Military families are using AirTags to track their stuff during station moves

AirTag Setup
AirTag Setup (Image credit: Joe Keller / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Some military families are using AirTags to track their belongings when moving bases.
  • Moving companies are notoriously bad at getting items to new bases and AirTags are being used to track trucks.
  • One woman found a truck was nowhere near the company said it was.

Apple's AirTag item trackers have been getting headlines for all the wrong reasons over the last few weeks. We've heard about AirTags being used to stalk people and to try to steal cars, for example. But some people are using AirTags for what they're designed for — keeping tabs on items.

More specifically, some military families are using AirTags to keep track of whole trucks rather than wallets. Military Times (via Daring Fireball) has a piece detailing how one family was moving from one base to another and used an AirTag to follow where their belongings were.

The report notes that moving from base to base is notoriously difficult, with moving companies seemingly incapable of doing the job they are hired for. That's led people to take matters into their own hands by using AirTags to follow trucks instead of relying on the companies themselves.

"You hear so many horror stories when it comes to PCSing," she told Military Times. "With those stories in mind, and having read about people putting AirTags with some of their HHG, I decided it would be worth testing the theory."She attached the device — a small Bluetooth tracker you can locate from another Apple device like an iPhone, iPad or a MacBook — to a box of her son's toys.

From there it was a waiting game — would the stuff turn up when it was supposed to? Well, no. And when the moving company lied about where the truck was it was down to the AirTag to tell the truth.

After surpassing the expected delivery date on Jan. 7, McNulty reached out to the move coordinator, Suddath, and learned that the HHG (household goods) was to be delivered the next day. When she turned on the AirTag, she was able to confirm that her family's belongings were a mere four hours away in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Not knowing that the truck was being tracked, the company tried to claim it was still in Colorado.

After some back and forth it was found that the truck wasn't where it was supposed to be so that its driver could "go see my lady."

So there we have it. If you want to keep track of your moving truck, an AirTag really is the best iPhone accessory money can buy.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.