Moving Resources, Guides and Tools

Truck Rental

Renting a truck is a good way to save some money, but it involves more manual labor than the other moving options. For this reason, I would highly advise getting as much help as possible for loading the truck. The more help you have, the less each person has to do. No one will feel the need to hurry and the job will get done faster. By taking your time, you also won't be as likely to leave anything behind.

Moving Date

Renting A Moving TruckIf you plan on moving during the summer, schedule your date with a company as far in advance as possible. This is when most people move, so the demand for rental trucks will be high. Consider moving during the fall/winter/spring months if possible. Not only will the rates be lower, but the chances are greater that you'll get the date you want.

The best days to rent a truck are Sunday through Thursday. Friday and Saturday are usually the worst days because of demand. The end of each month is usually the most active time for rentals.

Truck RentalYou would be wise to choose a less active day and month to move, if possible. If you reserve a date when demand is high, your truck will likely be rented out to someone else beforehand. If that person doesn't bring it back in time, then you'll have to take what's available. In some cases, nothing will be available, and you'll be out of luck. It may not be fair, but there isn't much the truck companies can do about it.

That's why you need to choose your moving day carefully. The month matters most. If you can move outside of the summer months, that will increase your chances significantly of getting the truck you want.

Combination Move

Perhaps you would like to handle most of the move yourself, but would like a little assistance. Movers can be hired to transport only the heaviest items, such as dressers, armoires, pool tables, sofas, pianos, and so on. Meanwhile, you can load the rest of the items in a rental truck. This is ideal if you:

  • don't have many people who can help
  • are concerned that your helpers can't physically load large furniture
  • want to prevent anyone from getting injured while lifting
  • prefer to do most of the loading yourself

How much cheaper is a combination move compared to a full service move? Would it be worth the extra money to just have the movers transport all your belongings?

Choosing A Company

The yellow pages and the internet will provide a list of truck rental companies in your area. Some of the most popular companies include:

General questions:
  • are they offering any specials?
  • do they have a location in your new city?
  • do they provide free moving boxes or sell them at a discount?
  • do they have a storage facility?
  • how will you be charged?
  • does the truck come with an emergency kit?
  • can the truck be returned after hours?

Truck Size

For local moves, renting a larger truck might make more sense if it means only taking one trip instead of two. One trip equals less time, gas money, mileage, and work. Also consider if bringing the truck back is cheaper than dropping it off in your new city. The cost of fuel could be the deciding factor.

When getting rates from each company, tell them the square footage and number of rooms in your place. They'll be able to tell you which size truck would be best.


Most truck rental companies have dollies and hand trucks available to rent. These are worth the additional cost, as they make the loading and unloading process much faster and easier. Dollies are available for moving large furniture, appliances, and boxes.

Before You Leave

Check the oil, fuel, lights, tires, radiator, transmission fluid, hazard lights, and signs of damage. Buying a protection plan should be strongly considered in the event that you get into an accident. You may not be covered by your car insurance.

If transporting your vehicle with a rental truck, be sure to do it right. A disaster could occur if the trailer is not hooked up properly.

Preventing Theft

One of the concerns that I've always had about renting a moving truck is being a victim of theft. Rental trucks stand out like a sore thumb to thieves. They know that they're are loaded with personal items. Not only could they break in and take all your stuff, they might just take the truck too.

Don't lose sight of the truck. A thief doesn't need much time to break in and steal it. If driving long-distance, you'll be stopping at a few gas stations along the way. Lock the doors, and keep your eyes on it the whole time.

Always keep the truck locked, even if you only plan on vacating it for a few minutes. Sure, a thief could still attempt to break in, but it will be much more time consuming. In broad daylight, a locked truck will discourage theft. The rear door should always be padlocked.

Preventing theft during the day is one thing, but what about at night? Thieves are better able to steal trucks during this time because they can use their big lock cutters without being seen. The best thing you can do is lock the truck and park it in a well-lit area. Thieves value dark areas where they can't be easily seen.

Also, try to stay at hotels located in low crime rate areas. Talk to the hotel staff about getting a parking spot close to their office, where they can keep an eye on your truck. You may even be able to park it right outside your hotel room window.


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