I spent a career in the Army, having retired in 1996. During all the moves, I was very satisfied with the treatment I received and the care taken for my tools and stock, granted I had to watch my weight limits. I might add that while I was stationed in Germany for a period of five years, the vast majority of my tools (except some limited hand tools) were stored back here in the States. When I received them upon my return, there was no rust or damage, nor was anything missing.
Though I never had to make use of it, early on in my career, I was given advice to take pictured of everything valuable with a newspaper or magazine cover to prove the date, just before each pack-out. Lots of detailed pics, serial numbers, etc. These would serve as proof of the state of my tools (and other valuables) so there was no question about normal wear and tear, pre-existing damage, etc.
Keep in mind that my experience back then may not equate to your experience today, but I think you'll be fine. Best of luck and thank you for your service!
I never had to use TMO and I'm not sure if it's different in the AF but in the Marines, I knew a lot of people who had bad experiences and ended up being reimbursed for stuff that was lost or damaged. A guy I know who got out recently (maybe 2 years ago) had some trouble with TMO being timely and keeping track of his family's stuff. I think they were without most of their things for a couple of weeks before they finally delivered his stuff from base housing to his house about 20 miles away.
I know that doesn't answer your question but it's something to keep in mind.
Thank you both for the posts. I am more worried that over my 20 year career I will have so many tools and heavy pieces of equipment it will make it hard to move and stay under weight limits. I know I can do a partial DITY move if need be. I was just wondering if anyone has a decent amount of woodworking equipment and has made their moves successfully.
I retired from the Navy in 1983. I bought a shopsmith and accessories in 1973. I made a move from central CA (NAS Lemoore) to the SF bay area. To Great lakes IL, Back to the BAY area. And finally back home to Florida.
On my last move I was over weight. It cost me a couple hundred bucks.
All my tools survived pretty good, But I couldn't say the same about my furniture. It took several months to settle the claim.
Good luck with your career.
20 years in the Air Force, 6 full moves. My radial arm saw and all my other tools made it through at least 4 of them. Had the normal minor damage to some of the furniture, but otherwise the moves were just what you would hope. They used to say 3 moves equals a fire, but my experience hasn't been that bad. Lumber can be tricky. Most of mine fit nicely in a dishpack. Moving loose lumber is not recommended. Good luck on your move.
28 years in the AF with 11 moves all through TMO. Never had any problem with any of my shop equipment getting damaged but that might be because it's all made of steel and cast iron…. other household goods didn't fare as well. For stuff you really care about, crate it yourself or keep a close eye on them when they pack and load it because they aren't hiring those guys away from NASA. Loose lumber can be tricky…. technically I don't think it's authorized for a gov't move but some movers will take it and others won't care.
My shop includes a table saw (contractor style with cast iron top), 14" bandsaw, 6 inch jointer, SCMS, dust collector, lunch box planer, drill press, and lots of hand & portable power tools…. the weight can absolutely break your limit if you're not careful so you'll want to stay away from cabinet saws and other beast-like machines.
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