How to Decide What Size Truck to Rent When Moving across the Country

Moving trucks are designed to hold a certain amount of items, typically measured in cubic feet. They come in a variety of sizes, many of which can be driven without a special driver's license. Larger trucks require more fuel to operate and pose the risk of allowing your belongings to shift around during your move, so it is important to rent a moving truck that isn't larger than what you need. You also don't want have the truck halfway loaded and then realize it's not big enough. Never guess what size moving truck you'll need for such an important journey. Instead, keep reading to find out how to determine the perfect size of rental truck for your big move.

Look at Truck Measurements

First, you need to consider your truck rental options. You will have a choice of several different-sized trucks, the number of which depends upon the company you are renting from and how many trucks are already reserved on the dates that you need one. The advertised truck size takes into consideration the total amount of open space in the truck's storage area, from floor to ceiling, in cubic feet. But in reality, the truck will be longer than the advertised size because you also have to account for cabin length. You will need this information to make sure the entire truck can fit into parking spaces and loading areas. Any trucks that are too large for these situations should be eliminated from your consideration. You also need to know the measurements of the cargo doors to make sure your furniture will fit through them.  Any trucks with cargo entries that are too small for your furniture should be excluded.

Unless you are an expert packer, you will not utilize the total space within the truck. You will have holes and pockets where boxes and other items don't line up perfectly. Because of this, it's always in your best interest to rent a truck that is a little larger than what you think you'll need.

Figure Out Household Size

Next, you need to think about the size of your household and all the items that you'll be taking with you across the country. Since most moving truck rental companies want to make it easier for people to determine what size truck they need, they usually will provide estimates for the number of rooms that can fit in each of their trucks. But these numbers are only approximations for average-sized rooms, like a living room with one couch, one reclining chair, and a loveseat. The rule of thumb is to multiply the number of rooms in your home, excluding bathrooms, by 150 to get the number of cubic feet of moving truck space you'll need. If your home has rooms filled with furniture and décor in every nook and cranny, then you'll need a larger truck to accommodate all your belongings. If your living room consists only of a reclining chair and a TV, then you can rent a smaller truck. It's helpful to talk to the truck rental company and compare their suggestions with the amount of furniture and other belongings in your home to help you decide which size truck to rent.

Choosing the right-size moving truck isn't as easy as you may think, but it is essential to having a smooth cross-country moving experience. If you choose a truck that is too large, your belongings might be tossed around until they are damaged beyond repair and you'll be spending unnecessary money on larger amounts of gas. If you rent a truck that is too small, you will either have to make some tough decisions and leave items behind, rent another truck and double your cost, or unload everything off the truck so you can exchange it for a bigger one.

If you have any questions about renting a truck to move your household across country, contact a local moving truck rental company through a website like They are the professionals in the industry and can help you with all your moving needs.