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What moving truck size do I need?

October 22nd, 2018 - 1:07 PM

How to determine moving truck sizes

Picking the right size moving truck can be tricky. It’s tough to imagine all the furniture and items scattered around your home packed tightly together — how much space will you need?  Get too small of a truck, and you’ll run out of room.  Get too big of one, and there’s extra room for items to shift (plus, you’re paying for unused space). Sort of like Goldilocks, you have to find the one that’s just right. Take a closer look at the capacities of each piece of equipment to determine your best option.

Have other questions about rental trucks besides choosing a size? Check out this comprehensive guide to rental trucks
 
graphic showing three truck sizes: 10 foot, 24 foot and 26 foot truck

Which truck size is right for your move?

How much you’re moving will dictate the truck size you’ll need. Use this chart to get an idea of which size might work for you, then explore the small, medium and large equipment in more detail. 
box truck size chart showing home size and which truck size corresponds

Compare the dimensions of each truck in these posts:

The smallest trucks — 10 ft. and 12 ft. 

If you’re moving a studio or small apartment, the smallest rental trucks should work. U-Haul® is currently the only large brand truck rental company offering a 10-foot truck, but Budget® and Penske® have a similarly-sized 12-foot truck.  All companies say these vehicles work for 1-2 rooms or a studio apartment. 

Because of the trucks’ compact size, not all furniture will fit inside. For a 10-foot U-Haul, the longest wall is 9’11”, so any piece of furniture will need to be shorter than that.  It will hold a queen or king mattress, but you may have to angle them while loading because the door opening is 71” x 67” and a king-size mattress is 76” x 80”. 

Looking for smaller equipment? Learn more about cargo van rental. If you have a heavily furnished place, you might want to consider a slightly bigger truck.

The medium-sized trucks — 15 ft., 16 ft., 17 ft., 20 ft. and 22 ft.

This category of rental trucks is where it becomes challenging to determine which size you need. Every company in our comparison offers a medium-size truck: U-Haul, Budget, Penske, Ryder and Enterprise. These trucks can accommodate around 3-6 rooms, depending on which one you use. Our recommendation is to use the chart above to help you decide which one might work for your size home. To ensure a snug fit, load everything “high and tight” to take full advantage of the space.

The biggest trucks — 24 ft. and 26 ft.

The largest available size is the 26-foot truck, but will all of your belongings fit inside? Each company estimates their equipment to hold different household sizes, so it’s important to explore your options before making a decision. Currently, Enterprise is the only 24-foot choice. Each of the companies mentioned here — Penske, Enterprise, Ryder, Budget and U-Haul — have 26-foot trucks. These can typically hold a 3-5 bedroom home, depending on how furnished it is. 

Note: Both Budget and U-Haul previously offered 24-foot trucks, but they no longer list it as an option on their websites. 

Other things to think about when choosing a moving truck size

Along with considering your home size, you also need to think through two details that change by equipment size:

  • Number of passengers — Some trucks can hold two passengers, while others hold three.  If you need that third seat, you might be limited in your choices. Need room for more passengers? Explore your options in this post: Are there rental trucks that seat 4 people
  • Fuel usage — Each vehicle gets different gas mileage, and since you pay for fuel in a rental truck, it matters. A bigger truck will use more fuel, so if you’re trying to keep costs low, get the smallest one you can. 

Not sure which size truck to get?

If you’re still uncertain which moving truck will work for your belongings, consider U-Pack®. U-Pack is different from truck rental. First, it’s a “you pack, we drive” company, so you don’t have to drive. But beyond that perk, the space is flexible, which takes the guesswork out of choosing a truck size. 

We still estimate the space based on your home size and then you can adjust as you load. Here’s how it works:

  • U-Pack ReloCube containers: Have multiple 6’ x 7’ x 8’ containers delivered to your home, but you only pay for the ones you use. If you load into fewer containers, we’ll pick up the empty ones for free. 
  • Moving trailers: The trailer is 28’ x 8’ x 9’. You can use as little as five linear feet (5’ x 8’ x 9’) or up to the entire trailer. If you use less space, we’ll reduce the final price and only charge for what you used.

If you’re interested in comparing U-Pack rates, get an online moving quote or call 800-413-4799

Have questions about moving truck sizes?

With so many options to choose from and a variety of ways to determine what you need, it can be challenging to figure out which one will work for you. A U-Pack consultant can help you understand your space needs — just give us a call or leave a comment below. 


U-Haul® is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc. Budget® is a registered trademark of Budget Truck Rental, LLC. Penske® is a registered trademark of Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. Ryder® is a registered trademark of Ryder System Inc. Enterprise® is a registered trademark of Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Use of third-party trademarks or registered trademarks does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by such third-party.

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