How to Get the Right Sized Moving Truck

How to Get the Right Sized Moving Truck

What might be worse than hiring a moving truck that’s far too large for the job? Hiring one that’s too small. Moving households is never cheap, even when you do the job yourself. But getting the best truck for the belongings that you’ll transport can save a lot of cash.

If the truck is too large, you’ll waste money on the rental. But if it’s too small, you’ll waste time and perhaps money, too. That depends on the agreement and how the truck rental company handles changes. It’s much better to avoid those issues altogether and get it right, right from the start.

How Moving Trucks are Classified

By and large, rental trucks fit into cubic foot categories. This designation tells you the total interior area of the vehicle. You’ll also find that most trucks show a trailer length. For example, a 20-foot truck may have about 1,000 cubic feet of space inside the trailer. The dimensions and cubic feet will vary by truck and rental company, but the general categories are usually similar.

Estimating Your Household

The tricky part of any move is determining how much stuff you’ve got and how much space it takes. Most rental trucks give a rough estimation of the number of rooms full of furniture they can hold, not how many furniture items you own. But that’s based on a low-to-moderately furnished home. Estimate slightly on the high side if you have a lot of belongings, and stick with the minimum if you have fewer.

Moving truckChoosing the Right Moving Truck

Although it’s not an exact science, there’s a guide that most moving truck rental companies use to help get the right-size truck. My Moving Reviews recommends renting the next size up if the truck in question barely meets the capacity to haul your belongings.

  • 10-foot: The smallest of moving trucks or vans, this is best suited for very small homes such as tiny apartments and college dorms.
  • 14-foot: Apartments with 1-2 bedrooms and small homes of similar dimensions can likely fit in this truck.
  • 17-foot: A slight step up from the 14-footer, this truck can move a 2-bedroom house or apartment, and My Moving Reviews also says it’s appropriate for moving an office.
  • 20-foot: Another slightly larger truck, the 20-foot version hauls an average 3-bedroom house. It’s also appropriate for long-distance moves.
  • 24-foot: Four bedrooms or fewer typically fit inside the trailer of this vehicle.
  • 26-foot: If your home has 4 or more bedrooms, this is usually the largest rental truck available that can move it.

Many moving truck rental companies have been in the business for a long time, and their estimations are often very close. Just remember that when approaching the max capacity for any vehicle, the safest bet is to move up to the next available size.

If moving day is fast approaching or you’re planning well in advance for a move later this year, you’ve come to the right place. Visit to learn more about DIY-managed moves, or switch gears and let a moving company do all of the difficult work. Either way, we’re here to help.

Raj Kalra

A moving industry expert and an internet marketing enthusiast, I have been involved in the moving industry since 2004. Combining my passion towards technology and online marketing with my expertise in the moving industry, I've been focusing on building solutions to make your move easier. From planning to successfully executing your move, my tips and tricks will guide you all along the way. Have any questions for me? Send them to [email protected]