Meet hauler extraordinaire Leon Rogers
PLAINFIELD- Leon Rogers has the body of a football player. He has a long, quick stride and broad shoulders. He talks in a deep voice, but Rogers is no quarterback. He’s a furniture lifter.
Rogers, 29, is 6’4” and has been the go-to furniture hauler for W.A. Smith Auctions half his life.
His size is what got him the gig in the first place.
When he was 14, Rogers was strong enough to set up a giant tent for an estate auction.
“That was a big leg up for me. Setting up those tents is a bear—they’re huge,” he said.
He didn’t know at the time that his life would become about lifting furniture.
Rogers was homeschooled in Plainfield, which enabled him to work full time from a young age. He spent his teens lugging around furniture. He even slept with it.
Rogers and his brother spent the night outside on the eve of large estate sales, sometimes through pouring rain or freezing cold, surrounded by furniture they guarded from burglars. They woke up “filthy dirty” and worked the next day.
“That was my only task in life—hauling the furniture,” Rogers said.
Rogers wore a plaid shirt and jeans at a recent auction as he trekked the aisles with tables and chairs. He dragged, unrolled and rolled large rugs. He swung chairs over his head with ease. He hauled furniture inside and hauled furniture outside as the auctioneer called off numbers. Rogers paused now and then to wipe sweat from his forehead and kept moving until there was no furniture in the gallery left.
Rogers makes jokes about his size. He has a friendly personality that he keeps, despite his heavy breathing from all the furniture lifting.
“I’ve always been able to lift almost anything, so that was my claim to fame,” said Rogers.