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How to Choose A Rental Truck Size

How to choose the correct rental truck sizeEveryday 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.

How Much Stuff Do You Have?

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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 nightstands), 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 Truck Rental and Budget Truck Rental 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.

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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 is a registered trademark of U-Haul International, Inc. Budget Truck Rental is a registered trademark of Budget Truck Rental, LLC. Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P. is a registered trademark of Penske System, Inc. Elite Moving Labor is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of these companies.
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