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

4 years, 5 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

3 years, 6 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, 10 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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You did it. You paid the deposit, you signed the lease. The dust bunnies of yesterday are ready to relocate to the brand new hardwood floors and countless amenities of tomorrow. There’s a moment of relief, of exhalation, before the dreadful realization sinks in that now, all there is left to do is pack. Can’t be that hard, right? But why do you still have all those old binders from junior year at SC, and why did you insist on buying all the Barnes and Noble Classics on hardcover instead of just buying a Kindle? Pots and pans, easy enough, throw ‘em in a cardboard box. But what about Great Grandma Ruby’s crystal tea set? And the antique mirror that the packers chipped in the last move? You’re going to need help, but some things are just better packed yourself. Professional movers know their way around the job, but let’s face it, we can be anal about our prized possessions. Do yourself a favor, spare the material heartbreak and go buy a few of your own boxes and a roll of bubble wrap. Things like Mom’s Old Jewelry Box, the Framed Autographed Poster of Michael Jordan, all those treasures should probably be packed by you. If its valuable, fragile, or something you just want to keep your eye on during the chaos of a move, pack it on your own time and leave it for the movers to relocate. A little extra work for a lot of peace of mind is a small price to pay.