MADE IN ARIZONA: Valley-based company helps make moving an easier task for many

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- It's a company people probably used at some point when making a big move, but some may not know that U-Haul is based in the Valley.

The moving and storage company has been in operation for more than seven decades.

"When you start talking about U-Haul, you're talking about a piece of Americana, and it dates back to World War II," said Jeff Lockridge with U-Haul.

The year was 1945. The war had ended, and Sam and Anna-Mary Shoen were leaving Southern California, headed for Washington. At the time, there wasn't much help for do-it-yourself movers.

"So, on the drive up the California coast, they decided to create what would become U-haul. One-way trailers," said Lockridge.

And just like that, U-Haul was born. The business boomed from the start, as people needed one-way moving equipment then, just like they need it now. In 1967, U-Haul moved into Phoenix.

"Across the State of Arizona, U-Haul employs 3,000 full and part-time workers," said Lockridge.

The tech center in Tempe is where it all comes together.

"The 26-foot trucks, the 20-foot trucks, the 15-foot trucks, all the trailers, tow bellies, auto transports, everything we design and build is tested here first," said Craig Brown. He runs the assembly line of 62 workers. The workers are busy.

"Right now, we have 320,000 pieces of equipment on the road from the U.S. to Canada," said Brown.

The business truly runs like a well-oiled machine, and to this day, U-Haul remains the only company of its kind in all 50 states and all 10 Canadian provinces. It's something Brown can be proud of, and it keeps him coming back.

"I've been working for the company for close to 30 years," said Brown. "I started from the bottom and worked myself up. I did every station in that plant. I worked on every piece of equipment that we make."