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Moving Truck Tips – Part 1: Choosing the Right Size Moving Truck

By Peggy Bisbey, Certified Self Storage Manager

Moove In Self Storage Moving Truck
Have you ever heard of the old adage, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach?” Well, the same thing applies to moving your belongings. Your items often look like they will surely fit in the moving truck easily; but once you start loading it, you may discover that it’s not all going to fit. This is why it’s so important to know how much room (or cubic footage) you are going to need, before you rent a moving truck based solely on what your eyes are telling you.

Cubic Feet Per Truck

empty moving truckEvery rental truck is designated as being able to hold a certain amount of items, usually measured is cubic feet. This measurement takes into consideration the entire open space of the truck’s storage area from floor to roof and side to side. This immediately reduces the amount of available cubic feet for most people, because unless they are expert packers, they are rarely going to be able to pack the truck so completely. Therefore, choosing a truck slightly larger than what you expect is always the better move.

Consider Your Belongings

Besides the cubic feet measurement, which can be like gibberish to some people, you need to know how much stuff can fit it there in simpler terms. For example, most truck rental agencies apply a “real-life” number to their trucks, such as a 20-cubic-foot truck is capable of holding approximately three rooms.

What a truck can actually hold is determined by how much stuff you have in those rooms, which are based on the basic minimums for each room. For example, a living room typically has one sofa, one chair, a loveseat and a coffee table. But, what if you have two large sofas or a sectional as well as end tables? Or, what if you only have a recliner? These differences can greatly reduce or increase the number of “rooms” you can fit in a certain sized truck based on their pre-determined estimates. Consider your belongings compared to what standard the truck rental agency is using and you will be better able to choose the right size moving truck.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Size Moving Truck

Empty Moving Van With WomanChoosing the right size moving truck is critical to a smooth moving experience. But it’s not always as easy as you may think and failure to do so can result in a moving disaster. For example, if you choose a truck with too little storage space, you are going to have to either unload the entire truck and rent a larger one or you are going to have to make a few tough decisions; like what items are going to be left behind or how many trips do I need to make to get everything moved. Conversely, choosing one with too much space can cause your items to be tossed around during the move and items can be damaged or broken by the time you get to your destination.

Moving Truck Sizing Guide

A general rule of thumb for sizing a moving truck is approximately three cubic feet of space allotted per room. Using this estimate, a 24-cubic-foot moving truck should be capable of handling eight rooms worth of items. Of course, this is an approximation; so once again, you have to determine the bulk of your items before relying solely on this estimate. At the end of the day, err on the side caution and rent a moving truck that is slightly larger (just slightly though, you don’t want it too large) than your estimation and your move will be less stressful and more efficient.

To wrap up, when using a moving truck from any company, or our free moving truck located at most Moove In locations, you need to do a little planning first. If you are unsure where to start, one of our friendly property managers will be glad to help you out. And, if you are ready to move, secure our free moving truck and select a self storage unit, you can rent one online 24/7/365 or give us a call today!

Stay tuned for Part 2 later this month, where we cover how to pack your moving truck like it matters to maximize your space and protect your items during the move!