7 Alternatives to U-Haul Cargo Trailers

U-Haul Cargo Trailers

  1.  Tactics to Save Money During the Moving Process
  2. Portable Storage Containers
  3. Shipping Services
  4. Pickup Rentals
  5. Purchase a Cargo Carrier
  6. Full-Service Storage
  7. Freight Trailers
  8. LTL Movers

1. Tactics to Save Money During the Moving Process

Are you in desperate need of some better options for your move than the traditional, costly full service moving company? Maybe you would rather not shell out hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a service that you don’t really need. U-Haul trailers are becoming an increasingly popular, and seemingly cheaper, way to move household goods from one home to another. However, there are a lot of costs and risks involved with the rental of a U-Haul truck that is not apparent at first glance. Not to worry, because there are plenty of alternatives to renting a U-haul trailer that may be better suited to your needs.

portable storage

2. Portable Storage Containers

More and more businesses have been offering portable storage containers as an alternative to the usual U-Haul services that they know people are turning away from. Portable storage container companies typically offer services that are not found with U-Haul companies, that usually require you to do everything yourself. With a portable container company, you can rent a container and have it at your door ready to be loaded in just a few days. After it is dropped off, you will have a few days to load it with whatever you need to, at your own pace. Then, the company will pick it up and drive it to the new location. If you aren’t able to load all of your heavy furniture into the truck, then you can hire moving help. Still cheaper than a full service moving company, the men will help you load whatever you need into the portable container. These containers also come in handy if you need to keep your items in storage for a while before transporting. The company will likely store your items in their own facility until you are ready to send it to your new location. There are a lot of variations in the size of portable storage container you can purchase. Some people use them for very large household moves, while others only use them to move a few items. Prices will vary depending on the size you need.

shipping across usa

3. Shipping Services

If you don’t have a lot of items that need to be moved, then you can consider shipping them. This is a very economical option as opposed to getting a cargo trailer or U-Haul if you only have a few goods. Just like storage pods, there are many companies that specialize in the service of shipping only household goods and furniture. Some companies use unique methods to simplify the process of small shipments. Companies such as uShip, whose parent company are eBay, partner with independent truck drivers that are driving in the same direction that your goods need to go. You can rent out extra space on their truck, and have them do all of the difficult driving.

4. Pickup Rentals

If you don’t want someone to do the driving for you, then you can get a rental pickup truck to haul your goods. Specific rental car companies will charge you a lot of money for renting a truck one way. Home improvement stores usually offer the best solutions for renting pickup trucks. These stores usually do not charge additionally for mileage fees if you remain within the time limit. The best part is, the rental will only cost $20.

5. Purchase a Cargo Carrier

You may find it easier to move items if you just purchase a cargo carrier. If you have a son or daughter in college, then you may find this useful for getting their stuff home every year. Many cargo carriers can be towed behind your vehicle or attached to your roof. Although these are not suited for handling huge loads, you can still manage to move six suitcases worth of items. You can also use this for multiple moves.

Full Service Storage

6. Full-Service Storage

This is a good solution if you live in a large area, such as NYC. This option is becoming very popular in larger cities because of its convenience. These full-service companies will pick up your pre-packed boxes and store them until you want them back. Although it is not available for long distance moving, this option is much easier than self-storage.

Freight Trailers

7. Freight Trailers

Freight trailers are a great option if you want to save money for your move. The best part of using freight trailers is that you only pay for the space that you use.

Freight trailer companies will drop a trailer off at your home, which you can utilize a portion of for your goods. Then, the company will pick it up and drive it to your new city.

LTL Movers

8. LTL Movers

Less-than-truckload movers are very accommodating to special situations, especially if you have a small load move. These moving companies utilize a variety of sources to get your items where they need to go.

All of these options are good alternatives to just renting a U-Haul trailer. 

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Did You Know


The trucking industry has made a large historical impact since the early 20th century. It has affected the U.S. both politically as well as economically since the notion has begun. Previous to the invention of automobiles, most freight was moved by train or horse-drawn carriage. Trucks were first exclusively used by the military during World War I.
After the war, construction of paved roads increased. As a result, trucking began to achieve significant popularity by the 1930's. Soon after trucking became subject to various government regulation, such as the hours of service. During the later 1950's and 1960's, trucking accelerated due to the construction of the Interstate Highway System. The Interstate Highway System is an extensive network of freeways linking major cities cross country.

Question As we've learned the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was crucial in the construction of the Interstate Highway System. Described as an interconnected network of the controlled-access freeway. It also allowed larger trucks to travel at higher speeds through rural and urban areas alike. This act was also the first to allow the first federal largest gross vehicle weight limits for trucks, set at 73,208 pounds (33,207 kg). The very same year, Malcolm McLean pioneered modern containerized intermodal shipping. This allowed for the more efficient transfer of cargo between truck, train, and ships.

Question “ The first original song about truck driving appeared in 1939 when Cliff Bruner and His Boys recorded Ted Daffan's "Truck Driver's Blues," a song explicitly marketed to roadside cafe owners who were installing juke boxes in record numbers to serve truckers and other motorists.” - Shane Hamilton

Question In 1999, The Simpsons episode Maximum Homerdrive aired. It featured Homer and Bart making a delivery for a truck driver named Red after he unexpectedly dies of 'food poisoning'.

Question In 1978 Sylvester Stallone starred in the film "F.I.S.T.". The story is loosely based on the 'Teamsters Union'. This union is a labor union which includes truck drivers as well as its then president, Jimmy Hoffa.

Question The number one hit on the Billboard chart in 1976 was quite controversial for the trucking industry. "Convoy," is a song about a group of reckless truck drivers bent on evading laws such as toll booths and speed traps. The song went on to inspire the film "Convoy", featuring defiant Kris Kristofferson screaming "piss on your law!" After the film's release, thousands of independent truck drivers went on strike. The participated in violent protests during the 1979 energy crisis. However, similar strikes had occurred during the 1973 energy crisis.

Question Trailer stability can be defined as the tendency of a trailer to dissipate side-to-side motion. The initial motion may be caused by aerodynamic forces, such as from a cross wind or a passing vehicle. One common criterion for stability is the center of mass location with respect to the wheels, which can usually be detected by tongue weight. If the center of mass of the trailer is behind its wheels, therefore having a negative tongue weight, the trailer will likely be unstable. Another parameter which is less commonly a factor is the trailer moment of inertia. Even if the center of mass is forward of the wheels, a trailer with a long load, and thus large moment of inertia, may be unstable.

Question A semi-trailer is almost exactly what it sounds like, it is a trailer without a front axle. Proportionally, its weight is supported by two factors. The weight falls upon a road tractor or by a detachable front axle assembly, known as a dolly. Generally, a semi-trailer is equipped with legs, known in the industry as "landing gear". This means it can be lowered to support it when it is uncoupled. In the United States, a trailer may not exceed a length of 57 ft (17.37 m) on interstate highways. However, it is possible to link two smaller trailers together to reach a length of 63 ft (19.20 m).

Question Business routes always have the same number as the routes they parallel. For example, U.S. 1 Business is a loop off, and paralleling, U.S. Route 1, and Interstate 40 Business is a loop off, and paralleling, Interstate 40.

Question In the United States, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 established minimum requirements that must be met when a state issues a commercial driver's license CDL. It specifies the following types of license: - Class A CDL drivers. Drive vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or greater, or any combination of vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or greater when towing a trailer weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Transports quantities of hazardous materials that require warning placards under Department of Public Safety regulations. - Class A Driver License permits. Is a step in preparation for Class A drivers to become a Commercial Driver. - Class B CDL driver. Class B is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including driver) or more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation. This includes, but is not limited to, tow trucks, tractor trailers, and buses.

Question Public transportation is vital to a large part of society and is in dire need of work and attention. In 2010, the DOT awarded $742.5 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to 11 transit projects. The awardees specifically focused light rail projects. One includes both a commuter rail extension and a subway project in New York City. The public transportation New York City has to offer is in need of some TLC. Another is working on a rapid bus transit system in Springfield, Oregon. The funds also subsidize a heavy rail project in northern Virginia. This finally completes the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Metro Silver Line, connecting to Washington, D.C., and the Washington Dulles International Airport. This is important because the DOT has previously agreed to subsidize the Silver Line construction to Reston, Virginia.

Question The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is an agency within the United States Department of Transportation. The purpose of the FMCSA is to regulate safety within the trucking and moving industry in the United States. The FMCSA enforces safety precautions that reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

Question Logistics is generally the ability to organize and put in place many complex operations at a single time. It is the management of the flow of things to meet the needs of customers or corporations. Resources managed in logistics includes tangible items such as food, materials, animals, equipment, etc. Not to mention the items that are not tangible such as time and information. This means that the movement of physical items, such as in the moving industry, involves a clear understanding of solid workflow. Such logistics can involve the handling of necessary materials, producing, packaging, inventory, transportation, warehousing, and often security.

Question The main purpose of the HOS regulation is to prevent accidents due to driver fatigue. To do this, the number of driving hours per day, as well as the number of driving hours per week, have been limited. Another measure to prevent fatigue is to keep drivers on a 21 to 24-hour schedule in order to maintain a natural sleep/wake cycle. Drivers must take a daily minimum period of rest and are allowed longer "weekend" rest periods. This is in hopes to combat cumulative fatigue effects that accrue on a weekly basis.

Question The USDOT (USDOT or DOT) is considered a federal Cabinet department within the U.S. government. Clearly, this department concerns itself with all aspects of transportation with safety as a focal point. The DOT was officially established by an act of Congress on October 15, 1966, beginning its operation on April 1, 1967. Superior to the DOT, the United States Secretary of Transportation governs the department. The mission of the DOT is to "Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life for the American people, today and into the future." Essentially this states how important it is to improve all types of transportation as a way to enhance both safety and life in general etc. It is important to note that the DOT is not in place to hurt businesses, but to improve our "vital national interests" and our "quality of life". The transportation networks are in definite need of such fundamental attention. Federal departments such as the USDOT are key to this industry by creating and enforcing regulations with intentions to increase the efficiency and safety of transportation. 

Question Throughout the United States, bypass routes are a special type of route most commonly used on an alternative routing of a highway around a town. Specifically when the main route of the highway goes through the town. Originally, these routes were designated as "truck routes" as a means to divert trucking traffic away from towns. However, this name was later changed by AASHTO in 1959 to what we now call a "bypass". Many "truck routes" continue to remain regardless that the mainline of the highway prohibits trucks.

Question Light trucks are classified this way because they are car-sized, yet in the U.S. they can be no more than 6,300 kg (13,900 lb). These are used by not only used by individuals but also businesses as well. In the UK they may not weigh more than 3,500 kg (7,700 lb) and are authorized to drive with a driving license for cars. Pickup trucks, popular in North America, are most seen in North America and some regions of Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Although Europe doesn't seem to follow this trend, where the size of the commercial vehicle is most often made as vans.

Question In today's society, there are rules and regulations everywhere you go, the same goes for commercial vehicles. The federal government has strict regulations that must be met, such as how many hours a driver may be on the clock. For example, 11 hours driving /14 hours on-duty followed by 10 hours off, with a max of 70 hours/8 days or 60 hours/7 days. They can also set rules deciding how much rest and sleep time is required, however, these are only a couple of regulations set. Any violations are often subject to harsh penalties. In some cases, there are instruments to track each driver's hours, which are becoming more necessary.

Question Commercial trucks in the U.S. pay higher road taxes on a State level than the road vehicles and are subject to extensive regulation. This begs the question of why these trucks are paying more. I'll tell you. Just to name a few reasons, commercial truck pay higher road use taxes. They are much bigger and heavier than most other vehicles, resulting in more wear and tear on the roadways. They are also on the road for extended periods of time, which also affects the interstate as well as roads and passing through towns. Yet, rules on use taxes differ among jurisdictions.

Question In the United States and Canada, the cost for long-distance moves is generally determined by a few factors. The first is the weight of the items to be moved and the distance it will go. Cost is also based on how quickly the items are to be moved, as well as the time of the year or month which the move occurs. In the United Kingdom and Australia, it's quite different. They base price on the volume of the items as opposed to their weight. Keep in mind some movers may offer flat rate pricing.