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SLO City News: A Moving Experience

February 09, 2007

SLO City News – A Moving Experience
By King Harris

If you call Aaron Steed a mover and a shaker, he won’t waste any time correcting you.

“Actually, King, we’re not shakers; we’re just movers,” he pointed out to me in a recent conversation. “We don’t shake our client’s items.” Maybe so, but there is no denying that the moving company he founded 10 years ago has become so successful that he is expanding his operation with offices in Camarillo.

Steed is the president of Meathead Movers, based in San Luis Obispo. I had always thought he started his business while he was a student at Cal Poly, but Meathead the business and Meathead the name were conceived well before then.

“The truth about the name is this,” Steed asserts. “It started when I was weight-lifting with all of my friends in high school. We would try to get the weight equipment as sweaty as possible, because we knew the girls volleyball team would come in and work out after us.  There was screamin’, and they would say, “Aw you meatheads, you dirtied up the equipment again! We always got a kick out of it. It was pretty immature and childish,” he admits, “but it’s the truth.”

About the same time, Steed and his younger brother were also lifting a lot of boxes for his parents, loading and unloading all their rental trucks and helping around the house.

“I was 17 and he was 15,” he told me. “We decided to turn what we were doing into a business. We started as a labor service. Ten years later, we’re still doing it.”

And doing it very well. Meathead is top dog among local moving companies, and gives the monster majors more than a run for their money.

“We compete very well with the traditional moving companies because these movers subcontract their labor. With a van line, people who are in the home doing the moving for the client have nothing to do with the actual moving company. We never subcontract our laborers. We know the guys we put in front our clients and in the homes around the family and around the furniture…and that’s a big deal.”
Steed says he goes through a rigorous interview process just to get the right personnel.

“We hire athletes from local colleges, and we make sure everyone is drug free. We do criminal background checks. On top of that, we ask ourselves, ‘Is this someone I feel comfortable with in a room alone with my family? Is this someone not only mentally and physically strong enough to move furniture, but also physically able to work up to the Meathead standard?”

Steed says he keeps his guys fit. “They usually work out in the gym anyway,” he tells me. “Here, they get paid for it.” Unlike other movers, when Meathead movers aren’t carrying anything, they jog. This, of course, makes his clients happy because it saves them time-and therefore, money.

Steed is fairly fit himself. He was a athlete and a wrestler while in college, and that was his motivation for moving ahead.

“It was neat going to school while having a business. Instead of focusing just trying to pass the tests, I was able to apply a lot of knowledge of things I was learning towards the business, so I certainly recommend having a business while going to school, because you have an added benefit there.”

Steed’s Business acumen has certainly paid off. After 10 years of hauling loads up and down the coast. He’s making an additional move to Camarillo. “We didn’t think it would take us so long, but it took us awhile to get all our systems in place and get everything dialed in correctly, and we didn’t want to rush it. We wanted to have our infrastructure, management and financing in place. For those who’ve known me, I have been trying to do this for about 5 years.

Steed says he’s having a blast. “We’re redefining ourselves and reintroducing ourselves to an area five times as big, but has similar aspects of San Luis Obispo.”

Steed, as he says, may not be a shaker, but he’s moving right along.

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