by Tim Brady, Business Editor

spotlight sept 13JK Moving Services
Sterling, VA
Charles Kuhn, founder, president & CEO

Charles Kuhn started JK Moving Services in 1981. He was only 16 years old, but Kuhn saw the moving industry was in need of change. His vision for JK included an ongoing investment in state-of-the-art technologies, facilities and employee training. JK is now the third-largest independent moving company in the United States.

Tell us about your company, JK Moving Services.
Relocation is our primary focus. JK has residential and commercial divisions. The residential division focuses on household goods moving and storage for individual homeowners, corporate accounts, federal government, and U.S. military. The commercial division provides moving, storage and archiving services.

Do you have regularly scheduled routes or provide on-demand delivery?
JK has on-demand delivery; however, we have regular shipping lanes for long-distance moves—north/south (New England to Florida), and east/west (Washington, D.C., area through Texas to California).

Do you perform maintenance on your vehicles yourself, or do you outsource the work?
Both. The bulk of our trucks, however, are over the road (OTR). To service those, we frequently use TA and Petro truck stop repair facilities because there are so many available. Ninety-five percent of our long-distance tractors are Volvo, so we’ll sometimes use a Volvo dealership if the repair dictates. If the unit is in the D.C. area when the repair is needed, we’ll handle it in-house. With three full-time mechanics, we’re fully equipped to handle everything from oil changes to rebuilding an engine.

How do you minimize downtime?
Whether it is in-house or OTR, comprehensive, periodic inspections are vital so we identify and address smaller issues. For long-distance tractors and trailers, JK performs regular maintenance every 15,000 mi. For local straight trucks, it’s every 7,500 mi. These adhere to manufacturer’s recommendations so warranties remain valid.

How do you determine when it’s time to replace a truck/trailer?
We get approximately 15 years out of a trailer; for tractors, it’s more complex [with] mechanical and aesthetic evaluations [considered]. We can take a long-distance tractor up to 550,000 mi. and then transfer it to local or regional use.

How do you ensure good tire mileage?
Proper air inflation on tires is key. We have a proactive tire maintenance program involving our tire supplier. Newer trailers have systems that automatically inflate tires to proper levels each time the truck is started.

What are your specs for trucks?
JK does not purchase used trucks. [We purchase] only new trucks built to our specs, some of which are Volvos with tandem axle sleepers and Cummins engines. We also spec out interior amenities to make our drivers comfortable (refrigerators, sinks, inverters, upgraded interiors).

What does your company do best?
JK is a highly customer-centric company, from background checks and thorough training to dedicated move coordinators for each customer. JK strives to identify what’s most important to each customer and then customize the move accordingly.