see significant employment opportunities in Racine, and we look forward to becoming a bigger part of the business community,” said Torcomian.
Another key reason for the new facility is a patented new truck system invented by Budd Van Lines called Load- it-Once, the brainchild of Owner and Chief Executive Oﬃcer David W. Budd, Sr. Under this system, goods are loaded onto modular storage containers that fit onto the two part truck. It is essentially a straight truck with a detachable trailer. What used to take hours (even days) of handling is now accomplished in a matter of minutes.
“The old system of moving and storing furniture and high value products is archaic if you think about all the extra handling we had to do,” Grund said.
“Furniture and products are not meant to be moved. When goods are going to storage they are actually handled up to six times; it really made no sense. Load-it-Once is oﬀering the most secure move possible at no additional cost to clients; it is allowing drivers to be more eﬃcient and better follow hours of service regulations, and it is delivering goods 98% damage free. Dave Budd had the modular concept years ago, and we are now bringing it to Racine.” You can see the industry’s game changer in action the this video.
Essential Services during the Pandemic
As part of transportation and warehousing, Budd Van Lines was deemed an essential service during the COVID-19 outbreak. Budd Teams from Racine and all over the country remained in operation moving people’s goods and delivering essential services, including medical equipment, with minimal interruption. In hotspots like San Francisco, New York, New Orleans, and Chicago, the brave men and women working for Budd Van Lines helped people stay on track with their relocation.
Budd helped companies move their products and contributed to keeping America’s economy rolling. As Grund said, “We couldn’t be more proud of our Driver Teams. I think this quote from a customer during the heart of the crisis says it all:”
“…An order to shelter in place was handed down in our county to go into eﬀect the next day after all of our items were packed. I was scared; sheltering at home can’t be done if you no longer have a home. This is a crazy me and an even crazier me to be a household mover. Having movers that are confident and take charge of the situation is a true blessing.
The Budd Van Lines Merchants Division is located at 6200 Regency Drive West, Racine, WI. Budd can be reached at 800-833-2833. Please ask for Tom Torcomian, COO or Gary Grund, SVP, for anything specific to this article.
A RAMAC founding member in 1982.