Today, Jim, a customer in Eugene, Oregon wanted to know what size of truck he should rent from Penske. To approximate the size of truck Jim should use, we asked him a series of questions:
Q1: How many bedrooms do you have?
Jim’s Answer: I live in a two bedroom apartment, and moving to a 4 bedroom house in Springfield,
Q2: How many boxes would you say you have, and how many large furniture items?
Jim’s Answer: I have about 25 boxes, 1 large couch, 2 loveseats, a kitchen table (with chairs) an
armour, a treadmill, and 1 large TV.
Q3: What about appliances? What about outdoor furniture? Anything else?
Jim’s Answer: I have no appliances that are going. No outdoor furniture. However, I do have
a small storage room full of my company’s construction equipment.
Based on what Jim told us, the solution to his question wasn't necessarily clear. Normally, a two bedroom apartment (given the items listed) would fit into a 16’ truck; however, the ‘construction equipment storage room’ makes the calculation a little more problematic. To get a better estimate we asked Jim to measure the dimensions of the storage room. He told us that the room was 4’ x 5’ and 6’ tall, and that the room was completely filled. Based on those dimensions, purchasing a 16’ truck seemed a little sketchy. In turn, we advised Jim to aim and get a truck size larger. Jim is currently deciding to go with the 26’ Penske truck.
Here are a few other tips and things to remember when deciding upon your truck size:
The size of truck that you may decide upon can often be dictated by availability. Be sure to plan well in advance. Just because a rental truck provider lists a particular size, doesn't mean that they actually carry it for the date or time requested. In turn, they might not carry the truck you are looking for, and you may need to go with a smaller size.
Your truck should be large enough to accommodate 10-15% more than what you own. This is to ensure you're going to have enough room. Too much room is better than too little. Besides, the next size up, in regards to pricing, may only be slightly more that the size before it ($10-$30 more). Doesn’t it seem safer just to go with the larger truck?
Compare the actual volume of the rental trucks. Truck sizes (in cubic feet) vary from one agency to another. For instance, the truck rentals from the company UHAUL typically exhibit wheel wells (metal humps) which take floor room, and make packing a truck difficult in their proximity difficult. Here is a link to common misperceptions of trucks, and a side by side comparison of their actual volume differences.
Survey your belongings. Tally all your items, take approximate cubic measurements, then find the total cubic footage. Keep in mind, fragile items (e.g. glass hutch) or bulky items (e.g. dining room chairs, outdoor furniture, treadmills, bikes) take up a lot of room because they arn’t safe to stack, or won’t stack. If you are struggling with these sorts of calculations try free “Truck size calculators” like this one: http://www.pensketruckrental.com/moving-truck-rental/moving-and-storage/house-moving.html
Don’t be scared of driving the larger truck. A smaller truck size doesn’t necessarily make the drive any easier than the larger. Too often a customer purchases a smaller truck only to learn that they must make multiple trips. Note: mileage on the truck is very expensive (typically around $0.70 a mile), and so is gas (to fill up a 24’ truck typically costs around $210) . Remember, companies wouldn’t rent their trucks out to customers if they felt it might endanger the general public. We have seen 80-yr-old Grandmas drive large 26’ trucks with rather ease.
Another factor that might affect your decision, especially if you are traveling a long distance, is fuel cost. Diesel fuel is less expensive than gasoline and some moving truck companies offer larger trucks with diesel engines. If you think it wouldn’t hurt to go a size up and you want to save on gasoline, try out a fuel calculator to see if you can save some money.