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


Kelly Gill

3 years, 9 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.


Mike Cloney

2 years, 10 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:


Moving Company

1 year, 2 months 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

Question In 1895 Karl Benz designed and built the first truck in history by using the internal combustion engine. Later that year some of Benz's trucks gave into modernization and went on to become the first bus by the Netphener. This would be the first motor bus company in history. Hardly a year later, in 1986, another internal combustion engine truck was built by a man named Gottlieb Daimler. As people began to catch on, other companies, such as Peugeot, Renault, and Bussing, also built their own versions. In 1899, the first truck in the United States was built by Autocar and was available with two optional horsepower motors, 5 or 8.

Question The Motor Carrier Act, passed by Congress in 1935, replace the code of competition. The authorization the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) place was to regulate the trucking industry. Since then the ICC has been long abolished, however, it did quite a lot during its time. Based on the recommendations given by the ICC, Congress enacted the first hours of services regulation in 1938. This limited driving hours of truck and bus drivers. In 1941, the ICC reported that inconsistent weight limitation imposed by the states cause problems to effective interstate truck commerce.


The intention of a trailer coupler is to secure the trailer to the towing vehicle. It is an important piece, as the trailer couple attaches to the trailer ball. This then forms a ball and socket connection. It allows for relative movement between the towing vehicle and trailer while towing over uneven road surfaces. The trailer ball should be mounted to the rear bumper or to a drawbar, which may be removable. The drawbar secures to the trailer hitch by inserting it into the hitch receiver and pinning it.
The three most common types of couplers used are straight couplers, A-frame couplers, and adjustable couplers. Another option is bumper-pull hitches in which case draw bars can exert a large amount of leverage on the tow vehicle. This makes it harder to recover from a swerving situation (thus it may not be the safest choice depending on your trip).

Question In the United States, shipments larger than about 7,000 kg (15,432 lb) are classified as truckload freight (TL). It is more efficient and affordable for a large shipment to have exclusive use of one larger trailer. This is opposed to having to share space on a smaller Less than Truckload freight carrier.

Question According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 40 million United States citizens have moved annually over the last decade. Of those people who have moved in the United States, 84.5% of them have moved within their own state, 12.5% have moved to another state, and 2.3% have moved to another country.

Question All cars must pass some sort of emission check, such as a smog check to ensure safety. Similarly, trucks are subject to noise emission requirement, which is emanating from the U.S. Noise Control Act. This was intended to protect the public from noise health side effects. The loud noise is due to the way trucks contribute disproportionately to roadway noise. This is primarily due to the elevated stacks and intense tire and aerodynamic noise characteristics.

Question “Writer-director James Mottern said he was influenced by nuanced, beloved movies of the 1970s such as "The Last Detail" and "Five Easy Pieces." Mottern said his female trucker character began with a woman he saw at a Southern California truck stop — a "beautiful woman, bleach blonde ... skin tanned to leather walked like a Teamster, blue eyes.” - Paul Brownfield


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).

Question The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is an influential association as an advocate for transportation. Setting important standards, they are responsible for publishing specifications, test protocols, and guidelines. All which are used in highway design and construction throughout the United States. Despite its name, the association represents more than solely highways. Alongside highways, they focus on air, rail, water, and public transportation as well.

Question The term "lorry" has an ambiguous origin, but it is likely that its roots were in the rail transport industry. This is where the word is known to have been used in 1838 to refer to a type of truck (a freight car as in British usage) specifically a large flat wagon. It may derive from the verb lurry, which means to pull or tug, of uncertain origin. It's expanded meaning was much more exciting as "self-propelled vehicle for carrying goods", and has been in usage since 1911. Previously, unbeknownst to most, the word "lorry" was used for a fashion of big horse-drawn goods wagon.

Question The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways is most commonly known as the Interstate Highway System, Interstate Freeway System, Interstate System, or simply the Interstate. It is a network of controlled-access highways that forms a part of the National Highway System of the United States. Named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who endorsed its formation, the idea was to have portable moving and storage. Construction was authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. The original portion was completed 35 years later, although some urban routes were canceled and never built. The network has since been extended and, as of 2013, it had a total length of 47,856 miles (77,017 km), making it the world's second longest after China's. As of 2013, about one-quarter of all vehicle miles driven in the country use the Interstate system. In 2006, the cost of construction had been estimated at about $425 billion (equivalent to $511 billion in 2015).

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.


The year of 1977 marked the release of the infamous Smokey and the Bandit. It went on to be the third highest grossing film that year, following tough competitors like Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Burt Reynolds plays the protagonist, or "The Bandit", who escorts "The Snowman" in order to deliver bootleg beer. Reynolds once stated he envisioned trucking as a "hedonistic joyride entirely devoid from economic reality"
Another action film in 1977 also focused on truck drivers, as was the trend it seems. Breaker! Breaker! starring infamous Chuck Norris also focused on truck drivers. They were also displaying movie posters with the catch phrase "... he's got a CB radio and a hundred friends who just might get mad!"

Question The most basic purpose of a trailer jack is to lift the trailer to a height that allows the trailer to hitch or unhitch to and from the towing vehicle. Trailer jacks may also be used for the leveling of the trailer during storage. To list a few common types of trailer jacks are A-frame jacks, swivel jacks, and drop-leg jacks. Other trailers, such as horse trailers, have a built-in jack at the tongue for this purpose.

Question A Ministry of Transport (or) Transportation is responsible for transportation within a country. Administration usually falls upon the Minister for Transport. The term may also be applied to the departments or other government agencies administering transport in a nation who do not use ministers. There are various and vast responsibilities for agencies to oversee such as road safety. Others may include civil aviation, maritime transport, rail transport and so on. They continue to develop government transportation policy and organize public transit. All while trying to maintain and construct infrastructural projects. Some ministries have additional responsibilities in related policy areas as mentioned above.

Question Moving companies that operate within the borders of a particular state are usually regulated by the state DOT. Sometimes the public utility commission in that state will take care of it. This only applies to some of the U.S. states such as in California (California Public Utilities Commission) or Texas (Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. However, no matter what state you are in it is always best to make sure you are compliant with that state

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.