When it comes to loading a U-Haul truck (or any moving truck, really) properly, there are many things to consider. While it’s best to hire professional movers who already know how to load a moving truck properly, you can totally do it yourself as well. But you need to know how to do it the right way. So we’ve provided you with some tips to help you with the truck loading process.
Decide on Moving Truck Size
At least 4–5 weeks before you move, reserve a U-Haul rental truck for your moving date. Decide how much space you need based on what you’re taking with you. You want a truck that’s big enough to take everything in 1–2 trips. Getting a truck that’s too small just means you’ll end up making several trips back and forth or you’ll have to unpack that truck and exchange it for a larger truck. Either way, you end up spending more time and money moving.
The truck sizes available for rental through U-Haul are the following:
- 10 foot (typically used by people who are moving from a studio or one-bedroom apartment; smallest box truck available)
- 15 foot (usually used by people who are moving from a 2-bedroom apartment or condo; truck also has a low deck and EZ load ramp; includes attic space to store away fragile items)
- 17 foot (typically used to move from larger apartments and condos; includes attic space to store away fragile items)
- 20 foot (also ideal for larger apartments, condos, and small houses; includes attic space to store away fragile items)
- 26 foot (typically used to move from large 3-5 bedroom homes; includes attic space to store away fragile items)
Purchase New Boxes
If all your boxes are pretty much shaped the same way, this will ease your loading process and make it more effective. Additionally, it will minimize the possibility of collapsed boxes and broken belongings within the boxes.
Rent Enough Padding
Be sure to rent enough padding to protect your larger furniture pieces while they’re in transit. Plan to have the following
- One pad for each smaller furniture piece like nightstands, dining chairs, side tables, etc.
- 2 pads for each medium-sized furniture piece like dressers, recliners, couches/sofas
- 3 pads for large furniture pieces like armoires, chests, dining tables
The optimal way to minimize damage to your furniture is to shrink wrap these moving pads to the furniture prior to moving. If that’s too time consuming for you, at the very least, shrink wrap pads to every wooden furniture piece inside the U-Haul after you’ve loaded it.
Get Straps to Keep Load in Place
Purchase a 4-pack of straps to keep your load in place in the U-Haul truck. Place 1–2 straps on the end of the load to keep it in place during transport. You can also use the straps to hold tall furniture in place against the wall of the U-Haul truck.
Rent Hand Trucks/Dollies
Rent a 2-wheel box dolly for moving square items and boxes onto and from the truck, and get a 4-wheel furniture dolly to assist with moving the heavier, larger furniture.
Other Packing Materials
In addition to boxes, pads, straps, and hand trucks/dollies, you’ll need packing tape, a marker and/or labels for your boxes.
Next, begin by loading the U-Haul truck in tiers. You have three ways to do this. You can pack from the front of the truck to the back of the truck, from one side of the truck to the other, or from the floor to the ceiling.
Next, be particular about the order you’re going to load things into the U-Haul truck. This is important for ensuring that items don’t move around in the truck.
Start by loading the heaviest items and appliances into your moving truck first. This includes the refrigerator (note that the fridge needs to be defrosted for 1-2 days before moving it), stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer. All of these items should be placed on the truck in their upright positions and should be stored in the front of the truck for weight distribution purposes. (You want to keep the back of the truck from dragging.
After this, you can load the square and rectangular larger furniture like dressers, nightstands, chests, side tables, china cabinets, and more on to the truck. Load them after you load your boxes to hold them in place during the trip. Place your mattresses and box springs behind the furniture to secure those as well, and put a moving pad underneath them so they stay clean. Put larger breakable things like glass items (e.g. furniture, picture frames, etc.) and electronics in between your mattresses and box springs to keep them protected and set in place during their trip.
Be sure to load your longer furniture in an upright position rather than laying down, the way most people commonly and mistakenly do. The upright position saves you space on your truck for other items.
Next, load your headboard and footboards upright after loading your mattresses and box springs. Load your sofa in next to keep the mattresses and box springs in place. Your sofa should be in an upright position as well. After that, put your love seat or recliner upside down on top of the sofa.
Then load your dining table vertically. If you need to take the legs off the table to get it to fit, do so. If you have any rugs, clean them beforehand. Then roll them up and put them in plastic wrap before they go on the moving truck.
Then, load the boxes and be sure to arrange them by size and shape, packing them in a way that optimizes the truck’s space. You can then place things like dining chairs, lawn chairs, beanbags, and children’s toys on top of the boxes.
Loose belongings like patio furniture, bicycles, exercise equipment, etc., can be placed in the very back of the truck. If you’re in the Little Rock area or ready to move to Little Rock and you’re looking for a moving truck rental or overall moving services, Chenal 10 Storage can help you out. In addition to moving services, we also provide self-storage services, and we even have our own post office. For more information, you can call us at 501-653-3088, or visit our Contact page to submit a form with your issues and concerns.