Loading a rental truck often looks like a rugby scrum gone bad: all the helpers wildly throwing stuff in the truck, making the packing inefficient, and exposing your stuff to damages because of shifting in the truck while you’re moving.
Many people look to save a buck by eschewing moving companies, but it’s all for naught if your stuff is destroyed or you have to make two trips because of lousy loading.
There’s an easy fix: Have one person in charge. It’s their job to direct where items go on the truck. They should stand in the back of the truck as helpers bring in items, and then decide where they go in the truck.
While you might mock this person for not having to do as much heavy lifting, they’ve actually got the most important job of the bunch: their work will ensure that you get everything loaded in the truck, and that it all shows up at your new home in one piece.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you load the rental truck:
Your First Steps
To make everything more efficient, get everything you need to load your truck before you begin actually loading.
Make sure all the moving boxes you’re putting in the truck are fully packed — top to bottom and side to side. If there’s empty space, fill it with enough paper so they don’t get crushed if other items are stacked on them in the truck.
Stretch-wrap sofas to protect them from dirt, or punctures. Also do mattresses and other soft items, or buy boxes or mattress bags for them.
Have enough padded materials (moving blankets) on hand to wrap furniture for protection. Wrapping furniture makes it easier to load tightly in the truck without hurting it. Try to load stuff tightly to prevent items jostling against one another during the move.
Start loading at the front of the truck or van and work your way toward the back.
Stack items from floor to ceiling, and try to fill every space needs to be filled so no items shift during transportation. Boxes should be used as filler for open spaces.
Put heavy items lower on the truck, with lighter items on top of those.
Pack each ‘row’ fully (floor to ceiling), before moving on to the next row.
You might need to disassemble some things to ensure safe transport, like removing legs from tables. Don’t get lazy on this point, you could cause some real damage.
Sofas and some other pieces may be placed on their ends to achieve a tightly loaded truck, but you will need to be sure to place the items next to items that will not cause damage. And if the fabric, they need to be wrapped.
If you don’t use the entire truck, secure the back of your shipment with loading straps to keep things from sliding backward. When you rent your truck, make sure these things are available.