Rental Trucks

If you're preparing to move and have chosen to utilize a rental truck you may have some questions, especially if this is your first DIY move. In this segment we will outline how to choose a rental truck size, how to estimate the fuel consumption and the recommended number of furniture pads to rent. For help deciding which truck rental company is right for you.

For specific information about the most popular truck rental companies including their unique truck sizes, average load/unload times and discount offers you can select the company from the menus listed here.

Choosing a Rental Truck Size

Every day we get several phone calls where the potential customer says, "I have an average three bedroom home", or something similar. The bottom line is that every move is different just like every home is different. You can have two identical homes as far as the structure is concerned but inside they can be completely different.

We generally classify the customer (not the home) into one of three categories: 

The Bachelor

While they may or may not actually be a defined bachelor, they fit the profile. Their two bedroom town home may be 1,500 square feet, but they don't have a lot of stuff. Since they don't cook often they have minimal kitchenware and although their bedroom has a king size suite (usually a queen or king bed frame and bed, triple dresser, double dresser and two night stands), their guest bedroom is lightly furnished. They don't have much, if anything, in the garage or shed.

Recommended Truck Size
While you may be able to get away with a 10' truck, we don't usually recommend it. The exception to the rule is college students with lightly furnished dorms. Your best bet is the 'medium truck' which will vary by truck rental provider. Both Penske Trucks and Budget Trucks have 16' rental options while U-Haul has a 14' and 17'.

Recommended Furniture Pads
You can probably get away with two dozen, but when you consider that furniture pads are cheap to rent you should always have more than less. Get three dozen and be on the safe side.

Fuel Consumption (MPG)
There are two major factors that play into how much fuel you will utilize that we cannot incorporate into our estimate; they are age and condition of the truck and the terrain along your route. Obviously, the newer the truck the more likely it will be in good condition and thus provide better fuel economy.

An normal range for a "medium truck" is between 7 MPG and 11 MPG. To be conservative even with the best conditions (e.g. newer truck and flat terrain) you should anticipate 9 MPG.


The Suburban

This category is the most common selection when customers refer to "average". The home is anywhere between 1,500 and 2,500 square feet and each room is furnished to meet today's expectations. In the dining room they have a large table, six chairs and a china hutch. In each bedroom you will find a bed, double dresser, triple dresser and two night stands. The garage, shed or porch has several boxes or plastic totes, bicycles and tools.

Recommended Truck Size
If you're not taking everything it is possible that you can fit into a 16' truck, with some very careful and experienced packing. However, you're best bet is to go with a larger truck option such as the Penske 22' truck or the Budget 24' truck. Both U-Haul and Penske have a larger 26' truck but that may be too large for your needs.

Recommended Furniture Pads
Your safest bet is 5 dozen pads. You can get more if you'd like but we do not recommend less.

Fuel Consumption (MPG)
These larger trucks utilize diesel fuel and have less of a fuel economy range, although your terrain and vehicle age will still play a role. The normal range for a large truck is between 4.5 MPG and 8 MPG. The Penske 22' truck should get the highest fuel economy while we would expect Budget to get about 5.5 MPG.


The Pack Rat

It doesn't matter how big the home is for this group, they will need the largest truck available no matter what. Each room has more furniture than is needed and upon close inspection you may find a phone bill from 1982.

Recommended Truck Size
The largest rental truck available is 26' and you'll probably need it. Budget Truck has a 24' truck as well.

Recommended Furniture Pads
Get a minimum of 6 dozen pads and remember, the more pads the better.

Fuel Consumption (MPG)
Both the 24' and 26' trucks utilize diesel. Expect your fuel economy to be between 4.5 MPG and 5.5 MPG.


 

U-Haul Rental

Although U-Haul is the largest truck rental company in the United States, we do not recommend them. Perhaps it's pure statistics, the larger the company the more opportunities for failure or perhaps it's their continually poor track record. Either way, whenever possible we recommend using Budget Truck Rental or Penske Truck Rental. Because we like to provide as much information as possible, we have provided a brief overview of the pro's and con's regarding U-Haul.

  • If you are moving in a rural area you may not have a Penske or Budget Truck, but you likely have a U-Haul. Not only do they have the most trucks, they also have the most locations. This is a major advantage and one reason so many people continue to utilize U-Haul.
  • About a year ago we put together a " U-Haul Advisory " which at the time provided numerous sources of media investigations into their trucks and subsequently, their mechanical and safety failures. Since we released that article they have made efforts to release new fleets of trucks to replace the older ones.
  • Their customer service at many locations is not so great. This of course depends on the location, but our continual feedback from customers suggests that they have a greater issue with customer service than the other truck rental companies.
  • One thing that we do like about U-Haul is their moving supplies. They are the only truck rental company that stocks their corporate stores with a large quantity and selection of moving supplies, and they are generally affordable. When our crews require supplies on the run we will generally run into a U-Haul location.
  • U-Haul is also the only company with trailers. If you have a vehicle with towing capacity and only need to move a small amount of items this would certainly be beneficial to you.

Regardless of which truck rental company you ultimately choose you may want to consider our moving labor services.  Our movers take the stress out of your move by quickly and efficiently loading and unloading. To get an idea of how long it should take to load or unload a U-Haul we have provided the average completion times for the unique U-Haul truck sizes below. These times are based on historical data and only represent customers who had a ranch home, single family home or town home. Please remember that your completion time could be more or less depending on your unique situation and on site variables.

U-HAUL TRUCK SIZELOADUNLOADCREW SIZE
10'
2 Hours
1.25 Hours
2 Movers
14'
3 Hours
2.25 Hours
2 Movers
17'
3.75 Hours
3 Hours
2 Movers
20'
4.25 Hours
3.25 Hours
2 Movers
24'
3.75 Hours
3 Hours
3 Movers
26'
4.25 Hours
3.5 Hours
3 Movers

 

Budget Truck Rental

As former operators of three  Budget Truck Rental  locations we know all about them! While we refer Penske Truck Rental as our preferred truck rental provider, we also refer Budget Truck Rental. Their trucks are relatively well maintained when compared to other rental companies and they have a good size network of both corporate and dealer locations.

We have provided the average completion times for Budget Truck Rentals below. These times are based on historical data and only represent customers who had a ranch home, single family home or town home. Please remember that your completion time could be more or less depending on your unique situation and on site variables.

BUDGET TRUCK SIZELOADUNLOADCREW SIZE
10'
2 Hours
1.25 Hours
2 Movers
16'
3.5 Hours
2.75 Hours
2 Movers
24'
3.75 Hours
2.5 Hours
3 Movers

 

Penske Truck Rental

 Penske Truck RentalĀ® is the best comapany, because they do the best job and provide the best trucks for both local and long distance moves. In fact, we utilize Penske Trucks up to 500 times a year for various contracts and jobs all over the country. Penske Trucks, similar to Budget Truck Rental and U-Haul provide a range of truck options from 12' - 26' depending on your needs. Penske is the only company that offers a 12' and 22' option, although they are rare and hard to find.

We've provided the average completion times for Penske Truck Rentals below. These times are based on historical data and only represent customers who had a ranch home, single family home or town home. Please remember that your completion time could be more or less depending on your unique situation and on site variables.

PENSKE TRUCK SIZELOADUNLOADCREW SIZE
12'
2.5 Hours
1.5 Hours
2 Movers
16'
3.5 Hours
2.75 Hours
2 Movers
22'
4.5 Hours
3.75 Hours
2 Movers
26'
4.25 Hours
3 Hours
3 Movers

 

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