WHAT SIZE MOVING TRUCK DO I NEED?

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What Size Moving Truck Do I Need?

  1. Belongings Don't Fit? What Now?!
  2. Estimate Your Inventory
  3. Measuring a Truck 
  4. Understanding How to Maximize Your Space

1. Belongings Don't Fit? What Now?!

The most common truck rental catastrophes occur when movers choose a truck that is too small and does not fit all their belongings. This results in a complete lack of efficiency and ensuing stress. Ending up without enough space to move one’s things could definitely happen. So, another plan then must be devised to complete the task.

In a way like flooring installation, it is always more sensible to rent a truck larger than whats needed and then what the measurements appear to show. Additionally, a home that has a great deal of furniture will need to be larger than what is recommended for a number of rooms or square footage one has.

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2. Estimate Your Inventory

Depending on the company chosen, many truck rental companies provide an online instrument that will help in determining what size truck to purchase for the move. These online truck-size estimators help to organize self-movers, listing just about everything typically found in an average home categorically. There are check boxes for each room like the dining room, kitchen, bedrooms, and office/den, and within those room sections are check boxes for every furniture type along with a number-quantity checkbox for that item. A mover might also find it more convenient to speak with an experienced customer service representative who should be able to make a recommendation.

Moving Truck Sizes

When the measurements are presented in square feet, experts recommend to use the general rule of thumb that each room in a home equates to about 150-200 sqft.

3. Measuring a Truck

In most cases, truck rentals measure in cubic feet, and there are a few standard measurements that usually work for most movers. In most cases, there are approximately 3 cu. ft. in the space of a room, so that 8 rooms would fit inside of a 24 cu. ft. space truck. A 20 cu. ft. truck is generally able to hold 3 bedrooms full of room furniture, but this should be based firstly on the amount of furniture in each room. Rooms that have additional furniture, for example living rooms that have sectional sofas and a recliner, will require additional space.

There will usually be 3 and in some cases 5 truck size choices at a truck rental company.


Normally, companies recommend 10’ to 12’ trucks for a studio, and experts say these smaller trucks are best for local moves. The most popular truck sizes are the 14’-17’ medium-sized trucks which are great for 1 to 2 bedroom homes under 1200 sqft. These trucks on average deliver the best gas mileage. Additionally, when estimating measurements, don’t forget to account for any items and furniture in the backyard, like toys, bikes, and cooking grills.

4. Understanding How to Maximize Your Space

Reading information and tips about how to properly load a truck will help the move to run smoother. Trained, professional movers are aware of certain areas of the rental truck best suited to place electronics items for example. Pack furniture so that there are no gaps in between each item. This is the best way to avoid damage. Secure items with ties to prevent movement, and place the heaviest items in the front of the truck, which helps to stabilize the load. If a truck rental turns out to be too small after everything is packed inside, shipping and/or a door-to-door trailer moving might be a last minute option.

Moving Truck Size Do I Need

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Kelly Gill

3 years, 7 months ago

Thanks so much for the information about what size moving truck I need. It really helped me save money on my move. I was thinking about hiring a full service moving company for my move, I am glad I didn't. I rented a truck that fit my move perfectly. Thank you.

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Mike Cloney

2 years, 7 months ago

After doing a fair amount of research, I found that this moving truck rental company from Vancouver had a very good and accurate chart that told me what size moving truck I needed for my big move. Check them out:

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Moving Company

1 year ago

Thanks for the helpful tips.
Renting a moving truck is one of the most affordable ways to move. Commonly referred to as a do-it-yourself (DIY) move, a rental truck is a great option for both local and long distance moves. Although rental truck pricing is relatively simple to understand, there are also a lot of misconceptions as to how much a truck rental will cost.

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Did You Know

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Question A trailer is not very difficult to categorize. In general, it is an unpowered vehicle towed by a powered vehicle. Trailers are most commonly used for the transport of goods and materials. Although some do enjoy recreational usage of trailers as well. 

Question The decade of the 70s saw the heyday of truck driving, and the dramatic rise in the popularity of "trucker culture". Truck drivers were romanticized as modern-day cowboys and outlaws (and this stereotype persists even today). This was due in part to their use of citizens' band (CB) radio to relay information to each other regarding the locations of police officers and transportation authorities. Plaid shirts, trucker hats, CB radios, and using CB slang were popular not just with drivers but among the general public.

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In the United States, commercial truck classification is fixed by each vehicle's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). There are 8 commercial truck classes, ranging between 1 and 8. Trucks are also classified in a more broad way by the DOT's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The FHWA groups them together, determining classes 1-3 as light duty, 4-6 as medium duty, and 7-8 as heavy duty. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has its own separate system of emission classifications for commercial trucks. Similarly, the United States Census Bureau had assigned classifications of its own in its now-discontinued Vehicle Inventory and Use Survey (TIUS, formerly known as the Truck Inventory and Use Survey).

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